Few would argue against the idea that the Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most off-road-capable 4x4s on the planet it roams. California-based aftermarket builder US Specialty Vehicles sees some room for improvement in the way the Wrangler expresses its intentions, though. It's slapped a rugged, military-style body kit on the four-door Wrangler Unlimited and upgraded the interior into a warm, supple space. The result is the Rhino XT, the all-terrain SUV reinvented.
Mazda might have stolen the show in Tokyo with its gorgeous RX-Vision Coupe, but it's back to business as usual for the Japanese brand in Los Angeles. Instead of launching a slinky rotary concept, Mazda has taken the covers off its new CX-9 SUV. Designed to ferry the kids to school in style, the CX-9 will be powered by a 2.5-liter engine debuting new turbo technology that cuts down on lag.
Cadillac has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. It's gone from building heavy, soggy barges for Florida retirees to creating exciting sedans and coupes that can compete with the best Germany has to offer. But super-sedans don't make big money – SUVs do, which is why Cadillac's new lightweight XT5 is so important for the American brand.
With the unveiling of the new GLS, Mercedes brings some S-Class comfort, luxury and performance to its SUV line-up. The GLS is more efficient, more powerful and has more features than its predecessor. It's also huge.
With the massive range of compact four-wheel drives out there, you could be forgiven for thinking that every possible niche had already been filled. But you'd be wrong, because little known Russian brand UAZ is out there filling a gaping hole in the market: Soviet-style stripped back design with the Hunter.
Two years ago, Porsche first revealed its Macan line of compacts SUVs to the world. Now, at the Tokyo Motor Show, the automaker has unveiled the latest member of that family – the 2017 Macan GTS. Among other things, it offers more power than its predecessors, along with a reengineered suspension, unique exterior/interior appointments, and new connectivity options.
Despite crossover names plucked from the dusty, prickly expanses of the American Southwest, Hyundai isn't the brand to shop if you're looking for a tough, off-road-ready SUV. With a little help from Rockstar Performance Garage, though, it's transformed the cuddly Tucson – a car we last saw in very pavement-centric fuel cell spec – into a convincing all-terrain machine. The ruggedized Tucson will roll into the SEMA Show next month, and we'd be willing to bet it will travel by way of rough, angry Nevada desert.
Subaru has already trotted three Viziv (Vision for Innovation) designs out over the past two years – the original 2013 Viziv concept, the Viziv 2 and the Viziv GT video game race car. Now it's reusing that semi-portmanteau once again for the Viziv Future concept. All the Viziv concepts have been forward-looking, but none more so than the Future. The new concept car is infused with next-generation technologies and design solutions inside and out.
For a long time now, BMW has hung its hat on the fact its cars are the Ultimate Driving Machines. All of its vehicles – including the big SUVs and front-drive minivans – are billed sharp handling sports cars. That same mentality is writ large in the new X4 M40i, a "sporty" SUV with big wheels, uprated brakes and stiff suspension ... oh, and it will also hit 100 km/h in under 5 seconds.
The concept cars weren't the only stars of this year's Frankfurt Motor Show. Trucks, vans and utility vehicles of all shapes and sizes also helped make the show the major industry event it was. Plush, first-ever SUVs from the cunning British luxury minds at Bentley and Jaguar were contrasted by far more rugged products like the the Mercedes G500 4x4 Squared and dirtied Land Rovers. Similarly, world-class business luxury vans were offset by fun-loving camper and sport vans.