This year's show in New York was one of the best of the season—more than 15 crossovers and SUVs were introduced, and there was a feeling of optimism in the air. But we did a little digging and found some of the coolest trucks, SUVs, and vans on display downstairs, away from the main floor. Here are a few of the highlights.
This one was a showcase for some of the Mopar accessories available for the Ram, and the Mopar team did a good job integrating them on one vehicle. This 2009 Sport Crew Cab, equipped with the 5.7L Hemi and 3.73:1 rearend, rides on concept Mopar 22-in. forged alloys with 285/45R22 tires. The Pearl White Ram has body-color fender flares, a Mopar body kit, and a Mopar dual exhaust. The bed uses a Mopar bed rug and tonneau cover painted Pearl White.
Transit Connect Vans
Four modified versions of Ford's small vans were on display in New York, but two were in a special area of Ford's van and work truck area. Seen here are vans used by Ten Mile Creek Kayaks, a kayak shop in Colorado, and Boo Boo Busters, a childproofing specialist in Southern California. Each was set up for work—and in the case of the kayak company, for fun.
Okay, you might have seen this one already in another post at trucktrend.com. Consider this an independent manufacturer's dream Avalanche—flexible bed length, seating for five, plus SUV platform and coil-spring rearend. The mid-engine truck is based on a GM platform (highly modified, of course), and uses a GM-sourced V-8. There's extra storage space up front and a short bed in back, which can be extended to 7.5 feet. This is actually the second prototype, as the first was destroyed in the fires that burned nearly 200,000 acres in San Diego County in 2007, and Barkan Designs has plans to build and sell 200 or so of these trucks.
Okay, I'll admit I haven't paid all that much attention to the Compass lately, so I'd forgotten about the Rallye package. This group of items, which costs less than $2000 on a 2009 model, adds a rear spoiler to the hatch, really cool 18-in., five-spoke black wheels, extra lights up front, chrome exhaust tip, and a Mopar body kit. This combination makes the Compass look more like the rally-inspired concept on which it was based.
The Honda Element wasn't the only dog-friendly SUV shown in NYC. This Mitsubishi Outlander, dubbed Doglander, was a design exercise created in the automaker's studio in Japan. This vehicle makes sense for this project, as Mitsubishi explained, because many owners find the two-piece tailgate especially dog-friendly—the lower section provides easy access for dog to hop into the back. The Doglander uses more upscale pet-friendly accessories, including the quilted leather dashboard cover, extra-cushy doggie mats, and additional grained leather trim.
Transit Connect Family One
This one was on the main floor in Ford's booth. While the rest of the Transit Connects on display showed the workaday nature of the van, the Family One concept shows its softer side. This one is geared toward family-friendly communication, technology, and entertainment. There are bulkhead-mounted sunshade screens, walkie-talkies for the family, and an in-dash computer. The interior was also made to wash easily, and the storage area holds an extendable awning, first aid kit, and a pair of scooters.
Last time we checked, the SUVs that Mitsubishi raced in Dakar were called Pajero (aka Montero) Evos. But despite this vehicle's SUV-like proportions, according to the information at the show, its styling is based on the Lancer SportBack. The body is carbon fiber and the Ralliart is powered by a 3.0L V-6 twin-turbodiesel with a five-speed sequential manual gearbox. Call it what you want, to us this is a race SUV, and if it’s the one we think it is, it finished 10th overall at Dakar earlier this year.