Each and every January, automakers from around the globe descend on Motor City to preview their new wares for the upcoming model year. Also seen were hints at the future direction of automotive design through concept vehicles. A shift in concept-vehicle philosophy was clearly seen in Detroit this year, as futuristic concept vehicles made of unobtanium have been dropped in favor of more realistic visions. Many of the concept vehicles this year seemed as production-ready as some of the '06 models on the floor. Read on to see which vehicles stopped us dead in our two-tracks and which vehicles traded in their low ranges for some so-called sophistication. The '06 Hummer H1 Alpha finally answers the question enthusiasts have asked for the past several years: "When will the H1 get the Duramax?" In H1 trim, the Duramax makes 46 percent more horsepower and 18 percent more torque than the outgoing 6.5L mill, bringing the power to an even 300 horses and 520 lb-ft of torque. Also part of the deal is the exceptional Allison 1000 transmission and beefed-up driveline and brake components. To fit the new drivetrain, the body has been lifted by 2 inches, which also helps body panel clearances. In this win-win situation, fuel economy and emissions improve, while the 0-to-60 time drops by a full three seconds. The H1 Alpha will be on sale before summer. When the reveal was made, we couldn't believe our eyes. A factory-built aluminum and carbon-fiber rock buggy concept! Not only was it Hemi-powered, but twin Hemi-powered, which means the Jeep Hurricane can scoot to 60 in under 5 seconds and has plenty of torque for climbing just about anything you might encounter. The independent suspension at all four corners has 20 inches of travel and the Hurricane, just like its namesake, can spin 360 degrees on its axis.When the reveal was made, we couldn't believe our eyes. A factory-built aluminum and carbo A few other notable specs: 14.3 inches of ground clearance, 305/70R20 tires, 108.1-inch wheelbase, and approach and departure angles of 64 and 86.7 degrees respectively. Don't expect to see the Hurricane hitting your local showroom any time soon, but keep in mind that the look, suspension layout, and innovations are a hint at Jeep's direction. We've also got dibs on the Hurricane, so look for a more in-depth look in an upcoming issue of Four Wheeler.A few other notable specs: 14.3 inches of ground clearance, 305/70R20 tires, 108.1-inch wh Constructed on the LR3 chassis and shaped like a Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport neatly splits the difference between the two and mibht be the fastest, most powerful, best-handling Land Rover ever. With a 390hp, supercharged 4.2L V-8, the Range Rover Sport is poised to take on the likes of BMW's X5, with a whole lot more off-pavement prowess.Constructed on the LR3 chassis and shaped like a Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport neatly We told you about the Jeep Gladiator concept in last month's "RPM." With solid axles, a 2.8L turbodiesel, manual trans, and 13.7 inches of ground clearance, we would offer up one of our own just to get our hands on one. Attention Jeep: John Cappa, editor of our sister publication, Jp, can be easily shipped and knows Jeeps!We told you about the Jeep Gladiator concept in last month's "RPM." With solid axles, a 2. Seeing the G-Wagen in Mercedes' booth was kind of like coming across the last dinosaur on earth, right before the meteor hit. Next year Mercedes will end an era of classic SUVs (think solid-axled Land Rovers and Toyota FJ60s) by replacing this revered four wheeler with something contemporary and without a low range.Seeing the G-Wagen in Mercedes' booth was kind of like coming across the last dinosaur on Kia showed off its bold KCD-II Mesa concept to gauge consumer interest in a possible new niche for Kia. The KCD-II is full of features, and is designed to appeal to those wanting both a rugged SUV and upfront parking at the valet. Really. [Hey, at least it had a dial setting for 4-Lo on the dash!-Ed.]Kia showed off its bold KCD-II Mesa concept to gauge consumer interest in a possible new n 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By Sean P. Holman Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!