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In this section of 4x4News: January - June 2011

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24 June 2011
Almost two decades ago, Jeep® invented the premium SUV (sport-utility vehicle) segment with the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. More than 4 million worldwide sales later, Jeep has comprehensively honed this winning formula and is now delivering the ultimate combination of Jeep 4x4 off-road capability and on-road refinement with the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

New Jeep Grand Cherokee has been designed on a new platform to deliver premium on-road performance while maintaining the Jeep brand’s legendary four-wheel drive, torque-on-demand two-speed transfer case for extraordinary off-road capability and durability. The new vehicle also offers significantly lowered emissions and improved fuel economy (up to 39 mpg) with its new turbocharged 3-litre V6 CRD engine, together with a world-class interior providing luxury, comfort and enhanced safety. Despite its rugged, trail-tested off-road capabilities, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is a sophisticated, luxury SUV that can easily be driven on an everyday basis by anyone.

“With the all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee, Jeep has created the benchmark, premium SUV,” says Mike Manley, President and Chief Executive Officer — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Advanced features such as our new Quadra-Lift air suspension and Selec-Terrain traction control systems take the new Grand Cherokee to the next level of 4x4 capability. The new generation of the iconic Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers the perfect blend of on-road refinement, superb craftsmanship, world-class design, improved fuel economy, innovative features and legendary, real-world capability.” In the UK, new Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in two versions, Limited and Overland, both of which are powered by an all-new 237bhp 3-litre V6 turbodiesel.

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16 June 2011
The awards keep coming for Land Rover's impressive Discovery 4, with new honours announced on the same day for its performance as a towcar and for the anti-theft protection provided on the Discovery 4 Commercial. For the second year running, the Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 XS has been named the winner of the 1900kg-plus category in the UK's 2011 Towcar Awards, organised jointly by Practical Caravan and What Car? magazines and the Camping and Caravanning Club. The awards are the acknowledged benchmark for towcar performance, and the 1900kg-plus category once again recognises Discovery 4's peerless capabilities. In rigorous tests, it outperformed rival contenders that included the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz ML and Volkswagen Touareg.

Nigel Donnelly, Practical Caravan editor, said: "Last year's overall champion easily retains its class crown, it's going to take a really exceptional car to beat it. "The Land Rover Discovery 4 is a tremendous car to tow with. Its high-speed stability is the equal of any car– line the outfit up on a straight road and you could almost drive it blindfold. If you have the means, the Discovery remains an exceptionally good towcar." Land Rover received its award at a presentation ceremony held at Woburn in Bedfordshire, UK, on 15 June. Another award followed, this time from the UK insurance industry. The 2011 British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards (BIVSA) judged the Discovery 4 Commercial to offer the best standard security package among 4x4 vans in the UK new vehicle market.

The Discovery 4 took top spot in a hard-fought category, judged on design and features that protect against both theft of the vehicle and the theft of items from it. Key elements in the Discovery 4 Commercial that helped secure it the top ranking include excellent body security measures and effective vehicle identification features. Colin Green, managing director of Land Rover UK, said: "These latest awards further confirm the breadth of Discovery 4's market-leading performance, as judged by independent experts. We are confident that our customers will be even more assured that they are making the right choice thanks to these and the many other honours that the Discovery 4 has received."

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16 June 2011
Toyota has continued its winning streak at the British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards, which took place yesterday at Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in Berkshire. The Toyota Land Cruiser V8 retained its top position in the large 4x4 category for the fourth year running, and Prius has continued its success winning the Green Car category for the second consecutive year. Prius continues the honour for having the lowest emissions among the UK’s top-rated cars for security, acknowledging the importance today’s motorists place on vehicle protection standards and CO2 performance, for peace of mind and lower ownership costs.

Mike Briggs, Thatcham’s Vehicle Security Manager, said, “Many congratulations to Toyota who have held on tightly to the crown for the most secure Green Car for the second year running and remain the only winners of this recently introduced category. As the top performing Prius T3 proves, car owners can do their bit for the environment without the need to compromise on vehicle security." Prius’s advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive system allows it to be driven using its petrol engine, electric motor or a combination of both to achieve optimum efficient performance - CO2 emissions are from just 89g/km. And as a full hybrid, it can run at low speeds over certain distances on its electric power alone, giving zero fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions.

The iconic Toyota Land Cruiser V8 is now in its eighth generation. With the ability to seat seven and a host of sophisticated handling, suspension and drivetrain systems, it ensures safety, comfort and secure handling both in the rough and on the open road. The British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards are designed to raise consumer awareness of best practice in vehicle security. Vehicles are assessed according to the New Vehicle Security Rating Scheme (NVSR), with points awarded under the categories of ‘theft of’ and ‘theft from’ the vehicle. The winners are the models achieving the highest score in each category.

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16 June 2011
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is celebrating again after winning two more awards this year, this time for its Caddy van and the new Amarok pick-up in the British Insurance Vehicle Security Awards.

The new Amarok, which went on sale last month, beat all its established rivals to win the Pick-up category, while the new Caddy, launched last year, won the Light Van category. Volkswagen UK was also crowned overall Manufacturer of the Year for the second year running, with awards this year for the new Sharan in the Large MPV class, the Tiguan in the Crossover class, and the Phaeton taking the title of best Luxury Car for the fourth time. The British Insurance Vehicles Security Awards are hosted by Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre in Berkshire, and supported by the Home Office, the DfT, What Car? and the AA. The awards recognise and raise the profile of the best in vehicle security on the newest cars and vans on the market, and are judged on criteria identified by the creators of the New Vehicle Security Ratings (BVSR) scheme. To be shortlisted for the awards, all vehicles had to have a maximum of five stars for ‘theft from’, had double locking, and an ‘E’ insurance suffix (indicating they had a feature that exceeds the required standard).

‘Security is particularly important for our customers as they depend on their vehicles for their business,’ said Simon Elliott, Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. ‘These awards are another demonstration of our commitment to enhancing our vehicles and reducing the cost of ownership for commercial vehicle owners,’ he continued. For details of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range of vans, people carriers, pick-up or campervan, and to find a local Volkswagen Van Centre, visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk or call 0800 717131.

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2 June 2011
A world of fun, excitement, exploration and satisfaction awaits the owner of one of these iconic Land Rovers and Range Rovers – and this book is your ticket to that wonderful world.

Some of the most popular Land Rover pastimes are detailed here, with explanations of how to take part and what equipment you need. This unique book explains how these versatile machines can be modified to suit a vast range of applications, from simple upgrades for easier everyday driving and servicing/renovation tips, right up to large scale conversions for racing, trialling and international expeditions.

Everything is explained in clear, straightforward text, written by a qualified engineer and Land Rover enthusiast with many years of practical experience, and accompanied by detailed photographs to show the reader how it’s all done. Many of the modifications shown were carried out on the writer’s own vehicles, giving the reader an honest account of the effort involved – bruised knuckles and all. Featuring ‘how to’ sections, comparison charts to help you choose which modifications are right for you, detailed spec sheets, and lists of useful contacts, this is the definitive guide to getting the most from these exciting vehicles.

Land Rover Discovery, Defender & Range Rover by Ralph Hosier

ISBN: 9781845843151 UPC: 6-36847-04315-5

AVAILABLE NOW! £19.99, $39.95

  • A unique book, covering all three Land Rover coil sprung models, Defender, Discovery and Range Rover
  • From the simple improvements to the extreme, there’s something for everyone
  • Full colour pictures clearly show critical areas
  • Easy to follow, jargon-free text explains benefits and pitfalls of each modification
  • Includes comprehensive buyer's guide – which models to go for and which to avoid
  • Practical maintenance and restoration sections to keep your Land Rover running
  • Covers green-laning, play days, trialling, competitive safari and other motorsport applications
  • Includes essential data sheets with vehicle dimensions, capacities and performance
  • Useful contacts for clubs, associations and parts suppliers
  • Written by a qualified engineer and Land Rover enthusiast with much experience
Ralph Hosier’s childhood enthusiasm for cars blossomed into a two decade career in vehicle engineering, working with the likes of Ford, Bentley, Jaguar, and Land Rover. He has a degree in engineering and is chartered, as well as being a member of the IMI and IET. Ralph started getting muddy with Land Rovers in the early 90s, and, after many green lanes and play days, he decided to step things up and go Competitive Safari racing in a home-built Bowler Tomcat.

V4315 • Paperback • 20.7x25cm • £19.99 • 128 pages • 250 pictures • ISBN: 978-1-845843-15-1 • UPC: 6-36847-04315-5

View sample pages and sample text on our website - www.veloce.co.uk or 01305 260068/e or info@veloce.co.uk

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1 June 2011
We took a low-mileage, ex-military, unregistered Series III Land Rover, stripped it down to its bare bones, and then blended it with an original Series III Station Wagon in very poor condition. After stirring into the pot a selection of new and modified parts from a number of different sources, we ended up with the most immaculate and user-friendly Series III you could imagine.

Here’s everything you need to know to restore or modify your own Series III from suspension, brakes, and steering, to engine, transmission and body improvements. You want better seats? Galvanised chassis and bulkhead? Immaculately restored body and mechanical components? This manual tells you how. Including advice on rebuilding the rear body tub, the bulkhead, Station Wagon side frames, and much more besides, this book is a must for all Land Rover Series III owners!

Land Rover Series III Reborn by Lindsay Porter

ISBN: 9781845843472 UPC: 6-36847-04347-6

AVAILABLE NOW! £30.00, $59.95

  • Fitting a galvanised chassis
  • Last nut-and-bolt body rebuild
  • How to rebuild and install mechanical components
  • How to fit interior trim, seats and seat belts
  • Tuning the cylinder head for better performance
  • Fitting an overdrive and free-wheel hubs
  • Installing parabolic springs, disc brakes and power steering
  • Fitting later doors and station wagon bodywork
  • Using some Santana parts, as used in Spanish-built Land Rovers, to build something unique
Lindsay Porter is sometimes referred to as the UK’s top-selling motoring author, and he has been writing motoring books since Veloce Publishing’s director Rod Grainger first commissioned him in 1981. Lindsay was among the first to develop the photo-intensive style for which his how-to publications are known. This has made him a firm favourite with the owners of Land Rovers, those most DIY-friendly of all classic motor vehicles. Lindsay is a self-confessed Land Rover nut, and this book is the story of his quest – a perfectionist’s quest - to built the perfect Land Rover Series 3.

V4347 • Paperback • 20.7x27cm • £30 • 256 pages • 1550 pictures • ISBN: 978-1-845843-47-2 • UPC: 6-36847-04347-6

View sample pages and sample text on our website - www.veloce.co.uk or 01305 260068/e or info@veloce.co.uk

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25 May 2011
The most exciting vehicle of the year - the Range Rover Evoque - took centre stage in London over the weekend as the star of a spectacular series of live performances that combined state-of the–art motion graphics with high fashion. Earl’s Court was the venue for the three-day event, which began on Friday (20 May) and saw celebrities and customers alike entertained by Evoque Live’s 360 degree, 25 minute sensory experience.

The high octane events represent an industry first - combining visionary art, contemporary design and haute couture with an exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with Land Rover’s smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model ever before it goes on sale in September. Evoque Live was brought to life by Lee Lapthorne and Doll Productions (the company behind award winning shows including Clothes Show Live and Britain’s Next Top Model) using a fusion of creative talent including fashion stylist Harriet Jagger, designers Jasper Conran, Amanda Wakeley and choreography by Ashley Wallen. Commenting on the fashions responsible for setting pulses racing, all of which were inspired by different aspects of the vehicle, award-winning designer Amanda Wakeley said: “TheEvoque is a truly iconic British car, so it feels appropriate that Land Rover has chosen to showcase British fashion in this way - as both are world renowned for their creativity and craftsmanship."

With a stylish range of personalisation options both the coupé and 5-Door versions of the Range Rover Evoque give customers the opportunity to tailor their vehicle to suit their lifestyle. It is also available with a choice of powertrains, petrol and diesel, as well as six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Plus, for the first time in a Range Rover, the option of 2WD (front wheel drive) as well as 4WD. Producer Lee Lapthorne added: “I am proud to be behind such a groundbreaking show. It is a genuine first in terms of vehicle launches and delivers a unique audience experience.” The spectacular show now moves to Birmingham (opening at the NEC on 27 May) and Manchester (opening at Manchester Central Convention Complex on 3 June) where it will deliver the Evoque Live experience to over 10,000 people. However, tickets for these events are limited (only 150 per show), with many shows already sold out. Anyone interested in finding out more about this exciting new vehicle should register now at: www.evoquelive.com

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12 May 2011
One year on there is still nothing to rival the Land Rover Discovery 4 as it claims its second successive 'Best 4x4' title in the 2011 Diesel Car awards. Announcing the award, Diesel Car Editor Iain Robertson declared: “If there is a more all-round capable car than the Discovery 4, we have yet to encounter it. With the latest generation Discovery you get everything you need to drive absolutely everywhere.”

The Discovery 4 was in good company in the competition, with its sister Freelander 2 model also in the final running, continuing to impress the judges after winning the title in 2008 and 2009 and being a finalist in 2010. The British-built Discovery 4 also triumphed over the BMW X5 in the final reckoning. The Diesel Car accolade confirms the breadth of capability of the fourth generation Discovery, a model that has picked up a raft of industry honours since its launch in 2009. These include the 2010 What Car? 4x4 of the Year and 2009 Scottish Car of the Year titles, plus two awards in the 2010 Towcar of the Year contest. Most recently it was named Best Luxury 4x4 by Carbuyer.co.uk. Colin Green, Managing Director Land Rover UK said: “We are thrilled to receive this award, doing so for a second year running shows that the Discovery 4 continues to hold a clear advantage over its market rivals. And with Freelander performing so strongly, we can be proud of the strength-in-depth of our engineering, design and performance.”

The Land Rover Discovery 4 is available from £36,785 and delivers a winning package of impressive on-road dynamics, superb all-wheel drive capability and sophisticated, contemporary design, exemplifying the qualities at the heart of all today’s Land Rover models. For more information or to book a test drive, visit your local Land Rover dealer or log onto www.landrover.co.uk

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11 May 2011
Toyota Hilux has won the Award for Best Pick-Up in the 2011 Van Fleet World Honours. The trophy was presented at a special ceremony held at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall today. The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector.

The judging panel is chaired by Steve Moody, Editor of Fleet World, and includes Ken Rogers, Natalie Wallis, John Kendall, Alex Grant and Ross Durkin from the Fleet World editorial team. Residual value, maintenance cost and reliability data is provided by ALD Automotive, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions and ING Car Lease. Market value data is provided by EurotaxGlass, while fleet registrations data is provided by SMMT. Submissions for the Fleet Manager Awards are received from the Energy Saving Trust, RoadSafe and the Institute for Car Fleet Management.

Van Fleet World Editor, John Kendall, said: ‘The market for pickup trucks went over a cliff two or three years ago, but bounced back last year. That’s almost a metaphor for this year’s winner. When it was launched a few years back its reputation went before it, but it lagged behind its rivals in several respects. Progressive improvement has seen it bounce back. Personally, I don’t fancy a trip to the North Pole in one, but it has proved it can do it.’ Commenting on the high level of interest in, and competition for this year’s awards, Fleet World Managing Editor, Ross Durkin, said: ‘The fleet industry is back on its feet again after a difficult couple of years, with fleet registrations accounting for over half of all new car sales. Motor manufacturers are investing in new technologies, especially in the area of alternative fuels, and this continues to be a strong and vibrant industry. Fleet service providers also continue to demonstrate how innovation and initiative keep the pace of product development incredibly high. This must be great news for fleet customers.’

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9 May 2011
The new Range Rover Evoque will enjoy its first formal public presentation in the UK since the beginning of the year, when it goes on display this week at the 2011 Royal Windsor Horse Show, where Land Rover will be continuing its long-established support to the Event as principle sponsor and official vehicle supplier. Colin Green, managing director Land Rover UK said: "The Royal Windsor Horse Show is a perfect arena for Land Rover to demonstrate that the new Evoque is every bit as countryside-capable as it is street-smart. We value our long association with the show and believe it provides us with a great opportunity to bring Evoque – and its sister models in the Land Rover stable – to the attention of thousands of potential customers."

Voted the most exciting car of 2011 by What Car?, the Range Rover Evoque Coupe and 5-door models will form the centrepiece of a dedicated Land Rover display close to the entrance to the Royal Windsor showground. They will be joined by the full Land Rover model range with Defender, Freelander 2, Discovery 4, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles all on view. Furthermore, Land Rover Experience will be on hand to give visitors a taste of legendary Land Rover performance over a specially constructed off-road course. In its capacity as official vehicle supplier, Land Rover will also be providing transport for officials, medics and vets throughout the show.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show is a hugely popular attraction, with more than 3,000 horses competing in showing classes, international show jumping events and the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix. Taking place from 11 to 15 May in Windsor Castle's Home Park, it enjoys Royal patronage, with the HM The Queen foremost among the thousands of visitors. As well as the horsemanship, the show offers a wide range of other attractions on-site, including the Royal Windsor Food and Drink Festival. Land Rover is also an associate sponsor of the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo, a military and music spectacular which takes place against the backdrop of the historic castle on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings of the show. This year the Company will again be providing a trophy for the famous Royal Navy Field Gun Run, which will be contested through heats each evening to a final on the Sunday night.

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19 April 2011
With global sales up 29%, Range Rover products will take centre stage on Land Rover's Shanghai and New York Auto Show stands.

The Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition – the most luxurious Range Rover ever – will be unveiled for the first time in China and North America. Only 500 units of this Limited Edition vehicle will be commissioned globally, with each car crafted to customer order only. Already, more than 150 orders for the Ultimate have been taken in China and more than 50 in the United States. The Ultimate Edition offers unrivalled levels of comfort and luxury for both the driver and passengers. Features include two stand-alone powered rear seats, a rear console extension with an aluminium laptop table and a drinks chiller. Attention to detail is second-to-none with hand-crafted soft feel leathers, machined aluminium detailing and a super-yacht inspired teak floor in the rear load space. For the first time in a vehicle, two Apple iPads are fitted as standard. Anticipated prices in North America and China are $170,000 and RMB 3,398,000 respectively. The all-new Range Rover Evoque will make its Chinese debut at the Shanghai Auto Show when it is unveiled by Land Rover global brand director, John Edwards. Market pricing will be announced for both Coupé and five-door body styles, along with an extensive range of personalisation options.

"China is Land Rover's fastest growing market with Range Rover in particular seeing positive growth – up 59% YOY. The Range Rover Evoque is set to be equally in demand, with more than 1000 Chinese customers placing pre-orders – despite not having seen the car in the metal and before official pricing has been announced," commented Edwards. The Range Rover Evoque will also take centre stage in New York – the world's biggest metropolitan market for Range Rover. Sales of the marque are up 22% YTD in North America as US customers continue to respond positively to the outstanding levels of performance, design and comfort offered by the British brand. The Range Rover Evoque is expected to bring a new group of North American customers to the brand. Every Evoque destined for the United States will be equipped with all-wheel drive and feature a new 240PS 2.0-litre Si4 petrol engine, which combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and twin variable valve timing for exceptional driveability and fuel-efficiency.

The 2012 Model Year Range Rover will also feature on Land Rover's stands at both the Shanghai and New York Shows. New and refreshed features for 12MY include a range of exterior paint treatments, new 20" V-spoke alloy wheels and a range of new interior colour-ways.

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15 April 2011
A new website, celebrating Jeep’s 70th Anniversary and coinciding with the launch of the newly redesigned Jeep Compass compact SUV, has just been launched (15 April) by the legendary marque’s UK operation. The new site (www.jeep.co.uk) heralds the arrival of the all-new premium Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 as the US-built brand increases its awareness among new and existing customers in the UK.

Using the comprehensive site, users will be able to explore the scope and variety of the latest Jeep product range with 360° images of the vehicles, specifications, features and latest finance offers. Other helpful features include a section to book a test drive, download a brochure, find users’ local Jeep dealer and locate used car offers. And it will link to Jeep UK’s new social media profiles on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where users can find the latest news, pictures, videos and exclusive competitions, while interacting with Jeep and its army of fans.

“The Internet is a vital tool for people wanting to find out more about buying a new or used car,” says Nigel Land, director, Chrysler and Jeep in the UK. “And we can now support this process allowing potential customers to take advantage of our simple-to-use website which will provide a wealth of information for users, and drive active consideration in the Jeep brand by demonstrating both the practicality of our vehicles and their relevance for everyday use.”

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12 April 2011
The exciting all-new Ford Ranger pick-up enters the stage on the Ford stand at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, UK, ahead of its European sales launch later in 2011. New from the ground up – with everything changed except its name –the Ranger has been engineered to combine the model’s traditional strength and durability with increased loading capability, improved performance and economy, enhanced comfort and safety, smarter technology and a tough new look. The all-new Ranger is the first commercial vehicle to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of a global product programme, bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world. Developed in Australia, it will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for sale in more than 180 markets worldwide.

  • All-new Ford Ranger pick-up takes the stage at the 2011 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, UK, ahead of sales launch later in the year
  • New from the ground up, the Ranger delivers its traditional ruggedness combined with increased loading capability, improved performance and economy, enhanced comfort and safety, smarter technology and a tough new look
  • Powerful new Ford Duratorq TDCi diesel engines with responsive six-speed transmissions deliver strong, refined performance and outstanding fuel economy
  • Class-leading towing capability of up to 3,350kg, increased load box volume, and a payload capacity of up to 1,333kg prove that the Ford Ranger heritage of toughness is still going strong
  • Outstanding customer choice with three versatile cab styles, the option of 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, and up to five different series including the stunning Wildtrak model
  • Enhanced safety performance with new side curtain airbags for head protection and thorax-protecting front-seat side airbags as standard across all cab styles in Europe
  • Packed with desirable features and smart technologies such as Bluetooth®with Voice Control and Rear View Camera system

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8 April 2011
The new Compass 4x4, which goes on sale here on 15 April, heralds an exciting future for the iconic Jeep brand. As the company celebrates its 70th anniversary, its prospects have never looked brighter, and a wide range of new products, including an all-new Grand Cherokee, are already entering Western European markets.

British car buyers will see an early example of this activity in the shape of the sleek new Compass. Even though it’s the first new generation Jeep to offer two-wheel drive versions, Compass still personifies the brand’s unique DNA, symbolising free-spirited adventure, the authenticity of the original 4x4, and mastery of adverse conditions both off and on-road. This will continue to be the foundation for every Jeep and has proven appeal to customers’ emotional side. But new Jeeps also aim to appeal to buyers’ rational side and the Compass is the ideal product to instigate this shift in perception. Competing in the rapidly expanding compact SUV segment, Jeep’s new Compass range has been designed to appeal to a wide audience. New two-wheel drive versions put it within reach of hatchback owners who want to trade up. These buyers don’t need four-wheel drive, but want the styling, image and practicality of a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). The Compass allows them to have just that with the authentic Jeep experience thrown in for good measure.

At the other end of the scale, Compass offers a credible 4x4 to buyers who are downsizing from larger models. The Jeep name has unrivalled credentials in this market and the Compass now has a true premium feel thanks to the improved quality of its new interior and the Grand Cherokee inspired looks. Throw in the high levels of specification you’d normally expect in larger cars, plus a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty, and the competitively priced Compass makes owning a Jeep not only attractive but also accessible.

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4 April 2011
Land Rover has today announced that new Range Rover Evoque prices in the UK will start from £27,955 for an eD4 Pure 5-door 6 Speed manual 2WD model. The 4WD equivalent is priced at £28,705.

With a choice of three engines, two body styles, three design themes and a wide range of options and accessories, the new Range Rover Evoque offers customers significant choice across a range of price points. The top-of-the-range Si4 6 Speed automatic Dynamic coupé with LUX pack is available for £44,320. The Range Rover Evoque will be offered in both 5-door and Coupé forms and will go on-sale from September 2011. A smooth and refined powertrain line-up is available with a choice of state-of-the-art diesel or petrol engines. The updated 2.2-litre turbodiesel has 150PS or 190PS derivatives. The 2WD (on-sale early 2012) Coupé version combined with the 150 PS 2.2-litre engine is set to achieve sub 130g/km CO2*. The new 240PS 2.0-litre Si4 petrol engine combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and twin variable valve timing for exceptional driveability and fuel-efficiency and delivers 0-60mph in 7.1 seconds*. In place of a traditional trim hierarchy, customers can choose from three distinct design themes, which include many features as standard. A wide range of personalisation opportunities are also available, allowing customers to fully tailor the Evoque to individual tastes and requirements.

Options available include 12 exterior colours, three contrasting roof treatments, seven alloy wheel designs, 16 contrasting interiors and a full sized, fixed, panoramic glass roof. A new online configurator goes live today, making it simple for customers to create their perfect Range Rover Evoque. Click here for the online configurator tool: www.landrover.com/gb/en/rr/range-rover-evoque/build/

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1 April 2011
Japanese pick-up manufacturer, Isuzu, will be displaying its in-demand, truck-tough Rodeo range at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, between 12 and 14 April at Birmingham’s NEC.

The ‘Pick-Up Professionals’ brand, which, unlike many rival pick-up manufacturers, focuses solely on the commercial vehicle market, will be showcasing several models from its go-anywhere line-up in Hall 4, including the single-cab 2.5-litre Denver, double-cab 2.5-litre Denver and 3.0-litre LE. There will also be two specially commissioned vehicles for show-goers to admire: a winter-spec Rodeo, fitted with a grit-salt spreader and a fully loaded model boasting a plethora of the manufacturer’s dealer-supplied options. All Rodeos benefit from a class-leading towing capacity of 3,000kg, switchable four-wheel drive and competitive fuel economy. Owners will also appreciate the 12,000-mile / 24-month service intervals and Isuzu’s three-year / 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper mechanical warranty.

The Japanese brand continues to go from strength to strength in the UK, reporting a fantastic start to 2011 with sales up by 111%, year-on-year, to the end of February. The Rodeo is gaining an enviable reputation for product reliability and longevity among many of its toughest and most demanding customers, such as those within the construction industry. Prices start at £12,699 (CVOTR) for the entry level 136bhp 2.5 Rodeo Single Cab 4X2, and rise to £22,549 (CVOTR) for the top-of-the-range 163bhp 3.0 Denver Max LE Auto. Insurance groupings start at 10A for base models and peak at a still-reasonable 13A. For more information, visit: www.isuzu.co.ukwww.isuzu.co.uk. At the last Commercial Vehicle Show over 28,500 business visitors congregated at the NEC for the biggest-ever road transport and logistics event. This year’s show runs from Tuesday April 12 to Thursday April 14 at Birmingham’s NEC. It’s open from 08:30 to 17:30 daily. Please visit the official website at www.cvshow.com for details.

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28 March 2011
Land Rover employees at the Company's Halewood manufacturing plant in Merseyside are today celebrating an important milestone achievement - the production of the 250,000th Freelander 2. Production of the Freelander 2 began in 2007 and today, the plant's 250,000th Freelander 2 will be driven off of the line. Land Rover is also celebrating a growing demand for Halewood's award winning model as retail sales for the popular model are up 22%, year to date (Apr 2010 – Feb 2011) compared with the same 11 month period in 2009/2010.

The 250,000th vehicle is a 2.2 litre TD4 Diesel GS in Fuji White and is destined for a customer who lives in Scotland. Halewood operations director Richard Else, commented: "This milestone achievement and the increasing sales for Freelander 2 highlights just how important this vehicle is, not just to Halewood but also for the regional and UK economy - around 70% of Freelanders produced at Halewood are exported overseas. I'd like to thank our flexible and highly skilled workforce and congratulate the Halewood team on this superb achievement." The 2011 Freelander 2 is available with either 2WD or 4WD and a refined 2.2 litre diesel engine offering two power outputs – the 190hp SD4 and the 150hp TD4. With class-leading on and off-road performance, featuring Terrain ResponseTM, a premium cabin, improved fuel economy and an affordable cost of ownership the Freelander 2 is now on-sale available from £21,995 on the road.

For more information or to arrange a test drive, visit your local Land Rover dealer or log onto www.landrover.co.uk

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17 March 2011
Land Rover's Freelander 2, has scooped the 4x4 category accolade in the Parkers' New Car Awards 2011. The 2011 Freelander 2 features a refined 2.2 litre diesel engine offering two power outputs – the 190hp SD4 and the 150hp TD4. Class-leading on and off-road performance, featuring Terrain ResponseTM, a premium cabin, improved fuel economy and an affordable cost of ownership ensures a winning package.

The Parkers' New Car Awards aim to identify 'the cars that make your cash go further' and are based on hard facts powered by the Parkers cost of motoring tool. The cost of motoring tool enables consumers to easily identify the costs of a new or used car, taking into account all of the costs such as servicing, showroom tax, fuel consumption and depreciation. Commenting on the award, Kieren Puffett, editor of Parkers said: "The Land Rover Freelander 2 2.2 TD4 'S' won the Parkers' New Car Awards 2011 4x4 category because the Freelander has genuine off-road capability, has an up market feel, high build quality and a roomy interior." "With Land Rover's introduction of stop/start technology it has also helped the Freelander improve its fuel consumption and lower emissions, so the 2.2 TD4 S now delivers 45mpg and sits in road tax band G saving around £80 a year. With strong residual values and highly competitive running costs the Land Rover Freelander 2 2.2 TD4 'S' is the 4x4 that makes the car buyer's cash go the furthest." Colin Green, Land Rover managing director added:"We are pleased that the Freelander 2 has won the Parkers' New Car Award. This latest accolade not only recognises Land Rover's renowned all round capability but also the outstanding value and excellent cost of ownership offered by the Freelander 2."

The Freelander 2 is manufactured at the award-winning Halewood plant in Liverpool, Merseyside and exported to over 160 markets around the world. The Freelander 2 TD4 'S' is on-sale in the UK with pricing starting at £22,745 on the road. For more information or to arrange a test drive, visit your local Land Rover dealer or log onto www.landrover.co.uk

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9 March 2011
Isuzu has reported a fantastic start to the year, with sales of its much admired Rodeo model up by 111% to the end of February compared with the same time last year. Isuzu’s sales momentum has continued into 2011 from last year, when the company reported an increase in sales of 104% over 2009. The latest figures give Isuzu an equal market share with one of its key competitors for the first time, as the company continues to outperform the segment popularity of pick-ups.

Particularly strong sellers in the Isuzu range are the 2.5 litre diesel Rodeo Denver and Rodeo Denver Max models. The Rodeo, which has been on sale in the UK since 2004, is gaining an enviable reputation for product reliability and longevity among many of its toughest and most demanding customers such as the farming community. Isuzu Marketing Director Kenyon Neads said of these latest figures: “Word is spreading fast of the Rodeo’s product virtues such as its long term reliability and sheer can-do attitude. As a Brand that specialises in pick-ups alone, understanding the specific requirements of the commercial market customer are key to our success and part of the Isuzu Brand DNA. We hope to sustain the momentum through 2011 and into 2012, when we plan to launch a new model to the range.”

The Isuzu Rodeo Denver range is available in either single or double cab body style and with 2.5 or 3.0 litre common rail diesel engines. Prices range from £12,649 to £22,499 (commercial vehicle on the road).

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8 March 2011
Surely the most decorated SUV ever, the Land Rover Discovery 4 has scooped yet another award, being named 'Best Luxury 4x4' in the inaugural CarBuyer.co.uk awards. The supremely versatile seven-seat Discovery 4 features a powerful and highly efficient TDV6 3.0 litre diesel engine, fresh exterior identity and a premium cabin. The latest technologies such as Terrain ResponseTM offer class-leading dynamics both on and off-road.

The CarBuyer.co.uk awards judging panel reviewed and rated every new model on sale, focusing on performance, safety, running costs, mpg and overall customer satisfaction and reliability. The Land Rover Discovery was a runaway success as Dan Strong, editor, commented: "Our panel of judges was blown away by the Land Rover’s ability to turn its hand to anything. The Discovery 4 takes everything from muddy fields to posh hotel car parks in its stride – and everything in between. Its huge boot, punchy diesel engine and spacious seven-seat cabin tick almost every box." "Is it an off-roader? Is it an MPV? Or is it a luxury car? Yes, yes and yes, because the Discovery 4 is a car with many talents. It is unbeatable off-road and refined and comfortable on it, while few purpose-built people carriers offer so much interior space and flexibility. The allure of the Land Rover badge and high quality cabin take care of the rest." The award was presented to Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive officer Jaguar Land Rover, Gerry McGovern, design director and John Edwards global brand director, Land Rover at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The Land Rover Discovery first went on-sale in 1989 and has received over 150 awards from all over the world. The Discovery 4 has won awards including, in the UK, 4x4 Magazine's Car of the Year and the Scottish Car of the Year, internationally, the Best 4x4 for Spain's Car and Driver, Best Annual SUV for Autocar in China and All-Round SUV of the Year for Bloomberg's USA.

Prices in the UK start from £36,745 on the road. For more information or to arrange a test drive log onto www.landrover.co.uk or visit your local Land Rover dealership.

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Since its launch in April 2010, Dacia's off-road model – the sixth model in the Dacia line-up – has enjoyed tremendous success in all the countries where it is marketed. Dacia Duster is available with 4x4 or 4x2 transmission and combines unbeatable cabin space for its price with genuine off-road ability, while the model's diesel versions are particularly CO2-efficient. Dacia Duster is as much a functional buy as it is a leisure purchase, and it has lost no time carving out a real market for itself since launch:

100,000 orders have been placed (up to the end of 2010)
More than 67,000 have been registered worldwide
In Europe, sales reached 56,249 units
In France, 19,689 have been sold
Delivery times have been cut to less than three months in Europe.

Dacia's off-road model, Duster, has been a hit in all the countries where it is marketed.
A total of 67,000 Dacia Dusters were registered worldwide in 2010.
Duster has earned a long list of leading awards, including the "Autobest 2011" prize, the "Trophée de l’Argus" award in France, the "Vehicle of the Year" award in Romania and the "Residual Value Champion" title in Germany.
The model has also carved out an enviable record in the world of motorsport, with Alain Prost taking runner-up honours in France's 2010/2011 Trophée Andros ice-racing championship with a competition version of Duster.
Duster's competition career will continue on March 22 when it will contest the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in the Moroccan Sahara for the second year running. Dacia's 4x4 won its class in this all-female event in 2010.

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Land Rover’s on-going commitment to building vehicles that are more fuel and emissions-efficient reaches another milestone at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the first presentation of the Range_e. This development model is equipped with an advanced plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that Land Rover expects to make available in future production models, following the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013. Range_e is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69kW electric motor. Using a parallel hybrid system, with a 14.2kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from an external 240V power source, Range_e can be driven on electric power alone for more than 20 miles (32km), with zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

A full recharge from a standard domestic power supply can be accomplished in around four hours. Typically the majority of European car drivers cover less than 25 miles (40km) a day and therefore the EV range offered by this technology will support the majority of short urban journeys, where fuel economy and emissions are of prime concern. However, for longer journeys the diesel hybrid drivetrain will engage and continually optimise CO2 emissions. Overall CO2 emissions are just 89g/km, yet Range_e has a maximum system output of 339PS and a top speed of around 120mph (193kph), delivering a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km). Improved fuel efficiency from the hybrid system makes 690 miles (1,112km) possible on a full tank of fuel. Range_e is also engineered with the same full 4WD capability as the standard Range Rover Sport, with high and low range in the transmission, front and rear differentials and a mechanical locking centre differential. Dependant on the driver demand, the car's intelligent system decides the most efficient method to deliver the power required, whether this is by electric, diesel or both. The Range_e also features regenerative braking to capture energy usually wasted in heat energy via the brakes. This energy can then be redeployed to drive the vehicle, further reducing fossil fuel consumption. John Edwards, Land Rover global brand director, said: "This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover. It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years."

Land Rover in Partnership with CABLED
The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover’s fellow members of the CABLED – Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators – consortium. Land Rover anticipates its plug-in hybrid system will be brought to market in the near future, following on from the debut of its first standard diesel-electric hybrid models from 2013. Pete Richings, chief engineer hybrids, said: "We started the Range_e fleet trial in December 2010 and we have so far covered 12,000 miles on the trial between the five test vehicles. We are gathering invaluable real world data that will enable us to refine the technology ahead of introducing a production vehicle." Land Rover continues to recognise the need to work on all aspects of our CO2 footprint such as reducing weight, reducing mechanical losses and increasing powertrain efficiency and our hybrid technology represents one part of the research and development journey. Jaguar Land Rover is committed to spending £800 million on environmental technologies and has targeted a 25 per cent reduction in its fleet average CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.

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The all-new Ford Ranger Wildtrak makes its global debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, a sporty compact pick-up that delivers impressive power and safety, excellent fuel efficiency and significant capability. It exudes a powerful presence bolstered by the latest in-car comfort and technologies. Aiming to deliver class-leading safety, new Ranger utilises a whole suite of technologies, including Electronic Stability Program (ESP), to keep its wheels sturdily planted on the road under all conditions. Despite being an enormously capable vehicle, the Ranger is also fitted with technologies such as satellite navigation and Bluetooth® voice control, more commonly found on premium or luxury cars. Building on Ranger’s long-standing heritage of capability, the all-new model extends Ford’s credibility further, with selected European versions achieving a best-in-class towing capacity of 3350 kg. New from the ground up – with everything changed except its name – new Ranger is the first commercial vehicle to be built under the One Ford strategy as part of a global product programme, bringing together the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world. Designed and developed in Australia, Ranger will be offered as a complete family of compact pick-ups with three different cab body styles, 4x2 and 4x4 drive trains, two ride heights and up to four series choices to suit every pocket and market. It will be produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina for more than 180 markets worldwide.

Ranger Wildtrack styling
The aggressive and sporty stance of the new Ranger line-up is enhanced for the range-topper, Wildtrak. There is a unique colour split on the front and designers masked out the feature line on the fascia and contrasted it by highlighting the lower intake. The same accent colours were used on the side mirrors, door handles and side air vents to give the vehicle a dark sporty look. “Wildtrak's aggressive look and bold new graphics are a perfect fit for those who appreciate a sporty and more expressive image. It will look fantastic transporting the latest quad bike or jet ski for their weekend getaways,” said Craig Metros, chief designer of the all-new Ranger. Sitting high on 18-inch alloy wheels, the Wildtrak also comes with a roof rack and a sports hoop which enhance its profile. Exclusive Wildtrak badging and graphics help to set it apart from other lifestyle vehicles.

Car-like levels of comfort and features
The purposeful interior of the Wildtrak echoes the dark sporty look of the outside. A special hydrographic finish on the centre console around the audio is reminiscent of strong but lightweight materials like carbon fibre. The seat trim – a combination of leather and woven cloth inspired by sportswear with ventilated sections – provides lateral support and confidence even on rough terrain. Contrast stitching and a discreet strip on the seat upper and bolster, all in distinctive Wildtrak Orange, accentuate the premium feel of the interior. The cabin of Ranger has been stretched to provide segment-leading spaciousness and comfort. Three passengers can easily fit in the second row of the Wildtrak, for instance. It offers ample knee room and better foot clearance between the B-pillar and the seat. This means that getting in and out of the new Ranger is easier than ever for rear-seat passengers. With 23 storage spaces in the cabin, Ranger offers more practical stowage than any competitor. A deep centre console bin will keep up to six cans of beverage cool, while the glove box is large enough to accommodate a 16-inch laptop computer. Ample storage for mobile phones and other small items can be found in the console. Also poised to be a leader in innovation, Ranger Wildtrak comes with Bluetooth®audio streaming, USB and iPod connectivity. There is voice control over the radio, CD, iPod, USB, air-conditioning and phone. It also offers a five-inch colour screen with satellite navigation.

More power, more torque
There is a choice of two state-of-the-art common-rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels and new fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions that serve up more power and torque. The new, Dagenham-built, 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 150 PS, whilst a highly responsive and efficient new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque is power rated at 200PS. Both new powertrains have been developed and refined to deliver excellent fuel economy that is among the best in class. Fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank, Ranger is also expected to have one of the longest ranges in its segment. New Ranger also features smart Ford technologies such as Adaptive Automatic Mode, which adapts gear shifts according to driving style and Grade Control Logic, which automatically downshifts when driving downhill and the brake pedal is depressed. This feature prevents the transmission from changing to a higher gear.

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Pricing for the Volkswagen Amarok has now been revealed, with Volkswagen’s exciting new pick-up available in three well-equipped trim levels, starting at just £16,995 for the Startline model and £18,995 for the Trendline, while the range-topping Highline will cost from £21,575. The stylish new four-wheel drive double-cab is available with the choice of two refined diesel engines. All models can be fitted with the powerful, yet efficient, 2.0-litre BiTDI 163 PS engine, while an entry-level 2.0-litre TDI 122 PS is also offered on Startline models. All Amaroks are equipped with a comprehensive list of standard equipment, offering high levels of comfort and safety. Standard equipment on the Startline model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, 4MOTION Selectable four-wheel drive, electric front and rear windows, semi-automatic air conditioning and single CD / radio.

Advanced technology and safety systems fitted include six airbags, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) incorporating Brake Assist System (BAS), Traction Control System (TCS), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Hill Hold Assist, Hill Descent Control, Trailer Stability Control and off-road ABS, designed to shorten stopping distances significantly on loose surfaces. The 4MOTION Selectable four-wheel drive system, available on all models, offers a choice between rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive and low range four-wheel drive via a button mounted on the dashboard. All models fitted with this adjustable system have a gross vehicle weight of 3,170 kg and more robust suspension which results in a payload of over 1,045 kg. Trendline specification offers additional levels of refinement and equipment, with the addition of two-zone automatic air conditioning, RCD 310 radio / CD player, cruise control, multifunction computer and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob. Colour-coded mirrors, front bumper and distinctive wheelarch extensions along with front fog lights and 17-inch ‘Aldo’ alloy wheels give the Trendline a bold and purposeful stance.

The Amarok Highline is equipped with a range of further equipment to make the range-topping model stand out from the crowd. Chrome detailing on the front grille elements, door mirrors and rear bumper create a striking look, complemented by polished stainless steel sidebars, privacy glass and stylish 18-inch ‘Durban’ alloy wheels. Further enhancements include leather upholstery, heated front seats and rear parking sensors. In addition to the 4MOTION Selectable system, the Highline model is also available with the option of 4MOTION Permanent. This permanent four-wheel drive system reduces payload to below 1,045 kg but, thanks to comfort suspension which uses a two plus one leaf spring system, offers a more car-like driving experience with improved ride and refinement. A comprehensive range of optional equipment is also offered across the Amarok range, allowing owners to personalise their pick-up to their own individual needs. These include satellite navigation, additional protection for the load bay and underbody components, as well as exclusive 19-inch ‘Aragonit’ design alloy wheels.

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Gaydon, Warwickshire
The new Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition, a hand-finished exclusive addition, will make its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The flagship model adds a handcrafted luxury interior, using specially selected soft feel natural leathers, to an interior renowned for being one of the finest in the automotive world. The driver benefits from the recognisable command driving position offering excellent visibility and comfort, and the rear passengers now experience first-class-style accommodation never before seen in a Range Rover. Two stand alone electric rear seats enhance space and comfort for the rear passengers, making the Ultimate Edition the definitive chauffeur vehicle. The addition of a rear console extension, including a machined aluminium laptop table and drinks chiller, and two Apple iPads* as standard (the first car to do so), takes the Range Rover rear seat experience to new levels of luxury. The luxury theme extends to the rear load space, with a super yacht inspired teak floor with metal and leather detailing. The interior story is completed with high-end semi-aniline leather seating and Oxford leather on the door casings, dashboard top and steering wheel. For the first time, Kalahari wood veneers are used on the facia and door top rolls and unique interior colourways of either dark cherry or Arabica are available Two new unique exterior colours, either Roussillon Red or Otago Stone, are available along with body coloured door handles, dark atlas radiator grille and side vents to create a sophisticated finish. This Ultimate Edition is fitted with new and unique 20" multi-spoke diamond-turned alloy wheels, and unique tailgate badging. Customers also have the option of an Exterior Design Pack and deployable side steps. The classic Range Rover colour of Santorini Black will also be available as an exterior choice in some markets.

The all-V8 engine line-up includes the superb new 4.4 litre LR-TDV8 Diesel engine with a new eight-speed transmission incorporating Drive Select with Paddle Shift as standard. This LR-TDV8 combines superior power with 313PS, 700Nm torque whilst delivering even lower fuel consumption and 14% less CO2 emissions than its predecessor in line with the stringent EU5 emissions standards. The combined cycle fuel consumption of the new LR-TDV8 4.4-litre is just 30.1mpg, making this the first Range Rover ever to better 30mpg. The 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox tuned by Land Rover engineers to combine silky smooth shifting with exceptionally rapid response and improved fuel economy, catapults the Range Rover from rest to 60mph in a mere 7.5 seconds and complete the 50mph-75mph dash in just 5.1 seconds. The LR-V8 5.0 Supercharged engine is also available delivering awesome power and torque, 510PS and 625Nm, propelling the Range Rover from 0-60mph in a breath-taking 5.9 seconds. Both variants come with Land Rover's award-winning Terrain ResponseTM system, which optimises the vehicle set-up for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations, with five different settings to suit different terrains including new Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control.

This Ultimate Edition was designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK and exclusivity is assured as each vehicle will be built to customer order only. 500 units will be produced and sold in over 20 markets globally. Pricing will be announced by individual markets later this year.

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According to BCA – the UK’s biggest seller of commercial vehicles - there has been a significant increase in the value of 4x4 pick-ups in recent weeks with both lifestyle and workhorse models performing strongly. A special section of 20 4x4 Pick-Ups were offered and sold at BCA Blackbushe on behalf of the UK Car Group late in January and generated a huge amount of interest with trade buyers, small business end-users and private buyers competing strongly.

Duncan Ward, BCA General Manager – Commercial Vehicles commented “Well-specified 4x4s are in demand and examples with leather, satellite navigation, chrome trim, alloy wheels, metallic paint and popular extras like searchlight bars are making exceptional money. Buyers are not so concerned about the age and mileage, providing vehicles are in good, clean condition. Presentation remains important, however, and damaged examples need to be sensibly valued to generate interest.” Buyers don’t even have the option of down-speccing, because base-models are in even shorter supply and values are rising as a consequence. There is also plenty of demand for late-registered Land Rovers and a limited 60th Anniversary 110 Defender was sold for £20,000 in the same sale. Ward commented “The 4x4 double-cab sector is reaching a wider audience than previously, with caravanners and rural pursuits enthusiasts enjoying the pulling power and sure-footedness these vehicles offer, as well as the extra space. However, buyer interest has risen sharply since the weather deteriorated in November and December. There are many self-employed owner operators whose businesses are completely dependent on being mobile every day. When their traditional commercial vehicle is stuck at base defeated by the snow they inevitably start looking at a 4x4 as a logical alternative.” He continued “Double cab pick-ups are becoming de-rigeur at county-fairs, gymkhanas and caravan parks because of the combination of comfort and rugged performance. They will tow a decent sized caravan or double horsebox with ease and if fitted with a Truckman top or similar offer plenty of additional carrying capacity. They are also very competitively valued when compared to the equivalent premium 4x4 in the car market.” Ward added “There’s still an active buyer base in the building and construction trades for double cabs as a working tool, of course, from the site foreman to the self-employed builder for whom it may also have a role as ‘family car’.”

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GENEVA MOTOR SHOW 2011 Hall 4, Stand 4133
SsangYong will show a stylish new concept of its popular Actyon Sports at the Geneva Motor Show, 3-13 March. While maintaining the essential characteristics of a traditional pick-up, this concept presents a more contemporary look to reflect the styling expected of today’s Sports Utility Truck. The concept is similar in size to the current Actyon Sports - 4,985mm long x 1,910mm wide x 1,755mm high, and with a generous 3,060mm wheelbase. Satisfying environmental demands for Euro 5 compliance, the new 2.0 litre diesel engine produces a maximum output of 155ps and maximum torque of 360Nm. Optimum torque is delivered across a low yet broad rev range of 1,500-2,800rpm, giving effortless acceleration from low engine speeds. The new model will offer the choice of either 6-speed manual or automatic transmission in either 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive models. It will go on sale across Europe and other markets from early 2012.

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The Toyota Land Cruiser clocks up 60 years this year, stronger and better than ever. Far from aging gracefully, the legendary 4x4 remains one of the toughest machines on four wheels: it’s conquered the Arctic (and Antarctic) wastes, traversed deserts, ploughed its way through tropical rain forests and generally taken the worst the world can throw at it in its stride. As Land Cruiser reaches this landmark, Toyota is launching new top-of-the-range 60th Anniversary versions of both its standard five-door Land Cruiser and the flagship Land Cruiser V8. They have the same robust construction and sophisticated array of driving and control systems for exceptional on and off-road performance as their established sister models, together with some extra style and equipment details. There’s more power and torque on tap, as well, as the 3.0-litre D-4D engine fitted to Land Cruiser has been re-engineered. As a result maximum output is up from 171 to 188bhp and maximum torque from 410 to 420Nm – performance gains achieved without harming fuel economy or emissions levels. With the benefit of a new diesel particulate filter (DPF), the engine meets the latest, Euro 5 emissions standards.

Land Cruiser’s ancestry can be traced back to the Toyota BJ of 1951, a truck-derived model that was initially developed for military use. Within six months of its launch the BJ was hailed as a champion, becoming the first vehicle to be driven to the sixth hill station of Japan’s Mount Fuji, 2,500 metres up. As a result of this feat, the BJ was added to the Japanese police fleet and the model’s long-term success began. In 1954 the new Type 25 BJ was given a generic model name – Land Cruiser – which has been used ever since. As Toyota began its programme of worldwide exports and growth during the 1950s and '60s, it found many established markets were already well-served by American and European car makers. This prompted the company to focus instead on emerging markets in Middle and Far East and South America, where Land Cruiser’s tough performance made it a strong proposition. The Land Cruiser concept was refined in the mid-1960s, as Toyota responded to an American trend for more refined four-wheel drive vehicles. The introduction in 1966 of the first Land Cruiser Station Wagon series – forerunner of today’s Land Cruiser V8 – catered for this growing market, joining the range alongside its more rugged stablemate. Further development of the Land Cruiser concept came in 1985, when Toyota recognised the potential for a model that could offer the manoeuvrability and uncompromised off-road strengths of the Heavy Duty series with the comfort and refinement of the Station Wagon. The result was the first Land Cruiser “Light Duty” series. From this point Land Cruiser progressed through two further generations, in 1996 (known in the UK as the Land Cruiser Colorado) and 2002, before the launch of the current model in 2009. The larger Land Cruiser Amazon, also introduced in 1996, (replacing the Land Cruiser 80 series) was replaced with Land Cruiser V8 in February 2008. To date more than five million Land Cruiser models have been sold in 188 different countries and regions worldwide.

60th Anniversary models
The new Land Cruiser 60th Anniversary takes its position at the top of the model range for 2011, adding selected extra features to the LC5 grade it replaces.
The Land Cruiser V8 60th Anniversary also delivers an impressive package of performance, comfort and premium quality features

Both models are available now, the Land Cruiser 60th Anniversary priced £49,950 and the Land Cruiser V8 60th Anniversary £61,950.

Three-door Land Cruiser
Toyota has reintroduced a three-door version of Land Cruiser. Available exclusively in LC3 trim with manual transmission only, five seats, it comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, vehicle stability control (VSC) with active traction control (A-TRC), climate control, smart entry and start system, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system and front fog lamps.

The Land Cruiser three-door is on sale now, priced £30,395 on the road.

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25 January 2011
A recent survey carried out by one of the UK’s leading road safety and breakdown organisations GEM Motoring Assist has revealed that an impressive 73 per cent of motorists have taken positive action to prepare and equip their car for the hazardous winter months. It seems the harsh weather of the last couple of years has hit home to drivers that snow and icy conditions present a serious threat to driver safety. David Williams MBE, Chief Executive of GEM Motoring Assist comments, “With many motorists getting caught out by the extreme weather conditions in January 2010 and the extensive national transport and airport chaos this winter, it seems an increasing number of drivers are much more aware of the problems they could be faced with, and have actually done something about it.”

A similar survey carried out by GEM in the winter of 2008 revealed exactly the opposite. A shocking three quarters of drivers admitted to not being prepared for winter driving with only a few carrying anything more than an ice scraper or can of de-icer. Plus useful items such as blankets, high energy foods, water and tow ropes featured on few priority lists. David continues, “We are delighted to see that attitudes towards driving in wintry conditions are changing and that there has been a significant increase in the number of people who are taking additional precautions. Poor weather, decreased visibility and bad road conditions during winter not only increase the risk of accidents, but also contribute to a rise in breakdown situations, which in turn are more hazardous in dark and wintry conditions. Statistically, the bad winter weather hits us in late January or early February; it is unusual for the UK to have had so much snow already, so we may not be out of it yet. It is important that people are aware of how vital it is to always have some basic items in their boot such as a torch, water, and even blankets just in case they do break down. A de-icer or scraper is only useful at the start of the journey not when you are waiting at the side of the road for help to arrive.”

You can download a copy of GEM’s ‘Guide to Winter Driving’ leaflet at www.motoringassist.com Alternatively you can call GEM directly on 01342 825676 for a hard copy.

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Volkswagen has claimed overall victory in the Dakar Rally for the third consecutive year, and defended the 1-2-3 podium lock-out result of last year crowning a successful premiere for the Race Touareg 3 on the event. Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar, with his German co-driver Timo Gottschalk, finished the final stage with the second quickest time and an overall winning margin of 49m 41s.

This year’s result sees Al-Attiyah become the first Arab in the desert classic’s history to be presented with the Dakar winners’ trophy, now in its 33rd year. The back-to-back hat-trick of victories means that Volkswagen is still unbeaten since the famous event moved to South America. Four diesel-powered Race Touareg 3s competed, and completed, the gruelling 9,600 kilometre course through Argentina and Chile, winning 12 out of the 13 stages between them and remaining at the top of the timesheets throughout.

The two previous title holders of the rally joined Al-Attiyah and Gottscahlk on the podium in Buenos Aries with the 2009 winners Giniel de Villers and Dirk von Zitzewitz claiming second overall, and last year’s winners Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz finishing third. The fourth Volkswagen pairing of Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford completed the solid Volkswagen team performance in sixth position. With seven stage victories, including the 13th and final stage of the Rally, Carlos Sainz broke the record for the highest number of stage wins on the Dakar. This victory took his tally to 24, overtaking the previous record-holder and Volkswagen’s closest rival on this year’s Dakar, Stéphane Peterhansel

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Rounding off a superb year of accolades for Subaru, the Forester has been granted the title of “Crossover of the year 2010” by 4x4 Plus Magazine, the largest such specialist title in Belgium.

The awards – which have been running since 1993 - are decided exclusively by a panel of professional judges with expertise in the specific category of vehicles they assess. The “Crossover” category was added in 2009 in response to changes in the market and to prevent possible confusion with the larger vehicles classified as belonging to the “SUV” category.

The Subaru Forester was awarded the coveted title after the judges reported winning performance in the areas of reduced emissions, efficiency and value for money. The Forester was praised for its safety, handling and functionality. The panel also supported Subaru‘s core philosophy that permanent all-wheel drive system does offer significant safety benefits, against a strictly marginal fuel consumption increase compared to two-wheel drive vehicles. It pointed out that the fuel consumption difference measured between 4-wheel drive and 2-wheel drive vehicles was by far lower than commonly assumed. The positive cost-benefit ratio - especially when expressed in terms of safety - was also highlighted.

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14 January 2011

Land Rover Discovery 4 named 4x4 of the year - its seventh consecutive What Car?award

  • Range Rover Evoque wins the Reader Award for most exciting car of 2011 – voted for by users of whatcar.com
  • Land Rover had an outstanding evening at the 2011 What Car? Awards, walking away with two special accolades.
Firstly, the Land Rover Discovery 4 scooped the model's seventh consecutive What Car? win when it was once more named 4x4 of the year. But the celebrations didn't end there, as Land Rover's newest and most anticipated model, the Range Rover Evoque, won its first major title with the Reader Award for the most exciting car of 2011. The Solihull-built Discovery 4 was pitched against tough competition including the BMW X3 and the Hyundai Santa Fe, but again emerged victorious with What Car? describing it as "an iconic car". This is the latest in a long list of accolades for Land Rover's most capable all round vehicle and brings the total medal haul to almost 150 awards since the Discovery 2 was launched in 2004.

What Car? Editor-in-Chief, Steve Fowler said: "We've loved the Land Rover Discovery ever since we made it Car of the Year in 2005 and this is its seventh What Car? Award – an amazing feat. Nothing can beat its 4x4 abilities combined with executive car quality and family friendly features – it’s a real iconic car." Land Rover's Global Operations Director, John Edwards, echoed the What Car? view, commenting: "The Discovery 4 offers an exceptional breadth of capability and has become one the of the world's most decorated vehicles. We are thrilled that it has once again been named 4x4 of the Year. Seven What Car? awards is an amazing achievement and validates the Discovery's status as the world's most capable SUV."

2011 sees the Discovery 4 benefit from a host of new features including a new version of the super-efficient 3.0 LR-TDV6 as the new entry level engine choice for UK customers. The acclaimed parallel sequential turbocharged diesel engine replaces the 2.7 LR-TDV6 and matches the low CO2emissions and impressive fuel economy of its more powerful 3.0-litre stable mate. Further new 2011 Model Year enhancements include improvements to Land Rover's award winning Terrain Response system with the introduction of Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control.

The What Car? 4x4 of the year award coincides with the launch of the Discovery 4 'Landmark' Limited Edition, which goes on sale this month. This new variant features a unique black and white colour scheme and brings a fresh, contemporary sense of design to the latest Discovery 4 line-up. High-end interiors are blended with bold contemporary colour schemes for an upmarket look. This Limited Edition offers on road refinement to match most executive saloons, the versatility of a people carrier and of course, unrivalled off-road capability. The Reader Award for the most exciting car of 2011, as voted for by users of whatcar.com is he first major award for Range Rover Evoque and is a sure sign of the momentum that is building around the ground breaking new Range Rover.

The Evoque goes on sale later this year and brings the acclaimed Land Rover LRX concept car into production reality, faithfully capturing the original design of the landmark cross coupe concept. The vehicle, which is being built at Land Rover's award winning Halewood manufacturing facility, was the hands down winner of the coveted Reader Award. As Steve Fowler, Editor-in-chief, What Car? commented: "The Evoque was the runaway winner of this year's Reader Award and it's easy to see why. It really impressed us when we first saw it last summer with its combination of style, quality and eco credentials. If the drive lives up to those sensational looks, it'll be a surefire hit."

The new Range Rover Evoque will be available in coupe and 5-door body styles, with both versions offering bold design coupled with premium levels of craftsmanship, luxury and performance. The Evoque is the lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever, delivering fuel economy of 58mpg and CO2 emissions sub 130g/km in a strong demonstration of the brand's commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Award was collected by Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern, who said: "We are delighted that the Range Rover Evoque has been chosen by users of whatcar.com as their most exciting car of 2011. The sense of anticipation around Evoque has been building rapidly and this award underlines the fantastic reaction that we have already had in response to its dramatic design, meticulous engineering and class leading levels of luxury."

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12 January 2011
Land Rover launches the new 2011 Defender X-Tech Limited Edition at Brussels Motorshow.

The Defender X-Tech offers raw and edgy style, with the class-leading all-terrain capability you would expect of this motoring icon. The exterior is available in Zermatt Silver, enhanced by a contrasting Santorini Black finish to the roof and wheel arches. And, for the first time, this Defender is fitted with unique gloss black 16 inch Saw Tooth alloy wheels, to create a sense of raw utilitarianism. The interior is available in Ebony and the seats offer the addition of leather side bolsters, for a more refined finish. The Defender X-Tech is available in the 90 Hard Top Commercial derivative, with the full range of accessories also available to enhance capability and individuality. Powered by the 2.4 litre common-rail diesel engine, this Defender boasts fuel efficiency and performance with 360Nm torque for effortless towing and enhanced on-road performance.

The Defender X-Tech Limited Edition will go on sale from March 2011 starting at £24,995

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