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Qt Services Launches P38 Rockslider!
21 Mar 2004
Qt Services have now added to their comprehensive range of diff protection with the eagerly awaited launch of the new Rockslider for the Land Rover Defender 110/130 rear P38 axle for post 2002 model year.
Developed by Qt's, Dave Marsh, the new design offers unrivalled protection with the following innovative features:
This new guard is available from Qt Services and our international supply network priced at £50 plus VAT and carriage.
For further details on this and any of our product range contact Qt Services on 0044 (0)1503 240770 or Email
Alaska - Arizona (Women On the Move Against Cancer)
17 Mar 2004
In February O4 Sarah Turner departed the UK for Canada to meet up with her Toyota Land Cruiser, which would carry her to the frozen Arctic and back to the Arizona Desert, raising money for WOMAC (Women On the Move Against Cancer) along the way.
Sarah completed over 9,000 miles in just one month, travelled from 0 to 11,500 feet above sea level and met temperatures between -52C and +25C. Travelling alone the success depended up the reliability of the car and the attention to detail beforehand. Despite picking up some poor quality diesel along the route, which caused the Land Cruiser to run badly, all went to plan.
The route included the Dempster Highway, the only public road in North America to cross the Arctic Circle, 120 miles of ‘ice road’ to the Beaufort Sea, the Alaskan Highway and desert regions of Utah and Arizona. Following the Rockies from top to bottom the trip saw some extremes of weather which changed from desert to snow in just a few miles, and back again.
To give you a deeper insight, Sarah’s diary and photographs are available online at BBC web site
Sarah would be happy to provide words and/or pictures for publication on all or part of the trip, the vehicle preparation or equipment that made it all possible. A donation from the proceeds of which will go to WOMAC.
Contact Sarah direct: Tel 07974 818708
JEEP® LAUNCHES COMMERCIAL CHEROKEE
15 Mar 2004
Jeep® has launched a new commercial version of its Cherokee in the UK. The Jeep Cherokee Pioneer boasts more than 1954 litres of load space and a payload of 359 kg.
The Pioneer, based on the 2.5CRD Sport model, is available from just £17,503*. Multi-stage front airbags, headlamp levelling, air conditioning, ABS, electric front windows and a single CD player all come as standard.
The completely flat cargo area in the commercial version is created by replacing the rear seats with a full length galvanised metal floor that is finished with a hard wearing minimum slip carpet for load security. The rear quarter glass and rear door glass have also been removed and replaced with body colour aluminium panels.
For added safety and convenience, a removable floor to ceiling metal and mesh bulkhead is a £200 optional extra, and for easy access to the cargo area, the rear doors can still be opened.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler Group in the UK, said "The new Cherokee Pioneer is aimed at people who need a car with great off-road capability and the ability to carry a large load, whether in the cargo area or on a trailer.
"The Pioneer maintains a smart and professional image, while the sophisticated four-wheel ABS disc system featured on the Cherokee means it has great stopping power, and this in turn means it can safely tow a braked trailer weight of up to 2688 kg."
OFF-ROAD FIRST RESPONDERS CRACK IT WITH TOYOTA
15 Mar 2004
A volunteer Community First Responder team which provides emergency cover for walkers and other users of the remote Staffordshire moorlands is making good use of a new Toyota Land Cruiser LC2 – now that an intensive off-road course has allowed drivers to improvetheir ability to rescue people trapped in difficult access areas.
The volunteers who make up Wetton & Alstonefield Community First Responders recently won a Queen's Golden Jubilee Award for their work. Only the second self-funding team of its kind in the UK, its 25 members stand by round the clock ready to respond to any type of medical emergency.
In a month they can receive as many as 20 calls, so the volunteers need to be able to drive in rugged terrain inaccessible to regular ambulances, and often snowbound in winter.
Their previous vehicle was an elderly Jeep Cherokee and, because most of the responders were untrained in off-road driving, they often had to leave it on the nearest road and proceed on foot, losing valuable time and carrying capacity.
"We're delighted with the Land Cruiser," said the team's co-ordinator John Clarke. "It fulfils our requirements exactly and everybody likes driving it because it's so easy." The team had considered all the appropriate 4x4s on the market. "One of us already had a Colorado and had been impressed by it, and we all knew Toyota's reputation for reliability."
The 3.0 litre diesel automatic was bought outright with the help of one of the first grants for a vehicle to be agreed by the Countryside Agency, the government-funded body set up to improve the quality of rural life. The grant followed a partnership agreement from eight Staffordshire parish councils.
Stoke-on-Trent Centre Pinkstone Toyota supplied the Land Cruiser at cost, and the £25,000 grant, plus another £10,000 raised among the community, allowed the paramedics to have it fitted out to their own design, including satellite navigation, ‘blues & twos’, an extended spinal-board stretcher, and racking for a wide range of resuscitation and other medical equipment. "It's a professional vehicle!" said John Clarke.
Sponsor Pinkstones will service and maintain the Land Cruiser free for the next three years. And to cover the training issues, Toyota Fleet and Pinkstones set up a comprehensive two-day training course for the responders at local quarry Trentham Gardens. Twenty members of the response unit, as well as some Staffordshire Ambulance staff, received instruction from Toyota's 4x4 trainers Powertrain.
Two Toyota Land Cruisers, an Amazon, two Hilux’s and a RAV4 were made available for the event. The responders honed their skills driving the vehicles in conditions even more challenging than those on the moorlands, including a daunting 60ft vertical ‘death slide’.
"We were very impressed with the training course, which was well organised and highly successful," said John Clarke. "All the vehicles performed extremely well, everybody was able to do it and we all came away buzzing. The event also turned out to be a valuable team-building exercise."
"Everyone was so enthusiastic once they realised just what these vehicles could do, and what they themselves were capable of as drivers," said Pinkstone Toyota's Business Centre Manager Martyn Davies. "Before the course, four-wheel drive capability had meant getting their vehicle onto a grass verge! The team needed a real 4x4 and now they have one – and the individual ability to get the best out of it."
HONDA - CR-V IS PRACTICAL PARENTING TOP 4X4 CHOICE
11 Mar 2004
What’s the best 4x4 for young families? Look no further than the Honda CR-V which recently received a special Editor’s Award from Practical Parenting magazine.
In its March 2004 issue the publication looked at choosing a bigger car to suit the needs of a growing family, testing 12 of the best estate cars, 4x4s and MPVs. The CR-V 2.0 i-VTEC SE emerged as one of just two vehicles to gain the coveted 5 star Editor’s Award.
Honda’s latest 4x4 was given a gruelling workout by testers Laura Makin and partner Kingsley Ilett, mum and dad to Alexandra, 7 and twins Maisie and Phoebe, 15 months.
The family admired the CR-V’s substantial looks and user friendliness. They were impressed by the trio of 3-point rear seat belts and found it an easy vehicle in which to locate the child seats. But the feature which really won them over was the independently sliding and folding rear seats. They also noted that the boot easily accommodated a double buggy plus the family’s luggage.
Laura said: "It’s easy to drive and there are cupholders, a cool box and lots of compartments. We liked the car we tested so much, we’re hoping to buy one!"
The Practical Parenting Award is the latest of a series of endorsements for the Swindon-built second generation CR-V. Furthermore the Honda is the only 4x4 so far tested to achieve a Euro NCAP 4 star occupant safety rating with a 3 star rating for pedestrian safety.
Other recent awards gained by Honda include "Best Hot Hatch" for Civic Type-R in the What Car? Awards – and "Best Supermini" for the Jazz and "Best Diesel" for the Accord i-CTDi in the Top Gear Awards. Honda as a brand was also listed 16th in The Sunday Times "100 best companies to work for in the UK", the only car company represented.
CHRYSLER AND JEEP - JEEP® OFFERS UP TO £2,200 SAVING ON CHEROKEE10 Mar 2004
Motorists can now save up to £2,200 on a new Jeep® Cherokee from Chrysler and Jeep dealers in the UK.
Customers buying a Cherokee during March* are being offered a £1,000 discount on the entire Cherokee model range, plus a free leather interior worth an additional £1,200 on the Cherokee Limited model.
The Cherokee range, awarded a 4 star Euro NCAP rating in 2003, now starts at £16,995 on-the-road for the 2.4 Sport, and all models come with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty and three-year European Roadside Assistance.
The Cherokee range includes the 2.4 Sport and 3.7 V6 Limited petrol engines and 2.5 and 2.8 CRD Sport and 2.8 CRD Limited. Multi-stage front airbags, headlamp levelling, air conditioning, ABS, electric front windows and a single CD player all come as standard across the range.
* £1,000 discount is available on all Cherokees registered by 31 March. £1,000 discount plus free leather on Cherokee Limited only, registered by 31 March.
BMW - The new high performance BMW X5 4.8is
3 Mar 2004
Priced at £57,450.00 OTR, customer deliveries of BMW’s flagship X5 4.8is start in May 2004.
The X5 4.8is will add further lustre to BMW’s successful SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) story. The X5 commands some of the best residual values in the industry and achieved record UK sales of over 8,500 units in 2003. With its combination of V8 performance, practicality and road holding, the X5 4.8is is also expected to enhance the X5’s existing levels of customer satisfaction. In 2003, both Top Gear and WHICH? magazine published surveys showing that X5 customers were more likely to recommend their car to a friend than any other model on the market.
High performance in the marketplace is linked to high performance on and off the road, with the new X5 4.8is powered by a 4.8-litre V8 engine developing 360 bhp at 6,200 rpm and 500 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm. This engine is derived from the 2002 International Engine of the Year already fitted in the BMW X5 4.4i, BMW 545i SE, BMW 645Ci and BMW 745i models. Mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox as standard, the new car powers from 0 to 62 mph in 6.1 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 153 mph. BMW’s patented VALVETRONIC induction system and bi-VANOS camshaft timing technology ensure that fuel consumption is a relatively frugal 20.9mpg on the combined cycle.
Keeping power and traction perfectly balanced is the responsibility of BMW’s new xDrive four-wheel drive system. Standard across the BMW X5 and forthcoming X3 ranges, xDrive uses a centrally mounted electronically-controlled clutch to distribute power to the axle with most traction. In conjunction with this clutch, BMW’s standard DSC system can reduce power and even brake individual wheels to ensure the car benefits from all available grip. This sets new standards for traction from a 4 x 4 system and ensures that any loss of footing is dealt with in an instant, rather than waiting until the car becomes physically unstable.
Externally, enhanced sporting styling to the front and rear valances differentiates the new BMW X5 4.8is from the standard X5. The new car also features a unique V-spoke alloy wheel with 9.5J x 20-inch wheels on the front and 10J x 20-inch wheels on the rear, fitted with 275/40 R20 and 315/35 R20 tyres respectively.
Colour also sets the car apart, with the 4.8is the only model in the X5 range available in Le Mans Blue and Imola Red. Also available are Titanium Silver, Sterling Grey and Black Sapphire. Inside, Cream Beige Nappa leather and Nappa leather / Alcantara trim are only available on the BMW X5 4.8is with Black Nappa leather also offered.
Enhancements across the range
From March production, all BMW X5 models will receive significant enhancements to the standard and optional equipment. Brake Force Display becomes standard, alerting drivers behind to emergency braking by the BMW in front. This innovative braking system illuminates further brake lamp bulbs, intensifying the lights under heavy braking or when the ABS cuts in. BMW’s Tyre Pressure Warning System becomes standard on all models: it constantly monitors tyre pressures and alerts the driver to a sudden or progressive tyre deflation via the Check Control system.
Enhancements to the BMW X5’s optional equipment include the introduction of the new Panorama Sunroof. Replacing the standard sunroof and priced at £1,095.00, this large two-panel sunroof offers heat-reflective tilting glass panels, a large sliding front panel and independently sliding headlining panels.
Also new are Adaptive Headlamps, priced at £275.00. Launched on the BMW 3 Series Coupé and Convertible and more recently on the BMW 5 and 6 Series, Adaptive Headlamps use the car’s speed, steering and yaw angles to swivel the bi-xenon headlamps (standard on 4.4i and 4.8is; optional on 3.0i and 3.0d) by up to 15 degrees. This aims the headlamp beam in the direction the car is travelling rather than the direction the car is pointing.
Finally, for those venturing off the beaten track, the new BMW X5 can be specified with a digital compass for the interior mirror for an additional £60.00, which uses an LED display in the mirror to provide the direction of travel.
4x4 EXPERIENCE CONSTRUCTION GETS UNDERWAY
2 Mar 2004
Visitors to the show will experience genuine offroad conditions in vehicles from one of seven manufacturers with Honda, Kia and Volkswagen confirming participation alongside Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo.
Advance ticket prices are available on-line at the box office on 0870 730 2004 until 9 May. From this date, all tickets revert to on-the-door prices.
QASHQAI - NISSAN’S NEW TAKE ON THE CROSSOVER
2 Mar 2004
At a glance
Nissan believes the end could be in sight for conventional cars in the compact sector of the market. And if the market share of the traditional hatchback is indeed numbered, its place might well be taken by striking crossover vehicles designed to live a dual life… vehicles like the Nissan Qashqai.
"Qashqai is a bold new design that pioneers a new sector of the market. Aimed at a young pre-family buyer, Qashqai is a dual-role compact crossover concept: during the week it is a tough city dweller at home on the mean streets, but at the weekend it heads for the hills for freedom and adventure."
Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design Division, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
First from NDE
Qashqai is the first concept car to have been developed by Nissan’s recently-opened design studio in London, England. Nissan Design Europe (NDE) is one of the company’s design ‘think-tanks’ dedicated to developing future generations of advanced designs for European markets
Qashqai, unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show, is ample proof that Nissan’s multi-cultural design team is thinking ‘out-of-the-box’. Unlike anything on the roads today, Qashqai combines the sleek lines of a sporting hatchback with the attitude and authenticity of a serious 4x4.
Arch graphic roof
Qashqai’s four-wheel drive underpinnings are obvious from the ample ground clearance, tall body and huge wheels. The concept is 1570mm tall, 1860mm wide and 4310mm long. It sits on a wheelbase of 2650mm. Its four-wheel drive credentials include 237mm ground clearance and compact overhangs front and rear – 854mm and 806mm respectively.
The wheels – 20 inches in diameter – were made especially for Qashqai by Michelin and feature the French company’s unique PAX run-flat system.
Rear-hinged back doors
There is, however, another reason for adopting this unusual layout. Securely fastened to a central monorail – a solid aluminium chassis backbone designed to ensure the concept enjoys uncompromised structural rigidity despite the lack of B-pillars – are four individual seats.
Unique folding seats
Qashqai also has a conventional luggage compartment at the rear of the car but, again, there’s a novel opening arrangement for the rear hatch.
Other notable exterior features include the lights. The vertical rear lights run up and over to the tailgate to accentuate its tall stance, while at first glance there don’t appear to be any lights at the front at all.
At the front, the familiar three-section Nissan grille features a sporting mesh effect deep within the apertures.
The interior of the concept also underlines the dual role to be played by Qashqai. The asymmetric interior design envelops the driver to create a sporty environment, but the passenger side of the car is more open to give a feeling of freedom and space.
Car of the future?
LAND ROVER DISCOVERY DEFINITIVE EDITIONS
23 Feb 2004
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 24 February 2004 – Three distinctive new Discovery models named Pursuit, Landmark and ES Premium are now available, replacing the Discovery range with three new ‘Definitive’ editions.
The entry level Pursuit Td5 is available at £24,995 and £25,995 with five or seven seats respectively. Complete with standard features such as air-conditioning, a single slot CD player with remote steering wheel controls and 16" Style 3 alloy wheels, the Pursuit boasts an eye-catching exterior look and a comfortable and entertaining interior at an attractive price.
The seven-seat option also comes complete with self-levelling suspension to ensure all seven passengers enjoy a comfortable ride.
The Landmark Td5 is available only as a 7-seat option at £28,995, and boasts 18" Style 5 alloy wheels in addition to the specification included on the Pursuit. Internally, the CD player is upgraded to an 11-speaker premium hi-fi with CD auto-changer and rear controls. In addition, the Landmark includes park distance control, power-fold door mirrors, a heated front screen and passenger airbags.
At the top of the range is the ES Premium, which comes with the option of the Td5 or V8i engines with automatic transmission, both priced at £33,995.
Building on the same specification highlights as the Landmark, the ES Premium comes with satellite navigation, active cornering enhancement (ACE), 18" Style 6 alloy wheels and a Harman/Kardon hi-fi with CD auto-changer. In addition this model boasts heated front seats, auto dimming rear view mirror and three paint finish options of metallic, black and micatallic. Its exterior finishing is enriched with chrome inserts and stainless steel side runners.
Commenting on the Definitive editions, Land Rover UK managing director Phil Popham, stated: "The Discovery has never been so well equipped and available at such attractive prices. Dealers are also offering some very competitive finance packages across the UK so there really hasn't been a better time to buy Britain's best selling large 4x4."
The new Definitive Edition Discoverys are available now at Land Rover dealerships throughout the UK.
MADE TO MEASURE L200 CLUB CAB JOINS MITSUBISHI’S PICK UP RANGE
19 Feb 2004
P>Mitsubishi’s 4Work commercial vehicle brand currently offers commercial buyers the widest range of 4x4 commercial vehicles on the market. And it’s just got bigger with a new member of the family, the L200 Club Cab, joining the award-winning pick-up range.
Priced at £12,999 CVOTR the new L200 Club Cab GL slots neatly into Mitsubishi’s pick-up range and is designed to appeal to those customers who require a commercial vehicle with exceptional load space coupled with secure in-cab storage and the flexibility of rear bench seating. As an everyday work vehicle the Club Cab can tow up to 2700kg and swallow loads of up to 1110kg. Powered by Mitsubishi’s trusted 2.5litre turbo-diesel intercooled engine, the L200 Club Cab is a robust 4WD workhorse able to tackle the toughest terrain.
Standard specification on the L200 Club Cab includes central door locking, engine immobiliser, driver’s & passenger’s airbags and tinted windows plus the extra benefits of rear bench seats with fold up function and a rear ‘hidden’ compartment. The added safety of ABS is available as an option for £400 and metallic paint costs £200 (excl VAT). Customers can also choose from a range of specifically designed 4Work accessories including tow bars, rubber load liners, heavy duty mats, load area guards and waterproof seat covers.
In terms of power, L200 buyers have the option of Mitsubishi’s dealer-fit Power Upgrade Pack option. Priced at £595 (plus VAT and labour), it boosts power from the standard 115bhp at 4000rpm to 138bhp at 4100rpm, and torque from 177lb ft at 2000rpm for the standard engine to 202lb ft at 3100rpm.
Lance Bradley Sales and Marketing Director stated "From selling around 2,000 commercial units annually four years ago, we have grown the business to achieve just under 13,500 total 4x4 commercial vehicle sales in 2003. We dominate the pick-up market, taking 46% of the segment last year, and are increasing our foothold in the 4WD LCV market with the likes of Shogun, Shogun Pinin and Shogun Sport Commercial models."
Basic Model Outline:
Mitsubishi L200 Club Cab GL 2.5TD
Mitsubishi launched its 4Work commercial vehicle brand in September 2002 and now offers an extensive choice to customers including the compact Shogun Pinin, stylish Shogun Sport, flagship Shogun and top-selling L200 pick-up. Designed to allow every business user to tailor a vehicle to exactly meet their needs, the range combines load-bay flexibility, strong economy, robust build quality, peerless reliability and wallet-friendly prices.
A competitive budget-oriented pricing strategy means that on-the-road prices range from £10,999 (CVOTR) for the Shogun Pinin 1.8 MPI Classic 3-Door, through to £26,425 (CVOTR) for the flagship Shogun 3.2 Equippe Auto, which means there’s a 4Work model to match any budget.
All Mitsubishi’s commercial vehicles are covered by a 3 year / 100,000 mile warranty, 6 year anti-corrosion perforation warranty and, for total peace of mind, 3 year pan-European breakdown and home accident assistance.
EXPEDITION-QUALITY ROOF RACK LAUNCHED FOR THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER
11 Feb 2004
Owners of the go-anywhere Land Rover Defender 110 can now extend their vehicle’s load-carrying capability with a discreet yet highly robust tubular roof rack developed by Safety Devices. Replicating the Safety Devices design that became standard fit for the Defenders used in Land Rover’s recent G4 Challenge series, the ‘New Expedition’ roof rack combines high strength with low-profile good looks, serving the needs of casual off-roaders and hardened expedition users alike.
The New Expedition rack is split-level to closely follow the contours of the Defender’s roofline while maximising available stowage space. Each rack is constructed from tubular steel, coated in a zinc-enriched primer to resist corrosion and then finished in rugged, satin black powder coat. Fitting is quick and easy, simply requiring the rack’s clamps and stainless steel fixings to be tightened to the vehicle’s gutter rail.
The New Expedition has been designed to facilitate the addition of a number of practical accessories. Each rack incorporates five built-in lamp mounts (four forward facing, one rear) and brackets for attaching an optional Safety Devices exterior ladder. The company can supply a 9mm plywood floor featuring a non-slip weatherproof coating and holes to assist drainage and the lashing down of luggage or equipment. To aid aerodynamics and reduce wind noise, each rack can also be supplied with a small bib spoiler that fits between the rack and the front of the vehicle’s roof.
Safety Devices boasts a long history of providing roof racks, roll cages and other vehicle safety equipment for Land Rover expedition use, supplying many of the Camel Trophy and Trek series events, as well as last year’s G4 series.
All roof racks produced by Safety Devices are manufactured using computer-controlled cutting and bending equipment to ensure accurate fitment, with welding carried out to the exacting standards of The Welding Institute (TWI).
The Safety Devices New Expedition roof rack costs £676 (inc. VAT). Costs for optional extras are as follows: flooring £441; bill spoiler £88; rear ladder £159.
Further information is available from Safety Devices on 01353 724200
HYUNDAI EXPANDS SUCCESSFUL RANGE OF 4x4s WITH NEW TUCSON
4 Feb 2004
Hyundai’s all new sports utility vehicle, the Tucson, was today unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, marking the company’s expansion of its successful range of 4x4 vehicles, all three with its pioneering 5 year warranty.
The Tucson (pronounced Tooson) marks the entry level to Hyundai’s 4x4 range and complements the existing Santa Fe and Terracan. The Tucson will compete against the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Land Rover Freelander and Nissan X-TRAIL.
As well as conquest sales from other four-wheel drive cars, Hyundai expects to attract customers who perhaps have not previously considered a 4x4. The added attraction is that the Tucson is a five door-only vehicle, competing against three-door opposition.
Torque on demand 4x4 system
The Tucson has a monocoque construction, and sits on a highly modified version of the current Coupe platform. There will be three engine options, including petrol and diesel, and two and four-wheel drive choices. Hyundai expects the diesel version of Tucson to be particularly popular in a segment where more drivers are switching to diesel. Customers will be able to choose between a five-speed manual transmission or four speed H-matic semi-automatic.
The Tucson uses a ‘torque-on-demand’ 4x4 system. The car runs in front-wheel drive until it detects loss of traction, then the 4x4 cuts in. It will then revert to two-wheel drive when adequate traction is detected. Additionally, at speeds up to 30kph, the driver can select permanent 4x4 for extra control when required at the touch of a button.
The Tucson will go on sale in the UK in the autumn, with prices starting at around £15,000.
No details of specification are available at this time.
Hyundai’s pioneering five year, unlimited mileage, fully transferable warranty will come as standard on the Tucson when it is launched in the UK later this year.
6x6 ARMOURED PINZGAUER BREAKS COVER
29 Jan 2004
The first Pinzgauer 6x6 armoured variant has been unveiled. The project, a joint venture between British Pinzgauer manufacturer, Automotive Technik and specialist armoured vehicle builder, MacNeillie’s of Walsall, fills an important gap in the current Pinzgauer range.
A number of military procurement organisations have already indicated strong interest in the vehicle and a demonstrator is close to completion. ATL and MacNeillie’s also expect the version to be attractive for specialist civilian and emergency services applications.
The basic rolling chassis is common with the latest soft-skin Pinzgauer 6x6 variants, already in service. Current users include all three British Armed Forces. The new armoured variant has been designed to meet NATO and international standards of protection, whilst retaining the Pinzgauer’s legendary agility, speed and performance, particularly off-road.
The MacNeillie monocoque bodyshell has been built to the European CEN standard, Class B6 for ballistic protection. This includes resistance to 7.62 x 51mm NATO ball round at 10 metres. This puts the unit’s armour well within the protection required for the AK47 and AKM Kalashnikov Assault Rifles.
The underside is protected by floor armour, with a material extensively used for protection against bomb blast and fragmentation. This level of protection is designed to withstand two NATO L2A2 hand grenades detonating simultaneously only 150mm below the floor pan. These grenades would normally carry a lethality radius of 5 metres.
In support of Automotive Technik’s development of the armoured variant, the Group’s venture capital partner, Close Venture Management, has completed a further injection of £1.2 million, bringing its total investment in the firm to date to £2.7 million.
Automotive Technik Director, David Findlay says, "We hope that the new variant will be a strong contender to fulfil the increasing demand for light armoured, high performance, rapid intervention vehicles and personnel carriers. The vehicle has performed exceptionally well both in engineering and ballistics tests and trials.
ISUZU - UP TO £3,700 OFF LAST OF ISUZU TF PICKUPS
29 Jan 2004
Savings of up to £3,700 are on offer for the last of the Isuzu TF Pickup range which has just been replaced by the all-new Rodeo.
It means, for example, that farmers, tradesmen and the construction industry can replace their fleets for a fraction of the budgeted cost.
Only four-wheel drive versions of the well-proved TF remain in either Single Cab or four-door Crew Cab body styles. Both are powered by a tough and frugal 2.5 litre intercooled Diesel Turbo engine which can haul a 2,000 kg braked trailer.
The Isuzu TF 4x4 Crew Cab can now be put on-the-road for £11,295 (excluding VAT) – a saving of £3,700 – while the 4x4 Single Cab comes down by £3,200 to £10,295 OTR.
In addition, the TF Pickup has a 1,000 kg-plus payload allowing registered business to reclaim the V.A.T.
As a further incentive, the TF has an unusually-long 12,000 mile service interval. This is supported by a three year/60,000 mile ‘bumper-to-bumper’ mechanical warranty, six-year anti-perforation warranty and three years’ worth of ‘at home’, roadside and European repair and recovery.
Smart 4x4 - The smart utility vehicle, scheduled for 2006, will be called smart formore
19 Jan 2004
The name of the fourth smart model range has been decided:
The smart utility vehicle (suv), scheduled for the year 2006, will bear the name smart formore. This fourth smart model range will also mark the company’s entrance into the US market. With the introduction of the new model, suited to all road and driving conditions, smart will be represented in the world’s largest automotive market for the first time. The four-wheel drive smart formore will also be launched in the company’s other core markets at the same time.
From the beginning of 2006 the smart formore will be built in the DaimlerChrysler plant in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. The plant has a capacity of 60,000 cars per annum. In a full sales year, smart plans to sell half of these in the USA and half in their other core markets.
"With the smart formore we will be applying the typical smart characteristics of innovation, functionality and joie de vivre to the SUV sector. The new smart model will be a distinctive vehicle, unique in the market – so unique that we translate ‘suv’ as smart utility vehicle," explained Andreas Renschler, President of smart gmbh. "The smart formore will provide a driving experience loaded with adrenaline – off road as well as on, expressive design and a high utility value. It is the ideal model to launch the smart brand in the US market."
With the name smart formore, smart is following the naming logic which it began with the four-seater forfour. The basic principle of this logic is to give names which have a direct connection to the uses of the vehicle concerned. Therefore from 2006 the smart formore will be added to the range of new smart model names: the smart fortwo coupé, smart fortwo cabrio and smart forfour. The smart roadster and smart roadster-coupé are to retain their original, well-known names, since these already describe what all smart models have to offer - sheer driving pleasure.
This is not a Land Rover, it's a Santana available now in the UK
16 Jan 2004
LAND ROVER BASED BOWLER WILDCATS OUTPERFORM DAKAR RALLY SUPERSTARS
14 Jan 2004
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 14 January 2004 – At the close of stage 12 of the 2004 Dakar Rally, five of the eight Land Rover based Bowler Wildcat vehicles remain in the running, proving that these vehicles are based on one of the best 4x4s by far – the Land Rover Defender.
Leading the charge in what is rapidly becoming one of the toughest competitions in the Rally's history is Belgian driver Jackie Loomans, who protected his 14th place throughout stage 12 (out of 144 starters and 71 remaining), putting the Wildcat delegation several places ahead of many of the factory works teams from Japan and Germany.
Commenting on his progress up the field, Loomans said: "We don't look to the others, we don't look at the standings – we just do our own thing. We have only suffered a puncture so far, and if our luck continues in this way for the remaining five stages this can be an excellent Dakar for us."
Stage 12 also saw the Belgian awarded the 'Total Fair Play' trophy, for donating his spare tyre to a fellow competitor who was only two places behind the Wildcat at the time.
The Bowler Wildcat is a purpose built race vehicle designed to compete in top level off-road racing events using standard-build Land Rover components from the Defender and Discovery models. It is designed and built by a small Derbyshire company, Bowler Off-Road, which is supported by Land Rover.
DETROIT - Volvo’s XC90 off-road sports utility car has been so popular in Europe and the United States that the Swedish car company can’t make enough of them.
Original plans to build 50,000 XC90s a year have been scrapped with production reaching 60,000 in the vehicle’s first year – and that’s still not enough.
The success of the model has been the engine for increased Volvo sales worldwide which reached 415,000 in 2003, up two per cent on the previous year. The biggest increase was in the United States where sales rose 22 per cent to 135,000.
Brit Gerry Keaney, who heads up Volvo’s global sales, said at the Detroit Motor Show that the Swedish company plans to increase sales to 600,000 a year round the world by 2008.
"We hope to build on the success of the XC90 with the introduction of the V50 and the updated S40 this year. In two years we will also be introducing our replacement for the C70 convertible," he added.
Matthew Taylor, NAIAS, PAG Press Conference
Begins with Matthew Taylor walking out to L320 concept on stage
How can I match a dramatic entrance like that? Click here for enlargement of image
What a vehicle! Not a bad effort for our first true concept car - I hope you'll agree.
This is the vehicle, some of you will remember, that we previewed at the Frankfurt Show last September. Just one drawing flashed up on a screen - and yet one or two of you were kind enough to make it, rather incongruously, the star of the show.
At the time we promised that the actual vehicle would follow soon after. Well, we try hard at Land Rover to keep our promises and ladies and gentlemen, here it is making its world debut in Detroit.
The Range Stormer will not go on sale. But it hints strongly at a new full-size Land Rover - our first sports tourer SUV. While not as extreme as the concept, the production vehicle will be the fastest, best handling, and most spirited vehicle we have ever made. And thanks to our heritage with the Range Rover, one of the world's best-regarded premium SUVs, I think you'll agree that we are well qualified to do this.
This is also the beginning of the next phase of Land Rover's evolution under Ford's ownership. The first phase immediately following the acquisition was marked by the successful launch of Range Rover and developing a more distinctive family look for our products. But now our plans really begin to gather pace.
The next phase, which starts here today, is all about new product. It is a period that will be marked by all-new vehicles, new technologies, and even us entering a new segment.
Our goal is to make premium vehicles with the greatest breadth of capability in the world. Land Rovers are vehicles that are at home in the most sophisticated quarters of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world; vehicles that are quiet and comfortable and fuss-free on freeways or country roads; vehicles that can do the job of premium cars on normal roads - yet with the added virtues of a panoramic - command - seating position, great spaciousness, and enhanced primary safety due to the extra security of an advanced 4x4 drivetrain.
Our new vehicles will be true to our roots but continue to use Range Rover as an inspiration. They will be the best off-roaders in their class. But they will also be great on-road. Enhanced on-road sophistication, handling and performance will be the hallmarks of the new breed of Land Rovers, as epitomised by the superb Range Stormer you see before you.
It also gives you an impression of how we can make Land Rover more relevant to more people but without losing the core characteristics of what a Land Rover should be.
The world's most capable vehicles, with the greatest breadth of all-round ability. Class-leading off-road. Excellent on-road. An impossible combination? Of course not. The Range Rover shows the way. So will the production model inspired by the Range Stormer.
But let's just take a couple of minutes to look at the Range Stormer concept in more detail...
It is powered by a supercharged PAG sourced V8 engine, specially adapted to the needs of Land Rover. That means it has greater low-end torque, improved water-, mud- and dust-proofing, to allow it to wade through rivers and cross continents, even when there are no roads. Power is fed to all four wheels, through full-time 4x4, by a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
It bristles with technical innovation - just as upcoming production Land Rovers will. A major new world-first technology, shown on this car, is Land Rover's patented Terrain Response. This is an advanced, electronic control that improves the vehicle's go-anywhere ability, and makes life simpler for the driver.
At Land Rover we believe that high-tech should always aid, and never baffle, the user.
Terrain Response on Range Stormer is controlled by a simple rotary switch that offers the driver a choice of six settings. Simply choose the terrain you're on - eg ruts, normal on-road or dynamic on-road - and the car's many traction features are optimised for those conditions. This includes suspension settings and ride height, hill descent control, locking diffs, engine management, even gearbox settings. One simple switch and your vehicle is primed for optimal on- or off-road performance.
I can tell you now that this is a feature you will see on future production Land Rovers, and is another example of pioneering Land Rover technology aimed at making it easier and safer to go anywhere.
The Range Stormer also previews a brand new Land Rover platform, developed by and dedicated to Land Rover. It is incredibly strong, adaptable, and offers superb ride and handling.
And is relevant to other future full-size production models.
The design of Range Stormer also offers a glimpse of the future. It carries typical Land Rover and Range Rover styling cues - that clamshell bonnet, castellated corners, a floating roof, design language that is part of our rich heritage and will naturally continue. Yet the new language is unmistakably more assertive and sportier. Geoff Upex, Land Rover's design director, is on hand to answer any questions you might have on the aesthetics.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm a lucky guy. To be managing director of this outstanding company at the start of this enormously busy but exciting time is an honour. I have to say that I'm really looking forward to showing you the first of our new production models in a few months time.
New vehicles, new technology, a new architecture, a broader focus that boosts all-round vehicle performance and yet in no way compromises our off-road excellence.
Thanks for your time and your attention this morning. Now let's have a better look at the video...
See also 3rd Jan article below....
5 Jan 2004
Since buying the Tomcat side of Drew Bowlers 4x4's Tomcat Motorsport have just produced the 100th Tomcat. Since the company was formed they have moved to larger premises and introduced 2 new models to the range. The 93 inch inch wheelbase model was aimed at the fast growing Challenge market and has soon proved sucessful. The 106 rear engined model is for the sreious off roader while still sporting the Land Rover looks.
Steve Wells quoted this week as saying 'the future looks good, we are booked up for 6 weeks in advanced and the challenge vehicles are in big demand as Chris Ould keeps winning events without the use of his winch.
The comp safari motors are winning everywhere and 25% of all entries have been Tomcats and in both disciplines - success breeds success.
In July 2003 Tomcat bought there own GRP body shop and now produce there entire bodywork themselves. As well as the Tomcat panels Lightning GRP, as the new company is known, produces many other quality panels, lights pods etc. for other companies. Pictured is the winning challege Tomcat 93 driven by Chris Ould.
Honda SUT Concept Debuts at 2004 North American International Auto Show
Honda to produce a production version in 2005
DETROIT, Jan. 4, 2004 – The Honda SUT Concept made its world debut this week at the 2004 North American International Auto Show as American Honda announced plans for the launch of an all-new sport-utility truck slated for introduction in calendar year 2005. The all-new model will be based on Honda’s Global Light Truck Platform and will be produced by Honda Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario,
The Honda SUT Concept is a next-generation truck concept that takes a clean slate approach to the light-duty truck segment. Taking advantage of its unibody underpinnings, the Honda SUT Concept integrates a roomy and practical SUV-style interior and a large, useable cargo bed with superior packaging efficiency, ride comfort and handling dynamics and adds in traditional Honda strengths including refined styling, superior ergonomics, innovative design and world-class build quality.
"The pickup market is evolving to meet the changing tastes of a new generation of truck buyers," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Honda SUT Concept takes this evolution to the next level with higher levels of refinement and sophistication in a sporty and socially responsible package with Honda durability, quality and reliability."
A Next Generation Truck with a Unibody Chassis
Envisioned as a next generation truck, the SUT Concept’s reinforced unibody chassis design allows for new inroads into the light truck market where truck utility is combined with innovative packaging, sporty handling and advanced safety technology.
The SUT Concept features a refined and spacious cabin with seating for five adults and a five-foot long cargo bed with an extra-deep box and significantly reduced intrusion of the real wheel arches for maximized cargo hauling capabilities.
Built around the image of a "cool dad" customer with an active family and hobby life, the Honda SUT Concept represents a fusion of the target customer’s family life stage and active lifestyle – where everyday work life and family responsibilities are combined with weekend sports, hobbies and family activity in one highly practical, rugged and functional vehicle.
The Honda SUT is also designed as the ultimate vehicle for bringing together Honda’s diverse line of products including motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), personal watercraft, marine engines and power equipment. "Honda finally has a vehicle that can haul all of the cool Honda toys," said Elliott. "The Honda SUT Concept can accommodate motorcycles, ATVs and personal watercraft better than any Honda vehicle in our history."
Billet Machined Aluminum Design Theme
From the overall stance to the smallest interior and exterior details, the SUT Concept’s next-generation styling conveys a look of strength and agility with a modern, technical appearance. The styling theme was "billet machined aluminum" capturing the idea of a vehicle that has been machined from a single block of metal. The design also takes advantage of unibody design to deliver a fully integrated cab and chassis, lending the SUT Concept a fresh new, twenty-first century appearance.
"People will recognize this as a new kind of truck," said David Marek, chief designer for the SUT Concept. "We wanted to express the unique character of Honda in truck that we take all trucks into the next generation, stylistically.
Design details include a roof with a four-paneled skylight; a cargo bed with integrated lights and speakers; seats featuring a roll bar appearance; storage bins made with climbing rope; and front door liners with integrated Mag-Liteâ flashlights.
High Performance Next-Generation Powertrain
Combining fun-to-drive performance with environmental responsibility, the concept vehicle is powered by a high performance, high torque all-aluminum DOHC VTEC V-6 engine couple with an advanced electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system for outstanding all-weather performance, medium-duty towing and off-road capabilities, along with Ultra-Low Emissions and class-leading fuel economy. With its wide track, rack-and-pinion steering and sophisticated four-wheel fully independent suspension, the SUT Concept delivers a new level of ride comfort and handling sharpness in the light truck segment.
In addition to offering a high level of handling stability, the SUT Concept also offers a full array of advanced safety technology. In keeping with Honda’s "Safety for Everyone" concept, the Honda SUT Concept integrates safety features such as side curtain airbags with rollover sensors, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), front-side airbags with the Occupant Position Detection System, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and pedestrian safety features. With it unibody design, the SUT Concept provides a high level of occupant protection along with reduced aggressivity toward other vehicles in a frontal collision.
Features and Specifications
LAND ROVER UNVEILS FIRST EVER CONCEPT SHOW CAR AT DETROIT AUTO SHOW
3 Jan 2004
Detroit, Mich., USA, 5 January 2004 – Land Rover makes history today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, by unveiling its first ever concept show car, the Range Stormer.
The Range Stormer is a high performance, sports tourer SUV concept car, which showcases a future design direction for Land Rover. It also previews a new production model that will enter a fresh market segment for the company and will be an additional model line in the Land Rover portfolio.
Commenting on the new concept, Land Rover's managing director Matthew Taylor, said: "The supercharged V8 Range Stormer gives a taste of our forthcoming new entrant in the booming high performance SUV segment. The production vehicle that follows will share many of its styling and technical innovations. It is very much conceived to be an on-road, performance machine, as well as class-leading off-road like all Land Rovers."
Geoff Upex, design director at Land Rover, added: "The challenge was to translate fundamental Land Rover design values into a concept for a high performance machine that looks powerful, muscular and edgy. We certainly want to challenge established views of our vehicles, but the Range Stormer is still clearly an authentic Land Rover."
Future technologies previewed with the concept include an all-new platform that will be the basis for future full-size Land Rover models. This advanced, integrated platform, unique to Land Rover, will provide the underpinnings for the production vehicle inspired by the Range Stormer.
Another major innovation showcased is Terrain Response. This smart and simple-to-use new Land Rover technology delivers the best possible on- and off-road composure and control by optimising the entire vehicle set-up, including suspension, powertrain, throttle response and traction control.
The driver simply selects the appropriate Terrain Response setting from the six available and the vehicle does the rest, using technology that offers a choice of settings from 'dynamic' for high speed work to 'deep ruts' for extreme off-roading.
Matthew Taylor concluded: "You'll be seeing an increasing amount of innovative technology in future Land Rovers. But technology that makes the driver's task simpler not more complicated, such as Terrain Response."
The Range Stormer was completed with the support of suppliers Alps (electronic systems), Hella (interior and exterior lights), Alcoa (22" forged alloy wheels) and Goodyear (custom made tyres).
Further information on the Range Stormer is available at www.rangestormer.com
"Work-out" time for your trailer or special.
2 Jan 2004
If your answer is yes we have found the event for YOU !
The 80 acre Farley Quarry Site near Much Wenlock in Shropshire is now open on the second Saturday of each month especially for triallers and 4x4 specials which are well prepared but not road legal.
There are challenges a plenty from the "wall of death" through the "axle twisters", "mud runs", several water sections and of course the infamous "lake" which has claimed many serious waders during the past year.
Military vehicles are also welcome at the SATURDAY OFF ROAD DAYS. The benefits include concrete roadway access, hard standing for parking and unloading, ladies and gents toilets and a hot food van. Site is easily found on the A4169 north of Much Wenlock, less than 10 minutes from the M54 junction 6.
The next Saturday Off Road Day at Farley Quarry in Shopshire is on Saturday February 7th 2004, admission cost is £35 per 4x4 pay on the day and the events are organised by 4x4 Funday Ltd. Telephone contact Richard Walsh 01686 413151. See our web site or Email