Monthly Archives: July 2014

Shogun the BarbarianIt depends on your point of view; out-dated 4×4 or traditional workhorse? One thing not up for discussion is the Mitsubishi Shogun’s tough character and ability to get the job done. And with this brand new special edition, it’s quite a looker too! This is the new Shogun SWB Barbarian, which certainly looks great in this ‘stealth’ black option, complete with 20 inch black and silver Le Mans alloy wheels. Inside it has the L200 Barbarian-style leather seats and carbon inserts, DAB digital radio and alloy pedal kit. In manual form the Shogun SWB Barbarian will cost you £31,999, the auto version is £33,684. Mitsubishi is one of the few manufacturers still offering commercial spec versions and you can also get Barbarian ‘van’ options in manual and automatic for £33,449 and £35,134 respectively. All Shoguns come with a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty. OK, so it doesn’t have all the clever techno stuff of some of the latest SUVs, but for a tough workhorse that looks great, this new Shogun Barbarian ticks all the boxes for us.

EDGING CLOSER TO EUROPEIn what is turning out to be one of the longest ‘introductions’ for a new SUV that we can remember, Ford has released more details for the long-awaited (sic) new flagship SUV, the Edge. Bearing in mind that a version of this model has been available in the US since 2007, and that we drove one for a very enjoyable crossing of the Rocky Mountains back in 2012 (reported in the January 2013 issue), the European Edge does seem to be taking its time. This all-new Edge is part of Ford’s SUV expansion plans and will join the medium-sized Kuga and smaller EcoSport to give the company a full range in this 4×4 market segment.

As you would expect from a premium Ford product, the new Edge will certainly have a highly competitive specification. It will be a roomy, four door SUV and should be with us by 2015. It will be fitted with Adaptive Steering, which continually changes the steering ratios depending on vehicle speed, making the vehicle easy to manoeuvre and it is claimed ‘fun to drive’. The Ford Edge will be fitted with the company’s intelligent all-wheel drive torque-sensing system, and come with two engine options, both based on the 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel engine. One will have 178bhp, 400Nm of torque and emit 149g/km fitted to a six-speed manual transmission, while the top of the range will be the 208bhp, 450Nm version, emitting 159 g/km mated to the six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission.

If you have ever been in a teepee style tent that has a wood burning stove inside, then you’ll know just what a fantastic job it does. It’s not just about the temperature, it’s the whole ambience that is created. The stove shown here will do just that. From the outdoor equipment guys at Anevay, this is the Traveller and is a fully portable multi fuel stove. The company actually started making stoves for disaster zones for humanitarian aid, but the Traveller is aimed purely at the leisure market. It can be freestanding, or fitted into canvas bell tents, yurts, or summer houses, it could suit your overlanding adventures. If you need to know more, call them on 01872 870839 or email [email protected]

Website: www.anevay.co.uk 

AND FASTEST RANGE ROVER EVERThis year’s Festival of Speed at Goodwood saw the introduction of what you might think was a somewhat incongruous new model. For those that don’t know, the Festival of Speed highlights all that is great in global motorsport, with a strong leaning to classic motorsport hardware. This year, however, one of the stars was a Range Rover Sport SVR, the fastest and most powerful production Land Rover ever produced. A highly camouflaged version of the SVR, delivered some 542bhp up the famous Goodwood hill, in the ‘First Glance’ class – nothing much to do with classic motorsport but certainly a clever way for the Festival of Speed organisers to get high profile manufacturer support and publicity for the event – well it’s made it into the pages of a 4×4 magazine, so it obviously works!

The model is the first to come from the company’s recently announced Special Operations department, but it will be built alongside the ‘standard’ Range Rover Sport models, and will be available through the normal dealership network. Full technical details of the SVR had not been announced as we closed for press.

ATTENTION: SPECIAL OPSFollowing a company tradition that goes right back to the vehicle’s initial production, Jaguar Land Rover has just announced the launch of a new Special Operations division, aimed to offer discerning customers ‘bespoke commissions, heritage products and branded goods.’

The new centre will be led by Paul Newsome, Director of Special Vehicle Operations, who arrives at JLR from Williams Advanced Engineering and he will be based at a new dedicated technical centre. There will be no less than 150 technicians at the centre, working to offer ‘a halo of vehicles ranging from high luxury to extreme performance.’

The emphasis here will be on bespoke and personal commissions, not quite the same as the company’s original special vehicle operations that produced commercial conversions for Land Rovers as fire tenders, field ambulance and the like. However, besides the new Special Operations operation a new heritage vehicle workshop will be created at Browns Lane in Coventry. This is actually the original home of Jaguar, and it will be the site for the recently announced production site for the six lightweight E-Type sports car recreations. It is hoped that this centre will also look at Land Rover heritage specials in the future. We await future announcements from both the Special Operations and heritage centre with great interest.

Snatch it upLook the part with these new snatch blocks from Warn. Coated with Cerakote they are able to accept wire and synthetic rope. CE certified, these Warn snatch blocks can be used to double the pulling power of any winch or change a pulling direction without damaging the rope. They have also been designed to help reduce heat build-up and amp draw during recovery. Available in two rated capacities: 5000lbs and 12,000lbs, the blocks retail at £50 and £100 respectively. Call the guys at Arbil 4×4 for more details.

Website: www.arbil.co.uk/4×4/ 

Historic driving glassesThanks to some much needed summer sunshine, having a pair of sunglasses available in your truck is essential. If you are looking for a good pair, then choosing a pair from Serengeti seems a good choice as the glasses usetechnology initially developed to be incorporated into premium car windscreens. This is said to selectively filtrate the light spectrum and enhance the ‘driving’ colours, red, green and yellow. The objective was to produce a safer windscreen with the highest clarity and superior definition that would allow the driver to see and react to driving hazards such as brake lights and traffic signals more quickly. As there are strict regulations regarding the degree of light filtration in car windscreens and windows, the technology was instead used to create Serengeti, which the company claims produces ‘the world’s finest driving sunglasses’. They are available as prescription glasses, so check with your optician or call 0208 391 4700.

Website: www.serengeti-eyewear.com 

Calculate your savingsSpecially designed for diesel 4x4s, as well as other vehicles, Tunit’s fuel saving options are said to save up to 12 per cent for some customers. If you want to check out what the modification could save you, the company now has an online fuel calculator where you can input your personal driving details to calculate any potential savings. Once you’ve done that, it will be a case of booking an appointment. Tunit says that the conversions do not interfere with original manufacturer’s engine equipment. Full details (and the new Fuel Calculator) can be found on the website, or give the guys a call on 01257 274100.

Website: www.tunit.com

november events


Pay and Play Sites | Organised Drives

Click here to add your event for free.



This is the UK’s major overland event for adventure travel and bushcraft. Highly recommended if you want to learn more! Entry and camping available online, go to: www.adventureoverlandshow.com. Or call Tom McGuigan on 02476 731971. See panel for more details.

Muddy Bottom 4×4 Camping weekend. Includes two-day competition, all 4x4s welcome. Camping on Sat evening with campfire – only £40 per vehicle. Call for more details 07754 940783 / 07801 088203

Trans Pennine Off Road

Slindon Safari

COUNTY DURHAM            
Kirston Off-Road Centre


Bala Off Road     Llannerch yr Eryr
Devil’s Pit

Boxgrove 4×4
Essex, Rochford and District
Harbour Hill
Parkwood (Tong)

Landcraft 4×4
Snowdonia Adventure Drives. Excellent organised Drives through some great lanes in Snowdonia. Call David Mitchell of Landcraft 4×4 on 01678 520820 or check out: www.landcraft4x4.co.uk



 Pay and Play Sites

Here are some of the best places to go off-road in the UK. We would always advise that your call to check dates and times. If you have a site that ought to be included, email us on [email protected] and mark your email 4×4 PAY AND PLAY


Green laning trips from one day to two weeks. Start and finish close to Penrith (access to M6 Jct. 40). A day long tour of the lanes and tracks in and around the Lake District National Park. Standard vehicles with road tyres will be able to complete this whole day. £45 per vehicle. Contact for details or to book [email protected] or call: 07711 231417. Check out our Facebook page: 4x4Safari.

The 4×4 Solutions is set within the grounds of The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent. Primarily a BORDA 4×4, Quad/ATV and winch training centre, with a purpose made off-road course and a large woodland track. They also have Pay and Play days and club days regularly through the month (check website for more info on dates) with instructors on hand for help/advice. They have their own club that is free to join for a limited time, giving you access to the club days. Varying terrain suitable for novice to expert. They also have camping and survival weekends, with night drives and BBQs. On site they also have paintball, kids activities and tree jumpers with zip wires. Vehicle wash facilities along with shower and toilet facilities, clubhouse for tea and coffee. Call Simon 07717 203085 Email: [email protected] www.the4x4solutions.com

Ash 4×4 Ltd have a new Pay and Play site at Chirk Quarry, LL14 5AH, near Shrewsbury. Check the website as the venue may vary between Hawkstone Park and Chirk Quarry. There are no toilets, food or other amenities, just very good off-roading. Call Billy Hilton on 07581 030331 or go to the website on: www.ash4x4.com

Run by Avalanche Adventure, this venue is at Sibbercroft, near Market Harborough. Pay and Play days and other 4×4/off-road activities.
Give them a call on 01858 880613 or look for more details on www.avalancheadventure.co.uk

The Llannerch yr Eryr farm and off-road site is a very popular and well-known pay and play site with climbs and slopes, water holes and all types of terrain. Spectacular views over Bala lake and surrounding mountains. Always ring to check the weather in the winter months. £30 a day, £20 after 1pm.
Call: 07850 800709.

This off-road club operates in southern England, and is open to all 4x4s. Prices vary, but usually £45 per vehicle and the Pay and Play site is often at the Army Training area at Bagshot, Surrey. Go to www.bluelightoffroadclub.co.uk or contact John Amos on 07805 656947 or email: [email protected]

Boxgrove 4×4, Tinwood Lane, Boxgrove, near Chichester, West Sussex. Huge 80-acre site of mud and gravel tracks and woodland. Something for everyone from the easy to the extreme, all routes clearly marked. Catering and toilets. £20 per vehicle. Quads are welcome, £10 per rider, all riders must be 16+ and there’s a 10mph speed limit. There’s a 2.2 mile trail around the site’s perimeter. £3 spectator parking.
Call: 01903 812195 or 07802 582825
Email: [email protected]

Devil’s Pit is 60 acres of different courses (novice, experienced and expert) at Barton-Le-Clay, Nr Luton, MK45 4LG (A6) Bedfordshire (OS Grid ref: TL078297). The cost is £26 per vehicle, and everyone must wear seatbelts. Children (under 16) are free. Opening times are 9:30am – 4:30pm. Toilets and catering, first aid and recovery facilities. Spectators are welcome.
Tel: 01582 883349
Email: [email protected]

Essex, Rochford & District 4×4 Club have a 4×4 site located on Creeksea Ferry Road, Canewdon, Essex, open on the second Sunday of every month and both members and non-members are welcome. Membership costs £30 a year and the Pay and Play Day costs are £20 each for members and £30 for non-members. There is a jet wash, toilets, burger van, plus roaming stewards with well-equipped vehicles to help where necessary. The club has a friendly atmosphere, check out: www.4x4er.co.uk

Frickley off-road centre is near Doncaster in South Yorkshire (DN5 7BU) and includes climbs, hollows, woodland and rock climbs suitable for the novice to the experienced off-roader. £25 per vehicle, all road-legal 4x4s welcome.
Call Charlie: 07836 544335
Email: [email protected]

Harbour Hill, near Aldermaston A340. Non-members £30 (£10 membership, £20 for the day). Wheel washing, catering and toilets available.
Call: 07887 533168
Email: [email protected]

Kirton Off Road Centre is a massive 600 acre site near Kirton Lyndsey, Lincolnshire DN21 4JH. Standard days are £40, and there are often camping weekends at £75 inclusive, check website or call for more details.
Call Paul: 07907 450974  
Email: [email protected]

Offering the chance to get to some superb parts of Snowdonia, David Mitchell’s experienced outfit offer some great Adventure drives, and for those more adventurous, there’s always Adventure Plus. Paying on the day is £60 (inc VAT), pre-book and save £10. Call 07831 258864
Email: [email protected]  www.landcraft4x4.co.uk

Parkwood is at Tong village, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD4 0RR. Open 10-4pm, catering, toilets, first aid, vehicle wash, £35.00 per vehicle including passengers – providing that there are correct fitting seatbelts.
Call: 0113 285 4356 
Email: [email protected] www.parkwood4x4.co.uk

Explore Off-road’s site at Haying Wood, Silverdale, Stoke-on-Trent, ST5 6QQ has 53 acres of steep wooded tracks, water holes and mud! £25 per vehicle. Open from 10am until 4pm, road taxed vehicles only. Tel 07970 286881. Email: [email protected] www.exploreoffroad.com

Slindon Safari, near Arundel, West Sussex, 10.00-16.00 hours; £30 per vehicle, £3 spectators, Quads welcome, £10, all riders 16+ and there’s a 10mph speed limit. Routes for beginners and more advanced.
Call: 01903 812195 or 07802 582826
Email: [email protected]

Club runs Pay and Play sites at various venues in Derbyshire including Holymoorside, near Chesterfield, S42 7EG; Biggin Quarry, Ashborne, DE6 1QU and Padley Wood Farm, S45 8EL. Gates open at 9.00am and costs are £20 per vehicle. Catering and toilet facilities. Email [email protected]




The All Wheel Drive Club run regular ‘Drivearounds’, which are a great place to start if you’re new to off-roading and just wanting to start to dip your toe in the mud! That said, these popular events also attract more experienced drivers who enjoy exploring the often large sites. One of the AWDC’s very popular Drivearounds is held on one of the Army’s three Bordon sites, just off the A325 south of Farnham. All welcome, from novices upwards. If you want to dip a toe, why not come down and have a look, perhaps a ride with us and take it from there? Membership required at £35 pa and £30 per event. You can join on the day. Catering and toilets on site. Camping from Saturday afternoon. Always phone to confirm!
Call: 07970 926337 or check out the AWDC’s excellent website: www.awdc.co.uk

Off road with the guys at LRE Snowdonia, driving through the beautiful mountains and forests of North Wales. Starting from the Bala area, it will take you through the stunning scenery with spectacular views and great tracks all on private land, only available to LRE Snowdonia. All LRs taking part must be fully road legal and all drivers hold the appropriate driving licence. The cost for the Snowdonia 4×4 Adventure is £50 per vehicle and payment must be made in advance.
For more details, call: 0844 848 4461.
Email: [email protected]

Yorkshire 4×4 Tours create unique 4×4 trips around what they call ‘Gods Own Country’. You will see breath-taking countryside, discover special places off the beaten track and enjoy the best of what this great county has to offer. Whatever the time of year, you will find their trips a rewarding and memorable experience. Whether it’s a pre-planned tour or group event or a tailored bespoke short break we’ll have something to suit your style and taste of adventure…
Call: 01430 431134
Email: [email protected]

Guided green lane tours all year round, in various locations, especially around Yorkshire. They run in excess of 35 tours a year, with events running almost every weekend. Full details of this year’s events can be found on the website. Single day events cost just £49 per vehicle, regardless of how many passengers are included. This price is for customers who wish to bring along their own Land Rover. Customers can also hire a fully prepared Land Rover Defender 110 Tdci County Utility Wagon.
For full details and costs call 07787 555060
Email: [email protected]



Nigel FryattNigel Fryatt – editor


september staff2When Suzuki’s small, three-door Grand Vitara arrived at the magazine, I did wonder if it would actually impress. It was effectively replacing my tough, black Toyota Hilux – as ‘macho’ a truck as you can find on and off the road; the Vitara certainly had a softer appearance. Despite this, it fitted the bill, being one of the few remaining ‘soft-roaders’ that actually has a low range gearbox, which certainly increases its capabilities.

Ours was the three-door SZ4 model, powered by the 2.4-litre petrol engine. That makes a lot of engine in what is actually a small SUV. Interestingly, Suzuki sells equal quantities of three and five door Grand Vitaras here, and this despite the fact that the three door does not come to the UK with a diesel option. It has to be the largest engined small off-roader available and the high revving 164bhp unit certainly entertained. The 16v unit is not particularly well equipped in the torque department, but does offer 225Nm (166lb ft). The engine is a peach of a unit really, free revving and gives the Suzuki more of a ‘hot hatch’ than SUV on-road characteristics. Helped by the relatively short wheelbase of the three-door, the stubby Suzuki does not roll and wallow when driven quickly, and can be hustled along. The downside is, of course, that despite weighing only 1830kg the thing does drink fuel with equal enthusiasm; we struggled to average 30mph, and that’s emphasised by a surprisingly small 55-litre fuel tank (around 12 gallons). I suppose it does mean that as we never let the tank run ‘into the red’ for fear of running out, at least we could only get 50 quid’s worth of fuel in there at each top up! Indeed, the fuel economy confuses the vehicle’s computer, which estimates how many miles you have remaining – we ‘ran out’ on numerous occasions, once in a dreadful traffic jam on the M25 – yet always managed to drive when ‘the computer says empty’.