Off-Roading

The Torsus Preatorian is the world's first heavy-duty 4x4 off-road bus

The Torsus Praetorian is a 35-passenger all-weather people hauler.

Photo courtesy of Torsus

A world where the possibilities seem endless is the world the Torsus Praetorian was built for. It's the world's first heavy-duty 4x4 off-road bus and it's a complete badass.

Designed to transport personnel and safety equipment in the world's toughest climates, the bus features the very best blend of vintage and modern design, helping it to win a Red Dot Award for outstanding design quality. This year, 6,500 products from 60 countries competed to earn a Red Dot Award. Jurors worldwide test all the entries judging the aesthetic, the materials selected, the level of craftsmanship, the surface structure, ergonomics and functionality. After long discussions together, they decide on the design quality of the products, with only the best designs receiving an award.

Torsus Praetorian The bus runs on off-road tires.Photo courtesy of Torsus

The bus has fiberglass body panels that are covered with a scratch-resistant Line-X coating. Buyers can choose from a list of pre-set colors or request a custom job. LED lights are featured on the front and rear. A heavy-duty bull bar is available for the front and rear.

Praetorian is built on an upgraded version of a MAN chassis. It is powered by a MAN 6.9-liter inline six-cylinder diesel engine that achieves 240 bhp and 682 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a MAN TipMatic semi-automatic gearbox that is designed to reduce fuel consumption and increase driving comfort.

It rides on 10-hole 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin off-road XZL TL tires, which are designed specifically for tactical off-road vehicles. They feature a self-cleaning open-tread design, full-width steel belts and elastic protector ply to protect against off-road hazards, radial casting, and tubeless construction.

The bus has 15.75 inches of ground clearance.

Torsus Praetorian It has a ground clearance of nearly 16 inches.Photo courtesy of Torsus

It's a four-wheel drive vehicle that can not just handle rocks, sand, snow, and ice, but also transport a payload of up to 35 passengers plus equipment as standard. Praetorian has standard parabolic leaf spring axles and power steering.

Though built for conquering, the model has a less utilitarian interior. Its has a pneumatic driver's seat.

Online listings put the price of the model over $150,000.

Torsus Praetorian The bus is designed to conquer dirt trails, sandy conditions, and water.Photo courtesy of Torsus

In addition to the award, on June 22, the Praetorian will be added to the exhibition "Design on Stage" in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen (Germany), where all of the award-winning products will be on show. The Praetorian will also be presented in the online exhibition on the Red Dot website and in the Red Dot Design Yearbook 2020/2021, which comes out in July 2020.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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A new Texas-themed version of the Jeep Gladiator is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep has brought the Gladiator's off-road chops to the trails of the Lone Star State. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail is another of the the traditional of special edition vehicles for Texans who occupy the nation's largest truck market. It's the first time Jeep has offered a unique-to-Texas truck.

The new model builds on the Gladiator Sport S trim adding 17-inch Mid-Gloss Back Aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch mud-terrain tires, four-wheel drive, standard side steps, and the Trailer Tow Group. The Gladiator Texas Trail has a unique hood and decals that feature the year 1836 in the graphic as a nod to the year of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It also wears a black hardtop, black leather seats embossed with the Texas Trail graphic and comes equipped with the Technology Group and Convenience Group packages.

2021 Jeep Gl The vehicle is ready to be fully accessorized to the buyer's wishes.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021 Jeep Gl

The Texas-themed model features the buyer's choice of Jeep's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that's rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque or the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 power plant, which achieves 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep has badged each of the models with Trail Rated status. To achieve this status, Jeep vehicles must pass extreme off-road capability challenges.

The Gladiator Texas Trail is available in 10 colors: black, white, Snazzberry, Granite Crystal, Sarge, Nacho, Hydro Blue, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Sting-Gray. Jeep recently introduced a Snazzberry-colored Wrangler.

Each Gladiator comes with the Jeep Wave customer service program, which includes three years of maintenance, 24/7 phone/online support, trip interruption/first-day loaner coverage, and VIP access to Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail has a starting MSRP of $40,435 (plus $1,495 destination) and is currently available at Texas dealers.

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