On episode 72 I have something special for all you Toyota fans. Ryan from Extreme LandCruiser joins me and schools me on everything Toyota Land Cruiser. Extreme LandCruiser is a customization shop located in southern California. Extreme Landcruiser specializes in customizing Toyota Landcruisers, 4×4′s, and Performance vehicles for use in all adverse conditions including: extreme offroading, rally racing, drag racing, snow, mud, and dune driving.
In the news we talk about some Ford news. You may not be familiar with the Ford Everest because it’s never been sold in the US but it is a global version of the Explorer that is actually meant to go offroad. This version is a concept is a seven passenger SUV looks to be rolling on 33″ all-terrain tires and has a very slick exterior appearance. It will probably never be available in the US but it is cool to see. I’m not even convinced that any of the themes or components will ever show up in a North American Ford vehicle. No details on the mechanicals but its worth guessing, right?! Check out the full article at autoblog.com.
Back on show ## I told you everything I knew about the 2015 Ford F-150 but there was no new info about the next Ford Raptor. The next generation of the Ford Raptor has been spied though wearing a fair bit of cladding to disguise new bulges and lines that might give us a true indication of whats to come. AutoBlog said that the next-gen Raptor will be skinned in aluminum, which is really no surprise. The aluminum skin will cut significant weight which will surely make the current power plant feel more powerful. With the big brawny Ford V8 engines being replaced by smaller EcoBoost V6s, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a turbo V6 motivating the new Raptor which will surely impact that overall driving experience. Honestly, I’m kinda surprised that the body panels weren’t completely replaced with fiberglass which is even lighter than aluminum, but also not easily repairable. Over the coming months, I’m sure we’ll see and hear more about the upcoming Raptor. Be sure to head over the AutoBlog.com for a full gallery of the spy shots.
In previous shows, we’ve mentioned the likelihood of Jeep announcing the return off the Grand Wagoneer as a model larger than the Grand Cherokee. On May 6,2014 Mike Manley, Jeep CEO, discussed the five year plan for Jeep. Jeep is already Fiat Chrysler Automobiles most important brand and Manley wants to push to 1 million sales next year and then push to 1.9 million by 2018. That extremely ambitious growth will only be possible by expanding more into global markets. The Cherokee and upcoming Renegade will be built for the Chinese market in China. Jeep also hopes to grow sales in the Latin America market but developing plants there for the Renegade. Manley also announced plans to re-engineer the 2018 Wrangler. The revision plans cover cutting weight, improving powertrain efficiency and aerdynamics. To us diehard Jeep fans, that sounds a lot like ruining an American icon. Replacing heavy steel body panels with aluminum has worked well for Ford so I expect to see the same in the Jeep design. There has been a lot of discussion about moving to an independent front suspension (IFS) which has brought a lot of uneasy feelings from Wrangler fans for a wide range of reasons. The Cherokee sports an IFS and independent rear suspension (IRS) which as rendered it “un-liftable” and basically killed all hopes of aftermarket support in the offroading segment. If Jeep neuters the Wrangler with that same IFS/IRS curse, it will surely lose its top slot at SEMA as hottest SUV and get even more scorn than Jeep garnered by molesting the face of the Cherokee, KL. I fully expect to see riots in the streets of Toledo, Ohio in front of the Jeep plant if these IFS/IRS Wranglers start to creep out of production and into the daylight. Till then, lets hope the three row Grand Wagoneer is a better hit than that three row Commander and the Wrangler remains an easily modified, rugged offroading beast. For more, check out the full report at autoweek.com.