Jeep always impresses with its annual barrage of concept vehicles designed for Easter Jeep Safari. This year, it's really outdone itself. Not only has it revealed the burliest Wrangler pickup concept we've seen yet, but it also has an airy, military-look Wrangler, a surf-styled tribute to the original 1970s-era Cherokee, a Grand Cherokee overland camper, and three other interesting packages that reimagine its existing lineup.
Bentley focused its attention on revealing an all-new concept coupe
at this year's Geneva Motor Show, so there was no Bentayga SUV as we thought there might be. That's not to say that utility vehicles didn't have any presence in Geneva, though. While they weren't as strong a fleet as sports cars
or concept cars
, crossovers and 4x4s had a solid presence anchored by the global debuts of some extremely rugged off-roaders.
If the Mercedes G-Wagen can go six wheels, why not the Land Rover Defender? That's the question that Kahn Design answers with an all-new Land Rover equivalent of the Mercedes G 63 AMG 6x6
. The British tuning shop has revealed the "Flying Huntsman 110 WB 6x6," an absolutely maniacal Defender ready for world conquest.
We've seen a number of off-road skateboards
hit the market over the past several years, although most of them have little or no suspension, and many do
have electric motors
– the latter is fine if you want it, but just adds weight, expense and complexity if you don't. Industrial designer Chris Terpstra's new Gila Board doesn't have a motor, but instead sports a unique fully-adjustable independent suspension system.
The Sprinter isn't necessarily the Mercedes-Benz platform that immediately comes to mind when we think rugged, AWD expedition vehicle. In fact, Mercedes has said that the Sprinter is the number one base vehicle for luxury camper vans, not exactly a description that makes one think of muddy tracks and rocky hill climbs. That said, German camper manufacturer Bimobil has managed to create a convincingly tough expedition vehicle by planting its own living module on top of an AWD Sprinter chassis. This is one Sprinter that can travel and camp virtually anywhere in the world.
There might be something in the water over at Mercedes right now. From the ultra luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S600
to the insane 6x6 G-Class AMG
, Stuttgart’s engineers and product planners seem to be full of interesting ideas at the moment. Those same engineers seem to have done it again with the new G500 4x4 Squared, (or G500 4x42
) a near-production G-Wagen show car fitted with a portal axle system that gives it greater off road capability.
While the Chicago Auto Show is always eager to advertise its claim of being the largest auto show in the United States (by square footage), it usually takes a back seat to the likes of Detroit, New York and LA when it comes to important, exciting product and concept debuts. This year's show holds its own, however, hosting a variety of interesting new production cars, concepts and special editions. Take a look at the new cars and trucks that have Chicagoland talking.
Usually one of the last car brands you'd think of when you think "off road," Kia is looking to pull urbanites out of city limits and into the great outdoors. The all-new Soul-based Trail'ster concept it's showing at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show is the vision of a small crossover that's as comfortable roaming wide-open public lands as it is maneuvering cramped city streets.
Just because you have difficulty walking doesn't mean that you should be limited to the smooth sidewalks and asphalt paths of the world ... at least, not according to folks at Sweden's Zoomability. Their Zoom 4-wheel drive electric vehicle can be operated entirely by hand, allowing people with limited mobility – or anyone else – to get in some off-road action.
With regular production of the current-generation Defender set to come to a close by year-end, Land Rover is declaring 2015 the Year of the Defender. The celebration will include a trio of Defender special editions: the luxurious Autobiography Edition, the reminiscent Heritage Edition and the ruggedized Adventure Edition.