Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The evolution of The Luxury SUV


  we've really evolved o!

The "SUV" term is defined as "a large vehicle that is designed to be used on rough surfaces but that is often used on city roads or highways.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a "sport utility vehicle" is "a rugged automotive vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light-truck chassis"
"The "SUV" acronym "is still used to describe nearly anything with available all-wheel drive and raised ground clearance."
Ugly, rugged, intimidating, classy, beauties etc... Are just some of the words used to describe sport utility vehicles. Or as we say in our local parlance "jeeps"  the SUV hasn't always been the subject of debates and affection, infact it was more  of the opposite an object of ridicule . Famously called "Chelsea tractors" in the early 90s in the UK. This piece of automotive glory has gone on to become cornerstones for companies (think Range Rover) and even saved some companies from the brink of collapse ( remember the Porsche dilemma?). How did this soul-less piece of metal reminiscent of WW II military vehicles  go on to achieve this feat? Well a quick check on Wikipedia attributes the earliest form of SUVs to be Chevrolet Carryall Suburban (1935, RWD only), GAZ-61 (1938, 4×4), Willys Jeep Station Wagon (1948) ( the damned Americans always doing things big) , Pobeda M-72 (GAZ-M20/1955), which Russian references credit as possibly being the first modern SUV with unitary body rather than body-on-frame (trust the wannabe super powers not to slack now).  but country history asides, transportation curators believe the Jeep Cherokee xj to be the first true sport utility vehicle in the modern sense of the phrase, four wheel drive, plush interior to differentiate it from a truck and market it as a suburban family vehicle. I think I'd go with the curators and believe so, I mean this car got so popular that it became our default lingo for Sport utility vehicles, man ... Not a small feat.                                      

Trendsetter ?? The jeep Cherokee
The SUVs grew in popularity in the 90s especially in North America, Australia...other car companies joined In the action, Toyota, Ford, General Motors.  to name but a few
But the tipping point as a truly luxury staple can be unarguably pointed out to a single decision by a car company far from the Americas to start producing their range of sport utility vehicles.
Porsche defied tradition and decided to green light the production of the cayenne in 2003, a decision that had core Porsche fans raising their nose in disgust.. But that single black sheep of the lot proved to be the proverbial golden goose as that single car doubled Porsches worldwide sales in a short while, heck 62% of total Porsche car sales come from the Cayenne and the Panamera (another car we'll discuss soon I promise) and it did change the status quo and by extension creating a new segment of the market luxury SUVs ... This domino effect has had the most ardent of sport car manufacturers [cue in Lamborghini and their "urus"(out 2016)]

 and the predominantly luxury car makers (le Brits with the Bentley Bentayga(2016) and Aston Martin with their Lagonda brand(TBA))  jostling for a piece of the action.

Impression of the Bentley Bentayga (2016)

Impression of the Aston Martin Lagonda
Heck even the grand daddy of top tier premium luxury whips, the almighty Rolls Royce is also planning to enter the ring with something from their stable! Imagine a spirit of ecstasy on a 4WD!!!! My days!
  Imagine this on a "jeep" bleh!
These days a real auto buff would have at least one suv in his/her top 10 dream cars. Yeah, it's come that far from the humble beginnings of a commercial truck . Appearing in any shape and size you want .... Boxy? Think the G-Wagon, Curvy? Think the Audi Q7, long wheel base? The Americans got you covered with the Tahoe or Escalade or Yukon feeling like something small, Macan or the GLK. Even feel like something smaller ? There are cross overs now to satisfy that craving. Mehn... This should actually be titled the evolution of the SUV. But hey, lemme know which SUV catches your fancy and why.. Cheers.


Post a Comment