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30 Jun 2005
"We are absolutely delighted to have this particular vehicle in the museum, not only is it a rare specimen, but it has been well cared for and protected over the years and sensitively restored by the owner, it is in excellent condition. Visitors to the museum will be able to see the vehicle on show from today," said Stephen Laing, Curator of the museum.
The museum is open daily (except 24-26 Dec) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fees: £8 Adults, £7 Concessions, £6 children (5-16) under Fives free. Visitors can take a ride on the Land Rover off-road experience at the Centre during weekends and school holidays. For more information visit the website www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk or telephone 01926 641188.
The Tickford Land Rover followed shortly after the launch of the original Land Rover in 1948. The station wagon gave the impression of a more commercial vehicle, although it was not regarded as such by the Exchequer and unfortunately attracted hefty Purchase Tax, which made it expensive causing the inflated purchase price of £959, compared to the exempt of tax ‘farmer's friend’ the Series 1 at £580.
The original Land Rover Series 1 quickly established itself as a most competent vehicle for a wide variety of off-road application. The Solihull car manufacturer – Rover, realised that there might be a market for a more comfortable model, where the car could be used on the road or to transport people, whilst still being as capable as its basic counterpart.
The coachbuilder Tickford was commissioned to design the new model – to be known as the station wagon – and conceived an all-metal rear body on a wooden frame. Inside there was space for seven people, with the addition of four folding seats in the rear, which could be removed for extra storage space. Access for those in the rear was by the front passenger door and at the back there was a split, folding tailgate. The body was finished to a high standard, with a larger single piece windscreen, winding windows and even a metal cover to protect the bonnet mounted spare wheel.
By the end of production in 1951, only 641 station wagons had been produced and more than 600 of these had been exported. It is thought that only about 20 survive today.
30 Jun 2005
For years we have been selling our Hiclone air swirling devices and are now recommending that our customers purchase Hyperflow performance air filters to go with Hiclone. Our patented Hyperflow air filter gives great results and is much cheaper than the competition" says Stuart.
Hiclone's new Hyperflow airfilter is completely different from any other filters on the market, as it is designed to work in conjunction with Hiclone. Hyperflow Replacement Air Filter are constructed by inserting a series of jets into the air filter which channel the flow and cause it to become turbulent. The turbulent flow is then fed into a Hiclone, which swirls it vigorously. The combined effect is improved combustion, power, torque, fuel consumption and less emissions. New modern filter materials are added to filter out the debris. The materials allow the use of inducted traffic film to adhere to the surfaces of the elements multi fibres, doing away with manual oiling. Another plus point is that the filter does not absorb moisture, which can restrict airflow as in some other filter types.
"We use a series of jets to enhance airflow and add modern materials to filter the dirt and debris" says Stuart. The filter material doesn't need to be oiled and can be easily cleaned by gently removing the filter and tapping it gently every 10 or 12,000 miles. Hyperflow is inexpensive and soon pays for itself in enhanced fuel consumption. It is currently only available for Land Rover engines but will soon be on the market for other 4wd vehicles.
Horness Spencer runs the Land Rover Discovery Club of Great Britain and has tried the filter. "I noticed the difference immediately when swapping from my K&N, I felt a big difference between the two" he said, "My 300 TDI Disco goes much better now, with a lot more power and torque; I am very impressed".
Hiclone offer a 30 day money back guarantee on the filter as they do with all their products. Hyperflow costs £38.75 inc VAT and Hiclone costs £58.71 inc VAT. Both products can be purchased from the 'Hi-Deal' online store. Please visit: Web Site
Editors Note: 4x4web were given a Hiclone filter to test on its 300tdi 110 12 seater Land Rover. After 1569 miles of varied driving we have recorded 30.38 mpg, an improvement of 6.8% over the last mpg figures recorded for the vehicle. Consequently 4x4web is happy to say that the Hiclone Air Filter appears to be a positive step towards fuel economy and therefore reduced pollution.
23 Jun 2005
The Barclays Miles Ahead party left Canary Wharf in London on 14 June, with the aim of raising awareness for the various community partners, NGO’s and causes they support throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Nissan South Africa has customised the four Patrols specifically for the trip. The vehicles will be used as a base for the teams throughout the expedition, so they have been kitted out to 5-star hotel standards with state-of-the-art GPS tracking systems, masses of storage and an ingenious roof-top tent. All this kit is in addition to standard Patrol features such as anti-lock brakes, driver/passenger airbags, air conditioning and a full armoury of off-road, mechanical weapons.
The teams participating will visit and take part in various community initiatives planned in each of the countries. Events, such as football, sailing, sponsored marathons, bungee jumping and white water rafting, will be held in Barclays’ presence countries to rally support and awareness for the charities.
As the convoy weaves through 13 different countries over five months, first crossing Europe and then into Africa via Egypt, it aims to interact and build relationships with the individual communities on route.
The expedition aims to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa by November.
21 Jun 2005
21 Jun 2005
(SEOUL) 21 June, 2005 — Kia Motors has announced that Christer Gerlach, the record breaking Swedish driver and adventurer, will shortly begin a remarkable journey, where he will drive solo around the world — completing the first ever crossing of Siberia by car in the process — in a Kia Sorento SUV.
Mr Gerlach will leave Sweden during August and drive across Europe, Russia and the largely wild, unmapped terrain of Siberia. After driving through Asia — stopping over in Korea — he will travel to the US and traverse Route 66 to New York, before coming full circle and returning to Europe.
Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice-President and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, who travelled to Sweden to personally hand over the keys to the new Sorento to Mr Gerlach, said, "We are extremely proud that Mr Gerlach has chosen Kia as a partner to attempt his journey and we wish him a safe and successful trip.
"We feel that by helping Mr Gerlach to undertake this expedition, we are bringing to life our brand slogan — ‘The Power to Surprise’. The trip will allow us to demonstrate to the world the quality and excellence of our cars," said Mr Kim.
Christer Gerlach, who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the first person to circumnavigate the globe by car, said, "No one has managed to drive a car around the world via Siberia, and Kia seemed to be the perfect partner for this trip due to the quality of its vehicles and its commitment to safety and reliability."
Although other round the world expeditions by car have taken place on previous occasions, this will be the first time that such a journey has been attempted solo, using just one stock vehicle — the Kia Sorento — and without any customisation, not even the tyres.
Previous expeditions supported by other manufacturers have involved multiple vehicles and drivers, customized vehicles for difficult terrain, or extensive transport by sea. By contrast, Mr Gerlach plans no service or maintenance work on his Sorento, other than having the oil changed during his stopover in Korea.
Mr Gerlach will document his entire trip and will be reporting regularly to Swedish daily, periodical and online publications. Kia’s global network will also be closely following his progress on this dramatic tour, which will include a brief visit to Kia’s headquarters in Seoul during his stopover in Korea.
London 18 Jun 2005
As well as raising money for the charity at this week's MotorExpo at Canary Wharf in London, Land Rover has launched a special Born Free accessory pack which will contribute to the protection of species at risk and care of animals in need.
Will Travers, Chief Executive Officer of the Born Free Foundation, said, "What a fantastic way to support Born Free! When customers purchase an accessories pack, they will also adopt an animal in need and help Born Free provide essential care and protection. Land Rover is an iconic global brand recognised for its go-anywhere abilities. Increasingly, Land Rover is also recognised as the vehicle of choice by those working in the world's wild places to protect threatened and endangered species. Born Free Foundation is sponsored by Land Rover which currently provides all the Charity's transport needs in Africa and Sri Lanka. Whether it is anti-poaching, wildlife relocation, community conservation or animal rescue, Born Free relies on Land Rover to deliver, however great the challenge."
The Born Free Freelander accessory pack includes ‘paw print’ mats and boot liner, a Born Free spare wheel cover and thermal travel mug - and the automatic ‘adoption’ of a threatened animal for 12 months which will provide it with a safe and secure future.
Land Rover's Managing Director, Matthew Taylor, said, "As part of our Fragile Earth commitment to the environment we're proud of our official sponsorship with the Born Free Foundation which started in 2002 - although Land Rovers featured in the film Born Free made over 40 years ago. This latest initiative will allow customers to go wild with their Freelanders and protect endangered wildlife."
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working with compassion to prevent cruelty, alleviate suffering and encourage everyone to treat all individual animals with respect. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and is dedicated to the conservation of rare species in their natural habitat, and the phasing out of traditional zoos. Charity registration no.1070906
Fragile Earth includes Land Rover's Off-Road Code which encourages careful driving and the preservation of the environment for future generations. Guidelines include:
· Animals come first! All animals can be startled by a 4x4 vehicle, so be prepared either to proceed very slowly or to switch off your engine
· ‘As slow as possible, as fast as necessary’ - this will get you through most off-road driving obstacles and minimise environmental impact
· Make sure your vehicle is fully prepared for the journey; take the appropriate tools and supplies. Ensure that your vehicle does not have any leaks, for example fuel or oil
· Be mindful of your actions, even when you're not driving; use eco-friendly cleaning material; wash vehicles away from water courses and not in them; take all litter back home with you
16 Jun 2005
The new Freelander range offers a higher level of specification on both 3 and 5 door models, with the 'Adventurer' derivative boasting standard features that include air-conditioning, front sports seats, 16" alloy wheels, alarm and front fog lights, and available from £17,300.
The Freelander 'Freestyle' model has in addition, 17" alloy wheels, park distance control, heated front seats, six CD auto changer, mud flaps, powerfold mirrors and glass roof panels (3 door only), and is available from £19,300.
For the 2006 model year, enhanced features will also be included on the Sport derivative. Privacy glass, roof rails, 18" alloy wheels, heated front seats and leather/Alcantara seat facings are all now available as standard from £21,600.
Phil Popham, Land Rover UK managing director said: "The Freelander is a fantastically versatile and capable vehicle which has consistently topped the UK 4x4 sales chart, and the introduction of these Definitive Editions underlines one of the reasons why - there is excellent value for money available from Land Rover forecourts."
To book a test drive or for more information contact your local Land Rover dealer or visit www.landrover.co.uk
SMMT has today criticised the London Assembly Liberal Democrats for producing a list of vehicles which it says should incur double the London congestion charge for drivers. The list of 4x4s / SUVs, including 16 not currently sold in the UK*, is based on a well-trodden path of anti-SUV stereotypes, misinformation and out-of-date American safety research.
SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, 'The London Assembly Liberal Democrats suggest that a "one size fits all" approach to the London congestion charge is flawed. Why then have they chosen to apply the same approach – the one size fits all 4x4 label – to produce a list of cars which they claim should pay double to drive in central London? It makes no sense at all.'
SUVs – are a danger to pedestrians?
The British-built Honda CR-V is one of only a handful of cars to have gained three stars in independent NCAP crash tests for pedestrian protection. This is a better performance than 19 out of 21 supermini models tested by the safety body since 2002. So, why is the CR-V included in the Liberal Democrats' list?
SUVs - take up more road space and cause congestion?
The three best-selling 4x4 / SUVs in the UK, Land Rover Freelander, Toyota RAV 4 and Honda CR-V are all shorter than a Mondeo or Vectra. How then can they be more responsible than larger cars for congestion?
SUVs – emit four times more CO2 at the tailpipe?
The group claims that 4x4 / SUVs emit up to four times more CO2 than 'cars'. This is nonsense. The average luxury saloon emits 286 g/km, 4x4 / SUVs emit 244 g/km and sports cars 232 g/km.
Carbon dioxide emissions from 4x4 / SUVs have also fallen by 14.6 per cent since 1997, more than the 9.7 per cent average for all new cars sold in the UK.
SUVs - cause more damage than any other type of car?
Out-of-date US research has been used to justify the claim that UK-sold SUVs in 2005 are inherently dangerous. The truth is that the vast majority are smaller car-derived vehicles, compared to larger truck-derived models sold in the US.
The focus on crash tests also ignores the huge investment in the latest active safety systems like ABS, electronic stability and traction control systems, as well as crash compatibility and anti-rollover features fitted to modern 4x4s like the Volvo XC90.
Note to editors:
The following models and model derivatives listed by the London Assembly Liberal Democrats are not currently for sale through official distribution channels in the UK; Chevrolet K5 Blazer, Land Rover SI, Chevrolet S-10 ZR-2, Chevrolet Tracker, Dodge Dakota R/T, Dodge Raider, Mitsubishi RVR, Foers Ibex, Ford F150 XLT 5.8 Lariat, Honda Element 2.4 litre EX, Hummer, Infiniti QX4, Isuzu Bighorn, Isuzu Jimny, Toyota Surf, Vauxhall Monteray
14 Jun 2005
The RAV4 XT-R, on sale now, is a cool summer choice with its climate controlled air conditioning, cruise control, rear privacy glass, rear luggage net (5 door only) and auto-dimming electrochromic rear view mirror, plus the option of metallic paint at no extra cost. These features are usually reserved for the range-topping RAV4 XT4 and XT5 models, but have been added to the regular XT3 specification at a fraction of their combined value. Furthermore, the rear privacy glass is exclusive to the XT-R. A comparative specification breakdown is listed below.
In total, the five-door RAV4 XT-R benefits from enhancements worth an additional £1,500 (including metallic paint), yet its on-the-road prices are just £245 higher than the cost of the equivalent XT3 models. When specified with optional leather upholstery, the XT-R costs £1,055 less than the equivalent XT4, yet offers £900 of additional specification.
As well as the items highlighted above, the XT-R is equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Brake Assist (BA) for improved handling performance in all
driving conditions. The vehicle also carries special XT-R badging on the bodywork. In common with XT3 grade, the XT-R comes with driver and front passenger front and side airbags, curtain airbags, electric windows, remote central locking, four-speaker sound system with CD player, alarm, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and an electric tilt/slide sunroof (previously only available on the five-door model).
The XT-R is offered with Toyota’s 2.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine and 2.0-litre D-4D diesel in three and five-door body styles. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, with automatic transmission available as a £1,000 option with the petrol engine. Four paint finishes are available: Argenta Silver and Carbon Quartz metallic, Lagoon Blue mica and Astral Black with no extra charge for the metallic or mica shades.
On the road prices are given below.
10 Jun 2005
SsangYong’s model renewal moves up a further gear with the Korean unveiling of the Kyron (8 June 2005). A 4x4 crossover, Kyron has been designed by Ken Greenley, SsangYong Motor Company’s British creative director, to spearhead the company’s attack on the increasingly important Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) market around the world. It goes on sale in the UK early next year.
SsangYong plans to export 37,000 Kyrons a year in 2006, many of them headed for Europe where the company is on track for a massive sales boost to 40,000 sales a year.
Kyron’s European styling is blended with proven Korean build quality and technology. Its sophisticated engineering, as shown by class-leading multilink rear suspension, is matched by an emphasis on safety. Kyron’s electronic control systems comprise anti-lock brakes with EBD, brake assist, active rollover protection and hill descent control.
The five-door, five-seater will be available with a choice of new-generation common-rail diesel engines including a 140bhp 2.0-litre unit.
Kyron will make its European debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and will go on sale through SYUK Cars’ network of 53 dealers in the first quarter of 2006.
Kyron slots in to SYUK Cars’ fast-expanding range below the Rexton 4x4, and comes hard on the heels of the Rodius seven-seat MPV that went on sale this month (June).
The Kyron was first shown as the SVR concept at the recent Seoul Motor Show.
3 Jun 2005
INTRODUCING THE NEW LEXUS RX 400h
The Lexus RX 400h is the world’s first premium SUV to feature a hybrid power system. It achieves a unique position in the market by not only delivering the low exhaust emissions and high fuel efficiency that are well-established characteristics of hybrid power, but also by providing the high performance that has until now typically been the preserve of large-capacity petrol engine models.
In spite of its use of a wide range of advanced technologies, the RX 400h remains true to all the core principles of Lexus with no compromise in terms of luxury, quiet and seamless operation, durability and refinement.
HYBRID SYNERGY DRIVE®
The RX 400h’s Hybrid Synergy Drive® system combines a 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine with a 165bhp front electric motor that has a world’s-best power to weight and volume ratio, a high voltage battery and a generator. A second electric motor at the rear axle gives the vehicle an electric four-wheel drive capability — E-Four — that is automatically engaged when required.
In any journey, the system will operate in different modes in order to maintain the maximum efficiency, with power from the engine, the electric motors or a combination of both. Whenever the vehicle comes to a halt, the engine will automatically be switched off to minimise fuel consumption.
The RX 400h can run on its electric motors alone at start-up and low to mid-range speeds, which cuts exhaust emissions to zero. In normal driving conditions, a power split device will divide output from the engine between driving the wheels and powering the generator, which in turn charges the high-voltage battery. This means the vehicle never has to be off the road to be charged.
Further energy is gained during braking or deceleration with the electric motors operating as high output generators to recover kinetic energy that would usually be lost as heat and storing it as electricity in the high-voltage battery.
Maximum output from the Hybrid Synergy Drive® is 269bhp, which gives the RX 400h a top speed of 124mph and 0-62mph acceleration in 7.6 seconds. Progress is seamless, thanks to the electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). In official combined cycle driving the vehicle returns 34.9mpg, a better figure than any of its premium petrol SUV rivals and on a par with the very best diesel performance. In terms of exhaust emissions, the vehicle complies with Euro IV emissions standards and produces 192g/km of carbon dioxide. Nitrogen oxides emissions are reduced to near-zero.
The RX 400h is the first SUV to benefit from Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), a Lexus-developed system which coordinates operation of the ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to maximise their performance capability.
VDIM triggers the systems when it detects the vehicle is nearing the limit of its performance, instead of them coming into play individually when that limit has been reached. This means their intervention is less obtrusive and the vehicle is kept under control more smoothly.
VDIM also integrates the electric power steering system, adjusting steering torque to make it easier for the driver to return the vehicle to the correct course. The RX 400h is equipped with a ‘by-wire’ electronically controlled brake system (ECB) and brake assist (BA).
To improve the driver’s vision through bends, SE and SE-L versions of the RX 400h are equipped with an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). This swivels the headlamp beam in accordance with vehicle speed and turning angle in order to provide better illumination.
All versions of the RX 400h are equipped with nine airbags as standard. These include a driver’s knee airbag and large capacity Thorax-Abdomen-Pelvis side airbags.
DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT
The RX 400h is almost identical to the RX 300 model, sharing the same aerodynamically-efficient design that provides excellent stability and keeps wind noise levels to a minimum. A few details set the RX 400h apart, including a revised front grille designed to aid cooling of the Hybrid Synergy Drive® system and neatly integrated front fog lamps in the front bumper section.
The high voltage battery has a compact three-section design, which has allowed it to be located beneath the rear seats without compromising passenger space in any way.
The driver can monitor the drive system’s performance from a power meter that replaces the tachometer on the central instrument display. On versions equipped with the Lexus Navigator satellite navigation system (standard on SE-L, optional on SE models) the power flow can be displayed on the seven-inch colour monitor on the centre console.
UK GRADE STRUCTURE
In the UK the RX 400h is offered in three grades: RX400h, SE and SE-L. The entry-level specification includes cruise control, multi-zone climate control, eight-speaker sound system with dashboard-mounted six-disc CD autochanger, rear privacy glass, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and electrically adjustable front seats.
SE models further benefit from leather upholstery, automatic wipers and lights, an electric sunroof, power-operated tailgate, electric steering column adjustment, Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), 40:20:40 folding rear seats, heated front seats and memory settings for the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering column.
The SE-L grade includes the Lexus Navigator satellite navigation system with touch screen operation, voice control capability and Electronic Traffic Avoidance. This system brings with it Bluetooth® connectivity which permits hands-free use of compatible mobile phones, and the Rear Park Assist Monitor which transmits the view from the back of the vehicle to the colour monitor on the centre console for safe and simple reverse parking manoeuvres. SE-L versions are also equipped with state-of-the-art in-car entertainment, including an 11-speaker Mark Levinson® premium hi-fi and a DVD player with twin monitors mounted in the back of the front seat headrests. The Lexus Navigator package is optional on SE models; the ICE DVD system is an option on the RX 400h entry-level and SE models.
UK PRICING AND INSURANCE
The RX 400h is offered in seven colours: St Lucia Pearl, Platinum Ice, Aleutian Grey, Astral Black, Persian Quartz, Cherwell Green and Stafford Blue.
DESIGNED FOR LOW MAINTENANCE COSTS
Lexus designed the RX 400h to deliver low cost of ownership in terms of standard maintenance requirements, paying close attention to component durability and competitive parts pricing.
As a result, the labour time for standard servicing during the warranty period of three years or up to 60,000 miles amounts to 5.2 hours, just the same as for the conventionally-powered RX 300 model, demonstrating that the
UK MARKET DYNAMICS
Sales of premium segment SUVs have consistently been split 70 to 30 per cent respectively between private and corporate sales. In terms of fuel preference, the market is dominated by diesels, which have maintained a segment of around 66 per cent. Among petrol engine vehicles, those of 4.0 litres or less account for almost 25 per cent of segment sales, while less than 10 per cent have larger capacities.
The new RX 400h is positioned to claim sales in both the high-power petrol and the diesel sectors, thanks to the strong balance of power, high torque and efficiency delivered by its Hybrid Synergy Drive® system. It also has the potential to draw new customers to the SUV market, as it is the only luxury vehicle currently to offer such a technologically advanced powertrain.
In terms of fleet business, Lexus is targeting 65 per cent of RX 400h sales to be to corporate customers, compared to 15 per cent for the existing RX 300 model. This reflects the vehicle’s strong BIK tax position compared to its rivals. The SE model is rated at 23 per cent for BIK in 2005/6 and 22 per cent in 2006/7, bringing annual company car tax bills of £3,615 and £3,548 respectively. The RX 400h will allow Lexus to make a considerable step into the Corporate / Fleet sector.
The RX 400h is on sale in the UK from 15 June with a sales target for the remainder of 2005 of 1,625 units, rising to 3,850 in the full year 2006.
LEXUS RX 400h TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
BRENTWOOD, ESSEX, 3 June, 2005 – Ford Ranger Double Cab and Super Cab models 4x4 pick-ups for delivery from late July will come with prices up to £1,300 lower than the previous recommended retail price (rrp), and some will also have more extra value standard features.
The entry model Double Cab 4x4 is £1,300 less at £14,050 while the
top-of-the-range special edition Thunder will feature a Sony 7-CD player and loadliner worth £400 but now costs £16,950, £200 lower that the previous rrp.
Jon Fisher, commercial vehicle marketing manager for Ford of Britain said: "The pick-up sector grew by 24 per cent last year, driven by demand for 4x4 double cab vehicles. Last year we sold 7,539 Rangers, an increase of 40 per cent.
"Every Ford Ranger 4x4 has great standard specification that includes ABS. We recognise that the wider usage of 4x4s, both as work horses and leisure vehicles, means the market is altering and so we want to offer an even stronger value line-up to broaden Rangers' appeal," he added.
All Ford Ranger Double Cab 4x4s in stock come with ABS and air conditioning as standard. The XLT and Thunder models have more car-like standard features such as CD player, two-tone metallic paint, chrome front grille and leather steering wheel. Ranger Thunder models also have 15" alloy wheels and luxury leather seats and interior trim as standard.
The new specification Double Cab and Super Cab Rangers are available to order now, for delivery from late July. Ford dealers have great offers for retail customers on current stock, including cashback and free power tools.
Are 4x4s really that bad? That’s the question Autocar, Britain’s oldest motoring magazine, answers this week. Offroaders are currently on the receiving end of a fashionable tide of negative opinion; now, Autocar states some cases for their defence.
Those united against them are convinced that they’re oversized, gas-guzzling polluters that pose an increasing threat to other road users. The truth, as Autocar deputy editor Chas Hallett explains, is that "the vast majority of 4X4s sold in this country pump out no more CO2, use no more fuel and, in fact, are no bigger than their lower-slung alternatives. Some are only guilty of being taller – but that also makes them more visible to the environmental lobby."
"The SUV is an important product for the motor industry," Hallett goes on, "and a desirable one for consumers looking for versatility, towing ability, increased seating capacity and true go-anywhere capability."
"Consumers have the right to choose the vehicle of their choice and must not be intimidated by campaigners – especially when the facts they are using are out of date and misleading".
Autocar busts the myths
"4x4s are bigger than other cars": WRONG
In relation to the amount of road space they take up, 4x4s are comfortably overshadowed by big luxury saloons. They are taller than average, and as such harder to see around in traffic, but even in this respect they’re not the worst offenders, Citroen’s Berlingo mini-MPV, for example, is taller than a BMW X5.
"4x4s are less economical than other cars": WRONG
The prevalence of diesel engines makes many 4X4s no more thirsty than a typical family car. The Land Rover Freelander Td4 diesel, one of the UK’s most popular 4X4s returns an average 37.2 mpg – identical to that of a 1.8 Ford Mondeo 1.8 petrol.
"4x4s pollute more than other cars": WRONG
CO2 levels from 4X4s have dropped by 14.6 per cent since 1997, and a Volvo XC90 D5 4x4 now produces less than the maker’s 2.4-litre V50 estate. Emission free 4X4s will soon appear on the roads – Lexus has just launched a hybrid RX400 – which has both a traditional petrol engine and two powerful electric motors.
"There are more 4x4s in urban areas than elsewhere": WRONG
Only 7.1 per cent of cars sold last year were 4x4s – 179,439 were registered in 2004 in a new car market of over 2.5 million cars. In London, only 3.5 per cent of privately registered cars are 4x4s.
"4x4s are unsafe": WRONG
As a general rule 4x4s protect occupants very well in a crash and contrary to popular belief they’re no more dangerous to pedestrians than most ordinary hatchbacks. European testers EURO NCAP have certified the BMW X5, Volvo XC90 and VW Touareg as top-ranking five-star vehicles.
23 May 2005
Isuzu is now offering a Prodrive Performance Pack for its award-winning Rodeo Denver 3.0 litre pickup plus a whole host of attractive new accessories. Costing just £760 including VAT and fitting, the PPP boosts power from 131 PS at 3,800 rpm to a substantial 155 PS at the same engine speed. Equally important – especially for towing and load-lugging duties – the torque rises from 206.5 lb.ft to a solid 258.1 lb.ft at the same 2,000 rpm.
Available only for manual versions at launch – and fitted by any official Isuzu (UK) Limited dealer – the PPP will be offered for the Rodeo Denver automatic shortly.
Apart from stronger throttle response, increased flexibility and greater refinement, the 0-60 mph acceleration time is reduced from 16.8 seconds to 12.4 seconds. The extra power and torque is achieved thanks to a reprogrammed Electronic Control Unit which uprates the fuel supply and alters the ignition timing. As turbo boost is not affected, engine strain is not increased. It allows Isuzu (UK) Limited to include the PPP under its normal three year/60,000 mile warranty.
The Prodrive-developed upgrade was approved following extensive evaluation and was chosen over power packs which rely on extra turbo boost as they do not meet Isuzu’s strict durability criteria. As a further aid to reliability, the engine reverts to standard power every time it is turned off. It means the unit is better protected during cold-starting. Ideally, once the engine is warm, the driver can select extra power via a conveniently placed fascia switch.
Attractive Accessory Range Extended
New additions to the Isuzu Rodeo’s extensive accessory range include a larger wheel and tyre combination comprising 18 ins alloys with lower-profile 255/60 Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres. The standard size is 16 ins alloys with 245/70 tyres. Featuring a bold five-spoke design, the four optional wheels and tyres cost £1,580 including VAT.
Also new is a stainless steel mesh grille for £199.95, best complemented by a striking driving lamp kit for £395 (both including VAT).
Meanwhile, the Rodeo now has four major awards since going on sale in November 2004. Not only is the Denver the current ‘Caravan Club Towcar Of The Year – Utility Class’ but also ‘best in class’ according to What Van? magazine. In addition, 4x4 Magazine has recently declared it ‘Working Winner’ in its annual ‘Pick-Up Of The Year Awards’ – the second year to receive an accolade from the publication.
19 May 2005
Europe's leading Diesel publication - Diesel Car magazine, has unveiled it Car of the Year awards for 2005.
Published in the magazine's June edition, on sale on May 18th, these awards form the highlight of the Diesel manufacturer's calendar with the winners chosen by a panel of expert writers, all of whom contribute to Diesel Car magazine throughout the year.
Editor Dave Perry comments: "The Diesel Car of the Year awards always form a key aspect of this magazine's planning every year. We have always received huge support and interest from the motoring industry in their production, and can always be sure of some fairly lively debate once the results are revealed.
As the leading Diesel publication in Europe we are delighted to be able to help shine a spotlight on the ever increasing standards of performance and production found these days in the world of diesel motoring. As this year's winners highlight, many of the best cars on the road today can now be found filling up at the black pump!"
The overall winner of the prestigious Diesel Car of the Year award was Land Rovers awesome Discovery 3. To read the full report, buy Diesel Car magazine today.
"Kicks mud in the face of the opposition."
RUNNERS UP: Toyota Corolla Verso D-4D, VW Touran 2.0 TDI
WINNER: Land Rover Discovery 3
"Ugly muck king, transformed into King of the Road."
RUNNERS UP: Jeep Grand Cherokee 2.8CRD, Nissan Pathfinder 2.5 dCi
OVERALL WINNER - DIESEL CAR OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Land Rover Discovery 3
GKN Driveline, the world leader in automotive driveline components and systems, has demonstrated its newly enhanced systems and component capability on Land Rover’s new Range Rover Sport.
This latest model from Land Rover relies for its all-round refinement on an ‘intelligent’ advanced driveline system for which key mechanical and electronic elements were developed by GKN Driveline.
Sharing some of the driveline components developed for the recently launched Discovery 3, the new Range Rover Sport is the latest example of GKN Driveline’s extended product capability following its development of a range of class-leading, all-wheel-drive technology systems which play a crucial role in delivering high standards of on-road and off-road performance.
Graeme Walford, Managing Director, GKN Driveline Torque Technology Group said: "For GKN these two vehicles represent a milestone in the way we have developed a new systems expertise which embodies advanced electronic control technologies – an expertise which builds on our long established leadership in constant velocity jointed driveshafts and propshafts.
"Our work in all-wheel-drive technology places us in a strong position to provide class-leading research & development and product supply for this important market sector. We place enormous value on our long-standing relationship with Land Rover and our work on the new Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport took our technical collaboration to new levels."
Electronic torque management
GKN Driveline’s Electronic Torque Manager (ETM), adds to the vehicle's performance by delivering enhanced traction and mobility in challenging on-road and off-road conditions. The ETM, an electronically controlled differential, is offered as an optional extra on some vehicles fitted with Land Rover's Terrain Response System (TRS). When needed, the ETM activates without driver intervention and controls torque distribution between the rear wheels to provide enhanced traction and stability. Key to performance are a smooth and immediate engagement (mechanically pre-emptive), an excellent release response time and high control accuracy, all of which are ensured by the ETM's 'smart' actuator, made up of an electric motor, ball ramp mechanism and clutch pack together with proprietary control software.
New constant velocity joints (CVJs)
One of the most significant differences between the new Land Rovers and their predecessors is their all-independent double wishbone suspension. Independent suspension places very high demands on the performance of the
CVJs in the sideshafts as they have to accommodate much larger shaft angles than those of conventional road cars. To accommodate this exceptional wheel travel, GKN Driveline developed a new version of its six-ball, double-offset CVJ specifically for the new 4x4s.
GKN Driveline will be present at the Vehicle Dynamics Expo taking place at the Stuttgart Messe, Stuttgart, Germany between 31st May and 2nd June 2005. GKN Driveline will present a paper: 'Torque Sensing Devices in Front Wheel Drive Vehicles' at the Open Technology Forum on the 2nd June. The GKN Driveline internet café can be found in Hall 5.2.
GKN Driveline is a global tier one supplier of vehicle driveline components and systems, commanding a 42 per cent market share in constant velocity jointed sideshafts. Headquartered in Redditch, UK it has 49 manufacturing locations in 31 countries worldwide, 21,000 employees, supplies every major vehicle manufacturer and in 2004 had sales of £2 billion.
6 May 2005
The Toyota Hilux was famously the vehicle the Top Gear television team couldn’t destroy. Now an all-new model has broken cover, combining the legendary toughness of its predecessor with more room in the cabin, extra load-carrying capacity and better quality all-round.
The sixth generation of what is Toyota’s second best-selling global model (after Corolla) made its European debut this week at the Barcelona motor show. Sales in Europe and the UK will start in October.
The first generation Hilux was launched in Japan in 1967 and since then it has enjoyed continuous development and built a worldwide reputation for never-say-die toughness, reliability and power.
In creating the new Hilux, Toyota set an extremely ambitious goal: to develop a vehicle for business, leisure and adventure with all the strengths of its predecessors; that could deal with conditions from the world’s harshest environments.
In Europe new Hilux will contribute to Toyota’s strategy of increasing customer choice and building its market share, marketed at an affordable price alongside the SUV range of RAV4, Land Cruiser and Land Cruiser Amazon.
The new model has more interior space, improved driving characteristics, greater comfort and improved quality. It will be available in Single Cab and Double Cab body styles to cover a broad range of customer needs for both business and pleasure.
ROCK SOLID CONSTRUCTION
The new Hilux is built on an all-new ladder frame chassis, giving it strong off-road capability. The chassis is unique to the model and uses a larger box section than the current Hilux with torsional stiffness increased by 45 per cent. This gives greater body control and reduces noise intrusion in the cabin. An impact brace between the front and first cross-members effectively absorbs impact forces and protects other chassis components from damage in the event of a collision.
The front suspension features independent double wishbones with coil springs which provide maximum travel and bump absorption and maintain good straight line stability and feel. Traditional leaf springs are used at the rear to maintain an excellent load carrying capacity and avoid intrusion into the flat bed.
Major body panels are made of high-tensile sheet steel which increases strength, durability and crash protection. An anti-chipping coating has been added to exposed areas such as the door sills and underbody to protect against corrosion.
Aerodynamic styling has helped improve fuel consumption and reduce noise levels with elements such as an engine undercover and wind deflectors.
At the time of launch the new Hilux will be offered with Toyota’s 102bhp 2.5-litre D-4D diesel engine with second-generation common rail injection and swirl control system. The engine’s power and maximum 260Nm of torque (200Nm on two-wheel drive models) make it a flexible performer for both work and leisure driving.
The five-speed manual transmission has been made smoother and easier to use, with a better gear change feel. The powertrain line up will be expanded in the future starting with an intercooled version of the 2.5 D-4D next year.
The transfer gearbox enables four-wheel drive and a rear axle limited slip differential is fitted as standard to give improved traction in slippery conditions. Selected grades will also offer a differential lock.
MORE SPACE, MORE PRESENCE
The new Hilux has great visual impact, not least as it is considerably larger than the model it replaces. Its great road presence reflects its heritage as a working vehicle in some of the toughest environments around the world.
Double Cab and Single Cab with both two and four-wheel drive transmissions will be available. Both models offer more space, particularly in the cabin where class-leading quality and comfort have been achieved.
The new Hilux is 5,130mm long, making Single and Double Cab versions 340mm longer than the current model. It is also considerably wider (+60mm Single Cab, +45mm Double Cab), but is the same height as before. Most of the additional length is in the wheelbase, extended to 3,085mm. This allows for greater interior space and a more comfortable ride for passengers.
The load deck is also bigger. The vertical sides allow for width to increase by 50mm (55mm in Single Cab). It’s longer, too: up by 155mm in Single Cab and 165mm in Double Cab. Total load lengths are now 2,315mm for the Single Cab and 1,520mm for the Double Cab.
In line with the actual and perceived quality characteristics for which Toyota passenger cars are renowned, the new Hilux benefits from tighter panel fit and clearances. The instrument panel fit now compares to that on the Toyota Avensis, while door clearance on all frames has been reduced to between 4.5 and 5mm.
Quality materials are used for the full interior trim, doorsills are fitted with scuff plates and the interior has an impact-absorbing headlining.
The Double Cab will comfortably accommodate five people with improved seat design longer cushions, extra slide and recline adjustment and adjustable headrests in the rear. The rear seat can also be folded up to increase load space. Storage space is improved with extra cupholders, larger door bins, centre cubby holes and larger centre console box.
A WORLDWIDE PROJECT
The new Hilux is one of three vehicles being developed on a global basis through Toyota’s IMV (Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle) project. IMV products are designed to sell in more than 140 countries and meet modern customer demands.
The IMV line-up comprises three Hilux pick-ups, a minivan and an SUV. There are no plans to bring the minivan and SUV to Europe. The project is a ground-breaking approach to draw on the resources and potential of countries outside Japan as global production and supply bases for vehicles and components.
The IMV vehicle production base includes South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia and Argentina. Major components, such as diesel engines, come from Thailand, petrol engines from Indonesia and manual transmissions from India.
Initial worldwide production targets were 505,000 vehicles a year, spread across the four manufacturing countries. Sales of the new Hilux started earlier this year in Asia, Oceania and South America and have exceeded expectations.
For the European market, Toyota will take production of Single Cab and Double Cab models from South Africa and Extra Cab models from Thailand.
INDEPENDENT IMPORT ISSUES
As the new Toyota Hilux has been launched in other markets around the world ahead of its European and UK launch in October, some customers have been able to secure examples built in Thailand through independent importers.
There are important differences in the engineering and specification of these models, compared to those which will be built to European standards.
Where safety is concerned, vehicles built for the Thai market may not have ABS as standard and a driver’s airbag is only available on the top model grade; passenger airbags are not available. In addition, seatbelts do not have pretensioners, there are no child locks on the rear doors and there is no rear centre headrest.
The Thailand specification vehicle is set up as non commercial which can compromise the ride when carrying heavier loads. The anti-corrosion protection is also not of the same standard as European-specification versions.
Factory tour, off-roading, free camping and discounted products
Safety Devices, the company behind the roll cages and roof racks used in the Camel Trophy and Land Rover G4 Challenge expedition series, has announced details of its inaugural, free-to-attend ‘Landy Rollover Weekend’ on June 25-26, featuring a packed schedule of events and a host of special offers just for Land Rover owners.
The event, which will be held in and around Safety Devices’ headquarters in Soham, Cambridgeshire, will include factory tours to see how the company’s extensive range of Land Rover roll cages and roof racks are designed and manufactured. All those attending will be offered significant discounts on any Safety Devices Land Rover products purchased during the two days.
Visitors will also get a chance to put their 4x4s to the test, as each ‘Landy Rollover Weekend’ pass comes with half-price entry to the Wild-Tracks off-road centre located near Newmarket, Suffolk (see www.wildtracksltd.co.uk for more details).
The ‘Landy Rollover Weekend’ includes free camping facilities near to the Soham facility and a live band providing on-site entertainment on the Saturday evening.
All those interested in attending should notify Safety Devices in advance – just call 01353 724200, fax 01353 724213, or email email@example.com.
All applicants must supply name, address, contact details (phone, email etc), confirmation of the number of people attending and a registration number for any attending vehicles.
About Safety Devices
Safety Devices is the UK’s leading provider of motorsport safety equipment. The company designs, develops and manufactures roll cages, harnesses and fire extinguisher systems that are used at all levels of motorsport throughout the world.
Working closely with individual vehicle manufacturers, Safety Devices also produces a range of discreet yet highly robust roll-cages, roof racks and underbody protection parts for 4x4 vehicles. These products are used by the military, by consumers and also on major international expeditions – proving their worth on Camel Trophy events and in Land Rover's recent G4 series.
Further information is available from Safety Devices on 01353 724200, or visit www.safetydevices.co.uk.
27 Apr 2005
Overfinch will start deliveries in Autumn 2005 and as with all Overfinch products the Engine, Wheels, Exhaust and Aerostyling will all be available separately. Orders are now being taken for this unique and real sporting alternative to a Cayenne Turbo.
19 Apr 2005
The annual Land Rover Show takes place at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon during the Bank Holiday weekend 30 April and 1 May. This year the show will be opened at midday on Saturday (30 April) by Lynn Bowles, BBC Radio 2 broadcaster. Lynn is an avid Land Rover enthusiast and will be providing commentary during the Show, on the exhibits and entertainment during the weekend. There will be plenty of activities for all the family from quizzes, competitions to chauffeur-driven rides in the new Discovery3, as well as an opportunity to see the new Range Stormer concept vehicle.
On Sunday morning a hundred classic Land Rovers, which have been selected from the Association of Rover Clubs to represent 57 years of production at Solihull, will gather at the Land Rover factory where Colin Green, Global Marketing Director for Land Rover will launch the Heritage Run at the 'Home of the Legend'. The vehicles will depart in convoy from the Land Rover factory gates at Damson Lane Solihull and make their way through the Warwickshire countryside to the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon.
Unusually, this year the classic Heritage Run will be led by two new vehicles, which come from the museum collection at Gaydon; the new Range Rover Sport and the new Discovery3, closely followed by the first Discovery (1989) and the last Classic Range Rover (1996). The last vehicle, but by no means the least vehicle on the Run will be the oldest Land Rover on the road today - the first Series 1, affectionately known as ‘Hughie’ because of the registration HUE. This vehicle was built in 1948 at the factory in Solihull and donated to the museum by Land Rover. Tim Byran, the new Head of Collections at the museum, will drive this historic vehicle.
The first Heritage Run took place in 1998 as a key milestone event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Land Rover. Since then the run has become an integral part of the Heritage Motor Centre's events calendar.
There is a discounted entrance fee for all Land Rover vehicles visiting the Show at £5 per driver and £1 discount for each Land Rover passenger. The normal entry fees are: Adults £8, Concessions £7, Children 5-16 years £6, Under Fives are FREE. Family Tickets (2 adults & 3 children) available at £25.
The Heritage Motor Centre is home to the world's largest collection of historic British cars and is located close to Junction 12 M40 between Warwick and Banbury. The Show opening times are: Saturday 12.00-20.00 and Sunday 10.00-16.00. For more information log on to www.heritage-motor-centre.co.uk or telephone 01926 641188
15 Apr 2005
New HEMI and diesel engines offer outstanding performance
The 2005 Jeep® Grand Cherokee arrives in the UK this June and is all-new from the ground up. A sportier appearance and roomier interior mask significant improvements to its on-road handling and performance.
For outstanding driving dynamics, the third-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a new independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering for more responsive and precise on-road ride and handling.
For performance, the all-new 3.0-litre V-6 CRD engine offers 33 per cent more torque and 28 per cent more power than the previous model’s diesel engine, while the 5.7-litre V-8 Hemi engine has a top speed of 129 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 7.1 seconds.
For on and off-road traction and control, the latest Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system uses electronic limited slip differentials and has the ability to keep Grand Cherokee going even if only one front wheel has grip, on and off tarmac. The Jeep Grand Cherokee also brings customers standard safety features including ESP, traction control, side curtain airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director for Chrysler Group UK, said: "The new Jeep Grand Cherokee has lost none of its off-road ability or its great Jeep looks. The new Quadra-Drive II system will give you extra traction on anything from a wet roundabout to the Rubicon Trail!
"But the real story is on the road – independent front suspension, a great Mercedes-Benz diesel engine or a HEMI petrol engine, a sequential gearbox and new safety systems like ESP all help to make the Grand Cherokee as much fun on road as off. Its ‘car-like’ road manners will help to make the new vehicle an even bigger sales success than the previous model, which has sold to more than 16,000 UK customers since 2001."
Three engines – the 3.0-litre V-6 CRD, the 5.7-litre V-8 Hemi and 4.7-litre SOHC V-8 – will be available in the UK, all with a five speed sequential gearbox and Quadra-Drive II as standard.
Maximum power of the 3.0 CRD engine is 218 hp DIN @ 4000 rpm and peak torque is 376 lb.ft. from just
The 5.7-litre HEMI engine provides outstanding power and torque, at 326 hp DIN @ 5000 rpm and 369 lb.ft. at 4000 rpm. Jeep Grand Cherokee is also the first SUV to offer the Multi-Displacement System (MDS). On the 5.7-litre HEMI engine, MDS deactivates half the cylinders during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by up to 20 per cent, depending on driving conditions.
The 4.7-litre SOHC V-8 produces 231 hp DIN of power at 4500 rpm and 302 lb.ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm. Top speed is 124 mph and 0-62 mph in 8.8 seconds.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee also delivers class-leading towing capacity of 3500 kg (7716 lbs including nose weight).
Prices start at £29,495 for the entry-level Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD. The Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Limited and 4.7 V8 Limited are priced at £32,895 while the top of the range 5.7 Hemi Limited costs £37,995.
All Grand Cherokee models are covered by the comprehensive Jeep warranty scheme, which provides a three-year/60,000 mile mechanical warranty, seven-year anti-corrosion warranty and 12 months European roadside assistance.
12 Apr 2005
The SE and SE Sport models include all the generous standard specification of the 2.5 TDI and 2.5 TDI Sport models, but with the following extra items:
This represents £2,945 of additional value for only £1,000 (both prices RRP) over the equivalent 2.5 TDI and 2.5 TDI Sport models. On top of this, the new models feature standard Touareg specification, such as: 2Zone climate control; 17" alloy wheels (18" on the Sport models); multifunction computer; electric windows and mirrors; and a multifunction steering wheel with cruise control.
The new trim levels are offered with the 2.5 TDI engine – the most popular powerplant in the Touareg range – which produces 295 lbs ft of torque, at a usefully low engine speed of 2,000 rpm. This sophisticated diesel engine uses much of the technology seen in the award-winning 5.0-litre V10 TDI, including Volkswagen’s leading ‘Pumpe Düse’ unit injector technology.
Competing in the large 4x4 segment, the Touareg is designed to deliver class-leading performance in all situations. Features such as permanent 4XMOTION four-wheel drive; a low-ratio gearbox; electronic traction control linked to an auto-locking centre differential; optional, selectable mechanical rear differential lock; optional decoupling anti-roll bars; hill start and descent assist; and short front and rear overhangs, all contribute to its impressive ability when venturing off road. When back on it, ABS, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) and HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist system) boost safety on every model.
The Touareg SE and SE Sport are available now to order. Recommended retail prices are shown below:
12 Apr 2005
The judges said comfort set the Navara apart from its close rivals helping it win the best in class award for the second year running.
All Navaras have a 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine, with 133hp and torque of 304Nm and an impressive 3,000kg towing capacity. And with King Cab and double cab versions available, the Navara is equipped to deal with most things the British weather and terrain can throw at it. And don’t forget the Navara has anti-lock brakes as standard, something most of its competition charge extra for.
Paul Gozzard, Nissan’s recently appointed LCV Fleet Sales Manager said: ‘Although the Navara is designed for hard work in the toughest conditions, its stylish looks and high level of equipment – including a CD player, electric windows and climate controlled air conditioning – enable it to make the transition from work to play very easily.’
Full details on the Navara and the complete range of Nissan pickups and LCVs can be found on www.nissanvans.co.uk