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30 December 2003

The Dakar Rally starts on New Year's Day and will last for 18 days covering seven countries and almost 7000 miles. And Nissan has arguably the highest profile driver, World Rally Master and Brit, Colin McRae who'll be competing in the Dakar for the first time.

This will be Nissan's second appearance in the rally following its first time in 2003. For the 2004 entry, no fewer than 65 people will make up the Nissan Rally Raid Team which is based in Oxfordshire. This figure includes not just McRae but engineers, mechanics, logistics personnel, drivers of the assistance trucks, crews, press and PR staff and management.

Colin McRae is without doubt a legendary character in the world of rallying. He was World Rally Champion in 1995 and has finished second in the World Championship on three occasions. After an exceptional career, he has reached a turning point, and is venturing into rally-raids. McRae is supported by Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner who has done the Dakar before - luckily for Colin. He'll have driven before on everything from mud to ice but never before in the same event. During the Dakar, there'll be snow and sub-zero temperatures in Morocco's Atlas Mountains then 43 degree heat in the southern Sahara. And then there's sand. A lot of sand.

McRae isn't the only rally master that Nissan has hired for the Dakar. Four-times winner of the legendary Dakar event, Ari Vatanen will be behind the wheel of a Nissan Pickup for the second year in a row. Extremely motivated, as always, Ari cannot wait to get back to Africa, a continent of which he is incredibly fond. Having claimed four of the manufacturer's five stage wins in this year's Dakar, he would like to reach the record number of 50 stage wins during the 2004 event (he currently has 49 wins to his credit...). His compatriot Juha Repo will be in charge of the navigation. Juha recently took part in the UAE Desert Challenge in Dubaï, alongside Ari. It was his first time in the sand and the dunes, and quite visibly, he enjoyed the experience.

Along with its new team, Nissan has a new vehicle. The 2004 Pickup is based on the 2003 prototype which reached Sharm-el-Sheikh, the end point of its first Dakar, on 19 January earlier this year, in fifth place in the final overall classification. This new generation of the Pickup is, like its predecessor, driven by the competition version of the production VQ 3.5 litre, 6 cylinder engine producing more than 260PS. The most significant changes are to the bodywork. The 2004 model has been designed with improved aerodynamics, in order to achieve a higher top speed and better visibility. Moreover, the significant reduction in the front overhang, the improvement in the protection beneath the bodywork and a more generous clearance should allow the crew to better face the rocky routes and the dunes. The wheelbase has been shortened by 150 mm, the bodywork had been widened and the internal proportions have been enlarged for the comfort of the crew.

The six-speed sequential gearbox and the front and rear differentials remain the same, despite a slight improvement brought to the torque.

Four teams will be taking up the challenge of the Dakar in Nissan Pickups. To manage them, Gilles Martineau has recently joined the Nissan Rally Raid Team. With solid experience in motorsport, he will take on the role of Team Manager. After 12 years with Ford, where he was the Director of Motorsport Activities, Gilles Martineau is knowledgeable in both circuit competition and Rallying. He has no fewer than 10 seasons of Formula Ford to his credit, having taken control of all aspects of the category, both organisational and sporting. Manager and coordinator of the Rally Raid activities, he has extensive knowledge of both the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the Dakar.

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Chinese to take controlling stake in SsangYong

29 Dec 2003
CHOHUNG Bank, the main creditor to SsangYong Motors, has confirmed it has signed a preliminary deal with China 's state-run National Blue Star Group to sell a controlling 49 per cent stake in the Korean car maker. The deal, expected to be finalised by March, will not affect existing European distribution agreements, including that in the UK where SsangYong UK has a two-year rolling contract.

Before making its final offer in late January, Blue Star will undertake a three-week inspection of the SsangYong accounts and a final formal contract is expected to be signed by the end of March 2004. Liu Xianqiu, Blue Star's vice president, confirmed its plan to invest at least $1 billion to buy the controlling interest in SsangYong; this includes $700 million to expand the manufacturing capacity of the Korean company which produces sports utility vehicles, large saloons and MPVs.

In 2002 SsangYong built 161,000 vehicles with only 12,277 sold outside its domestic market. SsangYong was put up for sale following the collapse of its parent company, the Daewoo Group, in 1999 with debts of $80 billion. GM bought some of Daewoo's operations in 2002 but not SsangYong.

Tom Martin, sales and marketing director of SsangYong UK , recently confirmed to Interchange that European sales through independent distributors would remain in place whoever bought the manufacturer. SYUK has a two-year rolling contract like most distributors under the new EU Block exemption agreement, he said. SYUK expects to sell around 2,500 Rexton 4x4s in the UK and another 500 in Southern and Northern Ireland in 2004.

"Plans are in hand to extend the range with a large 4x4 MPV and possibly double cab pick-ups within the next year," said Martin.

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 19 December 2003
Land Rover's Bluewater-based Adventure Zone has won the Best Leisure Marketing Campaign of 2003 award at this year's Property Week awards.

The award comes in time for the introduction of Land Rover's flagship vehicle to the Adventure Zone, the Range Rover. For the first time, visitors to Bluewater can experience the thrills of Land Rover's Adventure Zone in a Range Rover this Christmas.

During a 45-minute demonstration ride, visitors will tackle a challenging course covering seven acres of Kent cliff-side and boasting four different themed zones. Each zone places obstacles of varying severity in the vehicles' path, including railway sleeper steps and a deep water-splash. Clambering over a steep mineworker's shack and descending a 12 metre long 42-degree slope demonstrates to visitors the vehicles' supreme ability in climbing and hill-descent technology.

Since its opening in June 2002, the Adventure Zone has given over 11,000 visitors an off-road experience they will never forget. The retail complex is also home to a Land Rover Gear store, where visitors can complement their driving experience with branded clothing, outdoor equipment and tailored off-roading adventure holidays.

Bill Welch, marketing programmes manager at Land Rover, said: "We are delighted with the award and look forward to welcoming more new visitors to the Adventure Zone in 2004. It is a great way to take an hour out of the Christmas shopping ordeal and gives visitors a chance to experience the adventure side of Land Rover, while also seeing our vehicles' unrivalled off road ability."

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Ssangyong on the comeback trail

16 Dec 2003

SSANGYONG UK hopes to complete its ‘comeback’ by the end of next year with sales close to 1,000 vehicles and a 70-strong dealer network.

The South Korean company originally made its mark with the big Musso off-roader and the Jeep-style Korando. Just a couple of years ago it was bought out by Daewoo and it was downhill from then on as its new owner hit the financial buffers. When General Motors bought many of Daewoo’s operations last year, Ssangyong wasn’t among them and it looked like curtains.

But, even under the ownership of South Korean banks, Ssangyong has struggled on and has even started to make a profit back home. Its 4x4 Rexton model has been back on sale in here since July through a new import operation. Headed up by some of the team which ran Daewoo Car Ltd in the UK, Ssangyong UK already has 36 dealers and has sold 130 cars to date. Sales and marketing director Tom Martin, who joined the team having once been in charge of Peugeot/Citroen’s British dealer network, believes that it could be selling 1,200 cars a year by 2005.

Back in Korea, a number of big car makers are looking at the books considering a bid for Ssangyong – Ford is understood to be among them, the attraction being an instant manufacturing presence in Asian markets. GM is also in the running along with a number of Chinese car makers.

Martin said that while it was still up for sale, Ssangyong is a profitable company. In 2002, total vehicle production was 161,000 units but with only 12,277 sold outside South Korea. From 1987 until 2002 over 916,000 vehicles were manufactured of which 151,766 were export sales. He added that there is no shortage of dealers interested in taking on the franchise including those with Subaru/Isuzu, Daihatsu, Skoda and Suzuki franchises.

The Rexton 5-door turbo diesel 5-seater and petrol 7-seater is the only Ssangyong model currently available. The last Mussos and Korandos were sold with Daewoo badges. Martin said SYUK would like those customers back but was unable to take on the 3-years’ free servicing deals with which the cars were sold.

Martin said that SYUK would bring a diesel-engined large seven seat 4x4 MPV with luggage space to match to the UK later in 2004. Annual sales would be between 500 to 700 units a year. He denied reports that it would import the Chairman, a Mercedes S-Class derived executive car but added that SYUK has taken delivery of two sample Double Cab sports utility pick-ups for evaluation and which could be launched next year if reactions were favourable.

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New Zealand selects Pinzgauer as ‘preferred choice’ for LOV role

12 Dec 2003
The New Zealand Government has endorsed the recommendation of the Ministry of Defence that Automotive Technik Limited, the British company which builds the Pinzgauer, is to be its preferred supplier for the Light Operational Vehicle (LOV) contract. The initial order, for approaching 200 soft-skin vehicles, would represent another major order for the company, which has already ramped up production at both its Guildford and Fareham plants to meet the UK MoD’s 400-vehicle 4x4 TUM (FFR) contract.

All the New Zealand vehicles would be based on the latest 6x6 version of the Pinzgauer, with automatic transmission. The requirement includes general service (canvas-top), command (hard-top), workshop, ambulance and weapons platform variants.

Commenting on the announcement, ATL Director David Findlay said, "Becoming the preferred supplier is an important step towards our winning the contract. It also represents another important milestone for ATL – as it further recognises the growing importance of the Pinzgauer within the international defence market.

"Military thinking about the future shape and capability of forces worldwide has already defined a vital and strategic role for rapid-reaction, light, highly mobile and air-portable forces, which can be deployed into theatre, complete with vehicles, equipment and logistics support, at very short notice. This is exactly the role and environment for which the Pinzgauer is almost uniquely suited. Our ability to adapt and develop the Pinzgauer for an increasingly wide range of operational roles is directly compatible with that military culture", he said.

The new LOV vehicles will replace a fleet of ageing Land Rovers.

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TORRACE, CA., 11 Dec 2003

Next-Generation SUT Concept sets direction for future Honda production truck model

– American Honda today released a sketch of the Honda SUT Concept vehicle, scheduled to make its worldwide debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 4, 2004. This new and innovative truck concept will provide the world with its first glimpse of the direction Honda will take with a future production sport-utility truck model.

The Honda SUT Concept is a next-generation truck concept designed to meet the changing tastes of consumers purchasing trucks to accommodate their active, outdoor-oriented lifestyles. Taking advantage of its unibody underpinnings, the Honda SUT Concept combines the utility of an open cargo bed with the interior space and functionality of an SUV and adds traditional Honda strengths including superior ergonomics, innovative packaging, fun-to-drive character and legendary durability, quality and reliability.

In keeping with Honda’s commitment to environmental and safety leadership, the Honda SUT Concept also sets a new standard for fuel efficiency, low emissions and safety performance in the light-duty truck segment.

Additional details of the concept and Honda’s future production plans will be provided at the vehicle’s unveiling next month in Detroit.

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Dingocroft Launch Online Shop

10 Dec 2003

"Dingocroft's Digital Dispensary is the name for the new on-line shop at Dingocroft. A range of books, tools, accessories, off-road equipment etc is on offer. Backed up by Dingocroft's long experience in Land Rover parts supply and their great wealth of product knowledge."

The ecommerce software has been supplied by 4x4web who also host the Dingocroft web site and supply their broadband connection. Visit Dingocroft

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9 Dec 2003

Sales of Nissan’s X-TRAIL are climbing faster than any other compact 4x4 and in a segment that’s growing quicker than any other, too. So to keep up the pace, Nissan has revised the X-TRAIL adding the most powerful diesel engine in its class, a new interior and even higher equipment levels. And it’s current X-TRAIL drivers that were the driver behind most of the changes.

All the new X-TRAILs are on sale now. Prices start from £16,995 for the new SE, a slight increase over the outgoing range that is more than compensated for by additional equipment of which the new T-Spec range topper, in particular, has loads. More, in fact, than any other compact 4x4, says Nissan.

The biggest improvement is to the diesel which leaps up to the top of its class with a power output of 136PS. That’s an increase of over 19% on what was there before. Torque or pulling power goes up by 16.3% yet fuel consumption stays at 39.2 mpg and CO2 emissions at 190 g/km. The new X-TRAIL dCi is naturally rather faster than the outgoing diesel with 2.2 seconds slashed off the 0-62 mph acceleration time bringing it down to 11.5 seconds. And there’s another 10 mph added to the top speed. Nissan has also taken the opportunity to improve the gearchange to make it cleaner shifting. Plus existing X-TRAIL-ers will notice a reduction in engine noise. There are changes, too, for those who prefer their car fuelled by petrol with availability of the 2.5-litre 165PS engine extended to Sport trim. In fact it’s now the only petrol engine available on the Sport, being rather sportier than the 2.0-litre it replaces.

It’s inside the X-TRAIL that Nissan has made the most changes, many in response to customer feedback. There’s a completely new dashboard with more ergonomically designed controls. Switches for the climate control are now grouped into three circular knobs shared with the 350Z and positioned higher on the centre console. Operation of the X-TRAIL’s innovative and electronic ALL-MODE 4x4 system is now by knob rather than button – apparently customers find turning a knob more satisfying… They also want more fresh air to the face so there’s a new air vent mounted above the steering column. And customers asked for longer front seat cushions so they’ve got those, too. Other requests that Nissan has fulfilled are for better quality materials, more storage space, more interior illumination and a higher opening tailgate. A demand for leopard print seat covers was ignored though.

In some instances, Nissan went even further to keep customers happy. Take the luggage net which they wanted fitted to their X-TRAIL. Well, it is now. And rather than just coming up with a net that keeps loose bags of shopping from going AWOL around the luggage area, Nissan created a net that can be clipped any way around the customer wants. It even turns itself into a dog guard. Without anybody asking, Nissan has changed the air conditioned can holders so that they are now vertically mounted by the windscreen pillars and added a chillable centre console box. It’s easily big enough for a packed lunch if not the dog.

One area where existing X-TRAIL-ers were quiet was exterior design. They like it and they like its good residual values. So why change things. All Nissan has done is make the car a little easier to park with a new front bumper design that shaves 55 mm off the overall length. This has also led to a new mesh grille and, as is the current trend, white side indicators and smoked effect rear lamps. The 16" alloy wheel design has also changed. But not so that you’d notice. It’s the same size as before and just as easy to clean. More obvious to existing X-TRAIL-ers are the three new colours that they can now choose from. But sorry Ms Robinson of Harrow, there’s still no pink.

The base model in the original X-TRAIL range, badged the S, has gone. Instead the range starts with a new SE derivative that gains side airbags as well as a CD player, an alarm, the cargo net, driver’s seat lumbar adjustment, and electronic climate control instead of a sunroof. It also gets new seat upholstery as well as all the other interior improvements detailed above. There are two engines offered, a 2.0-litre 140PS petrol carried over from the outgoing S priced at £16,995 and the new six-speed dCi for £18,395. Both versions come with Nissan’s innovative ALL-MODE 4x4 system which gives a choice of two-wheel drive, automatically selecting four-wheel drive and a ‘LOCK’ facility that fixes the torque going to front and rear axles. And all at the twist of a knob now rather than a push of a button.

But the new range doesn’t stop there. Nissan has added a T-Spec version fitted with every toy in its 4x4 cupboard. There’s Nissan’s ESP+ system which combines electronic stability programme and traction control, a load bearing roof system with integrated Safari Lamps, and a Europe-wide DVD with BirdView satellite navigation system. All this for £1700 more than the equivalent SVE with which the T-Spec shares its electrically adjustable and heated front seats with leather upholstery.

The most popular version of the X-TRAIL has always been the Sport. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue to be so especially now that it gets a new interior and the 2.5-litre 165PS engine with the option of automatic transmission as well as the new dCi 136PS diesel unit. The 2004 Sport has got more equipment, too, such as leather-rimmed steering wheel with audio controls, front fog lamps, active head restraints, fully colour coded exterior, that cargo net and a centre floor mounted box with lid. And that’s in addition to the enormous electric glass sunroof, 6CD autochanger, 16" alloys and roof spoiler it’s always had. Prices go from £18,995 for the 2.5 (auto adds £1000) to £19,795 for the dCi.

The SVE model now has black leather instead of the previous tan which out-doorsy customers thought not too clever. The front seats gain electric adjustment, eight-way for the driver and four-way for the passenger, in addition to their two level bum warmers. And the SVE also gets the multi-function cargo net and active front-seat head restraints like all other 2004 X-TRAILs. As with the Sport, 2.5 manual (£20,895) or auto (£21,895) and dCi versions (£21,695) are available – each are £1900 more than the Sport to which the SVE also adds electrically folding door mirrors. Very handy if you have on-street parking.

Obviously the X-TRAIL won’t have lost its four star NCAP safety rating. If anything, the car’s score should improve as all models gain active front seat head restraints and on the entry model, side airbags. Naturally anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist are standard across the range. And here is the range, all 11 models of it:

2004 X-TRAIL range

model transmission on the road price

2.0 SE 5-spd £16,995

2.5 Sport 5-spd £18,995

2.5 Sport 4-spd auto £19,995

2.5 SVE 5-spd £20,895

2.5 SVE 4-spd auto £21,895

2.5 T-Spec 5-spd £22,595

2.5 T-Spec 4-spd auto £23,595

2.2 dCi 136 SE 6-spd £18,395

2.2 dCi 136 Sport 6-spd £19,795

2.2 dCi 136 SVE 6-spd £21,695

2.2 dCi 136 T-Spec 6-spd £23,395

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4 Dec 2003

When the Land Rover Owners Adventure Club wanted to boost the performance of its lead vehicle for an expedition to the mountains and deserts of Morocco, Superchips provided the ideal solution. By reprogramming the electronic control unit (ECU) of the Defender 110 Td5, Superchips increased power output by an impressive 20 bhp, while mid-range torque received a lift of around 40 Nm.

"The incredible mid-range torque gives greater flexibility in the rev range and makes driving long distances less of a chore," said expedition leader Vince Cobley, who has 20 years’ experience in off-road expeditions and competitive events around the world and heads up one of Europe’s leading off-road schools, Pro-Trax.

"A Superchip is a must if you intend to travel long distances with full loads over mountainous terrain," Vince continued. "Not only will you be able to keep up with the V8’s; you’ll also have a break each time they stop to refuel. That’s because they’ll have to fill up three times compared to your once. All in all, it’s the best £500 you could spend on your 4x4."

Two Morocco ‘Adventure Safaris’ are scheduled for 2004, the first departing on April 3 and the second on October 9. Each trip will last for 17 days, including 10 in Morocco. The rest of the time will be taken up by return ferry crossings from Portsmouth to Bilbao and the drive from there to Algeciras, near Gibraltar, and back. Each convoy of up to 22 Land Rovers will drive for around 3,250 miles, including 1,700 in Morocco. One of the many highlights of the trip will be the dazzling dunes of Erg Chebbi, the highest Saharan sand dunes in Morocco.

"The rigours of this trip should not be underestimated," said Vince. "A great deal of preparation is required, and for anyone who is new to this kind of driving, Pro-Trax is offering a 20 per cent discount on its weekly 4x4 driving courses. Having led a number of Morocco Adventure Safaris, I know from experience that for many people it’s the trip of a lifetime."

Superchips originally converted Vince’s current Land Rover for similar expeditions to Morocco in April and October 2003. The company also converted his Td5 ‘Tomb Raider’ model, which led two Morocco trips in 2002 and was the lead vehicle in the 2001 Britain to Bosnia Rally, a semi-competitive event involving around 25 vehicles, which raised over £20,000 for the Mines Advisory Group and carried aid and supplies to Sarajevo. The same vehicle also led Pro-Trax weekend expeditions into the Welsh mountains.

"The improved power and torque has been invaluable on these very demanding journeys and it’s a great bonus for everyday driving. The difference is amazing and I’m having another Land Rover Superchipped, as well as my BMW X5," said Vince.

Land Rover is just one of many makes that are catered for by Superchips – virtually every make of car can benefit. By reprogramming the ECU, Superchips can increase power and torque by as much as 30 per cent, without compromising fuel economy. The job takes around 45 minutes and prices start at under £300 – far cheaper than trading in for a higher-powered car.

Over the past 27 years more than half a million vehicles, including 150,000 in the UK, have been ‘Superchipped’. All engine types are catered for, whether normally-aspirated (non-turbo) petrol, turbo petrol or turbo diesel. Buckingham-based Superchips provides conversions through an 85-strong nationwide network of fitting centres. The company also operates a fleet of mobile units, which carry out conversions at customers’ homes or places of work.

To find out if your car can benefit from a Superchips conversion, call 01280 816781

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 4 December 2003
Land Rover announces today that a new concept vehicle will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 5 January 2004.

Named the Range Stormer, this high-performance 4x4 makes its world debut at Detroit, and follows the reveal of a design rendering at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September this year.

Commenting on the new concept, Land Rover's managing director Matthew Taylor, said: "Range Stormer is a modern, striking, high-technology vehicle. It is very much conceived to be an on-road, high performance machine, as well as class-leading off-road like all Land Rovers. Breadth of ability is one of its many strengths."

Land Rover design director, Geoff Upex added: "It is possible to apply Land Rover design language to a vehicle of totally different proportions and still make it very obviously a Land Rover. This is what we've done here, and the result is a Land Rover like nothing that has been seen before."

Further information and photography will be available from 2 January 2004.

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 4 December 2003
Land Rover announces today that a new concept vehicle will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 5 January 2004.

Named the Range Stormer, this high-performance 4x4 makes its world debut at Detroit, and follows the reveal of a design rendering at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September this year.

Commenting on the new concept, Land Rover's managing director Matthew Taylor, said: "Range Stormer is a modern, striking, high-technology vehicle. It is very much conceived to be an on-road, high performance machine, as well as class-leading off-road like all Land Rovers. Breadth of ability is one of its many strengths."

Land Rover design director, Geoff Upex added: "It is possible to apply Land Rover design language to a vehicle of totally different proportions and still make it very obviously a Land Rover. This is what we've done here, and the result is a Land Rover like nothing that has been seen before."

Further information and photography will be available from 2 January 2004.

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 4 December 2003
Land Rover will complete the roll out of its Global Technical Reference (GTR) website this month, designed to provide users with instant, 24-hour access to detailed vehicle maintenance information.

The network launch has been staggered, beginning with a US specific technical database available to their Independent Motor Traders (IMTs) and the general public through the Internet. A service tailored to the equivalent users in the UK was available several months later. Land Rover employees and European IMTs gained access in September, while the worldwide dealer network can use the GTR site through an extranet from this month.

The GTR site offers users improved availability and access to all technical materials, from maintenance check sheets and body repair manuals, to vehicle inspection advice and service bulletins. This allows dealers and IMTs to respond quickly to service actions and new part updates, causing minimal inconvenience to the customer in the event of a repair. Previously such information was uploaded onto a CD and sent to users via post.

US and European legislation dictated the need to supply all emissions related technical information to the IMT and general public, but the GTR site has grown into a Land Rover solution for providing a wider resource of technical materials.

GTR is a subscription based system, providing information over a sliding cost scale depending on the period of subscription and the range of information selected. All charges made to the public and Independent Motor Traders, are in aligned with those made to Land Rover's own Authorised Repairers.

Land Rover Managing Director, Matthew Taylor, said: "Global Technical Reference contributes to Land Rover's commitment of improving customer satisfaction by connecting every dealer technician directly to the publications database. With 24/7 connectivity and direct database access, GTR will dramatically reduce publication lead times."

You can find the Global Technical Reference (GTR) website by using the following link: www.landrovertechinfo.com

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4 Dec 2003

Chrysler and Jeep® is now able to offer customers the chance to stand out from the crowd with the launch of a distinctive new range of styling accessories. Exclusive to the Chrysler and Jeep range, STARTECH® has been produced by the world-renowned BRABUS group. It includes high quality interior and exterior styling accessories, which add individuality to models with cool restraint.

STARTECH® offers a striking range of extras, from the tiniest interior detailing to a completely new-look exterior. Initially available for the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, the range features extras such as alloy wheels, chrome-plated finishing, stainless steel protection bars and a variety of interior trims.

Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler and Jeep in the UK, said: "The idea behind STARTECH was to take the distinctive design of Chrysler and Jeep cars and add a dash of extra individuality, without excessive flamboyance. The range combines eye-catching design with composed discipline, and brings even more to an already stylish product range."

"If anybody is interested in adding a dash of individuality to their Chrysler or Jeep, the STARTECH range is ideal. It brings eye-catching design while remaining stylish."

STARTECH accessories are available now for the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee from all Jeep dealerships.

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Pick-up leads sales success story, but VAT questionmark

3 Dec 2003
MITSUBISHI Motors will notch up a record-breaking 32,000 new vehicle sales this year - not bad for a car company that has not seen a new model for three years.

But help has come from a most unlikely source, the L200 pick-up, which has become the country’s number one ‘truck’ with 12,000 sales. "It has done really well for us," said sales and marketing chief Lance Bradley. "We identified a niche, got the pricing right and the L200 has really worked for us," he added.

The one black spot on the horizon is a plan by the government to close the tax advantage enjoyed by pick-ups as commercial vehicles. The Chancellor has looked at rising sales and there is a perception that, like the United States, people are buying them for pleasure rather than business. "We don’t think that is generally the case," added Bradley. "Most L200 buyers are small businessmen and although pick-ups may also be fun, you do not really want to be pounding up and down motorways in them. "They are trucks - and we even sent one along to the Treasury for them to take a look for themselves. We are confident that any tax penalty will be moderate."

Like the parent company in Japan, now under the wing of DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi in the UK has been through a lot of re-organisation in its business. Bradley said: "We have looked at all our models, persuaded Japan to bring pricing down to sensible figures and reviewed how we can work with the dealers to sell more cars more profitably."

Reinforcements are on the way starting with the Outlander crossover vehicle - an estate car/4x4 sports utility - which goes on sale January 1. Prices start at £16,000 rising to £18,749 with three levels of specification and just one engine, a 2.4-litre petrol. Outlander has not been engineered to take a diesel but a bi-fuel LPG model will be available later in the year priced at £1,000 more than the petrol vehicles.

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Mitsubishi angry over shortfall in environment fund

3 Dec 2003
MITSUBISHI has had to delay the launch of an LPG version of its new Outlander model because a special environmental fund set up by the Government has run out of money.

Gas-powered cars qualify for a rebate of up to 70 per cent of the cost of converting vehicles to run on LPG under the Department of Transport’s Powershift scheme.

When Mitsubishi importer, Colt Car Company, went to register the Outlander for the fund it was told that there would be no more funding available until the new financial year starting in April.

Lance Bradley, sales and marketing director for CCC, said: "I think it is disgusting. We have a vehicle all ready for launch and our dealers ready to sell it, but we have had to delay the introduction.

"The Government keeps on at the car industry about emissions, then this happens. The Outlander LPG model is intended to compensate for the fact that we do not have a diesel engine option for customers who are looking for lower running costs."

CCC planned to introduce the LPG Outlander, which can run on gas or petrol, at just £1,000 more than the standard petrol model, recouping the rest of the cost through the Powershift scheme.

The full cost of the conversion is more than £2,000.

The Department of Transport said it was having to review Powershift funding in an announcement two weeks ago, a move which mainly affects new LPG vehicles in the short term.

Toyota’s new petrol/electric hybrid Prius which, like Outlander is due for launch on January 2, is not affected by the shortfall in funding.

Spokesman Scott Brownlee said: "We have clarified the position and have been told that Powershift funds will be available to Prius buyers."

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1 Dec 2003

The latest collection from Land Rover Gear introduces many new items, while retaining some old favourites. Expanding from its original base of Land Rover themed clothing the range now also includes a special children’s section of clothing and toys, items of outdoors equipment, mementoes, authentic models of Land Rover vehicles and a selection keyed to the Land Rover G4 Challenge, recently seen on Channel 4 TV.

Bear Faced Adventure
Land Rover’s tough image evokes a yearning for the outdoors so it’s no surprise that the new teddy bears from Land Rover Gear come fully kitted out for their own furry adventures. The tough but cuddly Wilderness Bear stands 30 cm (11.8 in) tall and wears clothing based on full-size Land Rover garments with a ‘Making Tracks’ tee shirt, rugged trousers and a baseball cap. He carries a bright orange backpack and even has his own, high-visibility sleeping bag to snuggle into. Snow-white Ice Bear is off to the slopes with a comfortable Land Rover Gear jacket scaled down from the human version. It even comes complete with zip and draw cord. A back pack with Ice Bear’s own snow board completes the outfit. Safari Bear’s heading for warmer climes with his ‘outback’ hat, Land Rover tee-shirt and safari suit. He carries a replica of a Land Rover Gear bag to pack his kit in when he heads for the great outdoors.

Priced at just £22.00, the Land Rover Gear teddy bears are ideal for Christmas, although their realistic equipment makes them suitable only for children of three years and older. This new Land Rover teddy bear family will also be sought out by collectors.

Land Rover Driving in Miniature
With the new radio control Defenders from Land Rover Gear, you don’t have to own the real thing to experience the thrills of off-road driving. Authentically scaled from the full-size Defender 90 Station Wagon, the models are 37 cm (14.5 in) long and have accurate representations of the Defender alloy wheels complete with rugged, low profile tyres.

Protected by a tough nudge bar and propelled by a powerful electric motor, these robust models offer four-wheel drive just like the real thing and are capable of negotiating challenging terrain. High speed performance or off-road capability is assured by a two speed gearbox with gear selection controlled from the remote unit. Other radio-controlled functions include the steering as well as the opening and closing doors, two-tone horn and the lighting and indicators. A realistic engine sound adds to the Land Rover feel.

The radio control Defenders are available in two versions. The ‘Land Rover Driving Experience’ version features the silver paintwork of the vehicles used in Land Rover Driving Experience centres around the UK and is complete with authentic decals. The ‘Born Free’ version reflects the vehicles used by the Born Free Foundation which is supported by Land Rover. Distinctively finished in black with white paw print decals, this version even has ‘EL5A’ number plates to recognise the role of Elsa the lioness as the inspiration for the Born Free ideal.

Both versions are priced at £65.00, including the remote controller and a rechargeable battery for the vehicle. The battery takes 12 hours for its first charge which should be taken into consideration if buying for a Christmas present!

Taking up the Challenge
The Land Rover G4 Challenge took place in April 2003. Covering four time zones from the urban jungle of New York City to the real jungle of Africa, from the Australian outback to the canyons of Utah, the Challenge involved multi-national competitors using varied skills to win the ultimate prize of a Range Rover. The Land Rover G4 Challenge was tough and required tough kit. The Land Rover Gear collection now includes some of the equipment used on the Challenge.

Clothing includes a Base Layer shirt featuring moisture wicking Powder Dry® fabric from Polartec™ to ensure a dry layer is always next to the skin. Top it off with the Land Rover G4 Challenge Mountain Jacket which is mesh lined, breathable, windproof and waterproof. Other clothing items include a heavy-gauge cotton tee shirt and a hooded sweatshirt. Headgear items include two designs of cap – one in cotton twill, the other in mesh and a fleece hat. The Land Rover G4 Challenge Buff is a versatile tube of fabric that can be used as neckwear, a bandana or a hat.

Other equipment in the Land Rover G4 Challenge range includes a karabiner style quick release key holder and an insulated travel mug. Two 1/32nd scale diecast models of two of the participating vehicles – a Defender and a Discovery complete the picture with their authentic equipment fit. All the items in the Land Rover G4 Challenge collection feature the distinctive orange and black livery of the Challenge and carry its distinctive logo.

The models of the Land Rover G4 Challenge vehicles are priced at £8.00, the mug at £4.00 and the key holder at £5.00. The Buff, caps and hat are all priced at £12.00 with the Base Layer shirt at £39.00. The sweatshirt is priced at £49.00 with the Mountain Jacket at £199.00.

The Right Kit
Taking the outdoors seriously demands the right kit and the latest Land Rover Gear collection features a range of high quality equipment. Featured items include the TAC-Lite, a flashlight of mini light size but up to five times brighter than its rivals. Made of aerospace grade aluminium, it’s made to the law enforcement standards and is water resistant.

Two styles of wrap-around sunglasses will reduce glare and a Garmin hand-held GPS system with electronic compass and barometric altimeter will help you find your way. A matched pair of Leki trekking poles make tackling the wide open spaces that much easier.

The TAC-Lite is priced at £69.00 with the Garmin GPS at £225.00. The sunglasses are priced at £59.00 for both the Zermatt and Valais styles. The trekking poles are priced at £99.00 for the pair.

When the Going Gets Tough
Off-road driving enthusiasts won’t want to venture very far without the Land Rover Gear Survival Kit. Made by Gerber® and stowed in a sturdy pack, the kit includes a Multi-Lock™ tool (also available separately from Land Rover Gear), a tough folding shovel made from aluminium, glass-filled ABS and stainless steel, a sport saw, a Gerber® axe, and a full-size Mag-Lite®. A first-aid pack completes this vital pack. The Survival Kit costs £229.00.

Keeping Time
The latest Land Rover Gear collection includes a range of functional and stylish watches. The Diver’s Watch is made from stainless steel with a rubber strap and is waterproof to 200m. The watch has luminous dial and hands, protected by hardened mineral crystal glass.

The Himalaya Field Watch has a light weight, titanium case, black fabric strap and features large, easy to read, luminous numbers and hands. Its companion, the Adventurer Titanium Watch, is water resistant and has a tan, Italian leather strap. A clear, luminous face makes it easy to read and it has an alarm feature for those early starts.

Flagship of the Land Rover Gear watches is the Titanium Chronograph. With snooze alarm, date and stopwatch functions, this waterproof watch has a black, Italian leather strap and a scratch, anti-glare casing.

The Diver’s Watch and the Himalaya Field Watch both cost £99.00, with the Adventurer Titanium Watch being priced at £99.00. The Titanium Chronograph is priced at £159.00.

Land Rover Gear is available from Land Rover dealers around the UK and at dedicated Land Rover Gear stores at the Bluewater complex in Kent and at Xscape, Milton Keynes. A new store will be opening at Xscape, Castleford before Christmas.

The Bluewater complex also hosts the ‘Land Rover Adventure Zone’ where children and adults alike can experience the real thrills of off-road driving.

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Saab Announces Its First SUV: the Saab 9-7X

25 Nov 2003

Continuing the biggest product offensive in its history, Saab Automobile AB is today announcing its latest new model, and its first sport utility vehicle, the 2005 Saab 9-7X. Featuring standard all-wheel-drive and two engine choices, the 9-7X SUV will fill Saab’s need for an entry is this rapidly growing market segment.

The Saab 9-7X will make its world debut at the 2004 New York Auto Show in April 2004, and will go on sale about one year later. Initially, the 9-7X will be produced specifically for the United States and Canadian markets only.

"We are pleased to continue to expand our product line in the very important North American market," comments Peter Augustsson, President and CEO of Saab Automobile AB. "With the Saab

9-X and 9-3X concept vehicles, followed by the award-winning Saab 9-3 Sport Saloon and Convertible, the 9-3 Sport-Hatch concept and the dynamic new 9-2X, we are exceeding our commitment to introduce one new vehicle or concept each year for five years."

"The Saab 9-7X is the perfect addition to our model mix," Augustsson continues. "It allows us to join the growing North American mid-luxury SUV market, one of the fastest growing segments, with a dynamic, premium vehicle."

The new 9-7X will be built at GM’s Moraine Assembly plant in Ohio, beginning in the first quarter of 2005.

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4x4s boost UK car sales

21 Nov 2003

4x4s boost UK car sales

INDUSTRY figures obtained this week show that in the first ten months of this year sales of 4x4 SUV’s, ranging from the tiny Suzuki Jimny to the Toyota Amazon, have increased by 13 per cent to 136,688 registrations. In comparison in the same period, the UK’s overall new car market, which includes SUV sales, has risen overall by 0.3 per cent.

Although 4x4 vehicles have had a rough press recently for poor fuel economy and drivers accused of blocking up roads around schools and being aggressive, UK sales are at record levels so far this year.

Commenting on the growth, Al Clarke, head of communications at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said, "They are lifestyle vehicles that customers want to buy. Yes, they do get used in towns but equally they are used in the country by people for their work and for leisure.

"Owners do pay more taxes for that privilege. Why pick on 4x4s? You could equally pick on owners of large-engined sports cars. Manufacturers have done a lot of work developing fuel efficient and low emission engines for SUV vehicles and they do not have a bigger road footprint than a big estate car for instance".

The Land Rover Freelander leads the compact SUV sector with a 30 per cent share of the 66,584 total sales. These sales are four per cent up for the first 10 months of the year over the same period in 2002.

In the medium SUV sector, sales have increased by 40 per cent to 23,310 units. Leader of the pack is the Nissan X-Trail with a 34 per cent share of the sector.

In the large SUV market, sales are up 15 per cent to 46,794 registrations. Sector leader is the Land Rover Discovery with a 22 per cent share of the market.

In addition, sales of 4x4 pick ups, which are mainly passenger carrying double cabs, show a year on year increase of 36 per cent with 23,692 registrations. Market leader is the Mitsubishi L200 with a 45 per cent share of the market.

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19 Nov 2003



Abt Sportsline has opened the UK order book for its all-new Abt Touareg VS10, the world’s most powerful diesel 4x4 road car. Based on Volkswagen’s diesel-powered Touareg V10, the new car offers a significant uplift in power (373bhp compared to the standard Touareg V10’s 303bhp), a stylish new bodykit and a revised suspension system to deliver a more sporting drive.

Complementing the boost in horsepower is a major increase in torque – up from the standard V10’s 553 lb/ft (750Nm) to an awesome 634 lb/ft (860Nm) at just 2,000rpm. The extra power is supplemented by improved throttle response, giving the car a more sporting character and eager acceleration throughout the rev-range.

As one of the UK’s most powerful road cars, the all-new Abt Touareg out-punches many of its high-performance 4x4 rivals, including the BMW X5 4.6is (347bhp, 354 lb/ft), Mercedes ML55 AMG (347bhp, 376 lb/ft) and Porsche Cayenne S (340bhp, 310 lb/ft).

Improved handling

Abt’s newly developed air suspension system, Abt Level-Control (ALC), ensures that the Abt Touareg’s mighty performance is matched by enhanced on-road dynamics. In its standard setting, the Abt Touareg sits approximately 30mm lower than the production Touareg – offering an impressive balance of comfort and nimble handling.


When in ‘Sport’ mode, ride height drops a further 10mm and the shock absorbers are stiffened to further aid stability when cornering at speed. For that ultimate kerbside presence and to aid entry/egress, ALC allows the Abt Touareg to sit 60 millimetres lower than the standard Touareg before the engine is fired.

Looking the part

In creating the new off-roader, Abt Sportsline has placed considerable emphasis on developing a range of styling enhancements that give the car a subtle yet purposeful new look.

The standard Touareg’s key body panels are retained, but the Abt version gains a new front grille, deeper front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a discreet rear spoiler. To highlight the performance potential, the new Abt gains a four-pipe exhaust. A set of Abt 22-inch SP4 wheels completes the visual package, replacing the standard Touareg V10’s 18-inch rims.

The complete Abt Touareg VS10 costs £64,460 – this price includes all engine management changes, suspension modifications and styling upgrades listed above. Individual Abt Sportsline products for the Volkswagen Touareg start from just £340 (including fitting, paint and VAT) and can be purchased from local Volkswagen centres or from Abt Sportsline (tel: 01625 507350).

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Christmas present idea for the Landrover Fanatic

13 Nov 2003

Landy Wind Vanes are made form solid steel (not tube) and the sail is 2.5mm thick steel, size varies from vane to vane however as a general rule of thumb the sale is A4 size or larger, and the overall dimension is in the reign of 700mm. They come supplied with a mounting bracket all you require is a mounting surface and some screws.
Finishes can be self coloured (un painted), painted (Hammerite smooth) or galvanized.
Prices for a standard vane start from £40 and rise to £80 for your own design. Galvanizing is £8 extra and can be over painted if required. P&P to mainland UK is £10. Contact Richard at Mill Services for price and availability. (0)1948 710 747 Email

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13 Nov 2003

Hyundai will be strengthening its four wheel drive model range in 2004, with the introduction of a new sports-utility vehicle – the Tucson. Pronounced ‘Too-son’, the SUV will become the entry model to the Hyundai’s expanding four wheel drive range, supplementing the existing Santa Fe SUV and rugged Terracan off-roader.

Hyundai is confident that UK buyers will show as much interest in the Tucson as they have already with the Santa Fe and Terracan in a year where sales of Santa Fe are up 36.3 per cent over last year. The Tucson will rival the Toyota RAV-4, the Honda CR-V, Nissan X-TRAIL and the Land Rover Freelander. Hyundai Car UK expects it to go on sale next autumn, with a world debut in the first half of 2004.

Reliable and durable

Jim Campbell, Marketing Director commented: "Hyundai 4x4s are the only models available in the UK to offer a full five year, unlimited mileage, transferable warranty. It’s totally unique, and shows real confidence in the reliability and durability of the range we produce.

"We have shown we can produce formidable four wheel drive cars, which are not only tough, but easy to live with too."

Announcements on prices and specification can be expected in the New Year.

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12 Nov 2003

Mitsubishi Motors has announced that its all-new Outlander crossover model will go on sale across the UK from 1st January priced at £16,999 for the equipment-laden 2.4 Equippe model, £17,999 for the twin-sunroofed Sport and £18,749 for the leather-clad Sport SE. A dual fuel variant of each model will also be available from launch priced at £1,000 over the petrol model.

The first thing that strikes home about the new Outlander is its aggressive front-end styling. Ushering in Mitsubishi’s new corporate identity – a confident new grille with a broad vertical nose that houses a larger and more prominent Three-Diamond logo – the Outlander heralds a new era in Mitsubishi vehicle design.

Outlander’s basic design philosophy was to combine cabin space, driver engagement and robust styling. The result is a bold new vehicle with the lofty ground clearance and commanding driving position of an off-roader, the versatility and generous cabin space of an estate, with the driver-friendly dimensions and low centre of gravity of a saloon car. "Outlander’s crossover combination of athleticism, functionality and design make it the perfect ambassador for this new and exciting stage in our development," believes Jim Tyrrell, Managing Director, Mitsubishi Motors UK.

All petrol and dual fuel Outlander models, are powered by a new 2.4-litre four-cylinder MIVEC petrol engine, which develops a healthy 158bhp at 5750rpm and 158lb ft of torque at 4000rpm. The MIVEC engine (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve and lift timing Electronic Control system) switches between separate low and high cam profiles for improved torque at low and midrange speeds as well as higher output at high speeds. The result is bottom-end grunt when it’s needed, coupled with a top speed of 112 mph and 0-60 acceleration of 11.2 seconds. The MIVEC engine has been mated to Mitsubishi’s second-generation INVECS-II 4-speed automatic transmission with sports mode manual override.

In terms of driving dynamics, Outlander borrows much from the legendary Evolution VIII – it sits on a modified Evo VIII platform and utilises the car’s rally-derived permanent all-wheel-drive system. Developed from the Lancer Evolution system, Outlander’s mechanical permanent four-wheel-drive system features a centre differential with a viscous coupling unit that under normal conditions splits torque equally between the front and rear axles.

From urban commuting to long motorway journeys to twisty back roads, the Outlander aims to match its versatility with an involving driving experience in all conditions. Outlander rides on a MacPherson front strut and independent multi-link rear suspension set-up. It’s similar in principle to the layout used in the Evolution VIII, but modified and tuned for more compliancy and motorway friendliness - when tuning the suspensions, Mitsubishi’s engineers were aware that Outlander would be driven primarily on road.

All Outlander models come laden with equipment with the entry-level Equippe boasting ABS and EBD, driver and passenger front and side airbags, climate control, four speaker single slot stereo radio/CD sound system, central locking, alarm and keyless entry, electric front and rear windows with anti trap function, split folding rear seat, electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors, colour-coded rear spoiler with high mount stop lamp, 16inch five-spoke alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearlever and integrated roof rail. The Sport model then gains electric sunroof and fixed rear skylight with blinds, six speaker single slot CD sound system, colour-coded electrically adjustable wing mirrors, black wood-effect dash panel and integrated front fog lights. The range-topping Sport SE gets all of the above plus leather front and rear seats.

RANGE: Outlander 2.4 with INVECS-II automatic transmission with sports mode manual override

Outlander Eqippe


Dual Fuel



EQUIPMENT: ABS and EBD, driver and passenger front and side airbags, climate control, four speaker single slot stereo radio/CD sound system, central locking, alarm and keyless entry, silver dash panel, electric front and rear windows with anti trap function, split folding rear seat, electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors, colour-coded rear spoiler with high mount stop lamp, 16in five-spoke alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearlever and integrated roof rail

Outlander Sport


Dual Fuel



EQUIPMENT: As above plus electric sunroof and fixed rear skylight with blinds, six speaker single slot CD sound system, colour-coded electrically adjustable wing mirrors, black wood-effect dash panel and integrated front fog lights

Outlander Sport SE


Dual Fuel



EQUIPMENT: As above plus front and rear leather seats

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a hugely significant car for Mitsubishi Motors "As the first of fourteen new models over the next five years, it emphatically marks the start of a new era in our history." Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Europe


  • First new model to be launched across Europe since 2000, for a revitalised Mitsubishi Motors Europe
  • Launched in Europe May 2003. YTD October sales 7,287 with a full year target of 8,000. Current revised forecast of 10,000
  • Outlander was born out of the striking Active Sport Crossover ASX concept car, which made its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show in 2000
  • High levels of active safety equipment across all models include front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and intelligent full-time four-wheel drive.
  • Passive safety features include stiffened chassis with 13-point RISE impact absorbing design features, high-tensile steel side impacts bars, a collapsible steering column, high driving position and four ISOFIX-seat fixtures.

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3 Nov 2003
Gaydon, WarwickshireA new limited edition from Land Rover goes on sale from Saturday 8 November 2003 - the Range Rover Autobiography Edition.

Based on the Range Rover V8 Vogue, the Autobiography Edition comes with piano black interior wood trim, all black Jet leather interior, 20" alloy wheels and a Logic 7 sound system with 14 speakers and sub-woofer, especially tuned to match the Range Rover’s internal acoustic characteristics.

Available in either Java Black or Zambesi Silver, the Range Rover Autobiography Edition is priced from £65,995, rising to £69,995 for the Autobiography Edition DVD, which comes with twin eight-inch DVD screens mounted in the rear of the front seats, though when parked, an in-dash screen may also be activated, giving three-screen viewing.

One hundred and twenty five Autobiography Editions will be available at Land Rover dealerships nationwide from Saturday.

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25 Oct 2003

The canny folk north of the border have voted the Volvo XC90 the ‘Best SUV’ as well as the overall winner of the prestigious Scottish Car of the Year Awards 2003 held in St Andrews on Friday 24 October.

This is the second ‘Car of the Year’ award and one of numerous ‘Best SUV’ awards Volvo has won for the XC90 this year, which continue to highlight its excellent design, quality and desirability.

Graeme Giles, president of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers which judges the awards, said: "The Volvo XC90 was the clear winner both in the Sports Utility Vehicle category and of the overall Scottish Car of the Year Award. Considering this is Volvo’s first foray into the segment, XC90 is an outstanding achievement. It also represents excellent value for money - and that is always a key consideration with Scots car buyers!"

Accepting the award, Scotsman Hugh Reid, managing director Volvo Car UK Limited, said: "To win Scottish Car of the Year really is a very special honour and will mean a great deal to the teams who developed, launched and build the XC90. We are delighted with the success of the XC90, it's in huge demand and we are doing our best to secure additional supplies."

Awards for the XC90 include:

  • ‘Car of the Year’ and ‘Best 4x4 Off-Roader’ - Auto Express New Car Honours 2003
  • ‘Best 4x4’ - Top Gear Awards 2003
  • ‘Best 4x4’ - Fleet World Honours 2003
  • ‘Best 4x4’ - What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2003
  • ‘Truck of Texas’ - Texas Auto Writers Association, USA

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US 4x4 headed for Japan - and the UK?

22 Oct 2003

NISSAN’s Murano, a US-built SUV, could be heading for the UK. It’s been such a big hit on the other side of the Atlantic that Nissan has already decided to build it in right-hand drive form for the Japanese market where it made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show.

That means it could also be exported to the UK – as well as the rest of Europe – where it is thought it would sit nicely above the X-Trail.

Nissan expects X-Trail sales to top 10,000 in the UK next year, its third year on sale. The theory is that many X-Trail owners, many of whom have never owned a Nissan before, will be ready to trade up and the five-seater Murano could be just the answer.

The handicap is likely to be that there is no diesel engine for it, and as yet, no plan to provide one. Instead the Murano has a 245 hp 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine.

But it is winning fans for its on-road presence. A couple are already being used in Paris, home to Nissan Europe and alliance partner Renault where one senior executive is full of admiration for the Murano’s looks.

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20 Oct 2003

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VOLVO - THE 2005 XC90

20 Oct 2003

The award-winning1 Volvo XC90 remains extremely popular and desirable, with production of 2004 model year XC90s already sold out, and some owners offering new and used models for sale at a premium. As waiting lists now reach into next year, Volvo is releasing details for orders of the 2005 model year XC902.

Changes to specifications and prices are being kept to a minimum to ensure the XC90 remains extremely competitive. Details include a new 17in alloy wheel for ‘S’ models, water repellent glass for door mirrors which self cleanse for improved visibility, while SE models also gain electric folding door mirrors with ground lights (previously a £200 option).

New options available include water repellent glass for front side windows and a passenger airbag cut-off switch.

To reflect customers’ desires for high, luxury specifications3, the optional ‘Premium Pack’ is considerably enhanced with desirable goodies added, such as Bi-Xenon headlamps, heated seats, and premium sound system with Mini Disc player, Dolby Pro Logic surround sound, 12 speakers and a subwoofer. To reflect this, the new 2005 Premium Pack costs £2,400, against the 2004 price of £1,100. An integrated GSM telephone and satellite navigation system remain in the optional ‘Communications Pack’, which is reduced in price from £3,200 to £2,600.

Three new exterior colours are available: Cedar Green Pearl and Magic Blue Pearl, plus Titanium Grey which was previously only available on the Executive model.

Detailed changes to specification and options for 2005 XC90 Executive models will be available later this year. This top-of-the-range model already features unique 18in wheels, upgraded soft leather upholstery and detailing, a refrigerator, and Rear Seat Entertainment including a DVD player with two 6in widescreens for rear passengers to watch films or play electronic games.

XC90 - 2005 model prices £
on the road
D5 S manual

D5 S geartronic

T6 S geartronic




+ £965

+ £965

+ £965

+ 3.39 %

+ 3.25 %

+ 3.00 %

D5 SE manual

D5 SE geartronic

T6 SE geartronic




+ £1,315

+ £1,315

+ £1,315

+ 4.31 %

+ 4.14 %

+ 3.84 %

D5 Executive geartronic

T6 Executive geartronic



+ £1,315

+ £1,315

+ 3.10 %

+ 2.93 %

1. The Volvo XC90’s recent awards include the Auto Express ‘Best 4x4 Off-Roader’ in its annual New Car Honours.

2. The 2005 model year XC90s should be available from May 2004, depending on allocations available to individual Volvo retailers. Prices for 2004 model XC90s on order remain unchanged.

3. More than 95% of XC90 customers order the SE model.

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20 Oct 2003

Norfolk Motor Group (NMG) in Norwich, has become the first SsangYong dealership to open its doors to customers as a fully liveried dealer.

NMG has three dealers within the group in Norwich, and when SYUK Cars Ltd announced its intention to import the new Rexton 4x4 into the UK, was the first to apply for the franchise.

Dealer principal Grant Long said: "We are very enthusiastic about the new product on offer from SsangYong and feel we can be very successful with this new generation of 4x4. We were previously one of the largest selling SsangYong dealers in the UK and aim to return to this position in the very near future."

Added Peter Ellis, managing director of SYUK Cars Ltd: "There has been a great deal of interest from prospective dealers because the new Rexton is perceived as being such a good vehicle, and great value. We are very pleased to have NMG on board. Due to its high profile site, and nearby rural communities, we anticipate that the Rexton will sell extremely well in the area."

NMG was established in 1969, and the group is investing a substantial sum in becoming the flagship site for SYUK. It has 68 staff across its three locations.

SYUK Cars Ltd currently has 30 dealers, and aims to have 50-60 in place by the start of 2004.

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15 Oct 2003

  • Jeep® style and four-wheel drive capability in a concept that anticipates future technology
  • Entry-level vehicle fits active lifestyle from city to trailhead
  • Visionary design package with basic three-seat configuration
  • Concept vehicle debuts at 37th Tokyo Motor Show

Tokyo, Japan - Chrysler Group designers took a look into the future and created a concept vehicle that explores the limits of the Jeep® brand, combining innovative design and environmentally friendly advanced technology in an activity vehicle aimed at young consumers.

Premiering at the 37th Tokyo Motor Show, Jeep Treo offers a fresh new look at classic Jeep design themes, such as the seven-bar grille and prominent windshield presence. Inside, the Jeep Treo provides space for three passengers or ‘two-plus-gear’ in a cabin that creates an open feel in what is a truly compact vehicle. Underneath, Treo is based on an all-new platform designed to utilise drive-by-wire technology and a zero-emission fuel cell – or other advanced powerplant of the future – along with an electric drive powertrain that gives Treo full-time four-wheel drive capability.

Treo’s designers were challenged to look a decade or more into the future and extend the Jeep brand’s customer base. The result is an urban mobility vehicle that provides Jeep style and freedom in a clean, compact package – one that can adapt to youthful lifestyle demands, both in an urban environment and at the trailhead.

"The Treo is a vivid new interpretation of where the Jeep brand could go in the future using the freedom of fuel cell technology. It truly exemplifies the idea of ‘fluid imagination’ thinking in a stunning, unexpected package," said Trevor Creed, Chrysler Group’s Senior Vice President of Design.

"Jeep Treo has a form and a presence that challenge the brand’s traditional dimensions, but in the end, can still be viewed as being authentically Jeep."

A Bold New Jeep Signature

The Treo’s front end presents a bold new Jeep signature and provides fresh insights on the classic Jeep ‘face’. Treo then tapers front-to-back in a tear-drop shape, to end with two high-mounted spar wings that house rear lamps and serve as mounts for twin high-tech Jeep Rubicon mountain bikes – the perfect equipment for tomorrow’s active young consumers. The rear hatch with a large cutout notch provides easy access to rear storage.

Jeep ruggedness is signalled by the flared wheel arches that give the over-sized tyres plenty of play, tow hooks exposed on the front end, and the ‘precision tool’ look of the headlamps and mirrors. The military-style tyre tread, exposed front suspension and the hiking boot tread detail on the sill plate all enhance the vehicle’s adventurous image.

"The Treo’s look is rugged and purposeful – a truly imaginative evolution of the Jeep ‘face’ with packaging that belies its compact dimensions," said Creed. "It has a real presence in the flesh, one that grows more interesting every time you look at it – from every angle."

Flexible Interior and Propulsion Possibilities

Jeep Treo’s interior continues the simple, honest Jeep look. The steering wheel and column, pedals, speedometer and other instruments are housed in a single, sculptured module. The entire module slides through a slot in the dash for quick adaptation to right- or left-hand driving, extending Treo’s reach to world markets. The radio, global positioning satellite locator and climate controls with touch-screen operation are housed in a second, removable module.

Lightweight seats are made of translucent material over a strong carbon fibre frame. The rear seat folds flat for storage of additional gear. Another configuration allows for the front wheels from the Rubicon bikes to be removed and mounted in the rear of the interior, while still allowing a third passenger to ride along.

Despite the vehicle’s compactness, a feeling of openness is maintained in the interior by the large windshield, a ‘see-through’, seven-slotted Jeep front grille, and a glass roof that extends over the rear passenger space.

Jeep Treo is powered by two electric motors driving the front and rear wheels, giving the vehicle full-time four-wheel drive capability. For the future, Treo is designed to adapt to new technologies, such as drive-by-wire, fuel cells or other advanced powertrains.

"Treo’s visionary vehicle packaging with its basic three-seat configuration and built-in versatility lends itself to future Jeep activity seekers – at entry-level price positioning. It is rugged and functional in genuine Jeep fashion, but its adaptability is taken to the next level," Creed said.

Original Animation for a Unique Vehicle

Chrysler Group’s introduction of the Jeep Treo concept vehicle will feature an original animation sequence produced especially for the Tokyo Motor Show. The animation is influenced by the style known as ‘anime’, which is popular in Asia and other parts of the world. This adventurous, high tech animation is the perfect style for introducing the Jeep Treo concept.

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14 Oct 2003

The head-turning appeal of the ultimate 4x4, the Grand Cherokee, is further enhanced with the introduction of a limited edition, the Stealth.

Based on the popular Jeep® Grand Cherokee 2.7 CRD, the Stealth brings the all-terrain ruggedness of the luxury Jeep range to the city streets with style and panache. The Stealth gains striking Startech Monostar III alloy wheels and 255/55 R18 tyres, Brilliant Black metallic paint and privacy glass. The car is priced at £30,995 on the road.

Quieter, more powerful and more responsive than the turbo diesel engine it replaced last year, the 2.7-litre common rail diesel engine enables the Grand Cherokee Stealth to reach a top speed of 118mph and boast a fuel consumption of 29.1mpg on the combined cycle, making it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class.

Add to that the custom modifications which define the Stealth, and the result is a limited edition Grand Cherokee with a mouth watering £1,900 worth of extra features, priced at just £600 above the standard version.

Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler and Jeep in the UK said: "We’ve made the Grand Cherokee, our Jeep icon, even more desirable. The extra equipment only adds to its appeal and makes the Stealth an unbeatable proposition."

The Grand Cherokee Stealth comes with a full peace-of-mind warranty package and European roadside assistance cover for three year/60,000 miles plus a seven years’ unlimited mileage anti-corrosion guarantee.

Isuzu Launch Low Cost UK Dealer Recruitment Drive

13 Oct 2003

Isuzu importer International Motors, wants to expand its dealer network rapidly from 80 to 140.

The reason is the imminent launch of the all-new Isuzu Rodeo range of 3-litre, diesel, two and four-wheel drive, single and double-cab models. The range goes on sale from November.

Jon Nealon, UK marketing director for Subaru and Isuzu, revealed that although Isuzu will remain a one-model range in the UK, the interest expressed by current non-Subaru and Isuzu franchises to take on the Rodeo range had been significant.

"In addition to the existing 80 Isuzu dealers we have now, we have around 50 strong prospects including interest from Rover, Audi, Seat, VW and other dealers who currently do not have a pick-up range to sell. We have even been approached by two or three of the largest grey importers who want to take on sales of approved UK models," said Nealon.

"We have reduced the entry costs for dealers to take on the franchise. It costs under £10,000 now to set up opposed to the £20-£30,000 costs when the Trooper was available. We expect new dealers to have Isuzu exterior signage, a degree of separation within their existing showroom, one demonstration vehicle, another for display and their staff must undertake sales and technical training".

The growth in pick up sales in the UK, fuelled by demand for double-cab models, has reached an all-time high. In the first nine months of this year sector sales are 21,455 units, up from 15,750 in the same period last year. Isuzu expect to initially gain over 10 per cent of that market, around 3,500 units in their first year with the all-new range.

International Motors was happy to sell the Isuzu TF pick up range, which were re-badged Vauxhall Brava models, last year as a short-term move until the all-new Rodeo range came on stream, said Nealon.

This is the fifth generation of Isuzu pick-ups, which are also sold as Holden in Australia and Chevrolet in the USA. They are built in Thailand where they have already captured 43 per cent market share.

UK prices will be confirmed on October 20 but they are expected to begin at around £11,500 (excluding VAT).

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Used Car of the Year Awards 2004

9 Oct 2003
Extract from the results



Highly Commended

Best 4x4

Toyota Landcruiser Colorado

Mitsubishi Shogun, Jeep Grand Cherokee

Best Lifestyle 4x4

Land Rover Freelander

Toyota RAV-4, Honda CR-V

Published monthly by TRMG magazines Ltd, Used Car Buyer is the UK's only consumer magazine dedicated to buying and selling used cars.

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8 Oct 2003

Volkswagen is undertaking intensive preparations for the forthcoming Cross Country season as well as the world’s most famous marathon event, the Dakar Rally which takes place between 1 and 18 January next year.

Former Dakar winner, Jutta Kleinschmidt, and her co-pilot Fabrizia Pons will drive a Volkswagen Race Touareg, which is being prepared in line with the prototype regulations. This development project, managed by Volkswagen’s Motorsport Director, Kris Nissen, will be co-ordinated from now on by the new Cross Country Centre (CCC).

Volkswagen has successfully completed an important phase of preparation three months before the Dakar Rally. The preliminary dynamometer runs have been completed, component assemblies for the future prototype have been tested ‘on track’, and the initial test results are ready for analysis.

Nissen, a Dane who has been Motorsport Director since July 2003, emphasised the progress made and the importance of the project, saying: ‘Volkswagen has taken on a large and exciting task. Logistics and race preparation are made under one roof since the formation of the Cross Country Centre (CCC). A works team will be systematically built up for this purpose. We will rely on resources in Wolfsburg for the duration of the entire development. The marathon project enjoys highest priority within the Volkswagen sport programme.’

All configurations of chassis and body were defined and implemented structurally under the leadership of Technical Director, Eduard Weidl. With the optimum classification of the Touareg, according to the motorsport governing body’s FIA T2 regulations, in mind, Volkswagen opted for a 2.3-litre five-cylinder TDI engine to power the vehicle. Subject to a factor of 1.5 for turbo diesel power plants, the Touareg is categorised in the class with a minimum weight of 1750 kg.

‘All the important requirements for the project’s success are given with these control parameters,’ stressed Nissen. ‘After the prototype has been rolled out, the first test is scheduled for November. The Touareg will have its baptism of fire during the Dakar Rally in January 2004. We want to be gunning for victory there in 2005.’

Volkswagen will sign a second driver team to race alongside Kleinschmidt and Pons for the Dakar Rally.

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 6 Oct 2003
The significantly revised new 2004 Land Rover Freelander has maintained its entry-level price of £15,995. Revisions to the specification levels result in four standard models now being available together with two new derivatives, the Freelander Sport and Freelander Sport Premium.

Within the range, which comes with a choice of three engines – 1.8-litre petrol,
2.5-litre petrol V6 and 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel – the E represents the entry level, followed by the S, SE and HSE, with the Sport sitting at the same pricing level as the SE and the Sport Premium at the same level as the HSE.

All boast a fresh exterior look and comprehensively upgraded interior, with the top of the range models, the V6 5-door HSE and Sport Premium, priced at £26,595. All other model prices are detailed in the tables below.

3 Door

1.8-litre petrol

2.0-litre Td4 turbodiesel

2.5-litre petrol V6





















Sport Premium




5 Door

1.8-litre petrol

2.0-litre Td4 turbodiesel

2.5-litre petrol V6





















Sport Premium




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3 Oct 2003

  • New Renault Kangoo Trekka 4X4 on sale now
  • Only purpose built small car with permanent four-wheel-drive fitted as standard
  • Available with 95 bhp 1.6 16v and 85 bhp 1.9 dCi engines
  • Low 5E insurance group
  • Improved interior comfort and stowage solutions including aircraft style overhead lockers
  • From £11,800 on the road

Renault has launched a new version of its Kangoo Trekka 4X4, which is the only small car with permanent four-wheel-drive fitted as standard.

The Kangoo Trekka 4X4 embodies the perfect combination of a fun, versatile and affordable mode of transport for a whole host of diverse customers who want some degree of off-road ability. Already a ‘stand out’ design on today’s roads, the new Kangoo Trekka 4X4 benefits from the changes introduced to Kangoo two wheel drive earlier this year with a more modern exterior design boosting its Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) character, plus a new front grille. It also benefits from the improved travelling comfort features and has five full size seats and a large luggage compartment. Sticking to the spirit of its concept, the new Kangoo Trekka remains a fun, practical and versatile 4X4 which is also economical to run.

New Trekka Features

The new Kangoo Trekka takes on the lines of the front-drive Kangoo, including a plunging bonnet with a rib, redesigned wings and new front grille with horizontal slats. The smooth-surfaced headlamp housings enclose orange-coloured front indicators. Special headlamp units with a black surround also give the vehicle a more sporting appeal.

The bumpers are also new. The front bumper includes strengthened protective overriders and front foglamps surrounded by new grey metal trims. The SUV character of the Kangoo Trekka is emphasised by side mouldings, as well as by wheel arch mouldings and sill trims. All these protective features, as well as the bumpers, can be body-coloured.

In addition to the 10 colours already available, two new colours make an appearance: Nordic Green and Topaz Grey, which are exclusive to Trekka.

Inside, the seats have been improved to provide better sideways support and increased comfort thanks to more curved foam mouldings. New materials are used to trim the seat cushion and backrest, including the upper rear panel. The high-range version is trimmed with a special "Treck" material whose original design is based on road surface tyre-prints.

The half leather trim option provides an unequalled and high-value equipment level in this segment, and comprises special part leather/cloth upholstery, leather steering wheel, and leather gear lever knob and gaiter.

The Kangoo Trekka retains all the attributes of a functional and practical vehicle, with its five full-size seats, two sliding side doors, 110 litres of clever stowage space including overhead aviation compartments and big 550-litre luggage compartment, which with the rear seats folded, gives up to a massive 2,500 plenty of room for everything from bikes to lawnmowers!

Driving pleasure with permanent four-wheel-drive

Renault’s new Kangoo Trekka retains its permanent four-wheel-drive transmission with adaptive hydraulic coupling, giving users the flexibility to go off road, coping with a variety of terrains from dirt tracks to light cross-country travel.

The adaptive hydraulic coupling optimises the transfer of torque to the wheels with the greatest grip without any action on the driver’s part, according to three strategies which depend on the vehicle’s speed, thus giving control of fuel consumption. In addition, an Automatic Brake Distribution (ABD) start-from-rest system operates electronically on the front wheels and reduces any loss of traction.

The ground clearance of the fully laden Kangoo Trekka is 180mm, allowing a remarkable degree of off-road operation for a 4X4. In addition, a shield beneath the engine compartment ensures effective protection of the engine and transmission and fuel tank.

Kangoo Trekka engine sizes

The new Kangoo Trekka offers two engines – one petrol and one diesel. The 1598cc 1.6 16V petrol engine develops a power output of 95bhp at 5,000rpm and a maximum torque of 148Nm at 3,750rpm, 90% of which is available between 2,500 and 5,500rpm. The 1.9 dCi turbodiesel engine gains 5bhp, over the previous Trekka seeing its power increase to 85bhp at 4,000rpm with the aid of new injection mapping. Pick-up from low speed also contributes to ease of driving and the maximum torque of 180Nm, achieved from 2,000rpm, is an indication of its flexibility. A slightly revised fifth gear ratio increases Trekka’s maximum speed by 2.2mph to 91 mph.

Active or passive, safety remains a top priority

To promote complete peace of mind, the new Kangoo Trekka 4X4 is equipped as standard with ABS, complete with emergency brake assist (EBA). The scuttle area has also been optimised for better distribution of loads following an impact. Softer and more energy-absorbent padding within the doors provides more effective protection for the pelvis and abdomen in case of side impact.

Noise Reduction P>Internal acoustics have also been improved within the vehicle thanks to absorbent layers behind the dashboard and bulkhead, while thicker and heavier carpets reduce cabin noise. The engine mountings have been stiffened to reduce the transmission of noise and vibration into the cabin.

In addition, the 1.9 dCi engine in the Kangoo Trekka 4X4 is equipped with the new flexible flywheel which reduces engine noise and improves operating comfort. With the help of these new features, the Kangoo Trekka achieves an overall reduction in noise level of 3dB at 80mph.

Standard and optional features

The Renault Kangoo Trekka 4X4 shares the following core comfort, driving and versatility equipment as standard on the two-wheel-drive version:

  • Twin sliding side doors with opening window, tinted windows, power-assisted steering, three height adjustable rear headrests, 60:40 split/folding rear seat, map pocket on rear of passenger seat, rubber floor covering for boot, remote central locking, three-point rear seatbelts, driver’s airbag and front passenger airbag, insurance-approved engine immobiliser, R.A.I.D. (Renault Anti Intruder Device) and height-adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioners

The following standard equipment specific to the Trekka 4X4:

  • 15" Alloy wheels and ABS.

Options available on Kangoo Trekka 4X4 include:

Air conditioning and pollen filter, electric panoramic sunroof and fixed glass sunroof (not compatible with overhead parcel shelf), front lateral airbags, heat reflecting windscreen, insurance approved (Thatcham Category 1) alarm and baggage net.

On sale dates and prices

The Renault Kangoo Trekka 4X4 is on sale now. The petrol version is £11, 800 on-the-road and the diesel version is £12,800 on the road.

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3 Oct 2003

South West Water has taken delivery of its first batch of L200 Pick-ups, the water company for Devon and Cornwall choosing Mitsubishi’s acclaimed utility vehicle above all others currently on the market for its Water Treatment maintenance teams.

Andy Wertheim Fleet and Used Car Manager of Mitsubishi Motors UK said ‘ South West Water is a key customer for us as they operate within one of our core target markets. Their decision to purchase Mitsubishi’s is a strong endorsement of both our product and customer service excellence’.

After nearly a year of extensive field testing, South West Water was able to assess the capability of the L200 in full, the vehicle on trial being used to tend to a number of remote locations on Dartmoor.

With glowing reports of its ability being received from the staff, Damian James, Transport Controller from South West Water, had no hesitation in choosing Mitsubishi’s L200 range as the replacement for the company's current fleet:

"We looked carefully at the pick-ups on the market, trialed some of them and read articles in the press. This led us to buy our first Mitsubishi L200 and put it to the test. Not only has it surpassed our expectations in terms of suitability, it also meets our criteria for price and reliability."

Mr James pointed out a number of additional features which have led to the company's decision on which 4x4 pick-up to purchase: "A lot of our sites are situated on high ground and access can be difficult, especially in the Winter. In some remote areas our vehicles spend around 90% of their working life off road and we are confident that the L200 will cope admirably. In addition, our teams are impressed with the level of cab comfort and how good they are to drive."

South West Water is intending to keep their new fleet of L200s for around seven years. They are impressed that the vehicles are being offered with a 100,000 mile warranty, a move which endorses Mitsubishi’s confidence in its products.

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1 Oct 2003

More Choice - More Style - More Value

October 1st sees Mitsubishi announce its 2004 Shogun model range in the UK, the iconic on/off roader climbing to new heights in terms of specification, refinement and value for money.

Since its introduction 21 years ago, the Mitsubishi Shogun has become a benchmark for the 4x4 sector, the latest models continuing to set the standard to which others aspire.

The most important attribute of the 2004 Shogun is the inclusion of Mitsubishi's state-of-the-art MASTC (Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control) across all models in the range. This unique system delivers maximum control in all driving conditions, further endorsing the Shogun's supremacy both on and off the road.

A significant modification to the 2004 Shoguns will also be that of price. Not only has the level of equipment increased across the range, but a revised pricing structure ensures that customers will get more for their money, whatever model they choose.

Flagship of the Shogun fleet is the bold and well-equipped Warrior, its high specification and stunning looks confirming its position as a leader in the 4x4 market. For the 2004 model year, the price of the LWB Warrior remains static at £32,499, and now comes with a host of extras including MASTC, 10 CD Autochanger and 'Smartnav' all fitted as standard. Smartnav, by Trafficmaster, is an advanced navigation system that actually guides you around the jams using Trafficmaster’s unique live, incident, historic and predictive traffic data. It is extremely easy to use, and does not require any updating by the customer.

Alongside the highly fashionable Warrior, sits its equally well-appointed sister model the Shogun Elegance. Shogun Elegance LWB also remains at the 2003 price of £32,499 and gains as standard; MASTC, satellite navigation, 10 CD Autochanger, a wood centre panel plus a wood and leather wrap steering wheel.

Further down the range, the added appeal of MASTC comes as standard on all Shogun vehicles. In addition the Shogun Classic gains climate control and the Equippe has as CD/Stereo as part of the package. Both Classic and Equippe LWB models have been reduced in price by £750 and £1,000 respectively. Each offers customers the opportunity to experience legendary Shogun quality, performance, comfort and reliability, at prices that represent best-ever value for money.

The SWB Shogun Classic and Equippe models, both have MASTC as an added feature with the Classic gaining Climate Control and the SWB Equippe gaining a CD/Stereo. The SWB variations start at £22,199 going through to £27,449 for the SWB Warrior which already has leather interior, CD/Stereo, 18’’ Alloys, automatic transmission and heated power seats as standard with the added extra of the MASTC system.

The 2004 range comprises of 13 variations based on three-door short-wheel-base and five-door long-wheel-base body styles. There are five levels of specification which feature two engine types; the 3.2 DiD (Direct Injection Diesel) and 3.5 litre GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) V6 power plant. Mitsubishi's innovative INVECS-II learning 5-speed automatic transmission, with its manual shift option and switchable Sports Mode, is fitted as standard to the Elegance and Warrior editions and is offered as an option on both Equippe models and the LWB Classic.

2004 Mitsubishi Shogun Model Range & Prices

Model (All prices are OTR)


Added standard Spec for 2004 Model Year


Classic 3.2 DiD Manual


MASTC, Climate Control

Equippe 3.2 DiD Manual/Auto


MASTC, Stereo radio/CD

Warrior 3.2 Did/3.5 Gdi Auto




Classic 3.2 DiD Manual/Auto


MASTC, Climate Control

Equippe 3.2 DiD Manual/Auto


MASTC, Stereo radio/CD

Elegance 3.2 DiD/3.5 GDi Auto


MASTC, 10 CD Autochanger, Sat Nav, Wood centre panel, Wood-Leather wheel

Warrior 3.2 DiD/3.5 GDi Auto


MASTC, 10 CD Autochanger, Smartnav

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