Little did we know it, but Range Rover must've sent its poor Sport model away to fat camp for awhile, because the all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport ($64,000-$94,000) is quite a bit lighter than its predecessor. 800 lbs. lighter, to be exact, which is all the more impressive given that the new model is 2.5-inches longer than the prior model, yet boasts a wheelbase that's been increased by 7 inches. All this is made possible by a new high-strength aluminum structure, which joins other features like a third-row seating option, a new fully automatic Terrain Response 2 system, a new single-speed transfer case for the intelligent 4WD system, a new 340hp, 3.0L supercharged V6 that joins the 510hp supercharged V8 as an option for linking to the eight-speed ZF transmission, and an aerodynamic body that reduces drag while bringing the Sport's looks in-line with the Evoque and full-size Rover.
Don't let its age fool you — the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 404 Unimog ($28,000-$140,000) is still one of the toughest vehicles on the road. Currently located in SoCal, this unique specimen — it was the fourth to roll off the assembly line, and one of only 1,210 produced in the series — is available in as-is condition, or as a fully-restored, better-than-new vehicle. Spec-wise, it offers portal axles, differential locks on both the front and rear, shift-on-the-fly 4x4, a M180 MB gas engine, a low center of gravity, and 17 inches of minimum ground clearance that, when combined with the virtually non-existent front and rear overhangs, gives it the ability to handle approach and departure angles of more than 45 degrees. It's pretty much the beastliest vintage ride you're going to find short of buying a tank. [Scouted by Corey]
Yes, the venerable Cherokee is making a comeback — but it isn't quite what you think. Details are still scant on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee ($TBA), but it's believed to be a replacement for the far more feminine Liberty. Word also has it that it's built atop the Dodge Dart's platform, making it at most mid-sized and at worst an oversized hatchback. But none of that's the first thing you'll notice. Instead, you'll be staring at the bent-backward slotted grille and the sleek new headlamps — in fact, you're doing that right now, aren't you? Arriving in Q3 2013.
It's pretty much impossible to find vintage Woodys in good condition — unless, of course, you're looking through the selection of Wagonmaster Vintage Jeep Wagoneers ($30,000-$45,000). Available in a wide range of years and colors, each vehicle has undergone a full mechanical workover, electrical inspection and upgrade, and cosmetic makeover if necessary. In addition, all of them sit on renewed, resurfaced year-appropriate Wagoneer rims with four new white sidewall tires. It's almost like buying a brand-new 30-year-old car, with the bonus of having the only one around.
Those of you waiting around for a truly fast compact luxury SUV can start planning to take on a new car loan this fall. That's when the Audi SQ5 ($TBA) will arrive on native shores, boasting a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 pumping out 354 horsepower, an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro permanent all-wheel drive, a 0-62 mph time of 5.3 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph. Of course, it's not all about performance, and as such it also features an upgraded suspension for better handling, a new front fascia and grille, 20-inch wheels, and a black interior with aluminum inlays. We just hope you like black or blue, because those are the only colors available.
Yes, it's a station wagon — but it's a fast station wagon. The 2013 Audi RS6 Avant ($TBA) might be the ultimate driver's wagon, thanks to the twin-turbo V8 under the hood that gives it 560 hp, a 0-62 mph time of just 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 190 mph, while still offering 24 mpg fuel efficiency. Other features include an eight-speed tiptronic transmission, quattro all-wheel drive, your choice of adaptive air or sport suspension, optional mammoth carbon fiber-ceramic brakes, two appearance packages, aggressive body work, and a sporty cockpit.
No, it's not the 10th anniversary of the Wrangler — they've been making those for far longer than that. Instead, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition ($TBA) celebrates a decade of extreme off-road Wranglers named for the grueling off-road trail. Available in both two- and four-door versions, this limited edition is described as "the most capable Wrangler ever produced", with a 285hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine, electronic-locking front and Dana 44 rear axles, a Rock-Trac transfer case, a six-speed manual transmission, a half-inch increase in ride height, red leather seats, and a special, exclusive Anvil paint job. Also, its hardcore winch-capable front and rear steel bumpers have removable end that help the beast climb obstacles better than normal Wranglers. Arriving in showrooms next spring.
The SUV with a sports car's heart is back again with a new flagship model. The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S ($147,000) boasts an increase of 50 hp over the regular Turbo, giving it 550 hp, a 0-60 mph time of just 4.3 seconds, and a top speed of 175 mph. All that power isn't good for much if you can't control it, and so it also features advanced active chassis technologies to help with cornering, agility, and comfort, as well as an analog and digital timer in the dashboard, gloss black front air intakes and rear view mirror, and 21-inch 911 Turbo II wheels. Coming to a dealer near you next spring.
Yes, it sounds a little bit like a video game title — but trust us, the Conquest Evade ($580,000) means nothing but business. Built on a Ford F550 Super Duty chassis, this tank-like luxury vehicle offers a commercial-grade air ride suspension in the front and rear, 360-degree, roof-mounted, joystick-controlled searchlights, 2+2 limousine-style seating, laptop trays, a third sunroof, an unarmored skin made from an aluminum-mild steel blend, handles machined out of solid aluminum, and a steering wheel, hinges, running boards, and even the key machined from solid stainless steel. Coming this fall.
When you're buying the fourth-generation of something, you expect a level of refinement above and beyond its predecessors — and the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover ($TBA) doesn't disappoint. All-new from the ground up, it uses an all-aluminum unibody structure — a first for a SUV — and an all-new aluminum front and rear chassis architecture to shed around 700 pounds compared to 2012 models. It pulls this off while adding nearly 5" of rear seat legroom, the next-generation of the Terrain Response system, and a range of V8 engines mated to new eight-speed ZF automatic transmissions, and retaining its legendary off road capabilities. Arriving just in time for the holidays.
Rally-ready, road-legal. The Bowler EXR S (£155,000; roughly $240,000) is one of the beefiest SUVs available, and is likely the closest thing you can get to a street-legal rally car. Built atop a Land Rover platform and powered by the automaker's 5.0L supercharged V8 pumping out 550hp, it reaches 0-62 in 4.2 seconds, boasts a top speed of 155mph, and offers a slew of race-ready features like a MSA approved advanced tubular roll cage, a custom composite body, Brembo brakes, Bi-Xenon headlamps, 22-inch wheels, Bilstein dampers, Eibach springs, two racing seats, and 3-point seat belts.
When it comes to truly beastly SUVs, few models can match the Land Rover Defender — and that masculine quality is amped up further in the Land Rover Defender XTech Edition (£28,000; roughly $43,500). Available in 90 Hard Top and 110 Utility Wagon models in either Orkney Grey or Nara Bronze, this limited edition truck features contrasting black roof and wheel arches, 16-inch gloss black wheels with off-road tires, rear LED lights, black surrounds for the headlamps, a black interior with contrast stitching, and a 2.2L diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Unfortunately, no state-side launch is planned — so if you're going to the Olympics, treat yourself to one of these instead of the obligatory commemorative t-shirt.