The face of off road is currently in a state of change driven by many external factors outside of the aftermarket industry. While we have had the pleasure of having some purpose built off road machines straight from the factory (Raptor, TRD Pro, Titan Pro-4X), there is definite room to improve as the industry evolves over the coming years – especially as some of these models cease production. With new government regulations on car manufacturers, new technology, and less selection all affecting vehicles’ ability to off road, we decided to put together a wish list of features we really want more of in the off road community.
What ever happened to the manual transmission? It seems that the more technology that gets put into vehicles, the less manual transmissions are offered. While this does make some sense, especially with improved automatic transmission technology, there has yet to be an automatic transmission that replicates the fun and control over your vehicle that is offered with a simple manual transmission – especially off road. Globally, manual transmissions are everywhere, but in America, they are becoming a thing of the past faster than face to face conversations. Simply put, we need more manual transmission options in the off road community!
Low Displacement Diesel Motors:
The benefits of low displacement turbo diesel motors are immense, from their steady and abundant torque curves, to their fuel efficiency potential, and yet we don’t have any options in America. The rest of the world gets to play with their turbo diesel-equipped off roaders except for us. Americans have only had a slight taste of the benefits of diesel motors in cars like the VW TDI Jetta, and it’s time that same technology makes its way into trucks!
More Off Road Platforms:
From the Toyota Land Cruiser 70 to the global Ford Ranger T6, there are many great vehicles available globally but the American off road community needs some of these great platforms. Let’s face it, full sized trucks are often too big to fit in tight and technical trails, so having the ability to go buy something like the slightly smaller 4×4 Ford Ranger T6 would be a great option to have. They say variety is the spice of life, and we need more variety when it comes to having great off road capable platforms to build off of.
Traction Control Solutions:
While traction control systems were common among higher-end vehicles for years, they have only been mainstream since the mid-2000s for pickups, SUVs, and Jeeps. There are countless benefits to having traction control systems, but they can be a real ‘stick in the mud’ when it comes to trying to have fun while off roading. Many of these traction control systems cannot be fully, yet temporarily, disabled for the times you want to have some spirited fun off road. The off road community needs to come up with a better solution to the traction control issue than just pulling fuses or else they might have a long term effect on the future of these vehicles being future off road projects.
LCD screens and power everything are very common in today’s vehicles – but they don’t need to be in new vehicles that are designed to go off road. The Ford Raptor had technology everywhere and while that was pretty cool, you have to wonder how that would hold up long term – like 10-years from now after 150,000-miles of spirited off road fun. The off road community really needs one of the OEs to offer some stripped-down 4x4s for those of us that want a great platform to build off – yes, we’re talking roll up windows, manual locks, limited traction control systems, etc.
Let us know what you want and don’t want for the off road community in the comments section below!