Monthly Archives: June 2012

augnewsbeyondLand Rover’s 2012 ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary has been awarded to ‘Pushing The Limits’ – a team supporting a disabled adventurer’s plans to encourage our understanding of the geography on our doorstep and to show that exploration is within everyone’s reach, whatever their ability. Andy Campbell will be taking this Land Rover 110 from the UK and follow the River Danube from Ulm in Germany to the Black Sea. The team will use social media to get suggestions for detours to explore areas of geographical interest, which will demonstrate the ‘go anywhere’ capabilities of both the Land Rover and its driver, Andy Campbell.

augprodrangerAppropriate, given our test feature this month, to find a new range of hardtops are available for the 2012 Ford Ranger. It’s also understandable that these should come from Auto Styling and be from the Truckman range. There are two options, the luxury hardtop, The Grand, and commercial hardtop, the new Truckman AeroTop RS. Both have been specifically created to fit the new model Ranger and provide both refined design and robust manufacture. The Grand is certainly that, with central locking, heated rear screen, automatic interior light, tinted windows and 55kg capacity roof bars. Auto Styling have been providing Truckman tops for Rangers since 1999 and the new AeroTop RS has toughened, tinted rear glass, easy wipe clean interior (can be jet washed) it has an integral spoiler with high level brake light and is locked with a chrome push button lock (keyless remote locking is optional).

Over the coming months, Auto Styling Truckman will be launching a number of styles of new hardtops, tonneau covers and other accessories for the New Ford Ranger. These will be available from www.autostylinguk.co.uk

augprodpodlThis new fibreglass light pod from Qt Services, produced in association with Longranger 4×4, has no less than seven Halogen spots. The new C7 pod, fits all Defenders with a Puma option available and is suitable for trucks with air conditioning and it clears nudge bars. A purpose made wiring loom is also available, which is then double switched to the battery. You have the option to run the four outer spots, middle three or all seven – and presumably can also create quite an effective light show! The pod is priced at £257 (plus VAT) and the wiring loom is £67 (plus VAT). Call Qt on 01752 696353 or check out: www.qtservices.co.uk

augprodbetterHalf doors are now available for Jeep Wranglers (2007-2012) from the guys at Rugged Ridge, and very cool they look too. Ideal for anyone with a competition Wrangler, you’ll lose some weight, but not protection. They are a simple bolt-on replacement and are compatible with factory mirrors. They come in a striking matt black, but could, of course, be painted to suit. Rugged Ridge produce some quality Jeep accessories and you can obtain these by going to:

augprodbedAnyone with a pick-up will appreciate the need to keep various tools and equipment both dry and secure. Auto Styling has a great range of load bed tool boxes in the MAX Concorde range. The box itself is locked, and the whole thing can be secured into the load bed without the need for any drilling, when installed with a MAX bed liner. Ribbed rain channels keep the water from seeping into the tool chest, and the tough thermoformed polyethylene is also UV resistant so when the sun does come out (!) it won’t fade the box. To see the full range of these tool boxes, check out the company’s impressive website on: www.autostylinguk.co.uk

August 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine

augcoverlgIt’s been a case of from the sublime to the ridiculous this month. One highlight was sitting on the top of an exposed Kent hillside, in a 4×4 ATV, sans windscreen, doors or roof, in freezing rain, wondering if we should cancel our group test. Thankfully, the weather god’s humour improved and we had an excellent day driving these amazing little 4x4s, in proper farming conditions, culminating in an extremely rapid blast in the Can Am Commander; unnecessary perhaps, but great for the soul and reminding you why you love the world of 4×4.

And that was a fact reinforced when I got a brief off-road drive in the amazing Unimog U500 SWB. You know it’s going to be an experience when you have to climb ‘up’ into something. At a cool £115,000 it had all the bells, whistles, horns and klaxons you could want, and many you hadn’t even thought about yet. Obviously 4×4, with portal axles, three diff-locks, magical hydraulic systems and a staggering 856lb ft of torque. It had a transmission system that had gears for road use, gears for ‘working’ and then it had low down in the basement crawler gears, all driven by a 6.3-litre turbo diesel engine. Oh, and while you were climbing, descending, pulling or pushing it has a stereo CD player and Bluetooth connectivity. And this was the ‘baby’ Unimog of the fleet. My sincere thanks go to Mercedes-Benz for letting me loose with this majestic 4×4 monster. A further request… Can I have another go, please?

Unimogs make a second appearance this month as we report on the Croatia Trophy and would you believe that competing with all the hi tech Land Rover, Toyota and bespoke rock-crawling buggies was a 1957 Unimog? And wait for it, the little beast is still using its original 55-year old engine! Actually, having now experienced the latest Unimog, we can indeed believe that. The one I drove has every chance of still going strong in 55 years time… whether there’s any diesel left in the world is another story.

Here’s hoping that you enjoy the issue. Give me a shout if you think we are missing something as we try to cover all the bases, from diminutive ATVs to outstanding Unimogs! Cheers.

Screen shot 2012-05-31 at 14.02.00Nigel Fryatt, Editor





To buy your copy of the latest issue of 4×4 Magazine click here

JulyHilsFaceIt’s been a while coming and we’ve waited way too long, but finally this month we have managed to bring you the twin test pitching the Volkswagen Amarok against the lesser-spotted Ford Ranger. If you want to buy either, you’ll have to wait…

After a long wait, the Amarok finally came out in 2011, its arrival dates having been put back by VW. We loved it for its incredible hi-tech off-road ability, improved cab experience over long-standing competitors, excellent build-quality and reasonable road ride for a rear leaf-sprung truck.

A year ago, Ford showed off its brand new Ranger at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC and attracted swarms of interested commercial fleet buyers, eager for production and delivery dates.

We have waited a year since then to get our hands on one from the press fleet as, although built in South Africa, many parts are manufactured in Asia and, due to the various terrible disasters in that region, getting them across to Africa and delivered into Europe and the UK is proving somewhat difficult.

I had an online chat with a dealer offering a full list of new Rangers with nice discounts. I asked the question: if I was interested in ordering a Ford Ranger 4×4, no specific spec details as yet but just enquiring, what’s the delivery date roughly? My online chat window sprung back immediately in red text: ‘Eight months, we have no stock at all’. Wow! We all knew that supply was difficult, but eight months? That is astounding. I certainly wasn’t quite expecting that. And, of course, you can always take estimated delivery times with a very large pinch of salt anyway, so maybe 10 months might be nearer the mark?

augnewspatrolHere’s an interesting 60 year celebration to come out of our Diamond Jubilee shenanigans. The AA is to reintroduce the Highland Patrol to Scotland. Originally started in 1953, the Highland Patrol were known as ‘the troopers of the north’ and were introduced due to the increasing tourist traffic to the north of Scotland. Traffic, it would seem, that would have a propensity to break down or get stuck in the snow!

Working north of the Caledonian Canal, it was the bad weather and difficult road conditions that took up most of the Patrol’s time – there not being any other 4x4s on the roads apart from the AA’s Land Rovers or Austin Gypsys one can assume. Hard to believe that, back in the Fifties, motorists in difficulty would gain assistance by calling from an AA telephone box, which would be put through to the Road Service Centre… which was actually a large static caravan at Millburn, Inverness.

augnewsmistsubishiWith new models arriving on the scene, Mitsubishi has a job on its hands keeping the successful L200 pick-up in the news. The answer it seems is to underline the L200’s ‘lifestyle’ pick-up characteristics, rather than the utility working side of things targeted by the new Isuzu D-Max. Enter the limited edition L200 Barbarian Black and its ‘striking new moody image’. This model has a black satin roof, sports grille, resin guard, wing mirrors and door handles. The limited edition is topped off with black 17inch alloy wheels and new ‘carbon effect’ leather seats. This model is £1000 (ex VAT) over the standard price of the L200, making the manual version £23,899 and the automatic £25,299.

augnewskugaA new global colour called Ginger Ale announced the arrival of the latest version of Ford’s best-selling Kuga SUV. Apparently Ginger Ale has a ‘subtle green hue to reflect its active outdoor capabilities’. You couldn’t make this up, could you – well, actually someone obviously has. More useful is the hands-free automatic tailgate lift and rear seats that fold flat at the touch of a button, and gives the vehicle an increased luggage capacity of 82 litres – a development that seems highly sensible for a family car like the Kuga. Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system SYNC is also now available on the Kuga. This features the Emergency Assistance option, which enables SYNC to help occupants place a call to the emergency services directly in the event of an accident. The new Kuga will be on sale in the UK by the end of the year.