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BMW raises the curtain on new X3 Sports Activity Vehicle
17 June 2003 - 09:00
BMW has announced first details of its new X3 model. Expanding the BMW X-family, this dynamic and versatile new model combines the outstanding agility of a BMW saloon with the practicality of a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
The X3 introduces BMW’s patented xDrive intelligent four-wheel-drive, which sets new standards in agility for all-wheel-drive systems. It works by changing torque distribution from front-to-rear axles in an instant, offering substantial improvements in stability, driving pleasure and safety.
xDrive is both fully adjustable and infinitely variable. It feeds optimum torque to the required axle at any time, countering understeer and oversteer while cornering on road. Off-road, xDrive significantly improves traction by distributing drive forces to the axle with most grip. As soon as wheel spin threatens, the electro-hydraulic centre coupling transfers power to the axle with greater traction.
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) complements xDrive, but intervenes far later and is required less frequently. While xDrive helps prevent loss of traction by channelling drive forces axle-to-axle, DSC works on individual wheels, intervening when one starts to slip. In these circumstances DSC cuts power to the relevant wheel and, where necessary, also applies brakes.
In appearance the BMW X3 combines the characteristic proportions of a Sports Activity Vehicle with classic and innovative design. Concave and convex surfaces give the X3 a fresh and youthful look that underpins a range of trademark BMW design features. The X3 has a pronounced "Hofmeister kink" in the rear side windows and a newly designed double kidney grille complements the X3’s headlamps. At the back, the car also sports distinctive X3 rear lights.
A long wheelbase with short overhangs and roof line sloping down to the rear frame the dynamic character and performance of the car. Flared wheel arches, and a striking front end give the newcomer its muscular character and underline its strong road presence.
Although UK engine line-ups are still to be finalised, performance will come courtesy of a range of petrol and diesel engines. This includes BMW's 3.0-litre petrol which develops maximum output of 231 bhp. The agile X3 3.0i reaches a top speed of up 130 mph in standard trim, going even further to 139 mph with its optional high-speed set-up - included in the Sports Package.
Recently introduced, the 3.0-litre straight-six turbo diesel with second-generation common rail direct injection, develops a maximum output of 204 bhp and propels this outstanding new model to 410 Nm maximum torque. Top speed in standard trim is 130 mph, or 135 mph with high-speed set-up. Both models come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, with five-speed automatic available as an option.
The versatility of the new BMW X3 is by no means limited to the on and off-road conditions on which it will thrive. Inside, equipment levels make this the ideal BMW for the individuals who revel in an active lifestyle.
Owners will enjoy superior lofty views thanks to the command driving position while the interior features a broad range of classic and modern materials, colours and options to personalise the X3. The cockpit houses two circular dials, grouped in typical BMW style in an elegant binnacle. In the middle of the instrument panel, drivers will find the optional 16:9 navigation system colour monitor which appears automatically when needed.
With tailgate open, the X3 reveals capacious storage space, enabling the driver to carry all kinds of sports gear. A number of handy storage compartments are also included, while for those who need to pull something really big – a boat for example – BMW offers Trailer Stability Control for safe motoring when towing. This option is an extension of DSC and complements automatic Hill Descent Control (HDC) for safe downhill driving, even on loose ground.
In developing the X3, BMW focused in particular on developing the highest standards of active and passive safety. Key design principles include extending the front drive shaft through the oil sump, giving the X3 a very low centre of gravity, and reducing body roll for outstanding comfort and stability. And, of course, with intelligent power distribution, xDrive keeps the X3 stable and sure-footed even in fast bends.
The new BMW X3 will be available in the UK from late spring 2004.
Roush to Develop Space-age ATV for UK MoD
12 June 2003
The new unit, for which Roush presented a creative and innovative concept, uses a number of advanced materials and design elements. The vehicle is powered by a Peugeot diesel engine driving through a variable automatic gearbox to chain drive rear axles and a single drive shaft to the front. High flotation tyre equipment ensures low ground pressure and assists mobility. The new ATV will be fully air portable for either C130 Hercules aircraft, Puma or Chinook helicopter deployment and, on account of its composite material features, will achieve a very low radar signature.
The Nissan Pickup wins the 2003 Morocco Rally
11 June 2003
Nissan has won the 2003 Morocco Rally. Piloted by Gineiel de Villiers, with co-driver Tina Thorner, this was the first overall win for the Nissan Pickup in the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallys, and also the first overall victory for Nissan since 1993.
Smiling on the podium, Giniel de Villiers was finally able to show his joy: "First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone in the team for their work. It was really perfect. The car has not had any problems, and I know that everyone worked really hard to help us achieve this result. The rally was very difficult, and definitely not a picnic. It was important to stay concentrated at all times. The special stages in the dunes were very tricky, as were the narrow roads in the mountains. This morning, I could not help thinking about what happened to Peterhansel during the last three events, but I put that out of my mind, to stay focussed. Before the start, my main aim was to be at the finish, and if possible on the podium. But I don’t believe in predictions in rally raids. Anything can happen at any moment. I had a very good feeling with the car throughout the rally. The first stage win gave me a certain confidence. Since the Dakar, I have wanted to win a stage, now I have done that, and I’ve even won the whole event …"
Tina Thorner’s eyes were also shining. There was plenty of emotion for Giniel’s co-driver, claiming her first win: "When we started this morning, I tried to remain as focussed as possible. I tried to treat this stage as if it was a ‘normal’ day. The special stage was quite tricky, but we were extra careful. The rally has gone remarkably well with Giniel. He drove perfectly. I could feel he was very much at ease, motivated and very concentrated. I am very happy with this win, my first… .. I don’t think I have really quite realised what has happened yet. I hope there will be more …They always say that the first win is the most difficult … well, we’ve done it ! "
In the T1 category, Marc Blazquez, with three stage wins, also appeared satisfied with his result: "I thoroughly enjoyed this rally, but I also learnt a lot, especially in the dunes. The car was entered in the T1 category, so it was almost a production vehicle, and it was not always easy to adapt. The team did a good job, and I know that we can progress in this category. My aim was to finish. The Patrol crossed the line in third place in the T1 class … it’s perfect. This is only my second rally raid, but I must admit that I really like it. I still have to work and learn, but I am really very happy … and I can’t wait to get started again…"
Thierry Delli Zotti shared the Patrol with Marc and gave his opinion of his pupil: "Marc did a good job, he listens to the advice he is given, he learns quickly but he is also very fast. Moreover, he is a charming boy. I really enjoyed driving with him. I am very pleased about Giniel’s win – it is a great boost for the whole team, and is an apt reward for all the hard work…"
This opinion is also shared by Alec Poole, the Nissan Rally Raid Team Manager: "We are very happy today, happy for Giniel, of course, but most of all, happy to have proved that the Nissan Pickup is competitive. Since the launch of the programme, just over six months ago, all the team has been fully committed to this project. This win in Morocco is a fine reward for all the hard work. But we know that there is a long way to go before reaching our goal: to be able to win the Dakar… We are learning important lessons on each rally raid, and this first position confirms that we are on the right track."
With the Team Dessoude Nissan Pickup, Yves Loubet and Jacky Dubois claimed a fine 4th place in the overall classification. The Corsican driver had a final scare this morning: "During the special stage, there was suddenly a tremendous noise... I looked at Jacky, very worried, but it turned out that it was only the rear mudguard which had come off and which was rubbing along the ground. I really wanted to finish the rally … but all’s well that ends well…"
Paul Belmondo and Alain Guéhennec, with their Nissan Pathfinder, came very close to winning the T1 category today, with victory remaining possible until the very last moment. With Jean Pierre Strugo having problems during today’s final stage, they gained over 10 minutes, which, unfortunately, was not enough to change the classification. Paul finished 2nd in the class and 10th overall: "The main aim was to finish the rally. We came really close to a win in T1, which is a shame… I hope to be in Dubai, must most importantly to be in the next Dakar … with a Nissan, of course…"
Plenty of emotion in Marrakech, for the Nissan Rally Raid Team… the next event will be the Spanish Baja, from 17 to 20 July.
• Overall Classification after the OUIRGANE – MARRAKECH stage
HYUNDAI MAKES THE EARTH MOVE WITH THE TERRACAN
11 June 2003
Even more incredible is that the Terracan becomes the UK’s only full off-roader available with a five year, unlimited mileage warranty as standard.
Already on sale in mainland Europe, the Terracan debuts with a new-to-the-UK 2.9 common-rail turbo-diesel engine – part of a family of three efficient modern diesel engines produced by Hyundai.
The Terracan is Hyundai UK’s second four-wheel drive, following in the footsteps of the highly successful Santa Fe sports utility vehicle. Unlike the Santa Fe, the Terracan has a body-on-frame construction and is designed for full off-road use.
‘King of the land’
The ‘can’ part of the name Terracan is derived from ‘khan’ meaning king, while the ‘terra’ means ‘of the land’ – so Terracan is being promoted as the ‘king of the land’.
The Terracan is longer, taller and wider than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mitsubishi Shogun Sport and Nissan Terrano, as well as having a lower purchase price and higher standard equipment levels.
The Terracan features part-time four-wheel drive, with a ‘shift on the move’ facility which allows the driver to switch between high ratio four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive at speeds of up to 50mph. There is also a low ratio four-wheel drive setting, for difficult conditions or awkward manoeuvres.
There will be one variant of the Terracan available in the UK, the 2.9 CRTD. It features a new 2.9 common-rail turbo-diesel engine – this is the biggest diesel ever to have been offered by Hyundai. It is capable of 148bhp@3800rpm, and has 333Nm/246lbs ft of torque at 2000rpm.
It does the 0-62mph dash in 13.7 seconds, and has a top speed of 103.8mph.
Despite its power and torque, the Terracan has impressive fuel economy. It returns 37.7mpg on the extra urban run, 26.9mpg in urban situations and 32.8mpg combined.
As well as the standard five speed manual, a four speed automatic is also available at £19,345.
The Terracan is designed to offer the best of all worlds; full off-road performance combined with solid on-road ability, as well as high equipment levels. Therefore, the highly competitive price of £18,495 for the five speed manual is set to impress the UK car buying public.
Standard equipment on the Terracan 2.9 CRTD includes: driver and front passenger airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, side steps, rear limited slip differential, climate control, electric front and rear windows, electric heated door mirrors, stereo radio/CD player, alloy wheels, remote central locking with anti-theft alarm immobiliser and fog lamps.
The Terracan was styled and engineered in-house at Hyundai’s Namyang Research and Development Centre, and Hyundai Motor Company has invested US$240 million in its development.
In common with the rest of the Hyundai range, the Terracan comes with the company’s industry leading five year, transferable, manufacturer-backed, unlimited mileage warranty as standard.
The warranty has been hailed as ‘Britain’s best’ by top motoring writer Mike Rutherford, and has immediately set a new standard for warranties in the UK.
Hyundai Terracan – key facts
Major UK Order Indicates Future Rapid Reaction Role For Pinzgauer
10 June 2003
The decision to equip British Army units with the Pinzgauer to fulfil the role is in line with the current world-wide trend towards rapid reaction, light and air-portable forces, which can be deployed quickly into theatre wherever they are needed. It is the first time the British Army has specified the higher payload 6x6 Pinzgauer variant in significant numbers. The current fleet, approaching 1000 vehicles, is predominantly based on the 4x4 Pinzgauer TUM-HD, many of which have been widely seen in action with UK Forces in the Gulf.
The UK MoD order is for the latest development of the legendary Pinzgauer, which uses a Euro III high-torque version of Volkswagen’s 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder turbo-intercooled diesel engine, driving through a 4-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Vehicles are expected to enter service with operational units from 2004.
NEW LEXUS RX300 DELIVERS IMMEDIATE SALES SUCCESS
5 June 2003
Lexus’s all-new RX300 luxury SUV has achieved exceptional sales results, less than a month since it reached British showrooms. In May almost 400 were registered, a performance that outstrips all its key market competitors.
What makes the RX300’s achievement all the more staggering is that it was achieved in just two weeks, the equivalent of giving the field in a 400-metre race half a lap start. Even with the benefit of a full month’s sales, the BMW X5, Volvo XC90 and Jeep Grand Cherokee were left standing. In the X5’s case, the monthly total was a massive 175 down on Lexus’s tally.
The exact May 2003 registration figures* are: -
*Source: Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
"This is a tremendous start for the new RX300, customers have quickly recognised that once again Lexus has produced a vehicle that sets new benchmarks," said Lexus Director Karl Schlicht.
"The original RX300 created the luxury SUV market and now the new generation model has redefined it to a level the competition will struggle to match. With its combination of world-first technologies for greater safety, performance and convenience, strong, contemporary styling and the unbeatable Lexus ownership experience, the new RX300 promises even greater market success in the months to come."
The new RX300 went on sale on 16 May and is offered in three trim levels, RX300, RX300 SE and RX300 SE-L. All versions are powered by Lexus’s 201bhp 3.0-litre V6 VVT-i petrol engine with permanent four-wheel drive.
The standard equipment list includes nine airbags (including driver’s knee airbag), cruise control, advanced multi-zone air conditioning, automatic anti-glare rear view and door mirrors, roof rails, alloy wheels and electrically-adjustable front seats.
The SE version adds a power tailgate, memory settings for the front seats, steering column and rear view mirror, leather upholstery and automatic headlight and wiper functions.
The SE-L further benefits from a rear parking monitor, Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) that adjusts headlights according to driving speed and steering input, the Lexus Navigator DVD-based satellite navigation system and a Mark Levinson® 11-speaker audio system.
On the road prices begin at £28,955. The new Lexus RX300 is protected by a three years/60,000 miles mechanical and paintwork warranty.
EXTREME-LY BUSY TIME AHEAD FOR JEEP® DEALERS
5 June 2003
A special edition of the award-winning Jeep® Cherokee is being unleashed across the UK this summer.
Branded Jeep Cherokee Extreme Sport, the new 4x4 will appeal to drivers looking for a real off-road vehicle with true Jeep can-do attitude. And with just 200 of the special Cherokees available, Jeep’s 94 dealers are expecting an "extreme" rush from customers.
With more than 60 years of top-flight 4x4 know-how that only comes with a Jeep, and superb style, luxury and affordability, the Cherokee Extreme Sport boasts unique 16 inch alloy wheels and extended wheelarches, bumpers and front grille in high-gloss graphite.
A choice of two engines is available with Extreme Sport – the torquey 2.8 litre common rail diesel or the powerful 3.7 litre V6. Both come with an automatic gearbox – five-speed on the CRD and four-speed on the V6.
The 148 bhp 2.8 CRD accelerates from 0-62 mph in 12.6 seconds and carries on up to 108 mph. But even with those performance figures it still returns 27.4 mpg on the combined cycle.
The 3.7 V6’s 208 bhp takes the car from 0-62 mph in 10.8 seconds and continues to 112 mph. It returns 20.2 mpg on the combined cycle.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler and Jeep in the UK said: "Whether you choose CRD or V6, you are getting an awful lot of car for your money. Jeep’s fantastic off-roading track record, combined with the stunning design and style of these new Extreme Sport models will, I am sure, make them a very attractive proposition."
Standard safety and security equipment on both cars includes driver and front passenger airbags, height adjustable front seat belts, high-level rear brake light, locking fuel filler cap and a
Thatcham category 1 alarm and immobiliser. A leather wrapped steering wheel, trip computer, height adjustable steering column, auxiliary power socket and six speaker CD/radio/cassette are among other standard features.
Prices are £21,880 on-the-road for the 2.8 CRD and £20,880 for the 3.7 V6.
Meanwhile, Jeep has further upgraded its popular Grand Cherokee range for 2004 model year with a new front appearance and specification detail changes. The stunning 4x4 has been given a freshened look with the addition of vertical grille bars and new front driving lamps.
New door mirrors have been introduced to further reduce wind noise and a new colour – Deep Lava Red – is added.
Prices for the 2004 Grand Cherokee stay at current 2003 levels:
4.0 Limited – £27,995
2.7 CRD Limited – £29,500
4.7 V8 Limited – £31,000
2.7 CRD Overland – £31,500
4.7 V8 HO Overland – £34,000
As with all Jeep models, the Cherokee Extreme Sport and 2004 Grand Cherokee come with a full peace-of-mind warranty package and European roadside assistance cover for three years/60,000-miles plus a seven years' unlimited mileage anti-corrosion guarantee.
HONDA SUPPLIES WILTSHIRE AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST
29 May 2003
These vehicles equipped with emergency blue lights, siren and flashing headlamps will carry vital medical and life saving equipment within purpose built storage compartments. They will be used as rapid response vehicles, intended to get ambulance staff quickly to the scene of an incident where expert medical attention may be required urgently.
The four vehicles are 2-litre SE Sport models built at Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd at Swindon. The conversions were carried out by Woodway Engineering Ltd at Barnacle near Coventry and the livery undertaken by Halo Bluelight Ltd. The local dealership support was by Morning Star Honda at Chippenham. The conversion project was overseen by Divisional Officer Geoff Todd from Wiltshire Ambulance Service, Paul Watkins from Woodway Engineering and Honda’s Government and Emergency Service Sales Co-ordinator Mark Jones.
The contract to supply the CR-V converted as a Solo Response vehicle, is the latest involving ambulance authorities around the UK utilising the current and previous model. Other recent ambulance multi-vehicle contracts include East
Anglia, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man Ambulance Services, and the East Midlands Ambulance Service taking four CR-Vs in to service in February. So with CR-Vs already in use by Lincolnshire, Jersey, Oxfordshire, Scotland and Northern Ireland, at all points of the compass in the UK the versatile Honda CR-V can be found providing a valuable emergency service role.
It is no coincidence that the Wiltshire Police are also good Honda customers. The local force has for many years been using Honda cars and motorcycles both in liveried and covert applications. Models supplied include the Jazz, Civic (both petrol and diesel variety) Accord, CR-V, Stream and recently, even the Insight.
"We are particularly pleased to be selected as a supplier to Wiltshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust for this contract, given our close ties and commitment to the county," said Mark Jones, Honda’s Government and Emergency Services sales Co-ordinator. "The suitability of Honda products for emergency service use is now becoming widely recognised around the UK, and we are proud to include many Police, Ambulance and Fire Services – as well as Ministry of Defence departments – among our British customers," he added.
Divisional Officer Geoff Todd said: "This is the culmination of many months hard work and team work, especially by Honda UK, the group at Woodway Engineering and the Solo Response staff from Swindon Station."
He further added: "The Honda was chosen following trials at Swindon station by operational staff, who praised the inbuilt safety features, design and handling characteristics, offering the driver excellent all-round visibility from the raised driving position, and from a budget holder's perspective – excellent value for money. This together with the experience of other Ambulance Trusts and our colleagues at Wiltshire Constabulary, the decision to opt for the Honda CR-V was an easy one."
Mr Todd also added: "The equipment storage design allows for all of the medical equipment to be carried safely and securely, but ready to hand when required on arrival at an incident. It is anticipated that this vehicle type will be introduced to all of our Ambulance Stations over the coming months, providing a rapid response capability across the county."
NEW LAND ROVER FREELANDER MAASAI & MAASAI MARA LIMITED EDITIONS GO ON SALE
23 May 2003
The Maasai Mara, which costs £15,995, is available in the range of Freelander metallic colours and comes complete with air-conditioning and a CD player in addition to the Maasai specification. Commenting on the introduction of the new LEs, Land Rover UK managing director Phil Popham, said: "At just £14,995, the Maasai LE offers an excellent package and makes that first step into the Land Rover brand even more appealing. The Maasai Mara offers more refinement and very good value at £15,995 and the action starts this Sunday at Land Rover dealerships across the country."
These new additions broaden the already comprehensive Freelander range, and priced from £14,995 to £26,595, offer a very attractive and affordable introduction to premium off-road driving.
Discounts on French Greenlaning Holidys in France
Mudplug Ltd has been offered substantial discounts on Dover Calais ferry fares for a limited period up to July 14th. They are passing these discounts on to clients in the form of a £60.00 discount on all inclusive Greenlaning in Northern France tours, both weekend and midweek, completed before July 14th. There limited places available, so contact Mudplug Ltd quickly, either by Email or telephone 0033 327789254, fax 0033 327740763, or visit the website
MITSUBISHI - MITSUBISHI L200 PICK UP GETS POWER BOOST
20 May 2003
Customers buying any specification Pick Up from Mitsubishi’s award winning L200 range now have the option of putting a little bit more ‘under the bonnet’ with the introduction of a new Power Upgrade Pack. Increasing both engine power and torque, the power pack option is available now at Mitsubishi dealerships across the UK.
Priced at £595 (plus VAT and labour), the Power Upgrade Pack introduces an additional ECU (Electronic Control Unit) which ‘piggy backs’ the existing ECU on Mitsubishi’s Euro III 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine. The resulting engine management change produces an output increase from 115 bhp at 4,000 rpm to 138 bhp at 4,100 rpm. Maximum torque rises from 177 lbs. ft. at 2,000 rpm for the standard engine to 202 lbs. ft. at 3,100 rpm. As well as improving engine response, the upgrade also results in a smoother drive at lower speeds.
It is not only the L200 Pick Up that benefits from this power boost. As the Power Upgrade Pack can be fitted to Mitsubishi vehicles currently using the Euro III 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine (02 model year), buyers of the Shogun Sport can also take advantage of this dealer-fit option.
Lance Bradley Sales and Marketing Director for Mitsubishi states, "Although this upgrade will not appeal to all customers who are more than happy with the current performance of this very efficient engine, some customers who want to buy or who already own one of the industry’s best selling L200 Pick Up models or the Shogun Sport, will be attracted to having more power and torque available from their vehicle. It significantly boosts performance in all areas of operation".
This is the second boost this year for owners of 2003 model year Mitsubishi vehicles using the 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine. From January 1 the service intervals were increased from every 4,500 miles to every 9,000 miles so lowering running costs.
TOYOTA HILUX WINS COMMERCIAL FLEET WORLD’S ‘BEST PICKUP’ AWARD
14 May 2003
In presenting the award, Ross Durkin said, "Toyota’s current Hilux embodies the feedback from approaching 10 million such vehicles that have been built since its introduction in 1967, and served around the globe, so you would expect it to be tough and reliable. But the latest version is also amazingly refined and fuel efficient too."
Gibb Grace, Editor, Commercial Fleet World, added, "Those advances in refinement and fuel economy stem from an all-new 2.5-litre direct injection, common rail turbo diesel, the D-4D engine, which is rated at 88 and 102bhp, to suit 4x2 and 4x4 models respectively. Hilux now has an admirable combination of rugged durability and cost efficiency that appeals to both the private and commercial vehicle market sectors."
Recent Toyota Hilux corporate customers include the RNLI, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Scion Group – a facilities management company based at Heathrow and Fountains plc – a forestry and vegetation management company based in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Hilux performance for the first quarter 2003 was strong with sales to the end of April at over 1,200 units, on track to meet a target of over 8,000 Toyota commercial vehicles by the end of the year.
Peter Howarth Commercial Vehicle and Business Centre Manager added: "Winning the Best Pick Up award for Toyota Hilux tops off a productive first quarter and follows the successful launch of the Toyota Business Centre network. This specialist network is there to support all business customers which of course includes commercial vehicles."
Improve performance and reduce your fuel costs!
2 May 2003
It's suitable for a wide range of 4x4s and engine types (especially V8s) and will even work where previous modifications have taken place - like vehicles with a snorkel, large intercoolers or LPG conversions. It comes with a lifetime warranty, 30 day money back guarantee, is easy to fit and requires no special tools or engine modifications.
How it works
To place an order, to find out more or for an application list. Call 01442 879696 Or email
4x4web hope to be testing one of these in their 110 Tdi soon. We will tell you what we find.