Tag Archive | "range rover"

Range Rover Evoque – Something Special

The Evoque is the glamorous junior member of the Land Rover family of prestige SUV‘s. The gauges on our car featured ‘crystal’ effect markers that turned red in dynamic mode. Your editor was a little uneasy about this at first as being a bit OTT but otherwise there isn’t even a hint of tanning salon about it.

Ev1 Range Rover Evoque   Something SpecialThe model featured in the image is in five door Prestige trim with a splendid two-tone paint job and a smart interior. Although this car came with some luxury accoutrements and elegant on-road manners it was perfectly capable of a serious foray onto the rough stuff.

The Evoque has been one of the most successful Land Rover vehicles ever made. It helps that the car loaned to Motor Blogger costs just over £40,000 basic plus, in this case, around £10k’s worth of options that buyers will actually want. A good deal given what you get for the money, especially considering the baby Range Rover has made further leaps forward with the introduction of a host of new technologies. These enhancements lower fuel consumption by up to 11.4 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 9.5 percent – depending on model – and bring a range of new comfort, convenience and connectivity features.

Customers ordering vehicles from the 2014 range, will benefit from some new features, including a  truly brilliant new 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers improved economy, reduced emissions, enhanced performance. First shown at the Geneva Motor Show last year, the ZF-9HP automatic transmission is among the world’s first 9-speed units fitted to a passenger car. It has an ultra-fast response time and an adaptive shift programme that quickly matches the driving style.

The Evoque comes in four trim levels all of which are available in both 5-door and Coupe versions. As alluded to above, you have to add a bundle of additional cash to get the desirable extras. On this car these included the Intelligent Pack for £700 which features Water-wade sensing, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and  Headlamps  with Automatic High Beam Assist. By way of an extra flex of the plastic, buyers can also have the Lux Pack for a healthy £4,650. This offers a powered tailgate, fixed panoramic roof and a rather good 825w Meridian sound system.

The pack also includes a dual view touchscreen and digital television plus a surround camera system with tow assist, blind spot monitor, keyless entry, parallel parking and good old climate control. That should be enough to keep everyone occupied.

The driver though will not be thinking about any of this because he will be having too good a time driving the thing. This is because the Evoque can, in true Range Rover fashion, be set up to cope with a variety of terrain and surfaces but, importantly, it also has a ‘dynamic’ mode which offers car-like handling and driving characteristics for day to day motoring.

There’s the option of a powerful 240hp 2.0L petrol engine but most buyers will want either the eco eD4 150PS version of the 2.2L diesel for best economy or the perfect compromise, the same engine in SD4 mode with 190PS and auto stop-start which is the best choice. By avoiding a tendency to go heavy with the right foot drivers could well see 40mpg from this big car.

As you would expect, the interior is superb. Leather – obviously – with very comfortable and multi-adjustable seats and steering wheel. As can be seen from the image the centre consul is well laid out with most functions accessed through the touch screen. Drive is chosen from the now familiar rising selector. This is a very special car indeed and worthy of consideration – if you can afford it.

Ev2 Range Rover Evoque   Something Special

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5 Great British Drives

Britain is a nation of car and travel lovers and, unsurprisingly, we are always on the lookout for new places to discover. This article will take a look into 5 of the best roads to explore in the whole country and, naturally, they are all located far from the everyday rush hour locations.

1. Buttertubs Pass – Yorkshire Dales:

Not one for the faint of heart, the Buttertubs Pass was once described by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson as England’s ‘one spectacular road’ and we can see what he means. There are a number of steep cliffs which offer up stunning panoramic views, in addition to enough twists and turns that might make you feel like you’re driving through Monaco. The whole pass takes around 10 minutes to drive and is a shade over 5 miles in length and will be used in the 2014 Tour de France. It is definitely not one to leave you disappointed with its interestingcraggy landscape, though caution is advised particularly around some of the bends.

2. A537: Cat ‘n’ Fiddle

The so-called ‘cat ‘n’ fiddle’ road is another tricky, but beautiful road that begs to be driven. Located slightly south of the Buttertubs Pass, in Derbyshire, this has been named one of the most dangerous roads in the country, due to the sheer number of bends. A firm favouriteamong classic car owners, what could be better than a lazy sunny Sunday afternoon cruising around the corners in a best of British car such as a Bentley rental or an Aston Martin?

3. A272:

Heading south to the beautiful drive between Horsham and Winchester is probably the best drive for those living in one of the most populated areas of the country. On a quiet Sunday morning, you can really appreciate the large stretch of road in front of you and enjoy the surrounding Hampshire countryside. There are plenty of interesting bends and long straight stretches, whilst another highlight of this 1 hour 15 minute drive is that you pass the South Downs National Park, among the most beautiful nature spots in the whole country. One final advantage of this road compared to some of the others on this list is that there are plenty of market towns to stop off and visit.

4. Black Mountain Road: A4069

This is Wales’ offering in this list, and what a stunning road to experience. During low season this offers one of the best driving opportunities in the world, with little to no traffic and just an open, winding road in front of you. The quieter periods also allow you time to sit and admire the landscapes, including the flat top of Black Mountain itself. The A4069 is again around the 5 mile length and should be number one on anybody’s list if they are heading to Wales this year. In the winter months it is generally a quiet road and provides a great driving experience, although it is perhaps advisable to take a vehicle which can handle the British weather. A Range Rover would be the perfect example of this.

5. A896: Pass of the Cattle

To finish off this list, it is only natural to add a Scottish road into the equation. Perhaps the best place in Britain to drive is Scotland, given that away from the major cities there is simply more space to explore. The A896 is one road which simply begs to be explored, with fantastic bends which lead down to beautiful lochs, there is plenty to see. It also has the added advantage of being in the Scottish highlands, so it is unlikely that you will encounter too many other road users unless you go in July or August.

These are simply five of the many enjoyable roads to explore in Great Britain and whilst it is sometimes difficult to imagine a pleasant drive when you are stuck in traffic at 7.30 in the morning, it is good to know that there still remain some roads on which we can have a bit more fun.

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Experiencing A Supercar

Over the past few years the doubters have been hinting at the demise of the supercar. Fortunately the very best manufacturers are having none of that and continue to produce performance vehicles at the cutting edge.

It is still entirely possible to sample the delights of sporting motoring and be the better for it. There remains a burgeoning market in the finest automotive masterpieces for the discerning driver and there are none better suited for the task of providing those great cars than the UK‘s official supercar hire and experience company.

There can surely be no bigger thrill than climbing into the luxury interior of an Aston Martin, a Lamborghini or even a Bentley and after pressing the button marked ‘Start’ savouring the aural magic of V8 or V10 engines in a high state of tune. Driving a supercar is a visceral thrill that the dedicated driver can feel inside. The acceleration presses the body back in the seat and changes the way the driver feels. In short, there’s nothing quite like it and it is not even necessary to buy such a car to find out.

Everyone can benefit from supercar hire. Supercar Experiences are specialists in renting performance and luxury vehicles. This has got to be the right choice for visiting business people who need a prestigious car and who can be confident that their chosen automobile will be where they want it, when they want it; backed up by support and breakdown cover.

Another plus point is that supercar hire means that access to these special motors is not just the domain of the rich and famous. By hiring for a day, a week, a month anyone with the means to do so can savour the driving experience.

Sometimes though a low-slung sports car isn’t the answer so it will come as good news to find out that it is also possible to enjoy a more practical set of wheels and go for, say, a Range Rover Sport let. Vehicles like this are ideal for holidays or European driving when there’s a need to transport family and luggage without loosing the joy that the enthusiastic driver feels every time he gets behind the wheel.

So despite all the rules and regulations it is still possible to savour the delights and skills of performance driving knowing that the support of experts in the field, like Supercar Experiences are with you all the way. It’s right there at a click of a mouse.

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Driving The Range Rover Vogue SE

Once in a while the sun shines and something nice happens. Very recently Motor Blogger experienced such a day. A very nice person from the Jaguar Land Rover Group handed your editor the keys to a ‘Corris Grey’ Range Rover (the mad impetuous fools!) and told him to have fun. Well, MB doesn’t need telling twice and this is what happened.

Vogue trim features metallic paint, 20-inch wheels and Oxford leather trim as standard along with 12-way electrically adjustable seats, xenon headlamps and laminated front side windows. Plenty of power comes from a 255bhp twin-turbo V6 diesel, and it’s the first time this engine has been offered in a Range Rover. It is equipped with a standard ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox and stop/start.

Also incorporated is Land Rover’s excellent and new Terrain Response 2, which automatically selects programs; standard on this car, the cheaper Vogue trim has the early manually selected Terrain response. Also standard is a touch-screen sat-nav, DAB radio, digital TV and the more powerful 825W Meridian audio system.

RR1web Driving The Range Rover Vogue SE Motor Blogger at first found that he was sliding around on the otherwise supremely comfortable seat. Finally, a couple of buttons revealed themselves which bolstered the side bolsters – like blowing up a balloon. Problem solved. This car was smooth, refined, powerful and much more agile than the outgoing Range Rover. The new Range Rover has a double-skin bulkhead and the engineers have clearly done significant work to subdue the diesel noise. It works. Land Rover says the TDV6 offers the equivalent performance to the outgoing TDV8 thanks to the new alloy-shelled Range Rover’s lighter kerb weight, and that seems right as power was available in bucket loads.

Acceleration is strong, helped by the excellent ZF gearbox, which slips up and down the gears smoothly. There is some body roll, which is more pronounced in the TDV6 since it doesn’t have the active roll control of the SDV8 and V8 Supercharged models. This is a shame because, through twisting lanes, the roll was a bit irritating. The steering, now electric, has a light weighting and allows easy placement on the road, but for MB it was short on feel and feedback, even at higher speeds when you‘d think it would weight-up more. Still, it isn’t a sports car and for the most part the drive was super-relaxing with the sensation that driving all day wouldn’t be an issue.

The TDV6 is 200kg lighter than the SDV8. Most of the saving is over the front axle, which might go some way to explaining the entry-level TDV6’s agility. On our roads the air-suspended ride really breathes over bumps and dips. Our verdict: Superb. The best Range Rover yet. All that was missing was a bit of mud-plugging but you can’t have everything. The Range Rover Vogue SE TDV6 is an automotive tour-de-force.

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New Range Rover Sport Revealed This Month

What, you might well ask, is the purpose of the new Range Rover Sport which will be officially announced at the end of this month. Well, it sits between the mighty Range Rover flagship and the outstandingly rugged Discovery and does in fact have a purpose all of its own. Essentially, as the name suggests, it is a sportier version of its majestic namesake. Whereas the purpose of the Range Rover is for unashamed luxury coupled with real off-road ability so the Sport is designed with keen drivers in mind.

The Sport is a more involving drive with a firmer ride and a generally more dynamic feel on the road, although its mud-plugging skills are hardly diminished. Think of it, if you like, as a cross between the Range Rover and the Evoque – the best of both worlds. Land Rover believe it is their most responsive and agile vehicle yet.

The car will be revealed to the world at the New York Auto Show on the 26th March. Presumably they are presenting it there because Americans are the biggest market for this particular variant; in fact, it is LR’s biggest seller in the States.

Although the two RR cars seem very similar there are in fact a lot of differences both cosmetic and technical. The Sport has a sloping roofline and a bigger rear spoiler for example. There will be five and seven seat versions, although the extra two seats are likely to be for occasional use only. The interior is obviously Range Rover influenced but instead of the rotary dial the Sport will feature a stubby gear selector instead.

The most significant change is hidden from view. The previous Sport used the Integrated Body Frame chassis from the Discovery but the new version will instead be based on the aluminium chassis of the Range Rover. This will clearly result in a weight saving which should be noticed in both handling and economy.

The Range Rover is the definitive off-road vehicle and it will remain unchallenged in that department. If the Sport is to have improved road and driving manners then its rough terrain performance must be at least slightly compromised. That’s not to say that it won’t be way better than many rivals. It isn’t confirmed at the time of writing but LR may well fit the Terrain Response System from the bigger car. Either way, its prowess on the gnarly stuff is unlikely to be found wanting.

It certainly looks like Land Rover have done it again. The Sport will undoubtedly be in demand in the showrooms, especially as the prices will start from a round a reasonable £55,000. Another winner from Gaydon.

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New Freelander – The Best Yet

At the time of writing it is early in the morning and very cold. It is so cold that there’s a brass monkey at the door trying to borrow some welding equipment. The problem with the UK is that the weather is so variable it is hard to know what sort of car to buy. For example, many drivers would love a sports car for that wind in your hair / open skies thrill; but is it worth it for three days a year? Probably not, in which case – on the basis that the weather is more likely to be against us – why not buy a Freelander instead?

As luck would have it there’s a new version. That’s it in the image. Clearly in keeping with the family look, it is a marked improvement on the previous model which, although good, is beginning to look a bit dated and hasn‘t been as well regarded or as capable as its bigger siblings off road. Land Rover are very confident about the abilities of this new car however. Recently tested in conditions much worse than we can expect in this country it came up trumps in all departments.

For starters, it looks good with styling cues found on the Range Rover and Evoque. The Freelander also gains the Evoque software for the terrain response and hill descent functions. Throttle response is governed by a choice of four surface settings – grass, gravel and snow are lumped together and there is also a choice of asphalt, mud and sand. This just about covers all eventualities. There is no diff-lock or low range ‘box but this is the baby of the family after all and with prices starting at around a very reasonable £26000 (2WD will be a bit cheaper), it’s to be expected that some technology found on the other cars will be missing. Most users won’t miss them.

Power now comes from a 2.2L diesel engine configured at 148bhp in the TD4 version and a more beefy 188bhp in the SD4 model. There are no petrol engines on offer but in this type of vehicle most buyers would undoubtedly choose the oil-burner in any case. As we’ve come to expect in these frugal days there will also be an economy version – the eD4 – which offers a thrifty 47mpg. This is more likely to be suited to customers who rarely venture into the rough. Real mud-pluggers need the sort of torque that only a diesel can really deliver.

As you’d expect the interior has also been refurbished to a high standard, pinching the Evoque’s colour touch screen in the process. This features all the usual infotainment gadgetry plus the very useful rear view reversing camera – a bonus in a big car. For users of caravans or trailers there‘s even a ‘hitch-assist’ gizmo which superimposes a graphic to show the exact position of the tow-ball.

In a market segment that includes the Volvo XC60 and similar offerings from Audi and BMW, the Freelander will have to show that it is the model to buy. It certainly competes on price and early road tests are saying that Land Rover are onto another winner.

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New Range Rover For 2013

They just keep on coming, don’t they? Land Rovers that is. First we get the highly regarded Evoque. Then we learn of a trendy replacement for that faithful old retainer, the Defender; and now the first news of the replacement for the ageing Range Rover is starting to appear.

The much loved Rangey has been around now for over forty years. First launched in 1970 it is now on its third iteration and no amount of facelifts, upgrades and no less than four new engines can disguise the fact that model L322, first introduced in 2002, has reached the end of the road.

The good news is that model L405 will be with us next year and it is going to be something special. Land Rover are a bit cagey about the final looks but the picture above gives you some idea. Thinking about a grown-up Evoque is probably the way to go as the new vehicle will have some of that modern aero-dynamic styling whilst retaining the high driving position. It will still be all Range Rover though, not an Evoque clone.

There is no question that the present car is a big, thirsty beast, but LR have the solution. The new Range Rover will be built around a pressed aluminium monocoque which will help to the car to shed a slimming 250 kilos which should improve performance and economy.

A factory somewhere in the Midlands and suitably improved, will make the car and if the Evoque has really done wonders for the company’s fortunes then this new Rangey is the metaphoric icing on the cake.

America is seen as the prime market and LR expect to sell around twice as many there as they would in the UK. It won’t come cheap though. Expect the starting price to be around seventy thousand pounds rising to over the £100K mark for the range-topper.

This still isn’t a tree-hugging car. As with all manufacturers, Land Rover have made great strides in reducing noxious output and improving mpg but don’t expect it to be that frugal. For the eco-conscious – as is the trend – there is expected to be a hybrid version which it is hoped will cut emissions to 150g/km. Impressive in a car this size.

It’s a big step for the company as the present Rangey has a huge and dedicated following. Additionally, there has been an increase in the level of competition with the big X-Series Beemers, the Porsche Cayenne and new SUV’s from both Bentley and surprisingly, Lamborghini, so it needs to be good. Let’s see if the legend continues.

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Most Wanted Cars For WAGS

For those of you who haven’t been on this planet for the last few years, a WAG is the female partner of a footballer and stands for “Wives And Girlfriends”.  These WAG’s are famous for their choice of luxury cars and often their choices influence many of the public.

The most infamous WAG’s choice of car is the Range Rover Sport.  It’s chunky looks, brutish power and beautiful interior make it the perfect choice for these young and rich ladies to cruise around in style.  There is also plenty of room for the school run while still looking ultra cool and being protected in a big cocoon of safety and class.

The thing that WAG’s love about the Range Rover Sport is the “Bling” factor.  Lots of shiny chrome, beefed up body parts and flashy lights is everything that a WAG looks for in a car and the Range Rover Sport does it all with ease.  They are also very easily “kitted up” with lots of little extras and can easily accommodate some huge alloy wheels.

Other cars that WAG’s love include Bentley’s for similar reasons but the Toyota Prius is also a favourite for the WAG that likes to show off the fact that she is “economically minded”.  As more and more people have begun to complain about how wasteful a 4×4 is with the planets resources, it has become more and more fashionable to drive around in a hybrid and show that you really care!

However, there is now the perfect compromise with the new member of the Range Rover family.  The Range Rover Evoque was released in 2011 and unbelievably looked as good as it did in its original concept stages.  The Range rover Evoque has all the class and bling factor of its bigger brother, the Range Rover Sport, but it is smaller and more economical.

The beauty of the Range Rover Evoque is that it is a 4×4 but its emissions and petrol consumption is very similar to a standard family saloon, meaning that the argument of being wasteful with the planets resources doesn’t really stand up.  However, the benefit of still having a stunning car with big wheels and lots of shiny chrome remains.  The interior of the car as well is truly amazing.  The levels of comfort and quality inside make this a car that you will just love to be in and that is why WAG’s are now quickly adopting this as their new car of choice.  Wait for this to be “the next big thing”!

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