Mercedes have released pricing and specification for the latest AMG model – the GLB 35 4Matic.

The GLB on steroids has a 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol under the bonnet, producing 302bhp and 295lbf.ft – these resulting in a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.2 seconds. In terms of economy, the GLB 35 can be expected to get up to 32.5 mpg on the WLTP scale, whilst it emits 171g/km of carbon dioxide.

Helping utilise the engine output is the AMG Speedshift DCT 8G transmission paired to AMG-tuned 4Matic all-wheel drive plus AMG suspension and Adaptive Damping to add further sharpness to the handling.

As with all of the current Mercedes crop, the interior here has plenty of facets it brings to the table. As standard the MBUX multimedia systems, with voice activation, plus a 10.25-inch driver display screen and a central touchscreen of the same size. Augmented reality navigation is also part of the package, as is DAB radio, hard-disk navigation, smartphone integration and wireless charging, too. Only for compatible phones, obviously – the same goes for the Mercedes-Me mobile app. Connected service include a vehicle tracker, parked vehicle locator, remote locking and unlocking and a free 12-month subscription to Tidal music streaming services.

Gismos included in the standard package are smart auto LED headlights, with adaptive highbeam assist; a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch AMG five-twin spoke alloys (obviously in matt black); heated and electronically controlled front seats; a sound system from Burmester and an ambient lighting system with 64 different flavours to choose from.

You get a host of driving aids thrown in, too, as the Driving Assistance package is standard on all AMG GLB 35s. This means you’ll benefit from adaptive cruise, parking assist, active steer assist, an active speed limit assist and clever route-based speed control that slows you down for bends and toll stations. There’s an assist for evasive steering, an active lane aid, blind spot monitoring and an active braking assist.

Surprisingly, the model specific extras list is only a matter of paint. Metallic paint can be added for £595, with six options to choose from. The Patagonia red metallic is another 200 quid on top of that, whilst the exclusive designo mountain grey magno – exclusive to this model – is £1,795.

A Merc dealer will sell you one of these now, with the list price starting at £48,665 OTR and first deliveries are anticipated to take place this summer.

The latest entrant into the high-powered, luxury sports SUV sector has been fully revealed, with Aston Martin taking the covers off the DBX, after recently giving us a sneak preview of its interior and told us the starting price.

Shown in full for the first time in China, the Aston SUV looks distinctively AM from the front, with design cues from the rest of the family, but being an SUV there isn’t too much it can take in terms of its profile.

From the front you’re greeted with an elegantly creased bonnet with twin vents, typical family headlights and that hallmark wide Aston grille below. The first hint that you’re looking at an SUV is spotting the roof rails, but in many ways it looks as though it’s a shooting brake on unbelievably oversized wheels – they are 22″ standards, so they aren’t small…

Moving back, the roofline swoops to a spoiler above the rear window, beneath which there’s a set of very sportily haunched hips. These then merge into a lip spoiler below the rear window, mimicking that of the Vantage coupe, and ultimately creating a double pointed rear-end in side profile. Like the lip, the rear lights maintain a very similar design language to that of the Vantage, as they follow the contours of the bodywork.

As confirmed a few weeks ago, the DBX will have the most powerful V8 in the current Aston range, with 542bhp and 516lbf.ft, meaning that it’s spritely to say the least. This is helped by the fact that the DBX will weigh just 2,245kg, which isn’t as much as a number of its rivals.

The DBX is equipped to be both comfortable off-road, but also as an outright SUV. To help in these stakes, it sits on triple volume air-suspension, which is adaptive, and is paired to a 48v anti-roll system. Ride height can be adjusted by 45mm upwards and 50mm below the standard setting,

Transmission wise, the DBX utilises an automatic nine-speed torque converter ‘box. It is paired to an all-wheel drive system with an active central differentials, and an electric limited slip diff at the rear.

Being an SUV, practicality was fairly high on the DBX’s list of priorities. It’s Aston’s first full-sized five-seater, with 632-litres of boot space and a driving position to stretch from the 5th percentile female proportions to those of the 99th percentile male. The rear seats can fold flat and are split individually in a 40:20:40 ratio whilst the boot lip is narrow across a broad aperture, so this actually is a practical Aston.

Were anybody to take it off-road, then they’ll find it useful to know that at various heights, the DBX can pose 22.2º approach angle, 24.3º departure and 15.1º brake over angles. Although at maximum ride-height they read 25.7º, 27.1º and 18.8º. Standard ride-height gives 190mm ground clearance, but at the highest setting you’ll have 235mm. Wading depth is 500mm, whilst towing capacity is 2.7-tonnes.

Inside, there is a high level of kit and high-quality materials. A handcrafted interior is lit via a full-length panoramic roof, but takes inspiration from a sports car setup in the front, which means there is more knee and leg room for those in the rear.

Seating is plushly upholstered in full-grain leather, with both headlining and electronic sunroof cover available in alcantara. The majority of the swooping dashboard and cabin is kitted out in leather, wood and metal, so not only will the DBX interior look the part it should feel it, too.

Of course there is a 10.25″ touchscreen in the mix, whilst the driver information comes from a 12.3″ TFT display. Apple CarPlay comes as standard on the system, as does a 360º camera system and ambient lighting that offers 64 different shades.

Safety equipment is also present on the DBX, with adaptive cruise, Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Warning, Rear Cross Traffic warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Warning, Door Opening Warning, Emergency call and then the usual ISOFIX fittings, airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners. Pretty well-specced, then.

Several accessory packs are available to enhance the SUVs capability and suitability to family life. These include the Pet Package and a Snow package for those winter ski trips.

So, there it is. all of the ingredients which Aston Martin will make an SUV that does for the marque what the Cayenne has done for Porsche and the Levante for Maserati, the X5 for BMW and so on and so forth. On paper it sounds compelling, it’s looks will be divisive and at £158-grand it is expensive. But it is a very competitive sector, so only time will tell of its success.

Revealed at the 89th Geneva Motor Show, the all-new SsangYong Korando looks set to take the small SUV sector by the scruff of the neck.

It will come to market with a healthy spec list, a new 1.5-litre petrol engine, and updated version of the old 1.6 diesel and there will be an EV to follow.

There has also been some restyling, with a new headlight and grille design to help it fit in with the current SsangYong family.

The new model is wider, longer and sits shorter on a longer wheelbase than the previous model. This translates into a spacious cabin and storage space of up to 1,248-litres, plus a boot space measuring 551-litres whilst seating five.

Inside, the re-designed interior is contemporary and offers plenty of tech as standard. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come fresh off the shelf, as does the 9″ infotainment touchscreen and 10.25″ LCD driver displays.

Seating in the front is adjustable four-ways, with lumbar support, whilst the interior is also kitted out with ambient lighting – the colour of which is changeable (maybe don’t tell the kids about that one). The door sills are designed to cover the lowest point possible, so that external dirt isn’t picked up and brought inside whilst climbing aboard.

Safety systems to assist Korando drivers include advanced emergency braking, lane keeping assist, safe distance and driver alerts, plus adaptive cruise control, high beam assistance, blind spot monitoring and rear traffic cross alert.

The new 1.5-litre GDI-turbo petrol unit has 163bhp at its disposal along with 207lbf.ft. The updated 1.6-litre diesel kicks out 136bhp and 239lbf.ft as low as 1,500rpm. Both units will comes with stop/start abilities on two-wheel drive models and there will also be a choice of automatic or manual six-speed transmissions.

There’s no official pricing yet, but when the new Korando goes on sale in Europe later in the year, SsangYong say that it will offer sector best value for money. On previous form, there’s no reason to doubt this.

American electric vehicle start-up Rivian have revealed a pick-up due to begin production in 2020, that if the figures are to be believed, will send shockwaves not only across the pick-up market, but the EV sector, too.

The R1T was revealed at the LA Auto Show, and the Michigan manufacturers claim the ‘Electric Adventure Vehicle’ will be a proper off-roader and work truck with a possible range north of the 400-mile mark.

Conceived with a double wishbone setup at the front and a multi-link layout at the rear, the R1T also has a low centre of gravity with the batteries and drive train all habituated below the height of the wheels. Yes, that read batteries – plural. Four of them, located each at a wheel and offering 2581lbf.ft of torque and 197bhp. PER WHEEL. That’s a total output of a useful 826lbf.ft and over 700bhp which equates to a three second 0-60 time, up to 100mph below seven seconds and a range of over 400 miles.

That isn’t strictly true, as there are plans for three different battery configurations, and not all of them have these insane figures. But they’re still very impressive in isolation. The smaller 105kWh pack offers less torque and power than the two bigger ones, and also has slower sprint scores. It’ll supply 413lbf.ft and 402bhp in total to the gearbox, with a range of 230-miles. The quickest 135 kWh configuration produces 754bhp, and the ground-shattering afore mentioned torque and sprint figures. This motor will have a range of over 300-miles, but if you want to get the top range 400-miler, you’ll need to opt for the 180kWh, 700bhp version. For those extra hundred miles, you’ll have to settle for wallowing to 60mph in 3.2 seconds. Oh so leisurely…

All batteries will provide an equal towing capacity of 5,000kg, aka five-tonnes, have a wading depth of a metre and will also top out at 125mph. Using an air suspension set up, there are four ride-height settings: park at 7.9-inches; Aero at 9.4-inches; Standard at 11 and off-road at 14.2-inches. This off-road setting produces an approach angle of 34°, departure of 30° and breakover of 26°.

Storage is also comprehensive in the R1T a load bed measuring 1.4 by 1.39-metres with the tailgate up, or 2.1 by 1.39-metres with it down. There is also a 330-litre frunk, 200 more litres in the rear bin, 350-litres in the gear tunnel below the cabin and 95-litres storage below the seats in 105 and 135kWh models. The 135kWh model has also been quoted an 800kg payload.

Rivian have already opened orders for the R1T, with the top two models available at launch and the base version coming a year later.

No, you didn’t mis-read that headline.

Honda have revealed a concept this morning of a Civic Type R with a pick-up bed instead of rear seats and a boot.

Codenamed ‘Project P’, the Civic was worked on by Honda’s Product Engineering department at their factory in Swindon, with an eye on creating what is possibly the fastest pick-up in the UK.

A standard Type R from the C-pillar forwards, Project P is only front-wheel drive, which sadly rules out much off-roading. However, it drives the production 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol unit that gives out 316bhp and 295lbf.ft – so it still packs a punch. Behind the C-Pillar, the Civic has been cut, stripped and then lined to transform it into a pick-up.

It retains the spoiler from the road car, and the boot still opens and closes. To be honest, little description is needed – a picture speaks a thousand words. And what a picture…

There are – shockingly – no plans to take the vehicle into production, but an attempt at a Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel drive pick-up is potentially on the cards…

A new Defender has been announced as part of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary celebrations – and it’s the most powerful one they’ve ever made.

The Works V8 – available as both a 90 and 110 – gets a 5.0-litre, naturally aspirated V8 that puts out 405bhp and 379lbf.ft. That’s enough to warrant quoting the 0-60 time – an impressive 5.6 seconds. It also ups the top speed to a lofty 106mph.

To help you convey that power, they’ve given the V8 an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, and the brakes have been upgraded to increase stopping power.

Other specs include LED headlights and a handling kit made up of uprated springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. The 18” Sawtooth alloys get all-terrain tyres and inside, the interior is lavishly wrapped in Windsor Leather– including the Recaro seats.

The production run is limited to 150 units, and just as no expense has been spared in celebrating both Land Rover and the Defender, it will have to be in purchasing a Works V8, too. Prices for a 90 start at £150,000, but the project has inspired a series of performance enhancements such as power upgrades, braking kits and road suspension, which will follow suit.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2015

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The original and still the best! 4×4 magazine is the market leader in automotive off-roading. Still with its heart and soul invested in the seasoned off-road enthusiast, 4×4 magazine aims to cover the latest models, bring you the hot news from around the world, essential buying and practical information on the most popular 4x4s, saving owners time and money in the process, while also inspiring and informing readers about the joys of off-roading.

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