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27 Dec 2004
The Range Rover for 2006 is the most refined, most luxurious and most powerful Range Rover ever. Two new petrol engines – including a powerful supercharged 4.2-litre – are complemented by fresh exterior design details, a quieter interior and a profusion of new technology.
"The Range Rover has always been the world's most complete luxury SUV," says Land Rover's managing director Matthew Taylor. "With this new, even more refined flagship for the company, we believe that the best luxury SUV in the world is now even better."
The latest Range Rover joins the recently announced, dynamic Range Rover Sport, which has extended the Land Rover line-up to five models for the first time.
"The two Range Rover models complement each other perfectly," says Matthew Taylor. "The Range Rover for 2006 is our luxury SUV. The Range Rover Sport is our performance SUV, a driver-focussed sports tourer. Two different models will enable us to compete even more successfully in the market and take the Range Rover name to even greater success."
Supreme breadth of capability
The Range Rover for 2006 gains two powerful, Jaguar-derived petrol engines, which offer more performance and are predicted to have better fuel economy than the single outgoing V8 petrol. Now heading the line-up is a supercharged 291 kW (400 bhp SAE) 4.2-litre engine, with maximum torque of 560 Nm (420 lb ft SAE). It offers over 35 percent more power than the outgoing V8, over 25 percent more torque – which contributes to more refined driving – and is projected to be around 1.5 seconds faster from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph).
The new, naturally aspirated 225 kW (305 bhp SAE) 4.4-litre V8 is also quicker and more powerful than the outgoing V8. The 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time is projected to be around half-a-second faster and maximum power is increased by 15 kW (20 bhp).
Both engines are lightweight and use advanced torque-based engine management systems that, together with drive-by-wire throttle control and variable camshaft phasing (on the naturally aspirated), continually adjust the engine to deliver optimum performance, fuel economy and emissions.
For the Range Rover, the Jaguar-sourced engines have been further developed to offer more torque at lower revs and to operate at more extreme angles to cope with tough off-roading. They have enhanced protection from dust and rocks, and are also better water-proofed for Land Rover's tough river-wading requirements.
The new engines are matched to the latest-generation ZF six-speed automatic electronically controlled transmission, which offers outstanding smoothness and response. It uses a centre differential (now electronically controlled) that improves both off-road prowess and on-road handling. Low-range is also available for extreme off-roading.
Steering feel is enhanced and the air suspension with adjustable ride-height is improved, for even better on- and off-road performance and comfort.
In addition, the supercharged version gets performance Brembo front brakes for better stopping power, and revised suspension that delivers flatter handling, for superior high-speed on-road performance.
"Supreme breadth of capability is a hallmark of the Range Rover," says Matthew Taylor. "It is outstanding both on- and off-road, and inspires a sense of well-being no matter what the conditions. The new Range Rover for 2006 offers even better performance, both in handling and straight-line speed. It is effortless irrespective of terrain.>
"The arrival of the supercharged model with its extra power reinforces the Range Rover's status at the head of the premium SUV sector. Yet, as always, the Range Rover is a vehicle that is never out of place. It is just as much at home in the outback as at the opera."
Fresh design details for iconic exterior
The Range Rover retains its iconic shape, but there are subtle yet distinct changes. All Range Rovers for 2006 get a new front bumper design, new headlamps and tail-lights, a new front grille and revised power vents. New 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels are also available. The supercharged derivative gets distinctive, additional styling modifications, which include mesh-design front grille and power vents, and unique 20-inch alloy wheels.
"The current Range Rover, launched in 2002, is a design classic that has been fantastically well received," says Land Rover's director of design Geoff Upex. "It carried over the original Range Rover design cues – the clamshell bonnet, the floating roof [created by the black roof pillars], the split tailgate, and the bold upright front with its simple grille and interplay between the vertical and horizontal lines. It clearly owes its lineage to the original Range Rover, launched in 1970, yet is also modern and fresh.
"The technological improvements for the 2006 model year gave us a chance to make the best SUV in the world look even better. For the naturally-aspirated model, we have made only subtle enhancements, to give the design an even more integrated look and feel. No major changes were necessary, or desired," says Upex.
The original Range Rover also created a whole new class of vehicle – the luxury SUV. It combined style, prestige, saloon car handling, and the spaciousness of an estate, with the ruggedness and versatility of a Land Rover. Those qualities have continued through all three generations of Range Rover, up to the present day.
Despite increased competition, the Range Rover is still regarded by many as the world's ultimate luxury SUV. "For the supercharged model, we wanted clearly to signal to the connoisseur car market that there is now a new flagship Range Rover. That's why this model has even more stature and grace. It is very much part of the Range Rover family: it's a vehicle of presence rather than extravagance. But it is also clearly the ultimate version of the ultimate SUV."
The much-acclaimed Range Rover interior design does not change. The supercharged model, however, does offer two new trim colour combinations, jet/jet (all black) and ivory/jet. Black lacquer wood is also now available, and all supercharged vehicles get special sports-designed stainless steel accelerator and brake pedals.
More refinement & more technology
The Range Rover for 2006 is not only faster, it is also quieter. The new engines offer better NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) qualities than their predecessor, and are also better isolated from the interior. Cabin noise is significantly reduced. The front side glass is now laminated to cut out more external sound and the profile of the A-post has been modified to reduce wind noise. The result is the quietest Range Rover ever.
It is also the best equipped. Additional customer features available include a rear camera for easier reverse parking, a tyre pressure monitoring system and adaptive front headlamps that swivel when cornering, to improve illumination. A rear seat entertainment system is now available, with two headrest-mounted 6.5-inch screens, a six-disc DVD auto-changer, infra-red remote control, wireless headphones and sockets for auxiliary media sources (such as an MP3 player or games console).P>
These improvements are in addition to other luxury appointments (optional in some markets). These include a DVD satellite navigation that provides both on- and off-road guidance, a Logic 7 harman/kardon audio system boasting 14 speakers and 710 watts of power, and a personal integrated telephone system. This latest in-car phone is Bluetooth-enabled and can be voice, touch-screen or steering wheel operated. Cradle-mounted phone handsets also allow for SMS text messaging (via an on-screen keyboard). A new, easy-to-use touch-screen is standard on all derivatives. It has clear resolution, for easy visibility in all light, and provides an interface for audio, navigation, on-board computer, telephone, and 4x4 information and settings.
The popular six-cylinder turbodiesel powertrain (not available in some markets, including North America) continues unchanged, though with the refreshed exterior design details and additional features for 2006.
"The Range Rover has been a huge commercial success for Land Rover with most markets enjoying record sales when the current version was introduced in 2002," says Matthew Taylor. "The improvements for 2006 are the biggest changes we have made to the Range Rover since then, and they reinforce its position as the most complete and most coveted luxury SUV in the world."
Sales of the latest Range Rover models commence in spring 2005, depending on market.
DIAmond Advanced Motorists News Release
Driving in icy and snowy weather three top tips
It is traditional at this time of year for motoring organisations to offer advice on driving in icy and snowy weather. From putting Vaseline on your battery terminals to driving slowly in a high gear, from using credit cards as windscreen scrapers to carrying a spade in the boot it¹s all good advice.
But it's not the best advice.
Here are three things that all drivers need to know.
1 Driving on snow is dangerous, but at least you know it's there. Driving on ice is even more dangerous, not just because it can be more slippery, but mainly because you often can't see it. And the thicker it is, the harder it is to see.
Black ice forms when running water or standing water freezes on the road. And it doesn't automatically disappear when the sun comes out it lingers in the shadows. Expect to find it on corners, bends and roundabouts that haven't been warmed by the sun and it won't take you by surprise when you do encounter it.
2 Your most important asset is good visibility. Not only do clean windows make sense, but it is actually illegal to drive without good all-round visibility. Scrape off all ice and snow (never use hot water!), make sure all the mirrors are clear and the defroster has cleared the insides of the windows.
3 Some people think that wearing sunglasses when you're driving in snow looks ridiculous. But it makes absolute sense. Low winter sunshine reflecting off snow can be blinding, so keep a pair of anti-glare glasses in the car.
Colin O'Connell is Chief Examiner for DIAmond Advanced Motorists and DIAmond Advanced Motorcyclists. He has been involved in road safety and advanced driving techniques for more than 40 years.
"Understanding when and where to expect black ice could save your life, and the lives of your loved ones," says Colin. "Of all the skills you need for driving in icy or snowy weather, being able to spot black ice is the most important."
Taking a little extra time could just save your life says Hyperformance, the motor insurance intermediary specialising in young drivers and high performance cars.
With the experts predicting one of the coldest winter’s on record its best to be prepared and that includes rethinking the way you drive says the insurer, which is expecting a record number of claims from motorists who fail to heed the warning.
Hyperformance says safe driving on cold winter mornings and dark nights is more about common sense than having expensive vehicles fitted with the latest safety equipment. And it adds that even the best 4x4’s brakes are no better than any others on an icy road.
"Motorists often make the mistake of thinking that just because their vehicle if fitted with anti-lock brakes, traction control and a whole host of other expensive extras they are safer than other drivers. Not true: they may be better in a straight line but they still won’t save you from the corner taken too fast or the motorist who has lost control of his own vehicle and leaves you insufficient time to react," comments the company’s Sales & Marketing Director Steve McPherson.
"The key to safe driving this winter is preparation and patience. Accidents are the worst but even a little bump could leave you severely out of pocket. It’s just not work taking the risk to try to save a few minutes."
Hyperformance has some tips for motorists venturing out this winter:
It is easy to get complacent and glib about such simple precautions but remember there is a great incentive to take care – your life, says Hyperformance.
Everything can go wrong in a moment and it could take a lifetime to fix, if at all, says the company.
And even if you suffer little more than a minor bump and a scare, don’t forget that even the smallest dents now cost a lot to fix. Then there’s the impact an accident might have on your No Claims Bonus, bumping up the premium or making insurance harder to get. It’s a high price to pay to save a few minutes and it’s just not worth it.
9 Dec 2004
Kia’s top-selling 4x4 has been given a totally new lease of life to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
New Sportage, on sale in the UK from January, might have the same name as the pioneering sports utility vehicle launched worldwide in 1993, but everything else is completely different. Rivals like Land Rover Freelander, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 will struggle to compete with prices for the new Sportage starting at £14,495 and highly competitive class insurance group ratings. Freelander is the best seller in the sector, priced from £15,995 for the 3-door and £17,905 for the 5-door.
New Sportage, like 2004’s Picanto and Cerato models, is testament to Kia Motors’ focus on improvements in quality and design. It is a Sports Utility Vehicle which is sporty and elegant, spacious and adaptable; a vehicle designed to give customers the combined benefits of functionality and practicality. The striking looks of the Sportage, with a sculptured front implying power and durability and a long sporty roofline, invite admiration. The separate D-pillar window creates a vision of immense strength, the broad tailgate hints at the cavernous interior and sporty twin exhausts feature on the diesel and V6 petrol models. The Sportage, with its stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, offers a smooth and refined ride coupled with all-wheel grip, great seating versatility and load-carrying ability – a car completely at home in town or country.
Sportage will be offered with a choice of three engines, two transmissions and two equipment levels. For the first time there will be a diesel engine option available coupled with an automatic transmission with manual mode.
Rear seats fold 60/40 and completely flat with a simple one-touch operation and without the need to remove headrests, leaving a large load area. The front passenger seat can also be flattened to make it possible to carry long loads. Sportage loses its trademark rear door-mounted spare wheel, which has been relocated to under the boot floor allowing easier access to the load area. The glass screen opens independently making loading or unloading of small items much easier in confined spaces.
Interior space is best-in-class with the largest interior capacity, front row legroom and second row leg and headroom. Sportage is also big on safety features with twin front airbags as well as front side and curtain airbags fitted as standard, as are anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control system, front seatbelt pre-tensioners with load limiters and 3-point rear seatbelts for all passengers. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is standard on XS models.
Highly class competitive insurance groups reinforce Kia’s focus on security and every Sportage comes with a large-capacity lockable glove box, remote central door locking, an electronic engine immobiliser and a perimeter alarm.
Kia Motors (UK) Ltd Managing Director, Paul Williams expects the company’s burgeoning UK sales to be driven even higher by the new Sportage. "2004 has seen more and more UK motorists turning to Kia as we continue to offer tremendous value for high quality, well specified vehicles. The Sportage continues this tradition and takes us back into a sector of the market that we helped to establish almost 10 years ago."
The small SUV sector represents just over 3% of the total UK market and Sportage’s competitive strengths include price positioning, value for money – that is among the best in its class – great exterior styling, interior space and versatility, an excellent safety package as standard and a modern, efficient 4x4 system.
Sportage will be available with three engines: 2.0-litre CRDi diesel, 2.0-litre 16-valve CVVT petrol and the 2.7-litre V6 petrol. All models incorporate Kia’s sophisticated 4x4 system with Active Torque Transfer which progressively transfers drive from front-only to all four wheels if slippage is detected. In severe conditions 4WD can be manually engaged to override the programme.
The launch of Sportage is a great opportunity for KMUK to reinforce a strong Kia brand reputation in the SUV segment following the success of the highly-acclaimed Sorento.
KMUK plans to sell just over 4,000 Sportages in 2005 achieving a 5% share of the sector by the end of the year. It’s a key model in the strategy to change Kia’s market perception as purely a rational, value-based purchase and help accelerate the attractiveness of the Kia brand – raising product awareness and creating favourable consumer attitudes.
Pricing & Insurance Groups
8 Dec 2004
Classed as a sports utility (SUV) by the US Department of Transportation, the Subaru Outback was one of nine new cars tested. The announcement has just been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This is the second major safety award for the Outback and its Legacy saloon and Sports Tourer relatives. Earlier in 2004, the models were given a 5-star crashworthiness rating by the Australian New Car Assessment Programme. ANCAP is backed by all of Australia’s motoring organisations and statutory transport bodies.
Commenting on the Outback’s latest award, Subaru (UK) Limited’s new Managing Director, Peter Kinnaird, said: "We are delighted that the rigorous and painstaking work carried out by Subaru’s engineers is bearing fruit. "Subarus have always enjoyed an excellent reputation for active safety thanks to their symmetrical all-wheel drive system and low-centre-of-gravity ‘boxer’ engines. Now our models are proving their worth in some of the most demanding crash tests in the world."
The Subaru Outback range begins at £20,000 OTR for the 2.5i model.
7 Dec 2004
A thought-provoking new hydrogen-powered prototype based on the pioneering Audi A2 hatchback is the latest advance from the brand famed for Vorsprung durch Technik. Following in the footsteps of the exceptionally fuel efficient, 94mpg A2 1.2 TDI, the A2-H2 fuel cell hybrid emits nothing but pure water vapour, yet offers performance similar to a current petrol-powered A2, arguably making the aluminium-bodied compact the ultimate city car.
A recent competitor in the Challenge Bibendum contest in Shanghai - the world’s biggest competition for sustainable drive and energy concepts - the A2-H2 combines an environmentally sound fuel cell propulsion unit with a high performance storage battery. The PEM fuel cell uses an electrochemical process to convert hydrogen and oxygen into water vapour, an electric current and heat. The electric current is either stored in the air-cooled NiMH traction battery or supplied to the synchronous electric motor, where it is converted into traction energy.
For cruising at moderate speeds the fuel cell normally supplies current to the electric motor alone. When rapid acceleration is required for overtaking, the electric motor takes current from the fuel cell and the traction battery at the same time for maximum power output, making up to 150PS and 425Nm of torque available for brief periods. According to simulation, the A2-H2 is capable of accelerating from rest to 62mph in less than 10 seconds, can reach a top speed of 109mph and can cover up to 137 miles before its three hydrogen storage tanks need refilling with up to 1.8kg of hydrogen. Equivalent to around six litres of petrol, this gives the A2-H2 a consumption figure equivalent to approximately 94mpg.
6 Dec 2004
The special edition Shogun Field has made a welcome return to Mitsubishi’s latest 4x4 line-up. Initially introduced in a limited run early 2004, the Field has been redefined and re-launched offering both short and long-wheel-base options priced very competitively at £22,999 and £26,999 with manual transmission and £28,499 for the long-wheel-base with automatic transmission.
Designed to be a practical no-nonsense 4x4, the latest Shogun Field is aimed squarely at rural-based customers, its carefully considered specification established after Mitsubishi Motors gained feedback from various audience groups made up of people likely to purchase this category of vehicle.
In its revised form the Field retains the same proven Shogun attributes, but features more modest exterior styling coupled with interior equipment levels which deliver exactly what its customer base requires – value, comfort and real-life practicality.
The Shogun Field is fitted with Mitsubishi’s 158bhp 3.2 DI-D Turbo Diesel engine, which is married to a manual 5-speed transmission on the short-wheel-base and a choice of manual or automatic on the long-wheel-base model. Standard Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control, switchable two and four wheel drive together with high and low ratios with lockable differentials, ensures that The Field is capable of dealing with even the most difficult terrains.
As for towing and load carrying capability, the seven-seat long-wheel-base Shogun Field can pull up to 3.3 tonnes and pack in 1700 litres of cargo. The compact short-wheel-base model is no less able with 1293 litres of load-space and the ability to tow 2.8 tonnes.
Although its equipment level is specified for a purpose the inside of the Shogun Field is still a comfortable place to be, with research showing that customers require an electric sunroof, CD/Radio and climate control plus leather seats (for easy cleaning) and a traditional wood-effect dash panel, all of which add a touch of ‘practical’ luxury making the Shogun Field a consummate all-rounder.
Mitsubishi Shogun Field model range and prices:
SWB 3.2 DI-D Manual: £22,999 (OTR)
LWB 3.2 DI-D Manual: £26,999 (OTR)
LWB 3.2 DI-D Automatic: £28,499 (OTR)
6th December 2004
2005 sees Britain's most popular range of pick-ups expand even further with new models and improved specification being offered across Mitsubishi’s award-winning L200 line-up.
The new model year L200 also gets a face-lift, sporting a purposeful new front-end clearly distinguishing the revised model from its predecessor. Changes within the line-up include the debut of a new range-topping equipment-packed Animal Double Cab, destined to become the ‘must have’ pick-up of the year and the addition of an all-new L200 Warrior Club Cab
Since it was introduced in 1998, the L200 has become the epitome of the business/leisure crossover vehicle, its competence for load carrying, towing and passenger comfort making it a hit for both hard-graft industrial applications and pursuing leisure activities. Currently commanding 37% of the UK pick-up sector, the Mitsubishi L200 range caters for all requirements with its comprehensive line-up of four high-series and five practical and rugged 4Work models.
L200 HIGH SERIES RANGE – IT’S AN ANIMAL
Taking a leading role within the pack is the completely revised high-specification L200 Animal Double Cab. Boasting more standard equipment than any other double cab pick-up on the market, the Animal has undergone a complete makeover gaining new Animal graphics, 18" alloy wheels, new black leather seats with Animal branding and a more distinctive image with three monotone body colour choices of starlight silver, cosmos black and a new titanium grey.
The Animal’s style is, of course, matched by substance with a host of additional standard equipment including Smartnav satellite navigation, engine power upgrade to 138bhp, air conditioning, ABS with EBD, illuminated blue Animal logo door entry guards, plus a JVC DAB digital radio/CD which also offers MP3 and WMA playback. Mitsubishi Motors is only the second brand in the UK to offer this technology as standard in a production model.
Priced at £19,999 CVOTR, the L200 Animal Double Cab is aimed squarely at a growing market of customers who require a premium high-series pick-up vehicle to satisfy the demands of their everyday activities be it business or pleasure.
Mitsubishi’s best selling L200 Warrior Double Cab gets upgraded for 2005 with standard ABS and EBD plus new design 16" 6-spoke alloy wheels and the additional choice of new titanium grey body colour. The Warrior family also gets a new member with a club cab variant joining the high-series range. Created to satisfy those customers looking for the style and image of the Warrior, together with the practicality of a large load bed area and a two-door cabin with rear bench seat, the club cab is priced at £15,699 CVOTR. The Warrior family of 4x4 vehicles has proven very popular with the buying public accounting for 54% of L200 Double Cab sales in 2004.
Also retained for 2005 is the 4Life Double Cab, Mitsubishi’s original lifestyle pick-up. Newly equipped with ABS and EBD and sporty front fog lights 4Life’s host of features, practical towing and load-carrying capability and sensible price tag of £15,499 CVOTR, will continue to make it a popular choice for both business and private customers.
Recognising that many customers now buy double cab pick-ups for both business and private use, Mitsubishi has expanded its comprehensive range of accessories to include a new roof mounted all-in-one DVD system. Available for £999 (excl VAT and fitting), the system allows DVDs, CDs and most MP3 discs to be played along with favourite MPEG video, JPEG and BMP images.
Mitsubishi’s 2005 L200 high-series range consists of (prices CVOTR):
Double Cab - Animal £19,999; Warrior (with leather) £17,999; Warrior (cloth) £16,999; 4Life £15,499
Club Cab - Warrior £16,699 (with leather); Warrior £15,699 (cloth);
L200 4WORK RANGE
The adaptable 4Work models are again offered in a variety of configurations with single, club and double cab body styles ensuring that the L200 continues to fulfil a diversity of practical applications. Specifications, equipment levels and pricing are all carried over from the 2004 range.
New to the 4Work range for 2005 is the L200 Chassis Cab, a single cab pick-up which has the rear load bed area deleted to meet the needs of customers who require a light commercial vehicle to convert for specialist work purposes.
Mitsubishi’s 2005 4Work range consists of (prices CVOTR):
4Work Double Cab 4WD £14,299
4Work Club Cab 4WD £12,999
4Work Single Cab 4WD £12,699
4Work Chassis Cab 4WD £11,499
4Work Single Cab 2WD £10,299
Mitsubishi’s proven 2.5 Turbo Diesel engine is retained for 2005 and fitted throughout the L200 family, as is the proven switchable two/four-wheel-drive transmission, just the Single Cab 4Work is offered with a two-wheel-drive only option.
For those who want to put a little more under the bonnet, Mitsubishi’s Power Upgrade Pack continues to be a popular accessory choice and can be fitted to all L200 models priced at £595 (plus VAT and labour). The additional ECU (Electronic Control Unit) ‘piggy backs’ the existing ECU on Mitsubishi’s Euro III 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine increasing output from 115bhp at 4,000rpm to 138bhp at 4,100rpm. Maximum torque rises from 177lbs.ft. at 2,000rpm for the standard engine to 202lbs.ft. at 3,100rpm. As well as improving engine response, the upgrade also results in a smoother drive at lower speeds.
All Mitsubishi L200 pick-ups come with a comprehensive support package including a three-year/100,000 mile warranty, a three-year pan-European recovery service and a six-year Anti-Corrosion Perforation warranty.
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 6 December 2004
The all-new Discovery 3 won the 'Best SUV' award for 2004 following a group-test win in the latest issue of Top Gear magazine over the BMW X5 and Toyota Land Cruiser. The magazine's road testers described the Discovery 3 as 'possibly the best SUV ever'.
Also commended in the awards issue of Top Gear magazine are a collection of 'men of the year', amongst whom are the creators of the Discovery 3 – Land Rover's design team.
Headed up by design director Geoff Upex, Land Rover designers Dave Saddington (chief platform designer, Discovery 3), Richard Woolley (chief platform designer, Range Rover Sport) and Andy Wheel (principal designer and man behind the famous first sketch of the Discovery 3) were characterised as: 'The Revolutionaries'. The magazine went on to say, "the Discovery 3 shows that icons can be reinvented. They have done it before with Range Rover, and will do it again with the Range Rover Sport. Make no mistake. These boys are onto something."
Land Rover managing director, Matthew Taylor added: "As the widest read, viewed and listened to opinions in the motor industry, it truly is praise indeed to be awarded by the people at Top Gear. We are thrilled and delighted to be recognised as 'onto something'."
3 Dec 2004 Tokyo
1. Raider available feature highlights include:
With experts forecasting the worst winter in recent years, hazardous driving conditions are inevitable, but at Land Rover, help is on hand with the capable and excellent value 2005 Freelander.
Pioneering technologies such as Hill Descent Control and Electronic Traction Control offer welcome reassurance when conditions turn treacherous, and to further entice drivers behind the wheel of the UK's best-selling 4x4 this winter, Land Rover dealerships are offering up to £1,000 off the cost of the Freelander, and ownership from as little as £249 a month (following a £2,499 deposit).
With every new Freelander, customers will also receive a free voucher for half a day's off-road winter driving tuition at one of the company's eight Land Rover Experience Centres in the UK.
Phil Popham, Land Rover UK managing director, commented: "Not everybody has the advantage of four-wheel drive, but no matter what vehicle you’re driving, poor conditions need to be taken very seriously. Drivers still need to get from A to B in winter, and we hope that our driving tips will help them to do just that, in safety."
Ten tips from Land Rover to help enjoy safe winter motoring:
For more information on winter driving and the finance offers available on the Freelander – available until 31 December 2004 – contact your local Land Rover dealership or visit www.landrover.co.uk.
26 Nov 2004
The Range Rover Sport, an all-new sports tourer SUV from Land Rover, is the best-performing and best-handling vehicle that the renowned sport-utility vehicle manufacturer has ever built. Powered in top-line form by a supercharged 287kW [390hp in North America] V8 engine, the Range Rover Sport is designed to combine invigorating dynamic ability with outstanding comfort and refinement.
"The Range Rover Sport is an additional, fifth nameplate for the Land Rover brand," says Matthew Taylor, Managing Director of Land Rover. "It takes us into the growing performance SUV market but is different from all rivals. We see it as a less frenetic, more refined alternative to existing performance SUVs. It is ideal for fast, comfortable, long-distance driving and practical enough for everyday use. Yet it is also exceptional off-road, offering better all-terrain ability than any competitor. Like all Land Rover products, it offers the broadest range of capability in its class.
"It also perfectly complements the existing Range Rover – the luxury SUV. Range Rover Sport is more compact and will be priced to fit between Discovery 3/LR3 and the Range Rover in the Land Rover product range."
The spirit of the Range Rover Sport was embodied in the much-admired Range Stormer concept vehicle, first seen at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The top-line Range Rover Sport uses a specially-developed version of Jaguar's acclaimed 4.2-litre supercharged V8 engine. Maximum power is 287kW [390hp in North America] and maximum torque 410lbft/550Nm with an electronically-limited top speed of 140mph/225km/h. Power and torque are delivered to all four wheels through a ZF six-speed 'intelligent shift' automatic gearbox featuring sport programming and Land Rover's CommandShift™, which offers manual control of gearchanges. Low range is electronically selectable. One of the most aerodynamic of all SUVs, the Range Rover Sport combines a smooth shape with powerful stance, muscular wheel-arches, a raked roof, and tailgate-mounted rear spoiler. Recognisable Range Rover styling cues include the 'floating' roof (created by the black roof pillars) and clamshell bonnet. But in the interests of improved airflow, the bonnet castellations have been smoothed away and the windscreen given a faster angle.
The Range Rover Sport has a five-door body style, with a single-piece rear aluminium tailgate that includes an opening rear glass for easy access.
Inside, it is a roomy yet sporty five-seater featuring premium materials, including leather, wood and metallic finishes. The cockpit is designed around the driver, with a high and sweeping centre console so the driver reaches across to the controls rather than down to them. The seats are sporty and supportive.
"It is the best ‘driver's vehicle’ that Land Rover has ever made," says Matthew Taylor. "There is the traditional Land Rover Command driving position, yet the cockpit is more cocooning than the SUV norm. We believe the emphasis on the driving experience will make the Range Rover Sport an attractive proposition to those who currently drive luxury executive cars (sedans), as well as the more sporty 4x4s, thanks to its overall refinement and unmatched breadth of capability."
Although developed with greater emphasis on on-road performance than any previous Land Rover, the Range Rover Sport is exceptionally competent across all terrains. Its off-road capability is boosted by Land Rover's highly effective Terrain Response™ system, which is standard on all models. It allows the driver to choose one of five terrain settings via a rotary control on the centre console. Terrain Response then automatically selects the most appropriate settings for the vehicle's many advanced electronic controls and traction aids – including ride height, engine torque response, Hill Descent Control, electronic traction control and transmission settings.
Land Rover's new and unique Integrated Body-frame™ structure, first seen on Discovery 3/LR3, has now been tailored for the Range Rover Sport to reinforce the vehicle's sporting character. This includes a six-inch/14cm shorter wheelbase (108inches/275cm) for improved agility. Four-corner air suspension is standard on all models. The double-wishbone suspension has been designed for sporty ride and handling, especially when cornering, and the speed-proportional variable ratio steering allows low-speed agility, while providing stability during high-speed cruising.
Land Rover's new Dynamic Response system senses cornering forces and acts to optimise body control and handling performance. Dynamic Response, making its debut on the Range Rover Sport, is standard on supercharged models, and optional on the others. The system decouples off-road, to allow greater wheel articulation during tough all-terrain driving.
In keeping with its ‘driver's pedigree’, key work on the chassis tuning of Range Rover Sport was completed at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany, in addition to the usual rigorous on-road and off-road Land Rover development programme. Advanced electronic safety aids include Electronic Traction Control, Emergency Brake Assist and Dynamic Stability Control. On the supercharged version, four-piston Brembo front brakes help give superb braking ability.
In addition to the supercharged engine used in the top-line Range Rover Sport, two further Jaguar-derived engines are available (depending on market): a normally aspirated 220kW [300hp in North America], 4.4-litre petrol engine and the all-new 2.7-litre turbocharged V6 diesel. All engines have been extensively developed to meet Land Rover specifications, including improved waterproofing for wading, extra dust protection, and the ability to handle the extreme angles demanded in tough off-roading. A six-speed automatic gearbox, with a sports mode and low range is standard. It automatically and 'intelligently' adapts itself to the individual driver's style, to increase driving pleasure for the enthusiast.
Practical technologies available on the Range Rover Sport include adaptive cruise control (its first Land Rover application), bi-xenon adaptive front lighting, and latest generation satellite navigation, both on- and off-road. Audio systems by harman/kardon® and a twin-screen DVD rear-seat entertainment system, with high-resolution screens enclosed in the front seat head rests, are available. The Range Rover Sport makes its world debut in January 2005 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The vehicle will be available from mid-2005 in Europe and North America, and later in other markets.
24 Nov 2004
Hyundai’s Santa Fe is sure to prove a favourite with SUV fans, with a stylish facelift that has made it even better value for money.
Now available in two versions, the 2.0 CRTD CDX manual and automatic and the 2.7 V6 automatic, the Santa Fe features detailed restyling inside and out, and a significant amount of additional equipment. The 2.0 CRTD CDX is on sale now at £17,995 for the five-speed manual or £18,995 for the four-speed automatic.
The new 2.7 V6 goes on sale in December at just £18,995 – £5,600 less than the Land Rover Freelander 2.5 SE five-door, which would cost a further £6,600 to bring it up to the same equipment levels as the Santa Fe 2.7 V6.
Every Santa Fe now comes with cruise control, front windscreen de-icer, heated door mirrors and heated front seats. Already a four star Euro NCAP rated car, the new Santa Fe adds side airbags as standard, making it an even safer place to be.
Both Santa Fe variants feature a new front grille, restyled side moulding and rear tailgate, new 16 inch alloy wheels, rear light clusters and rear bumper. Inside, the instrument panel features a smarter binnacle and a trip computer as standard. The Santa Fe also now comes with an attractive light grey leather interior as standard. The 2.0 CRTD CDX features £2,250 worth of extra equipment for only £1,000 more than the outgoing 2.0 CRTD GSI’s list price. The 2.7 V6 adds colour coded reversing sensors, auto dimming rear view mirror and overhead compass to this standard equipment list.
In common with the rest of the Hyundai range, the Santa Fe comes with the company’s pioneering five year, unlimited mileage, fully transferable warranty as standard.
Hyundai is the only manufacturer in the UK to offer this level of warranty on its entire 4x4 line-up, including the recently launched Tucson SUV and Terracan.
24 Nov 2004
Daihatsu is driving down the cost of Fourtrak competitive parts by an average of over 40%, allowing owners of the popular 4x4 workhorse to continue using genuine components.
The compact car specialist also hopes to boost dealer business, winning back customers who have switched to alternative suppliers.
The campaign is mainly aimed at 1993-2002 Fourtraks – a vehicle parc of more than 16,000 vehicles.
Average savings among the 41 parts covered is 45 per cent and all parts carry a three year/60,000 mile warranty.
Typical examples include a brake master cylinder reduced from £295.99 to £86.85 – a 71 per cent cut, front shock-absorbers slashed from £52.65 to £23.66 – 55 per cent down – and a clutch disc reduced from £94.32 to £51.92 – a saving of 45 per cent. All prices quoted are retail excluding VAT.
Daihatsu Parts Manager, Gary Langford, said: "There is a strong following for the Fourtrak, especially among farmers and contractors, and we know these owners would much rather fit genuine parts to ensure reliability.
"Trade outlets too prefer avoiding the hassle of finding alternative supplies so we will send leaflets to more than 11,000 of them, highlighting the exceptional value our Daihatsu parts now represent."
30 Nov 2004
From motorway accidents to rural incidents and VIP protection runs in between, the Kia Sorento can be found pounding the beat as it is trialled by the Wiltshire Police Force.
Just as comfortable weaving in and out of rural nooks and crannies as it is policing the M4, the Kia Sorento 3.5 V6 XS assists the general traffic unit in responding to calls off-road as well as on.
"The Sorento is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week as it provides the Force with a high visibility patrol car which can withstand long hours of motorway driving but when necessary overcome rural conditions in the toughest police environment," explains Steve Botham, Fleet and Services Manager at Wiltshire Constabulary.
"We looked at the current range of suitable cars and SUV’s available in this class of Policing and chose to trial the Sorento as it more than meets our specification needs and represents an unrivalled value for money package."
Phil Molkenthin, National Corporate Sales Manager explains: "Since the Sorento hit the UK market it has been awarded ‘4x4 of the Year 2004’ by 4x4 Magazine and been an instant hit with both consumers and fleet customers. By actively engaging in vehicle trials, Police Forces and Emergency Services across the UK can quickly determine the suitability of the Sorento and we are confident it will meet their needs."
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 18 November 2004 – Land Rover is today launching the pilot of its ‘4x4 In Schools Technology Challenge’ at the Design & Technology Education Show held at the NEC tomorrow.
The challenge, developed in conjunction with Yorkshire Set Point and the Coventry and Warwickshire Education Business Partnership Centre, will see eight teams, four from each authority, pit their wits and engineering skills against one another to design and build an authentic 4x4 vehicle that will be required to negotiate a series of challenging obstacles and tests.
The teams consisting of up to six pupils aged from 14 to 16 will have to work within strict challenge constraints when developing their off-roaders, which they hope will see them through to the grand final at the Heritage Motor Centre on 30 June 2005.
Land Rover and its partner in the scheme Denford, a world leader in the manufacture and supply of computerised machines, systems and software for education and training, are working closely with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to develop the scheme in line with GCSE accreditation requirements, ensuring that in future pupils cannot only learn in a constructive and creative way but also gain a qualification in the process.
Ruth Martin, Land Rover's Corporate Citizenship Manager said: "This is the first time Land Rover has been involved in a scheme of this scale and I am thrilled at the prospect of engaging young people in the complexities and challenges of design engineering and demonstrating that it can be a rewarding career choice. I am positive that this pilot scheme will be a huge success and look forward to launching the ‘Land Rover 4x4 Challenge’ nationally next year."
The ‘Land Rover 4x4 Challenge’ will be officially unveiled at 10am.
16 Nov 2004
Nissan unveiled its three car team that it hopes will bring it success on one of the world’s toughest motorsport challenges – the Dakar 2005 – at the Automobile Club de France in Paris today, and leading the Nissan Rally Raid Team’s challenge will be Britain’s Colin McRae.
The 35-year old Scottish driver has been instrumental in the test and development of the new Nissan Pickup 2005 this year – which is 80% different to the Pickup in which he made his Dakar Rally debut in almost 12 months ago. On his first Dakar Rally, McRae (the 1995 World Rally Champion) set fastest time on two desert stages and has since then tested the Pickup in Morocco and Tunisia and contested the UAE Desert Challenge in Dubai. Together with his new co-driver Tina Thorner (Sweden), McRae drove the Pickup 2005 to victory on its debut event, the Baja Portalegre in October, giving the team great confidence in its attempt to finish on the podium on the Dakar 2005.
McRae’s team-mates will be the four-times Dakar winner and 1981 World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen (Finland), who will be behind the wheel of the Nissan Pickup for the third consecutive year. The absolute record-holder for the number of stage wins, having celebrated his 50th on the Dakar 2004, Vatanen will be co-driven for the first time in his career by Tiziano Siviero (Italy), the former co-driver for another World Rally Champion, Miki Biasion.
The third Nissan Pickup with be driven by the South African Cross-Country Rally Champion Giniel de Villiers, who will also have a new co-driver guiding him through the Sahara - Jean-Marie Lurquin (Belgium).
Colin McRae said: "The Dakar is a great challenge and I must have enjoyed it last year because I’m back again! The event is something I’ve always wanted to do for years, and I remember when I was young watching Ari Vatanen contesting the event and thinking how great it looked. When I had the opportunity to do it for the first time last year with Nissan I jumped at the chance, and now I’m delighted to be back. The event was pretty much as I expected it would be, but I also learned a lot. I plan to start a lot faster this year and not get stuck behind other people’s dust. You also have to learn to be patient and get the way you approach a World Championship rally out of your mind. If you have to stop and change a puncture and lose two minutes it’s not the end of the world.
"Reliability is the key. Nissan has done a tremendous job to develop and build a new Pickup in just nine months. It’s a small and dedicated team which works very well together and although you always wish you had more time to do more testing, our victory in Portugal has given us a great confidence boost."
Ari Vatanen said: "When I drove the new Pickup for the first time, after just ten kilometres I said, ‘Okay, this car can do it’. We are quietly confident, but on the Dakar you have to be humble because it’s a great challenge – but this time we start off with as much chance as anyone else. When we talk about finishing on the podium, it can be on the middle step."
Giniel de Villiers said: "Dakar is a very special event and I’m really looking forward to returning. It’s my co-driver’s fifteenth attempt at the rally, so he has a lot of experience, and with the new Nissan Pickup 2005 I believe we have a very good chance of scoring a good result."
Gilles Martineau, Team Manager, Nissan Rally Raid Team, said: "Our objective is to be on the podium when we reach the finish in Dakar. Compared to last year, the Pickup 2005 may look like it has only lost its rear wing, but underneath it is eighty per cent new. We have great support from Nissan and a talented team. I hope our recent victory in Portugal is a good sign for us!"
Dakar 2005 starts in Barcelona on January 1st and finishes in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, on January 16th. Two T4 trucks, five T5 trucks and six Nissan Patrol assistance vehicles will support the three car team during the event.
16 Nov 2004
If an SUV is on your Christmas wish list this year – Honda have some interesting news..
Since it was launched in 2002, the Swindon built second generation CR-V has established itself as Britain’s most popular petrol SUV with over 12,000 units sold this year. Honda intends to consolidate that position, by introducing an improved model that builds on its predecessor’s strengths.
The revisions are based around two criteria which were both customer led:
Firstly customers had expressed a desire for car-like refinement so Honda have responded with a more comfortable, high quality interior featuring new 3D back lit dials, steering wheel controls, retractable rear seat headrests and chrome instrument surrounds.
Secondly, customers wanted more rugged looks and performance so the car now benefits from a new grille, bumpers, front and rear light clusters, 16 inch wheels as standard, uprated brakes and an improved 4WD system. Add to this the introduction of curtain airbags (Sport and Exec) and it becomes clear why the car will be featuring on SUV enthusiasts’ wish lists.
The CR-V retains Honda’s advanced 2.0 litre i-VTEC petrol engine, which delivers an impressive mix of refined performance and economy. From March next year, it will be joined by the award winning 2.2 i-CTDi diesel. The diesel is expected to appeal predominantly to fleet and high-mileage retail customers.
What’s the line up?
Honda has retained a three model line up with cars now graded SE, Sport and Executive. The prices and major features of each grade are listed below.
How will this affect sales?
The move is expected to increase sales by more than half, underlining the company’s commitment to the UK Swindon plant where the CR-V is made.
Remember – a CR-V is built for life – not just for Christmas.
15 Nov 2004
A new top of the range model has been added to Toyota’s funky RAV4 line up with the introduction of the luxury equipped five-door XT5 on sale from 1 December 2004.
With the onset of winter, perhaps the most desirable feature of the new RAV4 XT5 is the comfort of heated front seats as standard, ensuring drivers will leave cold seats behind them.
Other up market features in the fully loaded XT5 include full-map satellite navigation, cruise control, automatic anti-glare electrochromic rear view mirror and RAV4 branded aluminium scuff plates.
The XT5 also includes automatic climate control, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control systems and full leather upholstery.
Simultaneously the grade structure of the RAV4 range has been revised with the XT3 grade replacing the XT2 as the entry model, available in three and five-door body styles.
All models in the stylish RAV4 range are now fitted with front and rear electric windows (rear only on five-door models), air conditioning, an electric tilt and slide sunroof (five-door models), four-speaker sound system with CD player, audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, leather steering wheel and gear knob trim, front fog lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels with locking nuts, hard cover for the spare wheel, roof rails, painted bumpers and wheel arch extensions. Three-door models also feature a roof-mounted rear spoiler.
All RAV4 models also include driver, front passenger and Curtain Shield airbags, and ABS with EBD as standard equipment.
This year RAV4 celebrates its tenth year on sale and it remains Europe’s best-selling SUV with more than 1.4 million sales worldwide.
When the original RAV4 was launched in 1994, it provided the impetus for a whole new breed of recreational 4x4 vehicles. The concept of a compact SUV that is fun to drive, both on and off the road, proved an instant hit with motorists.
In the UK the RAV4 has enjoyed sustained popularity with year to date sales rising 14 per cent on the same period in 2003.
THE RAV4 MODEL LINE UP
Gaydon, 15 November 2004: The Land Rover G4 Challenge recce team is breaking new ground every day, having already covered over 10,000 miles of remote terrain across southeast Asia seeking out a trailblazing route. Trekking from Thailand to the Vietnamese border, taking in Cambodia and Laos, the mountains, jungle and valleys of the region have been combed in order to locate the most rigorous tests for the competitors and their near-standard Land Rovers in the opening stages of the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge.
"With a competition of this magnitude it takes a lot of time to work through all possible locations and routes before you can get on with planning the competitive activities," said Niki Davies, Project Director. "In the end, we have focused the action of the early stages in the wilderness of Laos. It’s a beautiful part of the world, taking you from northern Thailand to the borders of Cambodia and Vietnam, with off-road routes that go on for hours at a time. The valleys around the Mekong River are a particular favourite, where the mud, water and river crossings can seem endless."
The four-week event, which Land Rover has confirmed will begin on 23 April 2006, starts with an urban challenge in the thriving metropolis of Bangkok, capital of Thailand, before venturing out into the mountainous hardwood forests of Laos. With forested mountains making up much of the terrain, through which the Mekong River flows (known as the ‘Sea of Laos’), the competition will be played out amid a stunning setting with elephants, beautiful temples and ancient ruins all nestling in the jungle.
When the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge gets under way there will be 18 men and women representing their home nations in the month-long global adventure. Near-standard Land Rover vehicles, including the new Discovery 3 and a soon-to-be revealed new product, will carry an array of equipment that will aid the competitors as they bike, climb, kayak in their global quest for victory. They also form an integral part of the competition, with tough, daily 4x4 driving challenges in a fleet of vehicles in their distinctive orange paintwork. The ultimate victor of the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge will claim a brand new Range Rover at the end of an unforgettable experience.
As one of the world’s four remaining communist states, Laos remains largely untouched by the outside world and the arrival of a fleet of Land Rovers has certainly not gone unnoticed. "Already the presence of the Land Rover G4 Challenge is generating a lot of local interest," added Niki Davies. "We have received a tremendously warm and enthusiastic welcome, led by the Lao National Tourism Authority."
Once the Land Rover G4 Challenge has completed its opening stages in Southeast Asia, it then moves to South America, arriving on the world-famous beaches of Rio de Janeiro. The climax to the event comes on May 20 with a final showdown on the high plains of Bolivia.
Would-be competitors can apply online at www.landroverG4challenge.com.
8 Nov 2004
In line with the typically American taste for extremes, Volvo Cars North America (VCNA) unleashed two outrageous, one-off concept versions of the XC90 and V50 at an aftermarket equipment show1 in Las Vegas – where else!
Volvo XC90 PUV – Power Utility Vehicle
The Volvo XC90 PUV – Power Utility Vehicle – has been tuned and supercharged to produce an estimated 650 bhp from Volvo's new V8 engine. It has also undergone a radical exterior treatment with a more aggressive stance provided by an eye-grabbing red paint scheme, lowered suspension, nine inch wide ultra high-performance alloy wheels, deep front spoiler and rear valance with custom made quad exhaust pipes.
"This was such a fun concept," noted Vic Doolan, President and CEO of VCNA. "It has all the safety that Volvo is known for with the looks and performance of an exotic car. But this is just a concept to get the juices flowing and to get Volvo noticed by those who may not have considered Volvo before," he continued.
Volvo V50 SV (Special Vehicle)
Based on the standard V50 T5 AWD (All Wheel Drive), the V50 SV has been developed by Volvo's Special Vehicles team in Gothenburg, Sweden to firmly appeal to a younger generation who may not have previously seen Volvo as 'cool'. The exterior styling is based on a forthcoming Sport model and uses some styling kit, including 18in wheels, which are already available as accessories.
It borrows the high-performance V70 R's turbo engine, and six-speed manual gearbox, modified to improve performance to 340 bhp – 120 bhp more than a standard V50 T5's 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine – and capable of 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Ally Ballingall, President of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers said of the award: "Off-road vehicles usually provide on-road compromises but our 4x4/SUV of the year proves that there's an exception to every rule. This machine provides the ultimate mix of fashion and functionality, and is a winner in every sense."
Land Rover lead designer, Andy Wheel, who collected the award, added: "The Discovery 3 is a bold piece of design, and this reflects the bold thinking that runs through the whole vehicle, from the smart solutions that have delivered a class-leading vehicle in terms of space, through to its refinement and technology. We are all proud of the Discovery 3, as will be all those who drive it."
Having now won its second award in as many months, this latest accolade is received on the day when the Discovery 3 goes on sale and the first customers will be receiving their new vehicles.
The all-new Discovery 3 is on sale from Land Rover dealerships throughout the UK, starting at £26,995 for the TDV6 and topping out at £46,995 for the V8 HSE.
28 Oct 2004
Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2004 – Land Rover devotee, Tommy Rogers, knew he was in for something special when he was among the first to place his order for a new Discovery 3 earlier this year, but nothing could have prepared him for the arrival of the new vehicle, which was brought to him by an RAF Puma helicopter.
Tommy's local Land Rover dealership, Charles Hurst in Belfast, arranged this unique delivery with the 230 'Tiger' Squadron at RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. RAF flight lieutenant Andy Cornes, said: "The people at Lookers plc, which owns the Charles Hurst dealership in Belfast, approached us with this idea, and we were more than happy to support local business and the community with an exciting event like this."
Tommy Rogers, who is the managing director of TR Shipping in Northern Ireland, said: "This is a very fitting way for the new vehicle to arrive in the province, with the world's best pilots using some of the world's best equipment to deliver the latest example of Britain's best – the new Discovery 3."
The all-new Discovery 3 goes on sale at Charles Hurst Land Rover and all other UK Land Rover dealerships from 1 November, starting at £26,995 for the TDV6 and rising to £46,995 for the range-topping V8 HSE.
Note: The costs of this initiative to the RAF have been covered by Charles Hurst Land Rover, and a donation to the RAF's chosen charity will also be made.
28 Oct 2004
After a stunning debut at the Paris Motor Show and a record-breaking introduction to the home Korean market Kia is launching its new Sportage compact-SUV in Europe. The new Sportage is designed to offer customers a range of flexible benefits in one compact stylish package and continues Kia’s synonymous tradition of value-for-money.
The Kia Motors’ decision to re-enter the small SUV market was taken after intensive market research into future consumer trends indicated that a new model was eagerly awaited, and close monitoring of the worldwide success of the Kia Sorento.
Compared to Kia’s earlier rugged SUV, the all-new Sportage has a radically different design concept. It combines a sportier and more elegant look with a spacious and adaptable interior and utilises user-friendly technologies to aid functionality. An internally carried spare wheel helps set the exterior apart from its predecessor, while improvements in aerodynamics, ride, handling and overall refinement all combine to create a uniquely attractive new Kia.
Longer (4350 mm), wider (1800 mm) and higher (1695 mm) than the average small SUV, the new five-seat Sportage will offer customers much of the technical sophistication and stylish looks of the popular Sorento, but in a smaller package.
The new Sportage will be available with a single body-type (5-door hatchback), but customers will have the choice of three engines (2-litre and 2.7-litre V6 gasoline, 2-litre diesel), two-wheel or four-wheel drive powertrains, five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions, and two trim/equipment levels, LX and EX. The chassis has fully independent suspension, and precise rack and pinion steering.
"The new Sportage is a ‘next generation’ vehicle – sporty and elegant, adaptable and spacious," comments Jean-Charles Lievens, Vice President of Kia Motors Europe. "It will offer Kia consumers three modern vehicles in one – passenger car refinement, SUV access and traction, plus estate-like versatility and cargo space. The Sportage name also has all the right vibes for Kia’s ‘young, friendly and sporty’ brand aspirations, so we are delighted to revive it for our newcomer."
Key customer benefits of the new Sportage include automatic full-time four-wheel drive, ‘best-in-class’ headroom and legroom, a common-rail diesel engine mated to a manual or automatic transmission with a sequential manual mode, versatile seating, flat-floored cargo area, traction control and excellent safety features.
Every Sportage comes with a range of comprehensive features and offers unbeatable value. The LX model equipment includes: tinted windows, ABS with EBD anti-lock brakes, traction control (on 4WD), 60/40 split ‘Drop & Fold’ rear seat, centre console storage box, electric front and rear windows, twin roof bars, 16-inch alloy wheels, central locking, two power outlets, front, side and curtain airbags (in some countries), four two-way audio speakers, and three-point seatbelts for all five occupants.
The higher-specification Sportage EX model adds numerous items, depending on market, including: ESP stability control, twin front fog lamps, electrically heated front windscreen, body-colour door handles, door mirrors and rear tailgate garnish, dashboard passenger grab handle, luggage net, remote central locking and theft alarm, cabin air filter and courtesy ‘puddle lights’ in the front doors.
Optional equipment includes: privacy glass, powered glass sunroof, leather upholstery and steering wheel, electrically heated front seats, wider and lower profile Bridgestone tyres (in some countries), electric chromic interior mirror with compass, cruise control and climate control air-conditioning.
Although the new Sportage is undoubtedly a thoroughly modern, all-new model, Kia has revived an old model name for a host of reasons. Following a comprehensive review of name connotations, public opinion polls, and name effectiveness as a global brand, Kia ultimately decided to keep ‘Sportage’ as the name for its latest small SUV – reviving the name of Kia’s earlier 4x4 model which sold strongly, with more than 550,000 sales around the world, during the 1990s.
"The all-new Sportage is completely different to its predecessor in every respect," comments Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors. "However, since an entirely new name demands fresh awareness promotion and can also run the risk of failing to capture customers’ attention, we have decided to continue to use the Sportage name, considering the remarkable brand power it has accumulated over the years in many markets across the world. The blending of ‘sport’ and ‘mobility’ which the Sportage name encompasses also make it an ideal name for our exciting new model."
Kia expects demand for SUVs in Europe to grow faster than the overall new car market, and to reach one million units annually by late 2008. Kia also anticipates that demand for small SUVs will grow even faster than demand for mid-size and large models. Within that one million total the small SUV segment is expected to account for 35% of sales in 2008, up from 30% in 2004, with the greatest demand in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK.
More value, more choice and more style are the key features of Mitsubishi’s 2005 Shogun and Shogun Sport model ranges.
With the Shogun brand synonymous with durability and outstanding on and off road ability, the mechanical specifications from the 2004 models are carried forward into 2005. The new Shogun range includes the introduction of three new variants, revised equipment levels across the range and lower pricing on many models. Not to be outdone, its even tougher stable-mate the Shogun Sport gets a face lift with prices remaining at the same level as the outgoing range.
Available at dealerships now, the revised 2005 Shogun range starts at the new price of £21,499 for the short wheel base (SWB) Classic rising to £32,499 for the flagship long wheel base (LWB) Shogun Elegance. The range re-alignment results in some models benefiting from considerable price reductions compared to the outgoing line-up. The Shogun Equippe at £22,999 for the SWB with manual transmission benefits from a significant £2,200 reduction, whilst both the LWB manual at £26,999 and auto version now priced at £28,499 receive a £2,000 saving from that of the 2004 models.
The 2005 model range also sees the range-topping Elegance line-up expand, with the introduction of a new SWB version, available with either manual at £26,499 or automatic transmission at £27,999. Customers of LWB models will also be offered a choice of transmissions for the first time, with a 5-speed manual gearbox now available with the Elegance at an on the road price of £30,999. Another feature to highlight the exclusivity of the Shogun Elegance will be the addition of distinctive 17’" alloy wheels.
The purposeful and well equipped Shogun Warrior continues to be a popular choice with customers. To reflect this, the top selling LWB Warrior gets a £1,000 price reduction and is now available for £31,499. Priced at £27,999, the SWB version now matches its bigger brother in terms of equipment with the addition of a 10 CD Autochanger and Smartnav satellite navigation as standard.
The 2005 Shogun Sport will be instantly recognisable from its 2004 counterpart, a redesigned and striking front end heralding the arrival of the latest models in this popular 4x4 family, which continues to represent great value for money.
Following a £2,000 price reduction earlier this year, prices are retained across the range, as are the tried and tested mechanical specifications. Prices range from £16,999 to £21,999 with a dual-fuel variant available for £24,199.
2005 Mitsubishi Shogun Model Range and Prices
SWB (3 door)
Classic 3.2 DI-D Manual - £21,499
Equippe 3.2 DI-D Manual - £22,999
Elegance 3.2 DI-D Manual - £26,499
Elegance 3.2 DI-D Auto - £27,999
Warrior 3.2 DI-D Auto - £27,999
Warrior 3.2 / 3.5 GDI Auto - £27,999
LWB (5 door)
Classic 3.2 DI-D Manual - £26,249
Classic 3.2 DI-D Auto - £27,749
Equippe 3.2 DI-D Manual - £26,999
Equippe 3.2 DI-D Auto - £28,499
Elegance 3.2 DI-D / 3.5 GDI Manual - £30,999
Warrior 3.2 DI-D / 3.5 GDI Auto - £31,499
Elegance 3.2 DI-D / 3.5 GDI Auto - £32,499
Classic 2.5 TD Manual - £16,999
Equippe 2.5 TD/ 3.0 V6 Manual - £19,999
Elegance 3.0 V6 Auto - £21,999
Elegance 3.0 V6 Dual Fuel Auto - £24,199
Warrior 2.5 TD Manual - £20,999
Warrior 3.0 V6 Auto - £21,999
Warrior 3.0 V6 Dual Fuel Auto - £24,199
(All prices are OTR)
Used Car Buyer Magazine has voted the Mitsubishi Shogun ‘Best 4x4’ in its survey to establish which used cars will represent the best value in 2005.
Published in the November edition, the extensive survey was carried out by the magazine’s staff and contributors who drove 300 second-hand vehicles and covered more than 500,000 miles, before making their decisions on which cars came out top of each of the 18 categories.
The magazine acknowledges that the Mitsubishi Shogun is a well-engineered vehicle, refined and a good all-rounder. It refers to it as ‘one of the 4x4 market’s best kept secrets’. It goes on to say that it is impressed with the Shogun’s engine line-up, with the ‘super-sweet’ 3.5 litre GDi V6 and the ‘powerful and economical’ 3.2 litre DI-D turbodiesel.
Staff writer and trade expert, ‘Honest John’ states: "Chunky looks, plenty of room and even the SWB seats five comfortably." Whilst from an owner’s point of view, Gary Jones says about his Shogun: "I bought it almost new and it’s now done 24,000 miles. It does the school run and we also tow a boat. It’s been absolutely trouble free."
Other features, which have led the magazine to vote the Shogun top of the class, are best described in the following quotation:
‘Despite its bulk and menacing stance, it is easy and pleasant to drive and with Mitsubishi’s impressive reliability, a three or four year old should still feel smooth and tight. The vague steering and bumpy ride of traditional 4x4s are not issues with the current Shogun. The five-speed electronically regulated automatic gearbox is smooth and responsive.’
Magazine Editor Justin Evans reported that used cars buyers are sharper and more careful than ever before when making their choices, a factor that makes the 2005 award winners even more significant.
The Mitsubishi Shogun beat the Range Rover and Nissan X-Trail, which were voted 2nd and 3rd respectively.
19 Oct 2004
Volkswagen has expanded the TDI line-up in its luxury car ranges, with the arrival of the Touareg V6 TDI models. Using a new 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, the newcomer offer a highly appealing combination of smooth, strong performance and impressive fuel economy
The new 2,967 cc V6 turbodiesel features four valves per cylinder and advanced piezo electric injector technology. With this system, up to four fuel injections per cycle are possible, for better emissions control and superior refinement. The Touareg V6 TDI features Volkswagen’s new DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) – the first Volkswagens to use this technology in the UK.
With the arrival of the V6, the number of TDI diesels in the highly-acclaimed Touareg 4x4 range increases to three. Slotting in between the 2.5-litre TDI and the 5.0-litre V10 TDI, the new powerplant is set to make Volkswagen’s luxury off-road vehicle even more attractive. The Touareg V6 TDI costs £34,200 RRP on the road, with the Sport version adding £1,070. Both vehicles are available to order now.
19 Oct 2004
GKN Driveline, famed for its ubiquitous constant velocity joints, has extended its product capability to the car industry following the development of a range of class-leading, all-wheel-drive technology systems. The latest example to be revealed is the compact Fiat Panda 4x4 due to reach the UK market in early Spring, 2005.
Fiat has broadened the appeal of its diminutive Car of the Year 2004 winner by introducing an all-wheel-drive option engineered in partnership with GKN Driveline. Even before its launch, the car has been greeted internally and externally as a major success.
To secure such an important Fiat contract, GKN Driveline’s design team had first to compete with the world’s leading transmissions suppliers. At stake was not just a major components supply opportunity, but also the responsibility of managing the engineering development programme on behalf of the client.
Fiat’s brief was to endow the Panda with traction capability to tackle challenging winter roads, but to achieve this with minimal compromise to the car’s refinement and having the least impact on both technical complication and cost. GKN Driveline met this challenge by developing a simple but effective 4x4 installation comprising a front power transfer unit (PTU), a two- piece propshaft a viscous coupling in front of the rear differential, a rear differential module (RDM) as well as front and rear sideshafts. GKN Driveline supplies all these components, partnering Getrag for the PTU and Dana for the RDM respectively.
The key to the system’s efficiency is the viscous coupling. On a homogeneous grip road surface, where there is negligible front wheelspin, the front and rear wheels rotate at almost the same speed. As a result the viscous coupling, which provides a locking action proportional to the difference in speed between its input and output shafts, directs only a small proportion of engine torque to the rear wheels. On mixed-grip surfaces the front wheelspin can increase, causing the viscous coupling to pass more torque to the rear wheels, apportioning torque delivery according to the available grip at either end of the car.
In addition to its simplicity, this arrangement has many other advantages. The system is entirely automatic, requiring no input from the driver; it is entirely mechanical, requiring no electronic control; it has a benign impact on driving dynamics; and it provides good compatibility with anti-lock braking and stability control systems – a key requirement of any modern 4x4 transmission.
GKN Driveline’s meticulous design and careful selection of joints for the sideshafts and propshaft also ensure that the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) penalty is minimised, despite a significant increase in the number of driveline components compared to two-wheel-drive models.
The extensive research and development effort undertaken for Fiat on the management of the Panda’s 4x4 development places GKN Driveline in a strong position to extend its engineering and supply service to car makers in this growing market sector. With a variety of all-wheel-drive systems available including the most sophisticated intelligent 4x4 traction control applications, GKN Driveline has much to offer vehicle manufacturers world-wide.
GKN Driveline is one of the world’s leading suppliers of vehicle driveline products and systems commanding 42 percent share of the market for constant velocity jointed (CVJ) sideshafts. The company is a global enterprise, headquartered in the United Kingdom. It recorded total sales of £1.9 billion in 2003. The company currently has 21,000 people working at 49 locations in 31 countries.
15 Oct 2004
Ditching unused roof racks and clearing unnecessary items out of the boot could save motorists pounds by reducing their car’s fuel consumption, says the AA.
With oil prices hitting a new high and fuel prices on the up again, the AA advises motorists that by taking a number of easy steps they can significantly reduce their fuel bills.
Roof racks, luggage boxes, golf clubs and other possessions left in the boot all increase the car’s weight and therefore fuel consumption.
Tim Shallcross, Head of Technical Policy for AA Road Services, says: "With the average price of unleaded petrol now nudging past 83p a litre, [15 October], motorists should do what they can to save themselves extra cash by making some small adjustments to the way they drive.
"Tyres should be inflated as directed by the car manual. Under-inflated tyres increase the rolling resistance and therefore fuel used, which can cost as much as a couple of miles to the gallon.
"Using the air conditioning constantly at 30 mph adds as much as 11 pence every 10 miles to the running costs of a car. Even at 70mph, using the air conditioning adds seven pence every 10 miles. Reducing use of air conditioning can lighten the load on your wallet."
Another money-saving tip for drivers is to regularly clean the insides of the car windows, which reduces the need to use the car’s demisters and blowers - saving much-needed energy and fuel.
Motorists should also consider keeping windows and sunroofs closed - this reduces drag and therefore fuel consumption. "And they should never be open if the air conditioning is on," says Shallcross, "as the cooled air will fly straight out of the window – it’s the equivalent of leaving your fridge door permanently open."
By planning routes in advance and checking traffic reports, time and money can be saved by avoiding road hold-ups. A medium-size family car idling in traffic uses petrol at a rate of 2.7 pence every minute. "If you think you are going to be stationary for more than four minutes turn off your engine and stop burning cash," says Shallcross.
9 Oct 2004
Heavy Duty Swivel Recovery Point
6 Oct 2004
Delphi air suspension helps Land Rover achieve an exceptional blend of on and off-road performance for Discovery 3 (LR3)
New materials and manufacturing processes meet challenging targets
Luton (UK) - Innovative air suspension technology is helping Land Rover combine the legendary off-road ability of its vehicles with exceptional refinement and driving dynamics. A key part in the development of the airspring modules was played by Delphi Corp (NYSE: DPH), which manufactures the units at its facility in Luton, UK. The new technology will be available on the Discovery 3 (called LR3 in North America), launched at the Mondial de l’Automobile (Paris autoshow) in September.
"The Discovery has always had an outstanding reputation for off-road ability, which had to be maintained with the new vehicle," explains Guy Hachey, vice president Delphi Corporation and president Delphi Energy & Chassis. "The challenge was to combine this with levels of suspension refinement that would normally be expected in conventional luxury vehicles."
Land Rover also set tough targets for packaging, durability and the air spring’s ability to maintain vehicle trim height even when left fully laden for long periods with the engine off. The packaging requirement dictated the use of small volume air springs, which made the refinement target more challenging because the smaller air volume drives very high internal operating pressures, introducing the possibility of suspension harshness.
The vehicle’s ability to travel quickly on poor surfaces presented further challenges because air springs have a natural tendency to become stiffer under low amplitude / high frequency road inputs, again potentially leading to suspension harshness.
The solution chosen uses front and rear airspring modules with integral twin-tube gas dampers, controlling the vehicle’s four-wheel independent suspension. Delphi’s engineers developed a new generation of compact, very high-pressure airspring unit and new manufacturing and testing techniques to ensure consistently high quality.
The new airspring modules allow Delphi to meet the packaging targets and, compared with conventional coil springs, also reduce vehicle weight by around 7 kg. The units are designed to withstand the most demanding burst pressure and temperature range requirements set by any vehicle manufacturer.
The new design of airsleeve is constructed of soft, thin rubber reinforced with nylon chords: a construction chosen to minimise suspension harshness. An aluminium restraining cylinder is placed around the airsleeve to give it rigidity, increase durability and allow it to resist very high pressures. Protection from mud and stones is provided by a rubber gaiter.
During the design processes, Delphi engineers paid particular attention to component sharing between front and rear units and to design-for-manufacture, allowing faster development and reducing both development and manufacturing costs. Final calibrations were supported by Delphi’s mobile ‘ride laboratory’, which allows the specification of components such as dampers, air springs, spring aids and top-mounts to be quickly changed and evaluated on the vehicle.
Several new manufacturing and quality control processes were developed to ensure that the units will withstand the very high pressures required. More than 35 in-line tests confirm critical stages of assembly, including two high-resolution laser gauges accurate to just 0.001mm. At the end of the production line, a bespoke helium leak test system is used to verify the performance of every unit before delivery to Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, UK.
As well as enabling an outstanding combination of on- and off-road ability, the airsuspension system provides automatic self-levelling, regardless of the mix of passengers, cargo or trailering requirements, the ability to change the ride height for increased ground clearance or to improve the approach and departure angles for off-road driving, and the ability to lower the vehicle to ease loading or for trailer attachment.
Other Delphi technology on the Discovery 3 (LR3) includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to increase comfort on long journeys, the latest Passenger Occupant Detection System (PODS II) for ‘smart’ airbag control, a high-durability lead / calcium battery and a carbon canister for the emissions control system.
5 Oct 2004
What Van? magazine has awarded a gold medal to the new Isuzu Rodeo, voting it the ‘Best Pick-Up’ in its prestigious 2004 awards. It means the Rodeo range has beaten all competitors – both in lifestyle luxury trim and in ‘workhorse’ specifications.
Magazine Editor, Neil McIntee, said: "It’s new, it’s big, it’s bold and it’s a worthy winner." He added: "Successor to the TF, in 4x4 single and double guise, it’s powered by an enormously impressive 3.0 litre direct-injection intercooled turbodiesel engine blasting out 131 bhp at 3,800 rpm. Top torque of 207 lb.ft – rising to 217 lb.ft if you specify the optional automatic gearbox – kicks in at 1,600 rpm. "That’s more than enough top-end punch and low-down grunt to get you where you want to go both on and off the public highway."
What Van? also praised the Rodeo’s long 12,000 mile service intervals, safety features and convenient 4x4 selection. This is the second major award in a matter of weeks for the Isuzu Rodeo which is priced from just £11,357.02 on-the-road (excluding VAT) as a 2.5 litre 4x2 Single Cab.
The top-spec Rodeo 3.0 DT 4x4 Denver has been chosen as The Caravan Club’s ‘Towcar Of The Year – Utility Class’ winner. With its braked towing limit of 3,000 kg, The Caravan Club considered the Rodeo Denver superior to its Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan rivals which also entered the competition. Towing judges looked at all aspects of towing including hill starts, traction, stability, engine pulling power and practical features such as the car’s ability to accommodate large bulky loads such as awnings and water carriers.
What Van? is Britain’s biggest van buying guide while The Caravan Club has been running its ‘Towcar Of The Year’ competition for 22 years. This is the third major accolade for the Rodeo this year. Specialist magazine, 4x4 voted the Isuzu its ‘Commercial 4x4 of the Year – 2004’ back in April. Meanwhile, Isuzu plans to overtake Toyota in UK pickup sales in 2005, achieving a 15 per cent market share within two years.
Land Rover UK has started the sale of its ‘54’ plate vehicles with a blitz so strong this September, that the out-going Discovery has completely sold out – a whole month before the all-new Discovery 3 is introduced.
Pre-sales of the Discovery 3 are also keeping the UK dealer network busy, with over 3,000 already sold to eagerly waiting customers.
The Freelander continues to lead the compact SUV sales chart, selling 3,898 vehicles in September, taking this year’s total Freelander sales to 18,720, which is some 200 vehicles ahead of the position this time last year. Range Rover’s UK sales success also continues with 1,453 sold in September, making 2004 the third September of growth since the introduction of the latest generation Range Rover in March 2002.
Land Rover UK managing director, Phil Popham commented: "September clearly is one of the most important sales months on the calendar in the UK, and with results like these we can be very encouraged by the confidence in Land Rover's new breed of vehicles. The current Discovery's run-out sales have been amazing, and the equity in the Discovery name is very evident with the numbers of the all-new Discovery 3 already sold, many of which were made before we even announced the pricing."
At the end of September 2004, 38,874 Land Rovers have been sold in the UK, and with the Discovery 3 going on sale from 1 November with an impressive sales head-start, 2004 is looking very promising for Land Rover UK.