Seldom seen on U.S. soil due to a costly taxation imposed on ‘work’ vehicles imported from Europe since 2003, Volkswagen’s iconic Transporter van has nonetheless been in production & updated all along. The latest 6th-generation California model is the modern VW van we all dream of, complete with the iconic pop-top and deluxe camper interior. Will it ever come to the states? It’s a very distant maybe … but there’s always gray market.
After several years of sameness, BMW has decided to update their outdated flagship 7 series. Starting with a new structural design called Carbon Core comprised of a blend of steel & carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, they’ve shaved 200 pounds off this luxury barge. Available in the States with either a turbo 6 or a 2-liter hybrid powerplant, the series also features an assortment of fresh technologies like the new iDrive touchscreen with gesture-controls and a crazy, touchscreen key.
L.A.-based ICON 4 X 4 specializes in building retro off-roaders beefed up with modern performance. For this 60s-era Power Wagon, they take a brand new Dodge truck, either a 2500 or 3500 MegaCab, and fit the old body over the top for a ride that drives like new—with a 5.7-liter Hemi—but looks like an off-road weapon from the past.
The amphibious vehicles from England’s Gibbs Amphitrucks switch from freeway to off-roader to river-runner with the push of a button. The Humdinga model travels at highway speeds & does over 30MPH on water with room for 7. The larger twin-diesel Phibian model can carry up to 15 people & can be set-up with a custom cargo configuration.
Inspired by classic teardrop camper designs of the 50s, High Camp Trailers are made in Portland, Oregon. Wrapped in shining aluminum, their trailers feature birch woodwork throughout, a queen-size sleeper & a well-appointed pop-up galley equipped with a 3-burner gas cooktop, stainless steel cooler, & plenty of storage space.
Though it looks virtually unchanged, the enduring design of the Mercedes’ G Wagon is getting some updates for 2016: an ECO stop/start function to reduce emissions from its turbocharged V8 powerplant plus re-styled bumpers & flared wheel wells. That’s sort of it but why mess with a good thing?
If you want to transform your Defender 105 from run-of-the-mill to a one-of-a-kind, talk to the Rover tuning specialists at Britain’s Kahn Design. Their Flying Huntsman conversion adds 15” to the truck’s wheelbase and 6’ to its width, plus heaps of other serious off-road upgrades topped off with matte black on black everything.
Dutch custom car-maker Dunkervoort just unveiled their D8 GTO Bare Naked Carbon Edition, an open-wheel 2-seater powered by a 2.5-liter Audi engine with a top speed of 158 MPH. In typical Dunkervoort fashion, the D8 has no ABS brakes, no EPS, & no power steering. Combined with the stiff chassis & lightweight Carbon fiber body, it’s made for those who seek a direct, racecar-like connection to both vehicle & road.
Due to be unveiled next week at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show, Audi’s forthcoming Prologue Allroad is bigger & badder than ever. At nearly 17 feet long, it’s got the same wheelbase as an A8 and rides 3-inches higher. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is mated to an electric motor & outputs 738 horsepower while achieving a very impressive 98 MPG.