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Now that the marketplace has been oversaturated with cute-utes, crossovers, and CUV coupes, are we about to see a resurgence of real, honest-to-God SUVs? Ummm... maybe. The stars seem to be aligning in that direction, at least that's the sense I'm getting.

We know an all-new Jeep Wrangler is only a few auto shows away; and that Jeep is about to introduce a new Grand Cherokee Trailhawk for 2017, in the same rugged spirit of the successful Cherokee and Renegade Trailhawks. Ford has hinted at a neo-Bronco, after showing the concept above in 2014 to wet the mouths of all those Duck Dynasty-types out there. And, and... wait for it...

I recently learned that Subaru sent a questionnaire out to some Forester owners asking if they might be interested in an off-road package if it were offered. The items listed were pretty hardcore, serious stuff, such as: integrated tow/recovery hooks, additional ground clearance, more rugged wheels, skid plates, altimeter, front-view off-road camera, improved approach and departure angles, advanced differentials, Inclinometer, full-size spare tire, upgraded off-road suspension components, more aggressive tires, off-road driving mode (engine, transmission, throttle, and steering settings), more rugged styling, low-range gearing, and a more advanced traction management system.

Folks that's not my wish list (well, actually it is), but those are words from Subaru, asking if that's what customers would like to see. Need proof? Go to the website. It's in a discussion there.

So... no promises or guarantees here, and feel free to call me a rumormonger if you like; but the next few years could prove very interesting for those who actually do go off road. If this pans out, remember, you read it here first.

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