Posts from ‘Land Rover’
Land Rover is a bit of a dichotomy. On the one hand, the name is virtually synonymous the world over with rugged off-road ability. On the other, it’s recognized as a luxury marque, at least in the U.S. Those may seem to be conflicting attributes, but the company—and its products—pull off the combination.
Although the classic Range Rover is probably what pops to mind when the Land Rover name is mentioned, as with many luxury makes, the company has lower-priced models intended to appeal to a wider demographic audience. In this case, they include the compact LR2, midsize LR4, and stylish Range Rover Evoque, introduced last year.
Some might be surprised to find that the entry-level Land Rover LR2 starts at well under $40,000, a price not far north of a comparably equipped “regular” compact SUV. That includes a lengthy list of standard equipment, which grows even longer for 2013.
Also new for the model year are some cosmetic changes that include restyled headlights, grille, taillights, and wheels. Inside, materials have been upgraded, the gauge cluster has been revamped, and the central control panel features a new 7-inch touchscreen. Newly available features include an 825-watt, 17-speaker Meridian surround-sound audio system, the “Say What You See” voice command system, and a rearview camera with “Hitch Assist,” which comes into play when hitching up a trailer.
Jaguar took the wraps off its most powerful sedan ever at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The 2014 Jaguar XFR-S boasts a 550-horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The British maker says the car will go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and achieve an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph.
Engineers tightened the front and rear suspensions by 30 percent. A new rear subframe is necessary to handle the high levels of torque running to the rear wheels. Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system monitors and counteracts body lean, which is especially useful when carving tight corners. Large ventilated disc brakes bring things to a halt.
Also on display at the 2012 LA Auto Show was the 2014 Jaguar F-Type. Originally unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the F-Type is a 2-seat convertible powered by either a supercharged V6 or V8 engine.
Land Rover is also a part of the Jaguar family, and the purveyor of high-end off-roaders showed its redesigned 2013 Range Rover. Billed as the first all-aluminum SUV, the new “Rangie” weighs some 500 pounds less than its predecessor. This should translate into much improved fuel economy—up to 5 mpg in both the city and on the highway.
Note: This report supplements Consumer Guide Automotive’s full report on the 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, a premium-compact SUV that starts at $41,145.
Test car came equipped with: Dynamic Premium Package, continuously variable shock absorbers, Climate Comfort Package, special paint, contrasting black roof, satellite/HD radio, and 20-inch chromed alloy wheels. Total MSRP including California emissions equipment and $850 destination charge = $60,095. (Note: This vehicle sees no significant changes for 2013).
Powertrain: 2.0-liter 240-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive.
Acceleration: Our friends at Car and Driver timed a top-line Prestige 4-door at 6.9 seconds 0-60 mph, which seems a shade optimistic. They also report top-gear incremental clockings of 3.7 seconds for 30-50 mph and 4.9 seconds for 50-70 mph, quite good for a two-ton SUV with 240 horses. Overall then, the Evoque has enough suds for most situations—at least with just a driver aboard. A sizeable load is sure to slow it somewhat. I agree with my colleagues that the 6-speed auto trans is responsive and, yes, occasionally “busy,” but I didn’t experience any abrupt or ragged shift action.
Land Rover has just revealed a single teaser photo of the 2013 Range Rover. The company’s flagship SUV is not just redesigned but “improved,” “enhanced,” and “transformed,” according to the press literature.
The new Range Rover is a stunning 925 pounds lighter due to a new all-aluminum monocoque body structure. That, of course, will translate into better fuel economy. According to Land Rover, the new vehicle is “the most capable and most luxurious Land Rover yet.” It offers “new levels of refinement,” “improve[d] peerless ride quality,” “transformed handling and agility,” and “enhanced all-terrain performance.”
This new dream machine goes on sale in September 2012, with customer deliveries scheduled to begin in early 2013. There’s no word yet on pricing. The 2012 Range Rover starts at $ 79,425.
Apple recently announced that its voice-recognition application for iPhone, known as Siri, will be integrated into the cars of at least seven major manufacturers.
Siri lets a user control many of the iPhone’s functions simply by speaking the request into the phone in normal, colloquial language. Such functions include making calls, playing music, hearing and writing text messages, finding directions, and various other features, including the ability to ask a question and receive a relevant answer.
So far, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz have confirmed that they’ll incorporate Siri into their infotainment systems, and Audi and Toyota are said to be working with Apple, as well. According to an article in trade publication Automotive News, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic will have this feature.
A new Apple iPhone application called Eyes Free makes it possible. Eyes Free will link the iPhone to a compatible car’s voice-recognition system. It will use the existing voice button on the car’s steering wheel and the car’s built-in microphone to access the Siri app. The user won’t have to handle the phone while driving, which is considered distracting. Additionally, the iPhone’s screen will remain off during the interaction to curb visual distractions. Eyes Free will debut as part of the company’s reveal of iOS 6, the new operating system for Apple mobile devices, including iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
At the 2012 New York Auto Show, Land Rover celebrated its 25th anniversary in the United States—its largest market. Land Rover has sold more than 575,000 vehicles in the U.S. since the 1987 American introduction of the luxury Range Rover SUV. I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on the celebration, but Land Rover was in the States long before ’87.
The first Land Rover was introduced in 1948. Due to Britain’s postwar austerity, automakers had to export a large portion of production to get rationed steel. The Rover car didn’t have much export potential, but a Jeep-like 4-wheel-drive Land Rover prototype did. It had a simple but rugged frame and mechanicals. An aluminum body reduced the use of rationed steel. Britain’s colonies and former colonies loved it. Soon, Land Rovers were traversing Africa and anywhere else where paved roads were rare. At one time, it was claimed that for a third of the world’s population, a Land Rover was the first vehicle ever seen. Land Rover started exporting to the U.S. in the early Fifties. In the home of Jeep, Land Rover sales were limited, but the marque had a loyal following.
Land Rover debuted two concept vehicles this week in New York: the Range Rover Evoque Convertible and the DC100 Expedition. Get the skinny on each cool-looking vehicle with Consumer Guide’s coverage of the New York Auto Show.
I apologize upfront for not having a picture of this. I assure you, however, that the absurdity of the situation transcends mere photography and wafts into the realm of the surreal—but only if you were thinking about it. Maybe you had to be there.
There, stopped at the intersection side-by-side in the front row of traffic was a pair of vehicles that immediately demanded comparison. Though both were imported luxury SUVs of the same vintage, and despite being side-by-side in physical space, they were worlds apart in spirit.
The first truck looked to be the ride of a once-wealthy poser fallen on hard times. The vehicle, a sliver 1995-ish Mercedes-Benz ML, looked its age. It was tired and bore more than a couple deeper-than-a-scratch gouges on its weary fenders. But it wasn’t the obvious neglect that caught my eye; it was the god-awful and mindless application of off-road hardware to the truck that commanded attention.
Up front, a huge tubular brush bar, complete with a half-dozen headlamps, some of which still sported plastic covers, obscured the once-proud Mercedes grille. Looking at the now-pitted chrome metal piping, it was difficult to imagine that the auxiliary lighting had ever been put to use.
I love me some fast SUVs. Give me heaps of power to go with room and comfort for my family and their gear.
Of course, with many performance SUVs comes the potential for extremely high fuel consumption. Such is the price one must pay for having a stonking V8 engine under the hood.
Ford is taking a different approach with its take on the jackrabbit SUV. The new 2013 Ford Explorer Sport employs the company’s potent “EcoBoost” V6 to deliver the power I seek along with better projected fuel economy than any comparable V8-powered rival.
EcoBoost is Ford speak for its engine family that employs low displacement, high-pressure direct injection, and turbocharging. All three work in tandem to offer power that’s comparable to large V6 and V8 motors but with fuel economy similar to smaller 4- and 6-cylinder units.
While you can order an Explorer with a 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, the Sport only comes with Ford’s 3.5-liter V6 variant. While a final figure wasn’t available at time of writing, officials project output of “at least 350 horsepower.” Even if it were to hit that number exactly, the Sport would be in the same ballpark as the V8-powered Dodge Durango (360 horsepower) and close to the much more costly Range Rover Sport HSE (375 horsepower).
I can only imagine the challenges facing the people who pick out interior trim for new cars. There’s cost, durability, and, of course, appearance issues—and probably a million other things to take into account, too. And don’t forget that what looks great to some people will look lousy to others.
Variety is always good, since everything can’t be matte black, silver, or wood grain. A few unexpected choices stick out in my mind as very interesting. The matte pearl blue accents in a 2010 Ford Fusion Sport looked great to my eyes, as did the braided stainless steel trim in a 2008 Audi S5. The Audi was borderline spectacular, actually.
Real wood almost always looks good, and it can be fabulous—like the solid cherry trim in a Range Rover that we test drove. But when wood has certain graining or is finished in an odd color, as in a Lexus ES350 I’ve driven, there are few things worse. Most fake wood looks pretty good these days, though; it’s not the ’70s anymore.