The BFGoodrich All Terrain tyre is an iconic favourite for many 4x4 enthusiasts. The great news is that it has just got better, and we have had an exclusive opportunity to test the latest version, the KO2, across some of the roughest tracks and trails in Baja Mexico.
Japanese motor manufacturer Nissan has made a significant commitment to its business with Russia. Announced at the recent Russian Motor Show were no less than nine new models, including what was claimed to be that country’s first affordable hybrid model. At present Nissan holds 6.5 per cent of the Russian car market, and the company aims to increase this to 10 per cent over the next three years. Included in these new models is the brand new Pathfinder. This is the fourth-generation Pathfinder, and from initial photographs, for 4x4 enthusiasts at least, probably the most disappointing. The model is presently built in St Petersburg, and while the new model is claimed to remain an ‘all-road’ vehicle, fitted with Nissan’s recognised intelligent 4x4 system and X-tronic transmission, it looks like… well, you decide. It looks like a bigger Qashgai, or do we mean X-Trail? To be honest it’s hard to tell.
Suzuki’s Vitara was unveiled some 25 years ago, and it’s fair to say that it was one of the most significant modern 4x4s ever built. It very cleverly appealed to a completely new group of enthusiats and created a vehicle for the then named ‘leisure market’. Looking back today, it is certainly a very idiosyncratic design; slab sided, with a huge flat front windscreen. Times change and it ceased production, with only the larger Grand Vitara SUV remaining. At this month’s Paris Motor Show, the Vitara returns to the Suzuki range. Based on the iV-4 concept, the Vitara will be available in the UK in the spring of 2015, fitted with the company’s ALLGRIP intelligent four-wheel drive system and the range will include both diesel and petrol engines. Customers will be able to personalise their own Vitaras by choosing different colour and trim options. We will have more details on the new Vitara in next month’s issue.
Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV completed the recent Asia Cross Country Rally, finishing first in class and a creditable 14th overall. The Rally was used by Mitsubishi as a platform to confirm the hybrid vehicle’s reliability in difficult conditions. The PHEV is modified for competition use with the drive battery mounted higher to allow for better ground clearance, and it gets competition spec suspension. Add underbody suspension, a snorkel and the rest is left very much ‘standard’. We have a feature on the PHEV, matched against the company’s first Jeep on page 46 of the November 2014 issue - buy it here.
Impressive developments in hybrid and diesel drivetrains mean that CO2 outputs are falling year on year, writes Phil Weeden. What do you do, however, if you produce only SUVs and don’t have super-green city cars to offset some of the heavier, thirstier cars in your range? That’s the challenge at Jaguar Land Rover, which has recently revealed more info of its all-new Ingenium family of engines. The new units will be built from 2015 in the company’s new £500 million manufacturing centre near Wolverhampton (pictured above).
Doctor Wolfgang Ziebart, JLR’s Director of Group Engineering (pictured), revealed that by 2020, government legislation around the world will drive average CO2 emissions down to less than 100g/km and fuel economy to 75mpg. This provides tremendous challenges to car manufacturers, none more so than brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, whose products are premium and high performance.