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Kumho Road Venture MT KL7111 June 2008
The Kumho Road Venture MT KL71 was the joint winner of 4x4 Magazine’s ‘ultimate tyre test’ to establish the best mud-terrain tyre on the UK market. It shared top honours with a BFGoodrich, beating offerings from Goodyear, Wildcat, Maxxis, Cooper, INSA and Pirelli by a significant margin. All eight makes of 235/85 R16 tyres were subjected to six challenging, real-world tests, ie – mud climb, bog run, side slope, rock crawl, gravel and tarmac braking. One vehicle was involved – a 2007 Land Rover Defender 110.

The magazine found the Kumho KL71 radically different in appearance from all its competitors and, in fact, to be the best looking as well as the joint best performer. The Kumho was awarded top marks on the rock crawl and gravel braking tests and performed with credit on the mud climb and bog run. In summary, the magazine said, “The Kumho MT KL71 is a great tyre and a deserving all-round winner. Give it a try.”

Said Kumho’s Managing Director Steve Tidmarsh, “We are naturally delighted with the result. 4x4 Magazine’s test is very much in line with our own research and reinforces the confidence we have had in the KL71 from the outset. I can also reveal that the new 18in rally raid tyre we have developed for the Bowler Nemesis is based on the KL71 and that is surely the ultimate test for an MT tyre.”

For further information on Kumho and its products, log onto www.kumhotyre.co.uk or contact 4 SITE on 0870 112 9404 for details of your nearest stockist.

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Jeep Patriot3 June 2008
The Jeep Patriot already stands out – 42.2mpg; only £15,995 and even some green awards – but what do you do if you want your ride to stand out even more?

Jeep is now offering a range of accessories for the Patriot including a Startech chrome grille and a bodykit – or for the ultimate ride, sports suspension and 20-inch alloys. Simon Elliott, Managing Director of Chrysler UK Ltd, said: “People love to personalise their cars. This new range of accessories for the Jeep Patriot will be available in dealerships from June and while some people are happy to add just a few accessories, our great value-for-money packages mean you can really go for it. You can now personalise the internal and external styling of the Jeep Patriot or even enhance the performance of the diesel engine.”

Jeep has packaged a number of exterior design features from Startech together in an ‘SE Exterior’ Pack, which includes a front and rear under-ride bodykit; chrome grille inserts; exhaust tailpipe cover and Startech logo for the rear of the vehicle for just £999.

If you fancy adding a design statement to the interior, then the ‘SE Lifestyle’ interior pack at £1199 will give you a leather effect centre armrest cover; four chrome loudspeaker rings; a chrome gearshift gate; leather gear knob and leather effect treatments for the top of the door panels and dashboard instrument panel.

If that’s not enough then other available items include illuminated entrance panels; aluminium pedal pads; three-piece aluminium design kit for the dashboard and aluminium door locking pins. Two sizes of alloy wheels are also available: 19-inch Monostar IV five-spoke alloys or 20-inch Monostar IV five-spoke alloys. Both options come fitted with Yokohama tyres and a locking wheel nut kit.

Startech also now offers a performance enhancing option. The PowerXtra Performance Module increases the power output of the 2.0-litre diesel engine by 40bhp and is aimed at drivers who either want a sportier drive, who tow or frequently have their car loaded with people and luggage and feel that they need a little extra kick for only £999.

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2008 HUMMER H3

HUMMER H331 March 2008

  • Shorter, lower and narrower – the most urban-friendly HUMMER
  • Icon appearance embodies classic HUMMER design cues
  • Five-cylinder Vortec engine delivers 245 ps and 328 Nm of torque
  • Immensely capable and finely controllable 4x4 system
  • Luxurious interior seats five with up to 1597 litres of cargo space
  • Three models on sale in UK from £26,495 with right-hand drive

Building on the remarkable abilities and image of the HUMMER H1 and H2, the midsized H3 is the most accessible HUMMER ever. The H3 was designed in response to global demand for a luxurious, everyday vehicle that offered the legendary HUMMER design and unparalleled off-road performance in a more useable and urban-friendly form. Consequently H3 packs authentic HUMMER style and capability into more compact dimensions. Shorter, lower and narrower than the H2, the 2008 H3 is a similar length to a large family saloon and can comfortably navigate dense city traffic, yet still deliver HUMMER’s trademark all-terrain crawling and climbing capability out of town.

Developed for markets around the world and built in South Africa, the 2008 HUMMER H3’s iconic design continues to make it one of the most easily recognizable vehicles on the road. The signature seven-slot louvered front grille, flat windscreen and rectangular side windows, the profile’s low glass-to-metal ratio, giant 32-inch outside diameter Goodyear Wrangler tyres and externally carried spare wheel – are all classic HUMMER design cues. H3 is the first HUMMER ever to offer the choice of a manual or automatic transmission. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual is standard, while GM’s famed Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is an option.

In the UK the 2008 HUMMER H3 is available as a three model range of right-hand drive vehicles, each with a choice of manual or automatic transmission. The H3 SE is priced from £26,495 (on-the-road), the H3 Luxury from £31,495 and the H3 Adventure from £30,495. A choice of nine exterior and five interior colours is offered. Although the H3 is less than 5-metres long (overall length is 4782 mm) its long wheelbase (2841 mm) and broad track (1645/1665 front/rear) place a wheel-at-each corner for maximum stability, on- and off-road. The H3’s more compact size provides manoeuvrability advantages, such as an 11.3-metre turning circle.

The global version of the HUMMER H3 for all markets outside of North America is assembled at GM’s state-of-the-art Struandale Assembly Facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The facility benefited from a US$100-million refurbishment in 2006 and has been described as one of the most important milestones in the history of GM.

Designed with Iconic looks for Global Appeal
HUMMER design is certainly iconic and the H3’s distinctive looks make it instantly recognisable as a HUMMER family member. Power and strength emanate from its chiselled surfaces, while its short overhangs, pronounced fender flares and huge 32-inch outside diameter tyres hint at outstanding off-road capability. Headlights have an oval design with a chrome surround. Clear lenses with amber bulbs, specially designed side blinker lamps and a unique tail lamp design were also adopted to meet international and UK lighting requirements. A headlamp levelling system is standard and a redesigned rear bumper with standard trailer hitch and enlarged step is combined with a new Rear Protection Under Run Device and rear fog lamps.

The large side-hinged tailgate has a fixed glass heated rear window, standard rear wiper and carries the full-size spare tyre. The spare has a lockable cover embossed with HUMMER. Other exterior design highlights are a protective aluminium front skid plate; hefty, stamped-steel front and rear bumper bars; a composite front fascia, with a ‘HUMMER’ logo moulded into the nearside, standard dual heavy duty front tow hooks, and a welded-on rear bumper recovery hook.

In the UK, the H3 is available in a choice of three solid and six metallic exterior colours: Black, Birch White and Victory Red (solid), plus Ocean Blue, Arctic Silver, River Rock, Torch, Sandstone and Lunar Gray (metallic).

Expressive, refined HUMMER-brand ambience
The interior design of the HUMMER H3 represents the start of an entirely new design theme for HUMMER. From the outset it was designed to be a vehicle for everyday driving and that focus strongly influenced the design, with comfort and intuitive function as key factors.

The H3’s interior design is expressive, refined and true to the brand’s ambience. The interior fittings have tight panel gaps and flush surfaces, and the tone is lightened with the use of bright trim accents and the use of colour.

Front and rear, there is generous head, leg and shoulder room. The perception of roominess within the vehicle is boosted by a headliner trimmed in a pale tight-weave fabric. The pillar mouldings are finished in the same colour to harmonise with the headliner. The large 916 x 624 mm powered sunroof offered on the H3 as an option can be opened, closed or set to the ‘vent’ (tilt) position.

The centre stack, which is a flush fit to the dashboard, is finished in a new material called Nissha. This material carries a metallic finish for a premium look, but is resistant to light reflection and smudges – for excellent wear. Nissha is also featured in the instrument cluster, which is positioned to ensure an optimal view of the road and maximum clarity for its easy-to-read liquid crystal displays. A driver information centre includes four levels of controls arranged horizontally for easy use.

The standard easy-opening, one-piece tailgate makes for convenient loading and unloading of the cargo area which measures 1273 mm wide x 811 mm long with the rear seats upright. In this mode, capacity is a generous 835 litres and folding down the 60/40 split rear seat expands cargo volume to 1597 litres. Tough, durable materials protect the cargo area sidewalls, while the floor is covered by a rubberised Tufflor material, which is superior to traditional carpets, mats or rubber floors in its resistance to scratches and damage.

H3 customers have a choice of five interior colour combinations – all Ebony and Ebony with Light Cashmere seat cushion inserts for the standard cloth seats. For the leather trim, the choice is all Ebony with Pewter piping, Ebony with Morocco-toned seat cushion inserts and piping, or light Cashmere with Ebony piping.

Power, torque and Maximum Drivability
The 2008 HUMMER H3 is powered by GM’s inline five-cylinder Vortec 3.7-litre petrol engine. This all-aluminium ‘smart engine’ is both high-tech and lightweight and is fitted with dual overhead camshafts, electronic throttle control and variable valve timing. Specifically designed for this type of vehicle, it delivers 245 ps at 5600 rpm and 328 Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. For superb drivability both on- and off-road, 90% of the engine’s torque is available across a broad rev-range, from 2000-to-6000 rpm.

The Vortec engine provides the H3 with excellent performance combined with good controllability for easy off-roading. On the road, the comfortable ride is matched to lively acceleration that equals the V8 powered H2 in most driving conditions. The Vortec engine’s advanced technologies, including counter-rotating balance shafts, which help to minimize noise, vibration and harshness. Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) with Sequential Electronic Fuel Injection (SEFI) eliminate the throttle cable and provide outstanding throttle response both on- and off-road. Coil-on-Plug ignition does away with spark plug leads, delivers high energy and cuts exhaust emissions while stretching fuel economy – up to 20.4 mpg (combined cycle).

H3 was the first HUMMER to offer the choice of a manual or automatic transmission. In addition to the standard five-speed manual transmission, which is a fun option for the serious off-road performance enthusiast, offering the ultimate driver control, customers can opt for the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic.

Immensely capable 4x4 Drivetrain
At the heart of the HUMMER H3’s immense capability is an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system with an advanced traction control system (TCS), an incredible 45.1:1 crawl ratio (as standard) and lockable front and (optional) rear differentials. The TCS ensures that even with three wheels spinning, the H3 can still move forwards, even up a 10% incline. The Borg-Warner two-speed electrically controlled transfer case has a robust 2.64:1 low-range gear reduction for highly controlled, off-road obstacle climbing. The Adventure model has as standard, an ultra-low 4.03:1 ratio for ultimate obstacle-climbing control. This is the most aggressive transfer ratio that GM has ever offered on a regular production vehicle.

The four-wheel drive system gives drivers a choice of four operating modes:

1. ‘4High-range Open’ is used for optimum highway performance and comfort under normal every day road conditions.

2. ‘4High-range Locked’ allows torque to be transferred to the front or rear wheels as needed.

3. ‘4Low-range Locked’ is for severe off-road use, such as crawling over large rocks or logs, or deep sand or snow.

4. ‘Neutral’ is a setting used for flat-towing vehicle recovery, if required.

As an option (standard on Adventure), a fifth operating mode is available with electronic, driver-selectable full-locking rear differential. With the rear differential locked, and the optional 4.03:1 low-range transfer case gearing, the H3 is as capable of crawling and climbing as the legendary HUMMER H1 and H2. Standard fit on the Adventure model is a crawl ratio that is raised to 68.9:1 (manual transmission) and 56.2:1 (automatic) to give drivers a heightened level of control that makes the H3 one of GM’s most capable off-road vehicles.

Robust chassis, delivers Smooth ride and Responsive handling
While functionality and off-road performance are key features of the HUMMER H3, it also provides a surprisingly smooth and comfortable ride on-road, along with responsive handling and braking control for everyday driving. Key features contributing to this rare combination of attributes include a fully welded ladder-type steel chassis frame, with a modular, three-piece design that incorporates fully boxed components for outstanding strength and torsional stiffness. Special high-strength steel is used to manufacture the side rails and cross members for extra durability and impact-resistance.

This frame is combined with an independent double-wishbone front suspension with torsion bars and, at the rear, a ‘Hotchkiss’ design multi-leaf, semi-elliptic, dual stage leaf spring suspension. Large diameter, 46 mm gas-filled shock absorbers are used all round, with 36 mm (front) and 25 mm (rear) anti-roll stabiliser bars. The two suspension systems, which are equipped with microcellular urethane bump-stops which act as secondary springs, provide both excellent on-highway comfort and outstanding off-road capability.

A highly sophisticated, power assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, with a three-bushing mount design and a 17.0:1 ratio, contributes to a manoeuvrable 11.3-metre kerb-to-kerb turning circle, similar to many D-segment cars. The H3 is equipped with four large disc brakes and an electro-hydraulic four-wheel ABS anti-lock system, plus a Dynamic Rear Proportioning valve, so that quick, controlled stopping power is assured. To protect the H3 chassis under the most arduous of off-road conditions, underbody protection incorporates four protective shields as standard. These include a front skid plate; a sump guard skid plate that also protects the front axle; a transfer case shield and a fuel tank shield.

Premium equipment for everyday Comfort and Convenience
In addition to its uncompromised off-road capabilities, the 2008 H3 also provides the refinement, comfort and convenience required for enjoyable everyday motoring. It presents an inviting and modern interior, blending premium cues with high-quality craftsmanship. Upscale touches include a chrome H3 emblem in the centre steering wheel boss, bright-accented instrument panel, chrome interior door release handles and a chrome bezel for the automatic transmission shifter.

The 2008 HUMMER H3 is equipped with a wide range of premium luxury fixtures and fittings. Standard equipment on the SE model includes: air-conditioning, cruise control, radio/CD player with six-speaker audio system, powered windows (front and rear), electric power-adjustable door mirrors, a ‘electrochromic’ inside rearview mirror with compass and outside temperature indicator, plus two covered 12-volt auxiliary power outlets – one in front, one in the cargo area and remote keyless entry with two transmitters and panic button.

Both the Luxury and Adventure versions H3 come with eight items of additional equipment that include: a Chrome Appearance Pack, leather seats and interior trim, heated eight-way powered front seats, and an AM/FM radio/single CD, with MP3 disc-playing capability and a premium seven-speaker Monsoon® sound system with subwoofer and amp. As standard, the H3 Luxury also features 16-inch chrome alloy wheels, chrome bonnet louvre, chrome roof cross-bars and chrome tubular assist steps – while the H3 Adventure has heavy-duty off-road suspension and a 4.03:1 transfer case and locking rear differential – instead of the Luxury’s chromed additions. Among the premium options available are an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, a touch-screen DVD-based navigation system, a large electric express open/close sliding glass sunroof and numerous customised HUMMER accessories. These include roof marker lights, bright and black roof rack crossbars, a chrome–plated fuel filler flap in solid metal, an under-bonnet engine-bay liner with H3 logo moulded splash guards, a hard cargo carrier and roof or tailgate mounted carriers for bikes, skis, snowboards, or even canoes.

HUMMER high technology for off-road Supremacy
The 2008 H3 simply would not be a HUMMER if it didn’t deliver a class-leading performance off road. The H3 is engineered for off-road leadership among midsize SUVs, with an electronically controlled four-wheel drive system, traction control, a (optional) locking rear differential and StabiliTrak stability control. The standard 265/75 R16 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres have a 32-inch external diameter. They are larger than those found on any other midsize SUV and provide optimum traction and an opportunity for increased approach, departure and breakover angles. Serious off-road performance is also aided by the ‘wheel at each corner’ nature of the design which results in a maximum approach and departure angles of 37.0 and 34.6 degrees, respectively. These angles permit the H3 to drive into a hole and back out again, without getting hung up in front or rear. The 219 mm ground clearance and maximum breakover angle of 23.5 degrees make it possible to clear large obstacles during off-road driving. Among its off-road credentials, the H3 can ford 407 mm of water at 20 mph or wade through 610 mm deep streams at a steady 5 mph pace. The HUMMER H3 is equally at home making its way through deep sand or racing over sandy surfaces, or climbing 407-mm vertical steps or rocks.

State-of-the-Art Safety Equipment
HUMMER owners value the inherent strength and feeling of security that their vehicles exude. The 2008 H3 fulfils that brand promise with a range of ‘active’ and ‘passive’ safety technologies, including a robust all-steel chassis frame, steel body panels and a reinforced passenger compartment safety cage, plus features such as TCS, StabiliTrak, curtain air bags and rollover protection. ‘Active’ technologies that enhance stability include a standard-fit traction control system (TCS), that uses a combination of engine throttle reduction and braking one or more wheels, to provide impressive traction capability even when three wheels are slipping.

GM’s sophisticated StabiliTrak ESP-style electronic stability enhancement system is standard on the HUMMER H3. Partnered with the new ABS brake and TCS traction control systems, it applies individual brakes to correct understeer or oversteer during emergency manoeuvres and ensure stability and traction. StabiliTrak is always ‘on’ and its operation is fully automatic. In the H3, the transfer case’s control algorithm has been integrated with both the StabiliTrak and ABS systems to provide enhanced vehicle stability by managing the front-to-rear, as well as the left-to-right torque distribution, as required, to achieve optimal control.

’Passive’ protection for all occupants
The standard two front air-bags are advanced dual-stage bags, computer controlled to inflate to a greater or lesser extent – depending on the severity of the accident. In H3 these bags are also controlled by GM’s Passenger Sensing System. This uses weight-sensing technology to turn the front passenger air bag ‘on’ or ‘off’ as appropriate. If the sensor system detects an unoccupied seat or the presence of a smaller occupant, the front passenger air bag is designed to automatically turn off so it would not deploy in the event of a frontal collision. In the event of a roll-over, the standard full-length curtain air bags drop down from the interior roof rail to the belt line and help provide head and upper torso protection for all occupants. The rollover protection sensing system also has a predictive ability, with motion monitors that can ‘sense’ an impending rollover and trigger the inflation of the side curtain air bags to increase occupant protection in the anticipated incident. Three-point seatbelts are provided in all five seating positions, along with the Child safety seat Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system in the outer rear seats. Both front seatbelts feature pretensioners that help keep occupants in the optimum position to gain maximum benefit from the vehicle safety systems.

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FREELANDER 2 GOES COMMERCIALGaydon, Warwickshire, 28 March 2008
Due to significant customer demand, Land Rover will introduce a commercial derivative to the Freelander 2 product line-up. It will be showcased for the first time at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC, Birmingham from April 15-17.

The Freelander 2 Commercial will be available in 'S' and 'XS' versions. The specification will be as a standard Freelander 2 at the respective trim levels, without rear seats and side airbags but with the addition of a full-height solid bulkhead with mesh panel, floor support frame, floor panel with lashing points, fixed rear side glass, rubber loadspace mat, tail door and side window guards and rear cargo lighting. The 'XS' derivative benefits from Land Rover's acclaimed Terrain Response system, 17" alloys, powerfold mirrors, a full size spare wheel, front park distance control, part leather trim, automatic climate control and branded ICE.

"Since the launch of the Freelander 2 in November 2006, there has been high demand for a commercial derivative from our customers and dealers," commented John Edwards, managing director for Land Rover UK. "The Commercial offers supreme loadspace capability together with levels of ride, handling, comfort and equipment which will further re-define the compact 4x4 commercial segment."

The Freelander 2 Commercial goes on sale in the UK this month and will be priced from £20,775 on the road. As a commercial vehicle, it will benefit from being VAT and Company Car Tax exempt, adding to the appeal for business customers. To arrange a test drive of or for more information on any of the Land Rover range please contact your local Land Rover dealership or log onto www.landrover.co.uk

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Planet 4x4 magazine asks: How Green is Your 4x4?

28 March 2008
Current green policies are at serious risk of putting profit before the planet. That’s one of the conclusions in the Green Issue – Planet 4x4 magazine’s unflinching examination of the truth, warts and all, about 4x4s and the environment.

  • Includes contributions from manufacturers and anti-4x4 campaigners
  • Challenges cosy assumptions about recycling and alternative fuels
  • Questions the commitment of government, manufacturers and drivers to achieving real environmental improvements
  • Asks whether current policies are putting profit before the planet
  • Calls for action based not on convenience but on good environmental science

Looking beyond fuel consumption and CO2 emissions – so often used as a stick to beat 4x4s – Planet 4x4 considers issues like shipping, manufacturing and embedded energy. It asks whether alternative fuels really are the answer the pro-4x4 lobby claims and, in an investigation which questions the commitment of government and industry alike to real sustainability, weighs up the benefits of recycling against refurbishment. It also contains a unique Green Index, exclusive to Planet 4x4. This ranks every 4x4 on the market in terms of emissions and fuel consumption as well as key indicators of its ‘usability’ such as seating and cargo capacity. In addition, the magazine includes statements from all the major 4x4 manufacturers explaining their environmental policies. It also contains an essay by the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s putting forward its case against the vehicles.

‘This is definitely not a whitewash,’ said Alan Kidd, Editor of Planet 4x4. ‘We’ve done what I believe is a very honest job of examining this critical subject. Whether or not you agree with our conclusions, I think you’ll look long and hard to find a better balanced body of writing on cars and the environment. Much of the unthinking criticism levelled at 4x4s is based on hysteria and bad science. But if 4x4 owners and manufacturers use that as an excuse to pretend they have no case to answer, they’ll be presumed guilty – and it’ll serve them right.’

In the Green Issue, Planet 4x4 argues that a vehicle’s environmental impact can only be truly understood in the light of the use to which it’s put; that alternative fuels cannot be relied upon as a long-term solution; and that more emphasis needs to be placed on extending vehicles’ life cycles, rather than scrapping them early to make way for newer models whose only virtue is lower emissions. On the last point, it considers whether 4x4s’ traditional strengths contain answers which could turn them from villains to heroes in the battle to save the planet.

Fundamentally, the Green Issue identifies a clear need for a much broader, deeper spread of information to be considered – and questions why current policies ignore so much of what’s relevant to a vehicle’s true environmental impact. ‘There are many uncomfortable facts to be confronted,’ said Kidd. ‘But the worst is this. I can’t think of one thing we’ve published which suggests that anybody – drivers, anti-SUV campaigners, government, the industry – genuinely cares more about the environment than about their own position. Simplistic arguments for or against 4x4s are obviously worthless: whether any of the people currently making them have a real appetite to tackle the issues in all their complex detail is far less clear.’

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Fuel economy experts John and Helen Taylor drove a Jeep Compass and a Jeep Patriot, both standard production vehicles equipped with 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines and carrying two people and their luggage, from London to Berlin on less than a single tank of fuel each – an unmatched achievement among SUVs. The husband and wife team of John and Helen Taylor first drove the Jeep Compass and Patriot 658 miles between the two European capitals. Upon arrival in Berlin, there was sufficient fuel remaining in both vehicles for them to continue the journey, crossing the border into Poland. In total, they travelled a total distance of 698.4 miles on their way to achieving their record.

"This new achievement helps to establish Jeep Compass and Patriot as industry leaders and proves that it is possible to offer global customers fuel efficiency and capability in the same package," Jim Press, Vice Chairman and President, Chrysler LLC said. "Jeep offers a full range of vehicles powered by efficient diesel engines and we are committed to furthering our efforts to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In fact, at the new Chrysler, we are redesigning our business model with a greater emphasis on fuel-efficient products with features that the customers want and need."

During the 21-hour drive, passing through six countries, Helen Taylor achieved a fuel consumption figure of 66.76 mpg driving the Jeep Compass. John Taylor performed even better, achieving a fuel consumption figure of 67.46 mpg in a Jeep Patriot. The Taylors were observed during their marathon drive by an independent scrutineer, PC Stephen Driver, of the West Midlands Police. PC Driver, who travelled as the passenger in the Patriot, ensured that the fuel tanks of both vehicles were sealed at the start of the journey and verified the odometer readings and all fuelling procedures at the start and conclusion of the challenge.

“We already knew that the Compass and Patriot were among the most economical of all SUVs, but we were amazed by the fuel efficiency that these two vehicles were capable of during this drive,” commented John Taylor. “We drove on normal roads at realistic speeds with two people and their luggage on board and the traffic and weather conditions weren’t favourable at all – cold with many traffic jams,” he said. “We used simple fuel economy driving techniques that any driver could replicate.” His wife Helen added, “This record achievement challenges the myth that all SUVs are gas guzzlers. We’ve proven, in everyday driving conditions just how fuel efficient these two Jeep SUVs can be.”

The Jeep Compass and Patriot have already been praised by the media for their fuel efficiency. 4x4 & MPV Driver Magazine in the UK ranked Jeep ahead of all other manufacturers of 4x4s and SUVs by presenting the brand with a Gold Award in its 2007 Green Awards scheme. The publication praised the Jeep Compass and Patriot for being “the most economical 4x4s ever to wear the Jeep badge” and for being the least polluting with their CO2 emissions.

Economy Tips for Fuel Efficient Driving
John and Helen Taylor promote a range of fuel economy driving techniques but by far the most important factor in the reduction of fuel consumption is the driver. The rule is simple: slow down and take it easy. The Taylors offer the following tips and guidance on how motorists can obtain the best possible fuel efficiency from their vehicle:

Drive Smoothly. Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel compared to conservative driving. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard, and try to keep the steering action as smooth as possible.

Use Higher Gears. The higher the gear, the lower the engine speed. This can improve fuel efficiency, so use the highest gear appropriate, without causing the engine to labour at an ultra-low rpm. Automatic transmission vehicles will upshift through the gears more quickly and smoothly if the driver eases back slightly on the accelerator when the car has gathered sufficient momentum.

Tune and Service the Engine. A well tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to four percent. Change the oil and always follow the car manufacturer’s recommendation on servicing.

Keep the Tyres at the Correct Pressure. Correctly inflated tyres are safer and last longer, and they also reduce the amount of energy required to keep the vehicle rolling. A tyre that is under inflated by just 69 millibar (one psi) can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as three percent.

Avoid Carrying Excess Weight. For every extra 45 kilograms carried in a vehicle, the fuel efficiency can drop by two percent, so keep the trunk and rear seat clear of any unnecessary items that just add weight to the vehicle.

Take the Roof Rack Off. If the roof rack or roof bars are not being used, then remove them. They adversely affect the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle and create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as five percent.

Use the Correct Engine Oil. Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by one or two percent. Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently.

Avoid Excess Idling. Idling gets a vehicle nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you’re in a queue, or waiting for someone, until you need to drive.

Avoid High Speeds. The faster you travel, the more wind resistance you’ll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. Driving just five mph over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23 per cent.

Maintain the Distance. Leaving a sensible distance between your car and the vehicle in front gives the driver ample time to anticipate obstacles and to brake evenly.

Use Air Conditioning Sparingly. Air Conditioning puts added strain on the engine and uses additional fuel when operating, so limit its use to particularly hot days. On temperate days, use the fan instead of air conditioning.

Check the Air Filter. The air filter keeps impurities from damaging your engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10 per cent while helping to protect your engine.

Avoid Rush Hour or Traffic Jam Hotspots. If you can travel outside of peak times and avoid known areas of heavy traffic, you’ll spend less time stuck in queues and slow-moving traffic, thus consuming less fuel.

Conserve Momentum. Think ahead when driving. For example, slow down early to let red traffic lights change to green, rather than stopping completely. Also, speed up a little before reaching the start of a hill and then allow the vehicle’s momentum to carry the vehicle up the hill without working the engine harder.

Keep Calm. When drivers are not calm, they are more likely to make judgement errors. Fuel efficiency is all about smoothness. Judgement and keeping calm is absolutely crucial to achieving fuel economy.

Use Handbrakes on Slopes. Some motorists do not use the handbrake when stopping their vehicle on a slope. Instead, they either partially disengage the clutch (on manual transmission vehicles), or use the accelerator (on automatic vehicles), to keep the vehicles from rolling back. Both actions use fuel unnecessarily.

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Gaydon, Warwickshire, 4 March 2008

  • European debut of the LRX diesel hybrid concept and world debut of a brand new, black and silver version of LRX designed to highlight the concept's suitability for contemporary personalisation
  • Global debut of the Defender SVX special edition, celebrating Land Rover's 60th anniversary
  • First showings for the upgraded '09 model year versions of Range Rover Sport and Freelander 2
  • The appearance of Range Rover Sport is refreshed, including extended body colour finish on the tailgate, clear-lens rear lights, new interior colourway, and new Alcantara/leather combination seat options. Satellite navigation is standardised across the range
  • Discovery 3 is refreshed with a more sophisticated exterior look including body-colour front bumper across the range In addition to minor upgrades on all models.
  • Freelander 2 features additional premium enhancements to the top-of-the-range HS

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LAND ROVER LRX CONCEPTGaydon, Warwickshire, 3 March 2008

  • Land Rover shows two different versions of its LRX concept in Geneva – desirable, premium and compact 4x4s which extend the definition of 'breadth of capability'
  • Brand new, black and silver version of LRX designed to highlight the concept's suitability for contemporary personalisation
  • Conceived as capable of having a range of powertrains, including a 2.0-litre turbodiesel hybrid, with potential CO2 emissions of 120 g/km and fuel economy of 60 mpg (4.7 l/100 km)
  • Demonstrates Land Rover's commitment to sustainability – with new technologies, lightweight design and environmentally-responsible materials
  • A bold evolution of Land Rover design – but still unmistakably a Land Rover
  • Impeccable attention to detail and precision of execution underpin LRX's premium credentials

A striking black and silver version of Land Rover's acclaimed LRX cross-coupe concept makes its global debut at the 78e Salon International de l'Automobile, alongside the original white LRX revealed earlier to widespread acclaim (at NAIAS, Detroit, in January). "With its metallic black paintwork, silver roof and precisely detailed exterior features, the second version of the LRX concept is designed to show how well the vehicle can deliver a contemporary example of personalisation," says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's design director. "The LRX concept already has an abundance of character, but you can tune the appearance to reflect a customer's own personality and lifestyle. Clever use of colour and subtle additional details enable the vehicle to be tailored to suit an individual's style, without compromising the clean design of the LRX," he adds.

No production plans have been confirmed yet for the LRX concept, and both versions will now be used to gauge public, dealer and media response to Land Rover's cross-coupe concept, as well as its interesting new opportunities for vehicle personalisation. "We were hugely excited by the positive response that the original LRX concept generated when we showed it at the Detroit Show a few weeks ago," says Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover. "But we've always seen scope for LRX to provide a whole showroom of different models, with a range of powertrains including hybrids and bio-fuel capable engines."

Using lightweight material technologies, Land Rover has developed a series of bespoke features for the black and silver LRX that add to the vehicle's individuality and flexibility. The removable carbon composite roof panel contrasts with the silver-coloured roof, and has integral anchor points for fixing snowboards and other sports equipment. The sleek black roof bars provide another option for roof-top loads, and a compact step above the rear bumper provides for easy roof-top access. More carbon composite is used for the protective underbody plates at front and rear, while new, lightweight alloy wheels with unique-design tyres signal purposefulness. And to protect the vehicle when the going gets tough – in either urban or off-road situations – there are smart, resilient mouldings on bumpers and sills. "The black and silver LRX shows a real world breadth of capability. Its all-terrain ability, extra protection and load-carrying versatility help emphasise that it's an authentic Land Rover, while its compact dimensions, agile handling and efficient powertrain make it a practical proposition for everyday driving," says Phil Popham.

The LRX concept marks a bold evolution of Land Rover design, signalling the brand's potential shift into new areas of the market, while remaining true to its core values. As the company celebrates its 60th anniversary during 2008, the three-door LRX, with its more compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies, clearly addresses the needs of a changing world and offers the potential of 120 g/km CO2 emissions and fuel economy of 60 mpg (4.7 l/100 km) on the European combined cycle. "The LRX concept delivers the powerful message that we are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles," says Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director. "LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it's a very different Land Rover. LRX has unmistakable Land Rover design and the breadth of capability that you’d expect from our vehicles. But it carries those essentials into a segment where the brand has never been before, and with a proposed level of efficiency that would make it one of the cleanest vehicles in its class. It is Land Rover's way of affirming the brand's responsible approach to future product development. At this stage, LRX is purely a concept, designed to help us develop our thinking as well as gauge customer reaction – but this feels like a hugely exciting direction to take."

LRX is described as a cross-coupé and dramatically extends the scope of what Land Rover represents. Though 149 mm (5.9 in) shorter than the Freelander 2 / LR2 and 205 mm (8.1 in) lower, LRX is conceived as a premium car, designed to appeal to new customers in the luxury and executive sector – those who want many of the benefits of a 4x4 and the presence of a larger vehicle, but in a more compact package.

The first all-new Land Rover revealed since Gerry McGovern became the company's design director, LRX is a natural extension of the Land Rover range, complementing the existing models and helping to define a new segment. Its many recognisable Land Rover design cues include bold new interpretations of the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof and the solid 'wheel-at-each-corner' stance.

"LRX is a design born out of passion for the brand, but it is different, relevant, engaging and exciting – because Land Rover has never built ordinary cars," says Gerry McGovern. "LRX has a highly desirable identity and the design alludes strongly to its capability, while clearly underlining our forward-looking philosophy – it's a Land Rover that would be comfortable on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, but wouldn’t flinch at getting its wheels dirty." Its compact size is one of its greatest assets, which will appeal to anyone who wants the versatile ability of an agile 4x4 with the cachet of the Land Rover name. In addition, its lower weight and the reduced aerodynamic drag resulting from the smaller frontal area would help give significant gains in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. HIGHLY EFFICIENT POWERTRAIN The white LRX is conceived as a highly fuel-efficient 2.0-litre, turbodiesel hybrid, capable of running on bio-diesel. In combination with other Land Rover technologies, this powertrain could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30% compared with other 4x4s of comparable size, and reduce CO2 emissions to approximately 120 g/km.

LRX's improved efficiencies are the result of advanced mechanical and electrical energy-saving elements, which are combined to achieve cumulative gains in many areas. The concept's integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) is particularly significant in Land Rover terms as it would allow LRX to use electric drive alone at lower speeds while retaining full (even improved) 4x4 ability in tough conditions. Unlike the hybrid technology used by some 4x4 rivals, Land Rover's unique solution retains mechanical drive to all four wheels. Off-road, the ERAD would provide additional torque only when it is needed, and with maximum electrical torque from standstill, this solution offers even better low-speed control and enhanced pull-away on difficult surfaces (such as packed snow or wet grass) or when towing. On the road, the ERAD would allow low-speed traffic creep up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on electric power alone, with the Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG) function re-starting the engine automatically when needed. The electric drive would then continue to assist the mechanical drive until the engine is running in its most efficient range, benefiting both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The ISG would also stop the engine automatically when the vehicle halts in traffic, so the engine does not idle needlessly, and restart it quickly and smoothly as required. The electrical drive system uses power stored in a dedicated high-voltage, high-capacity, lithium-ion battery pack, independent of the normal 12-volt battery. This is charged by a regenerative braking energy system, also working through the ERAD.

LRX also incorporates Hill Descent Control and Land Rover's acclaimed and user-friendly Terrain Response system, which optimises vehicle drivability and comfort, as well as maximising traction. On LRX, this has five modes, including the new and efficiency-focused 'Eco' mode. Principally for on-road use, this configures all the integrated elements of the car’s system for optimised fuel economy. The other four Terrain Response modes provided are sports (also new), general driving, sand and 'grass/gravel/snow' (a single programme for slippery surfaces).

The positioning of LRX could be described as moving subtly from traditional SUV to crossover, with its more car-like appearance and dynamics that are sportier and on-road biased. But while its character is underlined by excellent agility, handling and performance, LRX also promises the widest breadth of capability in the class.

The design of LRX was developed entirely in-house by Gerry McGovern's team, driven by a passion to create a car that truly represents Land Rover's future thinking. It has a very dynamic profile, with a distinctive taper to the floating roofline and a muscular shoulder running the length of the car, accentuated by the rising beltline. The glazing wraps right around LRX, with no exposed pillars, creating a bold design graphic. The architectural structure of the upper body can be glimpsed through the windows and roof – echoing some of the best contemporary buildings. Pushing the wheels out to the four corners helps give the car its purposeful stance, and its front-end design makes a powerful and instantly recognisable statement of Land Rover's identity. The carefully sculpted corners dramatically reduce the car’s visual overhangs front and rear.

There are new interpretations of Land Rover's traditional clamshell bonnet, distinctive headlamps and perforated two-bar grille. The car has jewel-like, tapering blade indicator clusters front and rear, and the wheelarches are wide but softly integrated, housing highly polished, 20-inch alloy wheels. The fine detailing includes additional polished aluminium in the form of side-strips, side and bonnet vents, and the exterior door releases, which are concealed in the car's shoulders. Graphic details such as these appear to be 'punched out' of the smooth body surfaces rather than overlaid on them. The 'frosted' white paint colour was especially developed for LRX and its visual depth helps to highlight the car's form.

The interior of the LRX concept clearly demonstrates how a compact Land Rover can still be roomy, practical, versatile – and sophisticated. The impeccably executed cabin features a combination of soft leathers in rich tan and dark chocolate, with polished aluminium details, while the visible structures of the seats, instrument panel and roof architecture not only give a highly distinctive look but also help save weight. The 'fast' sloping architecture of the centre console reflects LRX's sporty dynamics, as does the distinctive binnacle over the instrument cluster. The electronic display uses 'floating' LCD graphics to create a three-dimensional look that can be personalised for different drivers, as well as interacting with LRX's touch-screen display. The instrument graphics present data in layers depending on their level of importance, to give maximum relevant information with minimum distraction. When appropriate, displayed information transfers between the main instrument cluster and the touch screen. Further adding to LRX's involving personality, different Terrain Response modes are matched by changes in the cabin’s background 'mood' lighting colour – green in 'Eco', red in sports and blue in general driving and off-road modes.

Although LRX is compact, clever use of space makes it impressively roomy, and many neat design touches maximise its practicality. A second touch-screen area gives a fully interactive display and control for LRX's iPhone docking facility. On either side of the horizontally-split, power-operated tailgate, removable and power-adjustable speakers include an iPod docking station. There is also a coolbox, plus a bottle chiller that can be clipped to the lowered tailgate. The tailgate also has integral aluminium cupholders between two padded seating areas, for a new twist on the idea of a traditional Land Rover tailgate lunch. Every interior design detail combines to maximise both actual space and the feeling of space. The clear roof is supported by a 'spider' frame running into the A-pillars, and the rear quarter pillars have glazed apertures for improved visibility and a lighter feel in the cabin.

LRX’s distinctive seats 'float' on individual plinths and have open frameworks to reinforce the impression of light, airy interior space – while also creating useful under-seat and under-floor stowage areas. The clever, articulated mechanism of the powered seat backs maximises interior flexibility and helps create a large, flat storage area when needed. With the rear seats folded forward, two mountain bikes can be fitted upright behind them, with front wheels removed and stored in dedicated slots in the floor. Alternatively, skis and surfboards can be accommodated in the generous load space, which has multiple tie-down options and a through-loading option.

"Flexible load-carrying capacity is fundamental to the concept of LRX," says Gerry McGovern. "With this car, we've interpreted the idea of Land Rover 'breadth of capability' to be more about versatility and on-road dynamics than about ultimate off-roading. This meets the needs of the new customers that we believe would be attracted by this type of car; they will not only appreciate LRX's flexibility, but will also recognise that it has been packaged with the highest levels of precision."

The exposed structures of the seats, roof and instrument panel are just one novel approach that Land Rover's designers have taken to reduce vehicle weight. Another example is replacing the glass for the side windows and roof with polycarbonate from SABIC Innovative Plastics, which is around 40% lighter. The polycarbonate also blocks virtually all UV light (protecting interior materials from fading), while special nano-technology within the material reduces infra-red transmission, helping to keep the interior cool. Even the choice of premium-quality trim materials reflects Land Rover's deep thinking about sustainability, with vegetable-tanned leather (chromium-free, so better for recycling), extensive use of aluminium (both lightweight and readily recyclable) and carpeting made of felt from sustainable sources. And the luxurious, vanilla-coloured 'fine suede' on the door inserts and headliner is a 100% recycled material made from used plastic bottles and fibres.

"We are determined to make sustainability a key element in our future product design and the way we do business, while still creating vehicles that have a strong emotional appeal as well as fulfilling people's practical needs," says Phil Popham. "No single technology delivers all the answers to whole-life sustainability, but the LRX concept brings together some of the ideas for the future that interest us, integrating them into a car that we believe represents an exciting way forward for Land Rover."

Length: 4351 mm / 171.3 in
Width (excluding mirrors): 1895 mm / 74.6 in
Width (including mirrors): 2083 mm / 82.0 in
Height: 1535 mm / 60.4 in
Wheelbase: 2660 mm / 104.7 in
Engine (proposed): 2.0-litre turbodiesel
Fuel economy (potential): 60 mpg, 4.7 l/100 km (on European combined drive cycle)
CO2 emissions (potential): 120 g/km (on European combined drive cycle)

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HUMMER TO THE RESCUE29 February 2008
HUMMER has partnered with Mountain Rescue (England & Wales), to provide a specially modified vehicle for the UK charity. UK Mountain Rescue celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2008 and to commemorate this landmark, the newly launched right-hand drive HUMMER H3 will support the charity’s busiest teams in England and Wales across the year. The hardy on/off road vehicle will carry both equipment and personnel as Mountain Rescue goes about saving hundreds of lives annually.

Hailed as the off-road vehicle – ‘like nothing else,’ the H3 is one of the most capable off-road vehicles on the market today. Recently introduced into the UK, the H3 is a smaller, more affordable and agile version of the larger H1 and H2 models. In addition to its iconic design, the vehicle boasts a number of advanced off-road features allowing the driver to enjoy full versatility in some of the most gruelling driving conditions nature has to offer. The H3 is the only vehicle of its size that can climb a 407mm vertical wall or 60% slope, traverse a 40% side slope and operate in up to 610mm of water, making it a sure-footed choice for Mountain Rescue. To make the vehicle even more effective for Mountain Rescue, HUMMER has enhanced the vehicle with a number of specialist features including grille and roof mounted spotlights to aid visibility in treacherous conditions and rocker panel protection which gives added protection to the lower body and door panels against rock strikes and other strong blows.

Mountain Rescue (England & Wales), whose Patron is HRH Prince William of Wales, relies entirely on charitable donations to survive and is not a government funded emergency service as is commonly thought. The organisation is made up of dedicated volunteers whose selfless and courageous work provides assistance to anyone lost or injured in the UK mountains, fells or moorland. The service is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and operates in all weather conditions. There are currently 53 teams with 3,500 team members covering England and Wales who undertake well over 700 rescues every year and the service is free of charge. A typical rescue may involve over 20 team members and take around 6 hours. Mountain Rescue is also called to help at major incidents such as air crashes, both civilian and military, train crashes and floods and was instrumental in assisting the victims of the recent flooding in South Yorkshire, Gloucester and Wiltshire.

Steve Catlin from HUMMER says: “We are delighted to provide such a tangible support to one of the country’s most vital charities. The HUMMER H3 is the ideal vehicle to tackle some of the toughest terrains and we hope it can provide a valuable support to the incredibly brave and courageous work that Mountain Rescue teams undertake throughout the year.” Andy Simpson from Mountain Rescue (England & Wales) says: “As we rely entirely on charitable donations to keep going, we hope the HUMMER H3 will be a fantastic asset to some of our busiest Mountain Rescue teams in 2008.”

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FREELANDER 2 HST TOPS THE RANGEGaydon, Warwickshire, 5 February 2008
Land Rover will introduce a new 'HST' derivative to complete the Freelander 2 range.

On-sale from March 2008, the Freelander 2 HST will be available from £31,990 on the road. Features include a Sports Styling Pack with front and rear bumper aprons, side sill mouldings and a rear roof spoiler. Other enhancements include 19 inch alloy 10-spoke wheels with shadowchrome finish, leather seat facings, privacy glass and metallic paint.

John Edwards, managing director for Land Rover UK commented: "The Freelander 2 HST has an impressive muscular stance when seen on the road. It will undoubtedly be appealing to our customers who require a dramatic visual impact without compromising on practicality." He added: "In 2007 the Freelander 2 sold over 18,000 units in the UK which helped contribute to sales in the UK exceeding 50,000 last year for the first time in the company's 60 year history."

Also on-sale in March 2008 will be the Range Rover Sport HST. This new derivative in the 2008 Model Year line-up, comes equipped with 20 inch 'Stormer' wheels, rear spoiler, body coloured lower body and tailgate mouldings, electric sunroof, privacy glass and deep sculptured front and rear bumpers with integrated rectangular exhaust tailpipes. The 2008 HST is also equipped with Premium Leather seats as standard. Sports Leather and Leather Alcantara seats are available as a no cost option. The Range Rover Sport HST is available with either the TDV8 diesel or Supercharged petrol engines from £59,895 on the road.

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The toughness of Isuzu trucks has convinced West Dorset coastguards to put two Rodeo pickups into service. And so far the new 2.5 litre one-tonne Rodeo Denver double cabs are proving more than man enough for the job. West Dorset District Council Transport Manager, Andy Cadman, said: “We have been running 16 larger Isuzu trucks for some time and their reliability, dealer back-up and general aftersales support has been excellent. “We tested the new Rodeo pickup against a Nissan Navara and the end-user reported the Rodeo was just that little bit better. “Its whole-life costs are also tremendous and far superior to that of the Land-Rovers we ran previously.

“We will run the Rodeos for seven years covering general duties around the harbours of Lyme Regis and West Bay and their four-wheel drive will prove useful on the slipways.” The two Rodeos are fitted with front-mounted winches, reversing cameras and towbars and electrics. They were supplied by Isuzu dealer, Ferndown, Bournemouth.

Winner of a host of accolades, the Isuzu Rodeo range now starts at £13,999 (on the road but excluding VAT) for the 2.5 litre Denver. All models have alloy wheels, air-conditioning, leather steering wheel, a Pioneer CD/tuner/MP3 player, tinted electric windows, ABS with EBD, rear step bumper and three-point seat-belts for all five occupants.

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Yorkshire farmer to cross Bering Straits – in a Land Rover on Cooper tyres

Yorkshire farmer to cross Bering Straits – in a Land Rover on Cooper tyres28 January 2008
Some of the world’s biggest motor companies have attempted it, so have famous millionaire explorers. Now Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe is supporting a Yorkshire farmer as he tries to succeed where the big boys have failed, by becoming the first person to cross the infamous Bering Strait in a land vehicle.

Steve Burgess, 50, and his partner, Nicky Spinks, will set off on a mammoth 30,000-mile journey from England to South America on January 29. When they reach the East coast of Russia, their trusty Land Rover 110 Pickup, shod with Discoverer STT tyres, will be fitted with ‘floats’, and driven into the sea towards Alaska. The Cape to Cape expedition will take in every imaginable landscape, from the frozen wastelands of Siberia to the tropical rainforests of South America, across four continents and more than 20 countries, as well as the 50-mile Bering Strait crossing.

The Ford Motor Company and explorer, Richard Creasey, attempted to traverse the Bering Strait in 1993, only for its vehicles to sink, while the Fiat Motor Company’s effort foundered in 1996. The challenge has also defeated Sir Ranulph Fiennes and British explorers Steve Brooks and Graham Stratford, whose attempt had to be aborted in 2001 after damage to their Snowbird 5 vehicle.

Once safely on US soil, Burgess and Spinks will then replace the floats with standard Cooper Discoverer STT tyres and drive through North and South America, arriving at Cape Horn towards the end of 2008. Both explorers have spent the last seven years planning the trip.

“The main things have been finding funding and dealing with Russian bureaucracy,” explained Burgess. “We’re doing something that’s never been done before, so you can’t just get a form and fill it out. I needed permission from the army and the police to travel in the Far East. Most significantly, I needed permission to leave Russia in an amphibious vehicle from a non-existent port in the Far East – we’re just going to drive off a beach!” “We chose the Cooper Discoverer STTs because we knew we needed a tyre with hard-core traction, durability, and reliability in almost any condition,” said Burgess. “Most of the distance that we will be traveling will be over a myriad of challenging terrain, and we are confident that the STTs will be flawless.”

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New Toyota Land Cruiser V8

New Toyota Land Cruiser23 January 2008

  • Eighth generation of Toyota’s Land Cruiser large-scale SUV, replacing the Land Cruiser Amazon
  • True go-anywhere 4x4, with body-on-frame construction
  • New 4.5-litre V8 D-4D engine
  • Toyota’s first diesel eight-cylinder engine, equipped with common rail injection technology
  • 282bhp (286 DIN hp) at 3,600rpm, 650Nm of torque from 1,600rpm
  • Lowest emissions and fuel consumption in class
  • Six-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual gear change mode
  • World-first 4-wheel Active Height Control and Adaptive Variable Suspension
  • Multi-terrain ABS optimises braking control to suit driving conditions
  • Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
  • New Torsen limited slip centre differential
  • Accommodates seven with tumble-fold second row and folding third row seats
  • Single luxury specification includes full-map satellite navigation, four-zone climate control system, full leather upholstery,
  • Smart Entry and Start and nine-speaker Pioneer audio system with six-DVD autochanger
  • Pre-crash safety system and 14 airbags as standard
  • Optional premium audio with i-pod integration and in-car entertainment packs
  • On sale from 15 February 2008
  • On-the-road price £55,995

The new Land Cruiser V8 replaces the Amazon and is the eighth generation of Toyota’s legendary Land Cruiser large-scale SUV. It remains true to its heritage in being a thoroughbred off-roader. More than that, it is equipped with world-first technologies to ensure safety, comfort and secure handling both in the rough and on the open road. Toyota’s “no compromise” approach is clear in vehicles with traditional body-on-frame construction, crucial to the vehicle’s ability to tackle the toughest terrain. This tried and tested approach is matched by sophisticated handling, suspension and drivetrain systems that extend the off-road capabilities and enhance comfort and stability in normal driving.

New V8 diesel engine
The Land Cruiser V8 is powered by a new 4.5-litre V8 D-4D engine. It is the first Toyota eight cylinder diesel engine and is equipped with common rail injection technology. The unit is the most powerful Toyota diesel yet, producing 282bhp (286 DIN hp) and a prodigious 650Nm of torque, available from just 1,600rpm. Thanks to its high efficiency, the engine has the lowest emissions and fuel consumption in its class, producing 270g/km of carbon dioxide and an official 27.7mpg in combined cycle driving. It is extremely tough, too, engineered to perform faultlessly in temperatures from -30 to +50°C. The V8 is matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission with a manual sequential gear selection mode. As befits a serious offroader, it incorporates low ratio gearing.

World-leading suspension and handling technology
The Land Cruiser V8 is one of the most technically advanced four-wheel drive vehicles ever produced and is equipped with a series of advanced dynamic and handling features. These include the world’s first four-wheel Active Height Control and Adaptive Variable Suspension (4-Wheel AHC & AVS), a fully adjustable system that also provides spring rate control. Not only does this give exceptional performance off-road – wheel articulation is so great, the car can crawl over steps with a 630mm height difference without lifting a wheel off the ground – it regulates pitch and body roll on-road to maintain ride comfort and refinement.

The full-time all-wheel drive has a new transfer unit governing the distribution of torque between the front and rear axles, with a newly developed Torsen torque-sensing limited slip centre differential, which gives improved cornering performance and driving stability. The transfer shift system lets the driver move from H4 (high) gearing to L4 (low) gearing by means of a rotary switch on the dashboard, when the vehicle is moving at low speed (up to 3mph).

Rugged and modern design
The vehicle’s design is rugged yet modern, developing styling cues from the Land Cruiser’s distinguished past while embracing themes from Toyota’s contemporary “Vibrant Clarity” design philosophy to bring the Land Cruiser brand fully up-to-date. An equally bold approach is taken inside the cabin where the sense of ruggedness and reliability is combined with comfort, quality and a great sense of spaciousness.

Luxury specification
The Land Cruiser V8 may be engineered to cope with extreme environments, but the cabin is designed to provide premium levels of comfort, convenience and safety. Available in a single luxury specification, it is equipped as standard with four-zone climate control air conditioning, full-map satellite navigation, Bluetooth, rear parking monitor, nine-speaker sound system with six-DVD autochanger and leather upholstery. A premium JBL audio system which includes i-pod integration and ICE (in-car entertainment) pack with rear seat DVD monitors are available as options. The flexible seven-seat interior is easily adapted to accommodate passengers or additional loads, with tumble-and-fold second row seats dividing 40:20:40 and the two rearmost seats folding to the side.

High safety standards
Occupants are protected by 14 airbags, including front knee airbags and curtain shield airbags along the entire length of the cabin. Active safety provisions include new multi-terrain ABS, which automatically adapts braking performance to suit the surface on which the vehicle is travelling. And to help minimise the consequences of an accident, a pre-crash safety system automatically tensions the driver and passenger front seatbelts when sensors detect a dangerous situation, such as the vehicle spinning or emergency braking.

Launched in the UK on 15 February, the Land Cruiser V8 is priced £55,995. A full product press pack can be found on the Toyota media web site

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Subaru Outback 4x4 diesel offers over 47 mpg combined

Subaru Outback 4x4 diesel offers over 47 mpg combined21 January 2008

  • Legacy Sports Tourer and Outback – world’s first Boxer Diesel passenger car
  • Exceptional smoothness, refinement, lightness, rigidity and throttle response
  • Low centre-of-gravity coupled with all-wheel drive provides superb handling and stability
  • Two-litre horizontally-opposed engine develops 150 PS and 258 lb ft torque
  • Class-leading fuel economy and low emissions
  • Almost 50 mpg Combined for Sports Tourer with 151 g/km CO2
  • 126 mph top speed and 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds for Sports Tourer
  • Moving sound levels of 70.5 dB (A) lower than Rolls-Royce Phantom’s 72.0 dB (A)
  • Outstanding standard equipment includes HID headlamps with pop-out washers, electrically-folding door mirrors, front projector foglamps, CD player with MP3 facility, dual-zone climate control with rear outlets and cruise control
  • Standard active front head-restraints, dual-stage front airbags, head and chest-protecting side airbags, curtain airbags and ABS with EBD
  • Range starts at £19,995 OTR for Legacy 2.0D Sports Tourer
  • On sale Feb ’08

It’s here. The world’s first boxer diesel engined-passenger car has arrived, offering outstanding refinement, throttle response and fuel economy coupled with ultra-low emissions and exceptional handling thanks to the light weight and low centre-of-gravity of its horizontally-opposed powerplant. On sale from February 2008, the Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer and Outback crossover mid-sized estates are priced from just £19,995 on-the-road for the Legacy 2.0D R model. Saloon versions may follow once supplies become more plentiful.

This is Subaru’s first diesel engine – developed in-house using over 40 years’ expertise in ‘boxer’ engine technology coupled with turbocharging know-how gleaned from the fierce World Rally Championship arena. The Japanese manufacturer’s Boxer Diesel engine will initially only be fitted to European-market cars, with the yet-to-be introduced new Forester receiving the engine in September and new Impreza three months later.

Commenting on the models, Subaru (UK) Limited’s Managing Director, Lawrence Good, said: “The significance of this outstanding new Boxer Diesel engine to both sales opportunities and our dealer network cannot be underestimated. “With a UK diesel market share now running at 40 per cent this is the answer to many loyal and potential customers’ future motoring needs.” The launch of the Boxer Diesel Legacy and Outback will be backed by a high-profile TV and print advertising campaign with the strap-line: “It’s Here”.

Class-Leading Fuel Economy
The 150 PS Boxer Diesel Legacy and Outback not only have the best fuel efficiency in the 4WD passenger car class but beat all main 2.0 litre two-wheel drive rivals including the new Ford Mondeo TD and VW Passat – both in lower-powered 140 PS formats.

The Legacy Sports Tourer 2.0D R, for example, returns 49.6 mpg on the Combined Cycle with 151 g/km of CO2. Its 2WD Ford Mondeo estate equivalent returns 47.9 mpg with 156 g/km, while the VW Passat 2.0 TDI estate gives 47.1 mpg and 158 g/km. Comparing the new Legacy Sports Tourer with the 4WD version of the Passat – called the 2.0 TDI 4Motion – shows the Subaru to be 8.7 mpg better on the Combined Cycle with emissions down by 31 g/km compared to the VW. Nor are these figures achieved at the expense of performance. The Legacy Sports Tourer has a 126 mph top speed and 0-60 mph time of 8.5 seconds while the Outback is only slightly behind at 124 mph and 8.8 seconds for the 0-60 mph dash.

Refinement is also a Boxer Diesel strongpoint, with official moving sound levels of 70.5 dB (A) compared to the Mondeo’s 71.0 and Passat’s 73 dB (A). Even a Rolls-Royce Phantom is higher at 72.0 dB (A).

Thoroughly-Developed Package
The new Boxer Diesel Legacy and Outback are thoroughly-developed models in their own right with several unique features to suit their diesel application. For example, the engine has liquid mounts, with the body benefiting from extra sound-proofing to enhance refinement, while the five-speed manual gearbox has higher ratios to suit the diesel’s stronger torque and lower engine speed. The power-steering is now electric to improve fuel economy and carefully tuned for strong feel and response. Front spring rates have also been tuned to suit both the diesel engine and new steering system. The Boxer Diesel’s front brakes have also been uprated and the gear-lever length reduced by 10 mm for a sportier, shorter throw. Even the air-conditioning unit has been modified to provide hot air earlier in the engine’s warm-up cycle, diesel engines having different characteristics to petrol powerplants. Visual changes include new cloth seat trim for Legacy and Outback R models and a discreet bonnet air intake scoop.

Boxer Diesel Secrets Explained

  • Exceptionally compact, light and strong
  • Low friction ‘Boxer’ balance cancels out vibration
  • Flat four’s low centre-of-gravity boosts handling agility
  • Punchy throttle response
  • Common-rail fuel-injection for greater efficiency
  • Solenoid injectors for compactness
  • Variable-vane turbocharger mounted under engine for low centre-of-gravity
  • Highly efficient, fast-warm catalytic converter also mounted under engine
  • Dedicated to the horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ engine layout for over 40 years, Subaru engineers were determined to use this format for their first diesel engine.

The reasons were to create a light, compact, strong unit with reduced vibration, noise and internal friction compared to an in-line engine and for an ultra-low centre-of gravity. This enhances handling agility and roadholding – especially when combined with Subaru’s renowned symmetrical all-wheel drive system. In fact, the entire engine and transmission are not only mounted very low down but also within the wheelbase which further boosts chassis dynamics.

Cancelled Out Vibration
The 2.0 litre Boxer Diesel has a class-leading light weight with the horizontally-opposed pistons effectively cancelling out the secondary harmonic vibration (vibration with twice the frequencies of the engine speed). The crankshaft is short and highly rigid, minimising the vibrational noise of many diesel engines. And the superior balance of the horizontally-opposed engine means internal rotational inertia and friction are drastically reduced compared with an in-line engine. Reduced internal friction means throttle response is exceptionally lively and in keeping with Subaru’s sporty heritage. Compared to Subaru’s 2.0 litre engine fitted to the Impreza, Legacy and Forester, the 2.0 litre Boxer Diesel has a 11 mm longer stroke and 6 mm smaller bore for a capacity of 1,998 cc versus 1,994 cc.

Even More Compact
Thanks to a bore pitch shortened from 113 mm to 98.4 mm, the overall engine block length is only 353.5 mm compared to the petrol’s already compact 414.8 mm. The block is of a rigid semi-closed deck design, while all five main bearings in the alloy cylinder block use metal composite supports for added strength and durability. It also enhances refinement, providing a similar thermal expansion to that of the crankshaft. Extra water-cooling slits have been added between the cylinder bores and the high-strength pistons are squirted with oil to enhance cooling. The large ends of the connecting rods feature an asymmetrical profile for assembly precision and reduced friction. The high-strength crankshaft has a special surface treatment to withstand the diesel engine’s high combustion pressures while the uprated cylinder heads have roller rocker arms. In addition, the cam-drive is via a chain system that better handles the variations in torque of a diesel engine.

Advanced Fuel-Injection And Turbocharger
The new Boxer Diesel uses an advanced common-rail fuel-injection system with the fuel being pressurised at 180 MPa before being fed into the common rail. This maximises efficiency, both in terms of power, fuel consumption and emissions. Special, short-length solenoid injectors ensure the engine’s width is no greater than that of the 2.0 litre ‘boxer’ petrol unit, despite the diesel’s longer piston stroke. The variable nozzle turbocharger ensures the correct boost throughout the engine’s rev-range and its low centre-of gravity position under the engine and close to the catalytic converters increases environmental performance.

The Boxer Diesel meets Euro4 emission standards thanks to oxidation catalytic converters, a particulate filter and exhaust gas recirculation. It is the most environmentally-friendly vehicle in the AWD passenger car class.

Class-Challenging Performance
The new Boxer Diesel provides class-challenging performance thanks to 150 PS at an ultra-low 3,600 rpm and a massive 258 lb ft torque at an accessible 1,800 rpm. With a ‘square’ bore and stroke of 86 mm and 16.3:1 compression ratio, the world’s first Boxer Diesel provides effortless performance throughout a wide speed range, avoiding the breathless response of some diesels at high revs. Top speed for the Legacy 2.0D R Sports Tourer is 126 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 8.5 seconds, while the Outback R is only slightly behind at 124 mph and 8.8 seconds.

Fuel economy is outstanding at 39.8/56.5 and 49.6 mpg for the Legacy Sports Tourer R and 39.8/55.4 and 48.7 mpg for the Outback R. Their CO2 emission figures are no less impressive at 151 and 153 g/km respectively.

Legacy And Outback In General
Only last year the Legacy and Outback received an extensive but subtle facelift, premium-class interior and retuned suspension. Aimed unashamedly at the leading premium European marques, the Legacy and Outback boast outstanding all-wheel drive chassis dynamics, high equipment levels and spacious interiors with prices substantially undercutting their rivals. For example, the range starts at £19,995 on-the-road for the Legacy 2.0D R manual Sports Tourer. It boasts high equipment levels such as dual-zone climate-control, cruise control, front, side and curtain airbags, a leather steering wheel, 215/45 tyres on 17x7 ins alloy wheels. Other standard equipment includes HID headlamps with pop-out washers, electrically-folding door mirrors, a CD player with MP3 facility, front projector foglamps, Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control and – of course – symmetrical all-wheel drive.

Sportier, Distinctive Design
For the ’07 Model Year, all Legacy and Outbacks were given a sporty, distinctive new look aimed at further enhancing their road presence. Meanwhile, interiors were further refined for a prestige look and feel. For example, the grille on the Legacy now has a chrome wing-like motif, while the front wings were restyled and feature a crease-line which flows from the top of the ‘hawk-eye’ HID headlamps. The crossover, higher-riding Outback has its own front grille with a chunky, lattice-effect look. It also has twin raised flutes to its bonnet and neatly integrated side protection cladding. At the rear, the Legacy Sports Tourer has three-dimensional rear lamps with a chrome strip linking each lamp to give an impression of width. Changes unique to the new 2.0D Boxer Diesel models include a discreet bonnet air intake. Meanwhile, ultra-low Cd figures of 0.30 for the Sports Tourer and 0.34 for the Outback prove the worth of aerodynamic detailing such as special engine undercovers, spoilers and wheel flaps.

Prestige Interior
The latest Legacy and Outback’s prestige interior features aluminium-effect strips running the full width of the fascia, flowing out ‘wing-like’ from the centre panel. This accentuates the width but also cocoons the driver. Soft-touch trim is extensively used and standard features include electrically-adjustable driver seat with two-set memory function. The new Boxer Diesel models also have new cloth trim for the R versions while the RE and REn feature leather as standard. The leather-covered steering wheel is smooth instead of dimpled making it more pleasant to hold, while all models now feature reach as well as rake-adjustment. The cruise-control is neatly integrated into the steering wheel. The standard climate-control is not only dual-zone allowing different temperatures for either side but there are also rear-seat outlets. Recognising their appeal to country-dwellers and those with an active lifestyle, Outback models have a reversible cargo floor allowing the choice between carpeted luxury or a hard waterproof floor.

2008 Boxer Diesel Outback Line-Up And Prices (All OTR):
2.0D R manual - £21,495
2.0D RE manual - £23,495
2.0D REn (navigation) manual - £24,895

Supreme Customer Care
Owning a Subaru Legacy or Outback is like being a member of an exclusive club in the UK thanks to a network of around 80 experienced, ‘down to earth’ and approachable dealers. The warranty itself is one of the best in the industry, offering a three year/60,000 mile. Cover plus three years’ paintwork and 12 years’ anti-corrosion cover. This is in addition to three years’ free membership of Subaru Assistance – a comprehensive home and roadside repair and recovery package throughout the UK and Europe, administered by Mondial Assistance. Like Legacy 2.0 and 2.5 litre petrol models plus the petrol-powered Outback 2.5, service intervals for the new Boxer Diesel are 12,000 miles.

2008 Outback (Boxer Diesel): Performance And Economy

Top Speed 124mph
0-60 mph 8.8sec
Urban 39.8 mpg
Extra Urban 54.3 mpg
Combined 47.9 mpg
CO2 emissions: R – 153 g/km, RE/REn – 156 g/km

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Gaydon, Warwickshire 17 January 2008
Land Rover is today launching its Our Planet communications campaign which sets out the progress the company has made in improving its environmental performance and a commitment to maintain the momentum with technical innovation. In addition, Our Planet will highlight Land Rover's global conservation and humanitarian projects. Full details can be found at www.landrover.co.uk/ourplanet.

The Our Planet campaign comes as Land Rover celebrates its 60th anniversary, a time to look back over its heritage, celebrate the present (with the limited edition SVX Defender) and embrace the challenges of the future with the LRX Concept car being shown at the Detroit Motor Show this week. This has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions below 120 g/km thanks to an efficient footprint, lightweight material and hybrid technology.

Land Rover takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. Emissions have been cut with new models and, together with Jaguar, it's spending £700m on technology specifically aimed at reducing CO2.

Technology is just one aspect of Land Rover's integrated approach to reducing its impact on the planet and conserving habitats and wildlife. Land Rover is proud of its association with conservation and exploration bodies like the Born Free Foundation, the Royal Geographical Society, the China Exploration and Research Society, Biosphere Expeditions and EarthWatch. In addition, our partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with the Land Rover G4 Challenge will raise over £1m over the next two challenges.

The Our Planet campaign will enable Land Rover to demonstrate its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment and improving the living conditions for the peoples and wildlife of Our Planet.

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Key Points

  • Celebrating Land Rover's 60th anniversary
  • Packed with unseen images and insider-information
  • Large, 'coffee table' format

On the eve of Land Rover's 60th anniversary celebrations, the Land Rover Scrapbook, by company insider Mike Gould, takes the reader of a voyage of discovery through the highs, the lows, the designs and the decisions that have catapulted Land Rover vehicles from utilitarian workhorses to worldwide automotive icons.

With a foreword written by former Land Rover CEO, Bob Dover, this exceptionally well-designed, large format, glossy book is packed with over 500 glorious images including many previously unseen photos, publicity shots, period ads and even designers' sketches. It is spiced with an array of behind-the-scenes information, including the code names of secret projects, staff interviews, historical data, restoration stories, off-roading experiences and little known facts about the company, the cars and the people who steered Land Rover to success.

As a former Land Rover employee having worked in almost every department of the company, most recently as UK PR Manager; author, Mike Gould, is in a unique position to bring the history of the marque to life. He describes the book as a must for, "enthusiasts and anyone who really wants to get under the skin of Land Rover".

Discussing the book he adds, "The Scrapbook style means it can either be read coverto-cover, or delved into again and again – each time the reader is sure to find a new image, intriguing fact or snippet of information to inform and delight. Its size enables the Land Rover Scrapbook to give maximum impact to the images".

The Land Rover Scrapbook is launched by Porter Press International on 30 November 2007. Standard Edition (ISBN 978-0-9556564-0-8), large format (300x350mm/12"x14" landscape), hardback copies are priced at £34.95. A special, leather-bound, limited edition version of the book is also available (ISBN 978-0-9556564-1-5), signed by the author and first CEO under Ford, Bob Dover for £75.00.

Buy Now through 4x4books.co.uk

Land Rover Scrapbook
by Mike Gould
Usually dispatched within 1 - 2 weeks
Published 2007
Porter Press International Hardback 161 pages
Guide Price: £31.49
The Land Rover Scrapbook with 500 images, by company insider Mike Gould, takes the reader of a voyage of discovery through the highs, the lows, the designs and the decisions that have catapulted Land Rover vehicles from utilitarian workhorses to worldwide automotive icons.
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Land Rover steals the show with LRX concept

Land Rover LRX concept14 January DETROIT AUTO SHOW 2008
The sale of Jaguar and Land-Rover to India’s Tata group is progressing – but at Detroit it was business as usual for the two brands. And late on the opening day, Land-Rover stole the show with the unveiling of its LRX concept, a prototype for a new compact off-roader that is likely become the brand’s entry model if the company’s new owners give it the go-ahead.

For many observers, the three-door LRX was the star of the show, with handsome, purposeful looks mated to a clean 2.0-litre diesel hybrid powertrain with only 120g/kg of CO2 emissions. It was displayed alongside a 1948 Land-Rover – 2008 is the brand’s 60th anniversary, and Land Rover managing director Phil Popham stressed the links from old to new: “LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it’s a very different Land Rover,” he said.

LRX is the first new Land-Rover to be launched since Gerry McGovern took over as chief designer. Its hybrid system incorporates an integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) that lets it use electric drive alone at lower speeds. And unlike hybrid technologies used on other SUVs mechanical drive to all four wheels is retained.

Ford has announced that Tata is now the only bidder for Jaguar and Land-Rover, and while a deal is still being thrashed out, it seems that the terms will include a five-year period during which Tata cannot close any of the Jaguar or Land-Rover plants – safeguarding jobs at Halewood and Solihull for the mid-term. Executives believe all three plants will be needed – especially if the LRX becomes the LR1, as expected.

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Subaru Forester8 January 2008
Subaru has launched a major LPG initiative on selected Forester, Legacy and Outback models, offering customers significant savings in the war against increasing fuel prices and running costs. All new Forester 2.0 litre models are now available with a free LPG dual-fuel conversion worth over £1,900 including VAT, plus three years’ free servicing valued at a further £770. This not only allows the Forester to run on LPG which is approximately half the price of petrol but greatly extends the total range between fill-ups. By running on a full tank of LPG the driver can expect a fuel cost saving of around 40 per cent.

Forester prices start from £17,677 on-the-road for the Forester 2.0 X which has full-time symmetrical all-wheel drive, a high and low ratio manual gearbox, hill-holder clutch, self-levelling rear suspension and comfort features such as climate control air-conditioning, radio/CD player and four electric windows. The three years’ free servicing offer has a mileage limit of 36,000 miles – equivalent to three major services.

In addition, LPG conversions are also now available on all Legacy and Outback 2.5 litre models – both manual and automatic – at a cost of £1,973 including VAT. And like the Forester, this enables owners to not only reduce fuel costs but they can also be registered for London Congestion Zone exemption, saving £8 per day.

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A Test Of Man, Machine…And Lubricants!

Discovery3 V8 HSELondon 8 January 2008
A Land Rover Discovery3 V8 HSE, entered by the Market Rasen based Duckworth Land- Rover dealership, has gained first place in the production class of the challenging and arduous Moroccan Desert Storm Rally which finished the end of last year.

Chevron Global Lubricants supported the Duckworth Land Rover Discovery by supplying all fluids and lubricants, including the latest Havoline Energy 5W30 engine oil. The Discovery was driven by Duckworth director Ben Duckworth and co-driver Howard Belt, the company’s sales executive. It was the first off road rally that either had entered. The Texaco/Havoline-sponsored Discovery was pitted against 24 other vehicle teams for the 5-day event which took them from the foothills of the Rift mountains at Fes, through to the heights of the Atlas mountains to the changing sands and oasis of the Sahara desert.

“The Discovery used hardly any oil at all, in spite of the tremendous heat and pounding that the vehicle was subjected to,” said Ben Duckworth. “We did carry a 1-litre Havoline top up, but only used a small amount. It only goes to prove the value of using a high quality oil and the engineering quality at Land Rover.”

Duckworth Land Rover is one of the few family-owned and run dealerships in the UK, with members of the Duckworth family taking an active part in development of the business. The company has a close working relationship with Chevron using the company’s fluids and lubricants for engine, gearbox and transmission servicing, as well as selling the popular Havoline engine oil top up packs. Duckworth is also enthusiastically involved in Havoline Performance Plus, a customer relationship programme, centred on a state of the art fuel systems cleaner designed to clean and keep clean a car’s fuel system when used every six months. Additionally, the company sells the Levanto AirCon Treatment as part of the HPP package to customers.

Chevron Global Lubricants is a division of Chevron Corporation, which produces and markets lubricants under the Texaco, Chevron and Caltex brands, used daily in cars, trucks, buses and industrial machinery around the world.

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Freelander 2, Scottish SUV of 2007Gaydon, Warwickshire 8 January 2008
Land Rover has achieved its third successive record sales year with 226,395 cars sold around the world in 2007. That's an increase of 17.6% on the previous year. It's the first time Land Rover, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, has driven through the two hundred thousand sales barrier.

Emerging markets continued to show their potential with sales in Russia climbing 96% to 12,268, and by 143% in China to reach 6,573. There were also records in the US, Canada, Spain and Ireland among others. In 2007, Land Rover sold around 30,000 vehicles in markets it did not even have a presence in five years ago. Specifically to maintain progress in these increasingly important new and developing markets, Land Rover has created the post of Overseas Operations Director, which will be filled by Bob Grace, currently UK Sales Director. "After seeing the UK notch up another record year, I'm looking forward to this new challenge. Land Rover is a truly global brand with desirable models. The breadth of capability makes them an ideal choice for emerging markets," said Mr Grace.

Land Rover's global Managing Director, Phil Popham, said, "Once again the established markets put in solid performances with strong gains but the pace of growth in the new and emerging markets is rapid. The new post of Overseas Operations Director will ensure Land Rover is well placed to take advantage of this and continue to grow responsibly.

In the UK, Land Rover clocked up over 50,000 sales for the first time in its 60 years of existence. In 2007, the four-by-four specialist sold 50,664 cars – an increase of seven per cent (3,248 cars) on the previous year, making the UK Land Rover's biggest market.

Freelander 2, Land Rover's most efficient car to date, got off to an impressive start in its first full year of production with sales in the UK of just under 19,000 – an increase of 34%. The introduction of the turbo diesel V8 in Range Rover Sport and Range Rover, which delivers petrol-like performance but with a 32% fuel improvement, helped to keep the brand at the forefront of the luxury SUV segment.

John Edwards, Land Rover's UK Managing Director, said, "To crack the fifty thousand barrier and set a new UK record is a great achievement and to do it with the help of our most efficient cars to date is an added bonus. "The UK finished the year as the largest single market with record sales. It just goes to show that 60 years after where it all started, Land Rover is more popular and relevant than ever."

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The organisers of the 2008 Dakar, Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), today confirmed at a press conference in Lisbon that the decision had been taken to cancel this year's rally which was due to start from the Portuguese capital tomorrow morning, Saturday 5th January.

The Rally was going to be the first chance for Mitsubishi to demonstrate the Outlander’s remarkable of off-road capabilities in a support vehicle role. It would also have been Mitsubishi’s chance to successfully defend it’s current title with the Multi-Dakar winning Pajero Evolution before it moves to its high performance diesel range in the 2009 event.

An official statement issued by ASO stated that, "After different exchanges with the French government - in particular the Ministry for Foreign Affairs - and based on their firm recommendations, the organisers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally."

The statement referred to "direct threats launched directly against the race", saying that "no other decision but the cancellation of the sporting event could be taken by ASO." "ASO’s first responsibility," it continued, "is to guarantee the safety of all: that of the populations in the countries visited, of the amateur and professional competitors, of the technical assistance personnel, of the journalists, partners and rally collaborators. ASO therefore reaffirms that the choice of security is not, has never been and will never be a subject of compromise at the heart of the Dakar rally."

Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart’s Team Director, Dominique Serieys, speaking on behalf of the team and its primary sponsors and partners, said that "The Team, Valeo, BF Goodrich and all its partners fully respect the decision announced today by ASO. It goes without saying that it is a huge shame that the 30th edition of the Dakar will not take place.

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