Category Archives: Off Road

Buick Unveils 2018 Regal Sportback and TourX Wagon Models

While the Opel brand may no longer be under the GM corporate umbrella, The last remnants of this bygone era are still making an impact in GM’s broader plans. Case in point, the 2018 Opel Insignia. Known as the Buick Regal here in the U.S., the newest iteration of the Regal aims to bring new-found refinement while still retaining the attributes that made the last generation model a hit with buyers.

 

The previous generation Buick Regal was only available here in the U.S. as a sedan. For 2018 the Regal ditches this approach – sort of. Instead, the 2018 version will arrive as a liftback (similar to the A7) and also as a wagon dubbed the TourX which would give Buick a competitor against the Audi Allroad and the Volvo V60 Cross Country.

 

 

Like before, the 2018 Regal makes use of a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine, but overall performance figures vary depending on the model chosen. In the front wheel drive Sportback its good for 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque with all of this muscle being channeled to the front wheels through a nine speed automatic transmission. The Sportback is also available in all-wheel drive, and that helps boost torque to 295 lb-ft, though the nine speed gets swapped for an eight speed in this application.  Meanwhile the TourX only comes with all-wheel drive and an eight speed transmission which in turn preserves its existing 250/295 power ratings.

 

 

Buick claims that versatility will be at the forefront here with the Sportback having more overall cargo space than both the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The TourX on the other hand will offer more cargo space than the Volvo V60 Cross Country, BMW 3-Series Sport Wagon, as well as the Subaru Outback.

The interior of both versions will come packed to the brim with the latest technology that GM has to offer. This includes a standard seven-inch infotainment system with Android and Apple CarPlay capability, but buyers can opt for a bigger eight-inch setup which can be enhanced further with optional navigation software. Look for the cabin to also gain upgrades in overall fit and finish including softer touch plastics as well as more supportive seats.

In addition, both the Sportback and the TourX will also make history for Buick, and be the first Buick models to offer an “active hood” A common feature on some of its European rivals, the “active hood can sense the imminent impact of a pedestrian between 16-30 miles per hour, and use a pyrotechnic operated actuator to raise the rear of the hood by four inches. This lessens the overall impact, and could also help reduce injuries to the pedestrian according to Buick’s official release.

Buick did not release formal fuel economy figures nor a final pricing ladder for the duo, but look for that information to emerge closer to the Regal’s launch to dealer lots in late 2017. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest on the 2018 Buick Regal, as well as our live coverage of the 2017 New York Auto Show.

Mitsubishi Unveils Eclipse Cross

When Mitsubishi recently revealed that the company was going to focus on a CUV focused lineup, we were curious to see where things would go moving forward. The Japanese auto firm has unveiled the first glimpse of this compelling future, the 2018 Eclipse Cross.

Eclipse Cross

 

While some enthusiasts may cry foul seeing the Eclipse nameplate on a CUV versus a sports coupe, the Eclipse Cross does have some neat styling elements that make it stand out when compared to segment rivals like the Nissan Rouge. The bulk of the styling language is carried over from XR-PHEV II concept that first appeared at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, and Mitsubishi designers did a good job in maintaining the bulk of the concept’s design language in the shift to formal production cues.

The front fascia features bright chrome accents that project an X-shaped look, while the rear fascia features a beefy roof mounted spoiler, as well as slick L-shaped taillights that are connected by an intergrated lightbar. The rakish C-pillar helps give the Eclipse Cross a coupe like profile, while also highlighting its form over function motif.

Eclipse Cross interior

With all things considered, the Eclipse Cross breathes much needed life into Mitsubishi’s exterior styling, and is a massive improvement over the bland canvas embraced by many of its current models. It also highlights how important design will be in the creation of Mitsubishi products moving forward.

“Land Rover has proved you can be both rugged and stylish, and we intend to follow that path” revealed a company insider during an interview with British magazine Autocar.

Performance hardware will vary depending on which market it is in. In the U.S. buyers will only have access to a 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, which is standard along with all-wheel drive and a CVT transmission. Meanwhile, other markets can also choose a 2.2 liter turbocharged four cylinder diesel engine that is mated to an eight speed automatic. Sadly, there is currently no plans to bring the eight speed to U.S. spec models.

Eclipse Cross HUD

European buyers will have first crack at the Eclipse Cross when it arrives in dealerships this fall. The Eclipse Cross will then trickle into other markets, with U.S. dealerships getting their first units either at the end of this year, or in early 2018.

 

Mercedes-Maybach Showcases G650 Landaulet

Ever wondered what would happen if you took the superbly capable G-Wagen SUV, and infused it with the opulent luxury that the Maybach brand can only provide? Mercedes-Maybach has provided the result of this mad scientist-esque cocktail, the limited production G650 Landaulet.

G650 Landaulet

The Landaulet is a stretched version of the iconic G-Class, but stands out thanks to its soft top, as well as its foot high ground clearance. The G Wagen is already a uniquely awesome beast to drive on and off the road, but the highlight feature lies above the rear axle.

650 Landaulet

Normally, the G-Wagen’s rear seat accomodations are on the tight side, but the stretched wheelbase on the Landaulet allowed Maybach designers to create a cocoon like rear space with indvidual leather seats borrowed from the Maybach badged S-Class.

650 Landaulet

The seats can coddle occupants with a hot massage, or fully recline for passengers that like to stretch out and relax on long journeys. The center console features switches that allow passengers to raise or lower the glass partition, as well as operate the power top.

Performance for the Landaulet comes from the familiar 6.0 liter twin-turbocharged V12 engine that makes 630 horsepower and 730 lb-ft of torque. All of this muscle is sent to all four wheels through an automatic transmission which promises to make this limo-esque vehicle a rocket at any speed.

650 Landaulet

Meanwhile, Unimog inspired portal axles help give 17-inches of ground clearance, and also amp up the G-Wagen’s already impressive off-road capabilities. Look for this to be a highlight with well heeled guests when trekking off the beaten path.

Mercedes-Maybach plans to only build 99 examples of the G650 Landaulet, and will ship the first units to dealerships this fall. Pricing as well as avalibility were not released, but look for a small batch of examples to already be spoken for ahead of its official debut.

Rebel Black 4

Ram Goes To The Darkside With 1500 Rebel Black [Video]

With the Ram Rebel scorching its way through backwood trails and snowy roads, Ram has revealed a special edition model dubbed the Rebel Black.

As its moniker implies, the Rebel Black embraces black accents and includes black rims, brush guard, and an all black interior. This special edition truck is thankfully avalible rm017_070fn8l8bi9hs9g3fng8v9pjf254v67__midin the full color pallate which should please folks that love the standard model’s trademark red hue.

The all black interior features heated seats with “Rebel” embroidery andonized accents on the doors, center console and instrument cluster as well as Light Slate grey accent seat stitching in lieu of the standard Rebel’s red hued stitching. Black Katzkin leather thrones are avalible as a luxurious upgrade.

“Adding the Rebel Black package to an already aggressive off-road package will continue feeding the momentum Rebel is creating for the Ram Truck brand” revealed Mike Manley Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “The Ram Rebel is unique in the full-size truck segment with 33-inch off-road tires, air suspension, and custom interior details.”

Like the rest of the Rebel lineup, performance for the Rebel Black comes from either the base rm017_069fnumb206akgk1ftp5rkn6bk6rk8__mid3.6 liter Pentastar V6 or the optional 5.7 liter Hemi V8. The V6 model comes in 4×4 guise only, but V8 rigs can be had either as a 4×4 or a 4×2.

The Ram 1500 Rebel Black is scheduled to arrive in showrooms this March, with a base price of $45,590. This is before the $1,320 dedtination fee, but its still a reasonable price, especially for a truck that embraces the dark side. In the mean time, you can see it shred some powder in the video below.

 

Rolls Royce Announces Key Step For Upcoming SUV

With all the buzz surrounding the Bentley Bentayga SUV, it is easy to forget that Rolls Royce also has an SUV entry in the works. Information has been pretty tight lipped, but the British luxury brand has revealed new details about the upcoming model as well as a pair of teaser images.

These images are the first time that its Project Cullinan SUV has been seen in its final p90244158_lowres_project-cullinan-takproduction body. While Rolls Royce engineers did their best to hide things with loads of swirly camoflauge, key details still make themselves apparent. The front fascia falls in line with typical Rolls Royce cues, and is centered around the bold slatted grille as well as its elegantly styled hood.

Meanwhile the rear fascia adopts a formal wagon profile, but the camoflauge hides key styling elements, so we’ll have to wait until its formal unveiling to issue our verdict. The mirrors are also textbook Rolls, and borrow their basic inspiration from the Phantom and Ghost sedans.

Performance hardware is still a mystery, but Rolls Royce did reveal that Project Cullinan will begin cold weather testing in the Arctic Circle sometime after Christmas before flying to the Middle East (its key market) for hot weather testing late next year. We suspect that it will initially debut with a twelve cylinder engine before adding a V8 later in its production run. Like the Bentayga, an automatic will be the sole transmission choice avalible.

With this current testing schedule, Project Cullinan could make its formal debut either at the end of next year, or the beginning of the following year. When it does, it will compete with not only the forementioned Bentayga, but also the upcoming Lamborghini Uruus and the Aston Martin DBX.

Mercedes Benz Previews X-Class Pickup

Following years of rampant speculation and rumors regarding the notion of a three pointed star pickup truck. Mercedes Benz has lifted the veil off of the Concept X-Class which is allegedly a ‘concrete outlook’ on a production version of the firm’s first ever pickup truck.

 

 

The two trucks on hand at the unveiling show off the two distinct styling motifs that will define the new model. The off road oriented “adventurer” X-Class features a sporty yellow-green paint job and features a lifted suspension, knobby off road tires, and protective cladding on key points of the truck. The adventurer even comes equipped with a winch, though we will wait until it can be used in the real world before issuing a final verdict on its full capabilities.

The ‘explorer’ model on the other hand arrives as the decidedly more on road oriented variant and shares much of its cues with existing Mercedes Benz offerings. Benz designers went for more posh with this truck and equipped it with 22-inch chrome wheels as well as a snazzy white metallic paint job. The end result is an X-Class that is decidedly more upscale, and should please buyers looking for utility that can still have a styling statement.

 

 

The interior of both trucks also showcase the flexibility that exists in the X-Class. The ‘explorer’s’ interior focuses on luxury and features warm colors as well as healthy amounts of wood trim that helps add new dashes of elegance to the functional cabin. Annoyingly the screen for the infotainment system is still not formally integrated into the dashboard like other luxury offerings, but look for it to still deliver sharp clarity and quick inputs regardless.

Meanwhile the ‘adventurer’ goes for all out brawn, and carries over the exterior’s green hue and incorporates more supportive seating. The center stack shares much of the ‘explorer’s’ layout but Mercedes designers gave it more aluminium accents and even equipped it with a portable fire extinguisher or extra safety.

The platform for the X-Class is borrowed from the Nissan NP300 Navara pickup truck, and makes it a traditional body on frame rig. The Navara also is shared with Renault where it is known as the Renault Alaskan. Look for the production version of the X-Class to tone down the wild styling elements somewhat especially the radical tail light design on the tailgate. As expected from a Mercedes Benz offering, look for some unique elements to remain intact though the bespoke truck will unlikely stray too far from its Navara roots.

 

 

Mercedes stopped short of revealing a full suite of engines for the pickup but did confirm that the range topping variant will be powered by a V6 diesel engine. The model will also feature the company’s familiar 4-MATIC all-wheel drive system which should prove to be a valuable asset on the off-road minded ‘adventurer’ while giving the ‘explorer’ the confidence it needs to tackle snowy weather conditions. It is unknown what other engines will see duty in the X-Class but with the Navara offering a four cylinder exclusive lineup, look for Benz to use its own engines including a petrol burning V6 as well as its own four cylinders.

“Our future X-Class will be a pickup that knows no compromise,” promised Mercedes-Benz Vans CEO Volker Morhinweg. “Ladder type frame, high torque six-cylinder engine, and permanent all-wheel drive are compulsory for us.”

The X-Class is expected to launch later next year and will focus on buyers in Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Australia and Europe. However the company neither confirmed or denied the prospect of bringing the truck to the U.S. market, and personally we think that it should not make the trip across the pond. This is mainly due to the near absolute domination of the segment that is enjoyed by the domestic Big Three as well as the costs of importing and marketing the truck to U.S. buyers which would most likely outweigh any form of profit made from the relatively niche level of sales that the X-Class would experience in this country.

GMC Unveils 2500 HD All Terrain X

The off-road pickup truck segment has seen a spike in growth recently with Ram unveiling the 2500 Power Wagon, the recently launched V6 powered Ford F-150 Raptor, and the iconic Jeep Wrangler. General Motors looks to take a slice of this potent sales pie for itself, and has unveiled the 2017 GMC Sierra 2500 HD All Terrain X.

Following on the heels of the recently launched Canyon and Sierra 1500 All Terrain X, the beefy 2500 variant aims to go toe to toe with the Ram Power Wagon, and on paper it appears to have the goods to do just that. The exterior styling continues the all black motif 2500 HD All Terrain Xthat has defined GMC’s off-road models and includes the blacked out front grille surround, 18-inch aluminium wheels, as well as its black hued four-inch side steps. The truck also features a black sports bar that further emphasizes its rugged intentions.

The interior of this bruiser is also a clever mix of elegance and functionality and comes equipped with a heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals, rear view camera, and blacked out leather seats with front seat heat. Speaking of the seats, we are happy that GMC chose a more tasteful design for the thrones versus the decidedly more garish looking tire tread style cues that defines the Power Wagon’s seats. Rounding out this is GM’s eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features the latest iteration of IntelliLink.

Performance for the 2500 HD All Terrain X is shared with the standard 2500 4×4 model, and comes equipped with two different engine choices. The base engine is a 6.0 liter V8, but look for the majority of buyers to go with the 6.6 liter Duramax turbodiesel engine which 2500 HD All Terrain X fender shotbrings 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. The All Terrain package also includes meaty Goodyear Duratec off road tires, GM’s off road focused Z71 suspension, an Eaton locking differential, and package exclusive underbody shielding. This should allow the X to keep up with the Power Wagon on rugged backwoods trails, and please buyers looking for an alternative to the Ram.

GMC has not released formal pricing or launch details for the 2500 HD All Terrain X, but look for the truck to possibly make its debut either at the LA Auto Show or the North American International Auto Show in January.

Jeep Unveils 2018 Compass In Brazil

Following a steady stream of spy photos as well as an accidental unveiling of the 2018 Compass by snoops in Brazil, Jeep has formally unveiled the 2018 Jeep Compass at a private event in the South American country.

Designed to formally replace both the Jeep Patriot and the current Jeep Compass (the two oldest models in FCA’s model lineup), this all new model aims to erase all the baggage that Jeep® Compass Limitedboth models accumulated during their time in production. It all starts with the exterior styling that borrows plenty of cues from its big brother the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This includes a thinner grille that accents a taller front end as well as Grand Cherokee-esque tailights to truly drive home its family resemblance.

The trio of teaser images that Jeep released also confirmed that the 2018 Compass will be offered with a Trailhawk package. Like other versions of the Trailhawk, the Compass Trailhawk will feature reworked exterior styling elements as well as a beefed up off-road package that makes the Compass a highly capable trail buster.

The interior also benefits from its own share of updates, and transforms from being the laughing stock of the segment, into a clean and advanced looking place to spend time in. Jeep® Compass LimitedAgain, it’s influence to the Grand Cherokee and its accommodations is striking, and the cabin’s better plastics and ergonomically friendly control layout will try to lure young buyers back into the Jeep fold.

Performance hardware for the 2018 Compass is expected to differ heavily from the Brazilian spec model that was unveiled. While FCA chose to remain silent on this topic, a seperate report suggests that the Compass will arrive with the choice of either a 2.0 liter Tiger Shark four cylinder engine or an optional 2.0 liter turbodiesel engine. U.S. versions will most likely arrive without the oil burner, and only come equipped with the 2.0 liter Tiger Shark. Transmission choices on the other hand will carryover with all flavors of Compass featuring either a six speed manual transmission, or the optional nine speed automatic.

The 2018 Jeep Compass will make its debut at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in Brazil with the U.S. model arriving shorty after in Los Angeles. Sales will then kick off in the first quarter of 2017 though there will be a period where the new model will be sold alongside its predecessor before it fully takes over dealer lots.

Mercedes Benz Unveils E-Class All Terrain

Following a prior confirmation, Mercedes Benz has lifted the veil off of its upcoming E-Class All Terrain wagon which is the German firm’s response to the Volvo V90, and the recent wave of rugged off road oriented wagon models.

As expected, the exterior styling of the All Terrain is largely based on the standard E-Class estate with copious amounts of exterior body E-Class All Terrain cladding added to help it cope with off road excursions. Overall its a handsome design, but it lacks the balanced flow seen in rivals such as the Volvo V90.

The All Terrain also comes with 4-MATIC all-wheel drive standard, but the model stands out thanks to two model exclusive all terrain modes as well as a slightly tweaked air E-Class All Terrain front fascia closeupsuspension that works in concert with the forementioned all-wheel drive system. However style and flair has not been completely chucked to the wayside, and it is most evident in the three new designs for the 19 and 20-inch wheels that supposedly cater to adventure seeking buyers.

The interior of the E-Class All Terrain is also mostly carried over from its on-road sibling, but the All Terrain boasts several minor differences which include stainless steel E-Class All Terrain interiorpedals, aluminum-carbon themed trim, and floor mats with prominent “all terrain” logos. The level of interior features is largely based on the Avantgard interior line, but buyers in the U.K. will be able to add elements from the Exclusive and Designo lines with other markets possibly being given the same privileges in the near future.

Performance for the E-Class All Terrain will still eventually be provided by a suite of diesel and gasoline engines, but the company threw a curveball, and revealed that the new model will initially launch only in E220d 4-MATIC trim with the engine producing 194 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is enough punch to get  it to 60 mph in a commendable eight seconds flat with top speed maxing out at an equally respectable 144 mph.

Mercedes did not confirm whether the E-Class All Terrain will make the trip to U.S. shores or not, but look for the company to make a formal announcement on that prospect after the European version has time to settle into the marketplace.

 

V90 Cross Country

Volvo Tackles The Outdoors With V90 Cross Country

With Volvo in the midst of a product renaissance that was spearheaded by the current generation XC90 SUV, the Swedish firm has launched the latest piece in its renewed product blitz the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country.

The all new V90 is the latest chapter in Volvo’s long history of building rugged wagons that can tackle light trail busting duties while still providing occupants world class levels of V90 Cross Country rear viewluxury, comfort, and safety. In fact, the Cross Country can be considered a variant of a variant with the car sharing its underpinnings with the base V90 wagon which in turn is derived from the S90 flagship sedan.

“The V90 Cross Country takes the elegance of the V90 and transforms it into an all-road car that delivers safety, comfort, and performance in a capable and adventurous package” stated Hakan Samuelsson President and CEO of Volvo Car Group in an announcement that accompanied Volvo’s unveiling.

Cross Country models stand out thanks to their raised suspensions, rugged exterior styling, as well as other innovations and features that helps improve their off road V90 Cross Country interiorcapabilities when compared to the more pavement based sedans and wagons that it is based off of. However this does not mean that they will make the full leap into the CUV segment, with this next step being reserved for Volvo’s “XC” lineup. Performance for the V90 Cross Country will be shared with the S90 and the base V90, which will allow Volvo to take full advantage of economies of scale.

Look for full details to be unveiled closer to the V90 Cross Country’s official start of production, which is slated to take place in the fall. The V90 Cross Country represents a renewed interest in reviving the wagon segment with off-road capable wagon entries. When it eventually lands in showrooms, the V90 Cross Country will have to fend off formidable rivals such as the Volkswagen All Track, Audi allroad, as well as the soon to be revealed Mercedes Benz E-Class All Terrain. In the meantime, Volvo has released a brief video of the V90 Cross Country in action which can be seen below.