Savvy drivers know they can make truck and Jeep modifications to almost any vehicle that will cater the machine to off-roading. However, some motorists want to be able to buy automobiles that come equipped with features and design characteristics that are ideal for off-highway driving. This can be difficult, but a recent announcement from General Motors could change the way drivers go about looking for their next off-roading machine.
Rumblings of an off-road vehicle
GM unveiled several redesigned models at the Frankfurt Auto Show early in September, and there are rumors that the manufacturer is already considering revamping these options to include an off-road model. The speculation reached a fever pitch when one GM executive confirmed that the automaker was looking into the possibilities, although no timeline or details have been confirmed.
"We are looking at, for this generation, a more off-road variant," Jeff Luke, the executive chief engineer for GM trucks, told Automotive News. "Owners just love off-roading with these vehicles. They look at this vehicle as more off-road capable."
Some of the potential improvements could include enhancing the range of GM's body-on-frame SUVs as well as a more powerful engine and rugged style.
While much of the attention from fans of off-roading will likely be focused on the potential for specially designed off-road vehicles, any final plans are still far in the future. In the meantime, many drivers will have their eyes on some of the creations GM has in the pipeline. The 2015 versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon are all slated to offer drivers a solid option in the near future, and they boast a few special features that may make off-roading easier.
In the past, GM has offered an off-road package known as the Z71 for these large SUVs. Although this option includes upgraded shocks, bigger wheels and wheel flares, all of which are designed to improve the off-road experience, it has not caught on with drivers. The manufacturer hopes that making a few key changes and enhancements will create a unique off-road vehicle that will attract more fans of the pastime.
"In the life cycle of this product, we're going to continually upgrade and add technologies, including in the powertrain area," Luke told the news source. "... Stay tuned."