With 4x4s now a dirty word to most car makers, true off-roaders were few and far between at the London Motor Show. Nick Fone managed to ferret out a few farm-friendly vehicles
Renault’s first purpose-built 4×4 made its debut at the Motor Show. The Koleos has been developed as part of an alliance with Nissan and as such shares a common platform with the Japanese firm’s X-Trail and Qashsqai. Power comes from the same two-litre dCi unit as that used in the French company’s Megane and Laguna cars, while the transmission is a six-speed manual unit that will automatically transfer drive to the rear wheels when things start to get a bit slippy. The version pictured has just returned from a 25,000km PR stunt which involved driving from its Korean birthplace across Siberia to end up in Istanbul. A similar car – hopefully, with fewer miles on the clock – will set you back £18,995.
Isuzu revealed a low-priced 2wd version of its Rodeo pick-up. Costing just £9999, the single-cab truck has a 2.5-litre common-rail engine pumping out 134bhp and five-speed manual box. It’s rated to tow a useful 2.5t. The company has also introduced a 161bhp, three-litre engine for its 4×4 Rodeos. A Denver Max with 3t towing capacity costs £20,999.
It’s not often you can say a 4×4 is truly stunning, but this latest Saab deserves the plaudit. Quietly brooding in the corner with that trademark understated Scandinavian style, we’re told something markedly similar to the Saab 9-4X on display at the show will make it to market shortly. It will be Saab’s first proper attempt at an off-roader, so to keep the eco-bunnies at bay, the company is putting plenty of emphasis on the green credentials of its BioPower ethanol-fuelled engine the car will be fitted with. A diesel version is expected by 2010.
Range Rover Autobiography
If you are into leather and have £72,995 to spare, then the new top-spec Autobiography edition Range Rover is the car for you. Land Rover has managed to line every imaginable crack and crevice with tanned hides as well as adding 20in diamond-turned alloy wheels and flashy trim to produce what its MD calls: “The most complete luxury 4×4 ever.”
So striking that Sky News decided to film their coverage of the show with it in the background, the Hummer HX concept car has a powerful presence. Considerably shorter than other oversize Yank tanks from the same stable, it still manages to conjure up images of a sunglass-clad Schwarzenegger. Alas, the Californian governor chose not to make an appearance at the show, leaving visitors to pore over the car’s ultra-modern aluminium scaffolding trim and laser quest-style dash instead.
Nissan NP300 pick-up
Recognise this? Nissan has completed the reintroduction of its Nissan NP300 Pick-Up. This King-Cab version joins the single-cab launched earlier this year alongside a double-cab variant. The reason for its reintroduction? Nissan says its top-spec Navara trucks are a bit too pricy and a little too bling to be the true workman’s wagon. A new 133hp common-rail power-plant brings the Pick-Up in line with the latest emissions legislation, but elsewhere much remains the same – 2.8t & 3t towing capacities, 1.1t payload, five-speed manual box and a price-tag of £14,030.