Ride of the Week: Land Rover Officially Unveils The 2018 Range Rover Velar

Last week we got an early look at the new 2018 Range Rover Velar. As promised, the all-new SUV has since been fully, officially unveiled as of today.

Set to go on sale this summer for $50,895 USD to $90,295 USD, the Velar accounts for the lowest vehicle in the Range Rover arsenal, as it is effectively a crossover.

The new ride comes with air suspension, equipped with Land Rover’s terrain response system, which automatically sets up the suspension and driveline for various environments, selected by icons on the dashboard. Interested buyers in the U.S. will then choose from three engine options: Ingenium two-liter diesel producing 180 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, a two-liter turbo gas unit producing 247 horsepower, and a 380-horsepower three-liter V6 supercharged gas engine. The lone transmission is the ZF eight-speed automatic, and permanent four-wheel-drive is also optioned.

“We wanted to elevate Range Rover’s design DNA to a new level,” says Massimo Frascella, Land Rover’s exterior creative director. “We were looking for a new level of simplicity, with the flush door handles and slim LED lights. This will do so much for Range Rover.”

For a detailed look at the 2018 Range Rover Levar, scan through the gallery above.

Remember, the vehicle goes on sale this summer.

Ride of the Week: The Biggest Volkswagen Ever Assembled in America

The Atlas is Volkswagen’s love letter to the American SUV. It’s big, brawny, and fits your entire family. The new brute is the largest car Volkswagen has ever produced in America with a length that stretches to 198 inches and is 77.9 inches wide allowing for a large enough cabin to fit seven passengers.

Two engine options will be available: a 2.0L turbocharged and direct-injection TSI four cylinder with 238 hp or a 3.6-liter VR6 engine with 280 hp. Those options will coupled to an eight-speed transmission and will come in front wheel drive or 4Motion all-wheel-drive configurations.

Other features include their connectivity suite, which offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink and it will be the only car in its class to offer an Automatic Post-Collision Braking System that applies the brakes in the event of a collision to reduce any additional damage. Volkswagen plans to have the Atlas in American showrooms in Spring 2017.


Ride of the Week: Mercedes-Benz’s New Premium Pick-Up Truck

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new premium pick-up truck: the stylish, sleek X-Class. The midsize truck comes with permanent all-wheel drive and high-torque V6 engines, and is set to hit markets in Europe and South America late 2017. (No, the US is not on that list.) There are two major versions of the truck, one focused on off-road use and the other highlighting Mercedes’ premium stylings.

“With the Mercedes-Benz pickup we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in a press statement. “The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment.”

Both X-Class variants look unmistakably like a Mercedes-Benz (you’d know even without the badge) but come with a few differentiating features. The off-road focused model (dubbed the “Powerful Adventurer”) has a higher ride-height and ground clearance, along with extra protection on the wheel arches, an electric winch at the front, and a metal hook at the back. While the more genteel “Stylish Explorer” model has more of an SUV feel to it, with cleaner running lines, flared wheel arches, and 22-inch light-alloy wheels. Both, of course, have all the usual technological extras, including a central touchscreen display “similar to a smartphone” and “modern driver assistance.”

As a decidedly premium vehicle, the X-Class might look unusual to US consumers, but Mercedes-Benz is banking on the expanding popularity of the pick-up truck sector to drive sales. The company says truck drivers aren’t just looking for a mechanical workhorse anymore; they want a vehicle that can do duty for both “private and commercial use,” bridging the gap between urban and city use.

Potential customers cited by Mercedes-Benz include “families with an active lifestyle and an affinity to premium products,” and “successful adventurers who live in an urban environment.” (Otherwise known as rich people and rich people.) And despite the polished look of the X-Class, it’s certainly got power, with the vehicle’s robust ladder-type frame giving it a payload capacity of more than 1.1 ton and a towing capacity of around 3.5 tons.

The X-Class will be available in European, Australian, and South African markets in late 2017, and then in Latin American countries the following year. The company noted that “while a pickup is under consideration for the US market at some point, no timeline is available for a decision to be made.”


Ride of the Week: Chevrolet Colorado ZH2

You won’t see it at your local dealership anytime soon, but some of the tech being tested in the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 might just make it into your ride someday. GM worked with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center to develop the off-road, fuel cell-powered vehicle in under a year. The truck sits on a stretched midsize pickup chassis, stands over 6½ feet tall, is more than seven feet wide, and rides on 37-inch tires capable of tackling any terrain. The fuel cell allows it to be almost silent, reducing both the acoustic and thermal signatures and making it ideal for stealth operations, the Exportable Power Take-Off unit lets it power equipment away from the vehicle, and the water by-product can come in handy in dry conditions.


The Ford Bronco Is Officially Coming Back

While speaking to the Detroit Free Press, the chairman of UAW local 900, Bill Johnson, confirmed that the Ford Bronco is officially coming back. Yes, in the midst of all this political fallout and fact-checking, we learned that the Bronco is going to be built at the Michigan Assembly plant. Whether it will actually be anything like these fan renderings from Bronco6G.com remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t have a problem if, a few years from now, it rolled off the line in looking exactly like this.


Ride of the Week: The Range Rover SVAutbiography Dynamic

Land Rover is launching its new model year with the most powerful Range Rover in production, the SVAutobiography Dynamic. Powered by a 550-hp supercharged V8, the car delivers 502 lb-ft of torque and has recorded a 0-62 time of 5.4 seconds (European figure) and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The suspension also gets tweaked by SVO with a lower ride height for enhanced responsiveness.

Inside, the car is as luxurious as you would imagine diamond quilted leather seats that have 20-way adjustability, contrast stitching, and an Ebony perforated headliner. It’s also accented with panels in a Grand Black veneer and knurled components add further refinement to the interior.

The outside of the car will feature various elements that are finished in Graphite Atlas and 21 and 22-inch wheels are available in three different finishes. Bright chrome tailpipes complete the look and enhance the growl of the big V8.

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Ride of the Week: 2017 Mercedes-Benz G350D Professional

Mercedes-Benz is a brand most often associated with high-end luxury vehicles and they’ve spent a lot of time and effort confirming the association. Their G-class line of SUVs, while being rugged and capable, still fit well within the boundaries of the company’s reputation, which isn’t really a problem for anyone that wants one – unless you can’t come up with the six-digit sum required to make the purchase. Mercedes seemed hellbent on retaining this high price point. That is, until now. We’d like to introduce you to the G350d, an entry-level version of their fabled G-class of SUV.

One of the more notable alterations is the lack of chrome. The front bumper has been swapped with a steel one, the grill is now matte black, and the wheels are 16-inch alloy–all of which, look very good, despite the lack of shine. Under the hood sits a 3.0L V6 turbodiesel engine that provides 245 horsepower and 442 lbs of foot-torque–hardly something to scoff at. With a starting price of €79,968–just shy of $90k USD–the G350d is the cheapest entry in the series by nearly $30k. For now, however, Mercedes-Benz does not have plans to release this beast in the USA.


Ride of the Week: Chevy Silverado High Desert Edition

Hitting dealers this fall, Chevy introduces a new special edition of its Silverado pickup truck with the High Desert Edition. The new model gives you the utility of a pickup with the luxury of their Suburban SUVs. One of the biggest features of the truck is a lockable cargo bed that keeps all your gear safe and even features dual side storage bins for organization.

For an even more comfortable ride, they’ll be equipping it with Magnetic Ride Control suspension that uses electronically controlled shock absorbers that quickly react to every little bump in the road. Other details include 20-inch wheels that are available on the LT trim while larger 22-inch wheels can be specified on the LTZ model. You can also get a powerful EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 in the top-of-the-line LTZ that gives you 420-hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.


Ride(s) of the Week: Jeep and Mopar Unveil Seven Concept Vehicles Built for 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari

Ahead of this year’s annual Easter Jeep Safari that will be taking place from March 19 to March 27 in Moab, Utah, here we get a look at seven concept vehicles that the manufacturer has designed in promotion of the off-road occasion. This year is especially significant, as it marks the 50th anniversary of the Jeep Safari as well as the 75th anniversary of Jeep. Therefore, seven of the most capable and eye-catching Jeep concepts are being unveiled for the 2016 event.

These Jeeps are solely concepts, however, and won’t make it to production, but select Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts that are featured on the vehicles may be available for purchase sooner or later.

This year’s concepts include the Jeep Crew Chief 715, which is a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles; the Jeep Shortcut that draws inspiration from the classic CJ-5 and is designed to handle tight, winding trails; the Jeep Renegade Commander that has been built to blaze a trail deep into the secluded wilderness; the Jeep Comanche, which is designed to be off-road ready and showcase practical utility; the Jeep FC 150 that showcases a heritage cab-over design and is rich in history and capable of tackling any terrain; the Jeep Trailcat, a Hellcat-powered off-roader capable of crawling or going on high-speed runs; and finally, the Jeep Trailstorm, which boasts added capability with a 2-inch lift kit, 37-inch tires and Dana 44 axles.

For a look at each of the seven Jeep concept vehicles, click through the photos above. And for those interested, the Easter Jeep Safari is open to the public, but you must register in advance here. The multi-day event features trail rides, day-long trips and other activities.


Ride of the Week: 2016 GMC Sierra All Terrain X

Since GMC killed the Hummer brand, there has been a void in their line-up: something to compete with the other massive off-roaders from their competitors. Now, they’re attempting to fill that void with the all-new 2016 GMC Sierra All Terrain X.

The new model has a 5.3-liter V8 engine, and it pushes out 365 horsepower. The truck has been outfitted with a new performance exhaust that gives it the hp bump, and it also provides a new roaring tone. It has extra-thick Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac MT tires that are specifically engineered for mud-terrain, and they are wrapped around 18-inch wheels. It uses a Z71 off-road suspension package with Rancho monotube shocks, a high-capacity air cleaner, and an underbody transfer case shield. What’s more, the driver information center has a useful inclinometer that tells the driver what their incline is. Pricing information is not yet available, but the truck will hit GMC dealers this spring.’