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27 June 2012
The Volkswagen Amarok has pulled off a top motoring accolade at the Auto Express New Car Awards 2012, announced at an awards ceremony in London last night, as the winner of its inaugural ‘Best Pick-Up’ award. Most impressively, the Amarok double cab beat key rivals such as the new Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, with Auto Express commenting: ‘Since its launch last year it has redefined what buyers can expect from a hard-working pick-up truck’.

The Amarok was also praised for its performance and pulling power: ‘The punchy 2.0-litre BiTDI engine produces 400Nm of torque, making it perfect for carrying or towing heavy loads.‘ Steve Fowler, the Editor-in-Chief of Auto Express magazine added: ‘by bringing the kind of cabin quality usually reserved for its passenger cars to a practical commercial vehicle, Volkswagen has raised the bar in the sector.’ Alex Smith, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles collected the award and said: ‘The other good news for the Amarok is that we are launching an automatic transmission model this summer, and with production for Europe moving to our factory in Germany, there will be more vehicles for the UK and shorter waiting times.’

Other recent awards for the Amarok include ‘Manliest Motor’ from Zoo magazine, as well as successful class wins from What Van?, Trade Van Driver and 4x4 magazine. The Amarok range offers three trim levels, a choice of permanent or selectable 4MOTION, and a load area wide enough to fit a ‘euro’ pallet, with retail prices starting from £18,795 (plus VAT), or with the latest offers from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, from £299 a month (plus VAT and initial payment).

For full details of the Amarok visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk or call 0800 717131.

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27 June 2012
The first all-new Bristol and West Land Rover Show got off to a great start with 3,000 Land Rover lovers gathering at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, to celebrate their favourite marque. Around 30 Land Rover and 4x4 clubs and 100 traders, covering everything from parts and spares to overland adventures, praised the new event that was organised by Mark Woodward Events. Mark said: “We’re thrilled with how well this first event has been received. The feedback has been brilliant. Traders have reported good business throughout the weekend and visitors are already asking us for the dates for 2013. We even got a break with the weather during the day although those camping certainly got their equipment tested during Saturday night, but were all smiling Sunday morning nevertheless.”

A highlight on Saturday was the BLESMA Charity Challenge as over 400 Land Rovers, 4x4s and ex-military vehicles congregated to create an incredible mosaic of a Defender 90. This was followed by a charity auction, which raised over £1,900 for BLESMA, the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association. Diana Tigwell hosted the Difflock Live Action Arena offering Land Rover parades, winching demonstrations from Goodwinch and the first double twist off challenge. The date has already been set for next year’s Bristol and West Land Rover Show as it will return to the Royal Bath and West Showground on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June 2013. For more information, visit www.bristolandwestlandrovershow.com

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27 June 2012
Hyundai can today confirm pricing and specification for the New Generation Santa Fe SUV, which goes on sale in the UK on October 15. Prices will start from £25,495 OTR for the 2.2-litre CRDi Style 2WD model. Since its launch in the UK in 2001, the Hyundai Santa Fe has sold 37,500 units in total. Last year, was the second best year in terms of sales for the SUV in Britain with just over 4,200 sold – which equated to a third of European Santa Fe sales in 2011. Produced at the world’s largest car manufacturing plant in Ulsan, South Korea, the New Generation Santa Fe represents a significant leap forward in terms of desirability, refinement, interior quality and technology.

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Globally Hyundai has decided to keep the Santa Fe nameplate as it has, and continues to be, a hugely popular product with customers and is synonymous with the Hyundai brand. We know that Santa Fe buyers are amongst our most loyal customers and it is their feedback that has helped to shape the new model. “We think that the New Generation Santa Fe will not only appeal to existing customers with its fresh design and improved levels of standard technology, but will attract a new range of buyers looking for a stylish, premium and authentic SUV.” The New Generation Santa Fe will be powered by a 2.2-litre CRDi engine which develops 197PS and 311lb ft of torque. Six-speed manual or automatic transmissions will be available. The engine has been worked to ensure significant improvements in fuel economy along with associated reductions in CO2 emissions. The 2WD version returns 47.9mpg on the combined cycle and emissions fall below the benchmark 160g/km level for the first time (155g/km) making it an attractive proposition for fleets. The 4WD manual Santa Fe too makes an appealing fleet choice with a combined fuel consumption figure of 46.3mpg and 159g/km. The automatic model is almost on par with the outgoing manual version delivering 41.5mpg and just 178g/km. Three trim levels are available and there is still a choice of either five- or seven-seat configurations. In keeping with Hyundai’s philosophy of offering customers maximum value for money, the Santa Fe comes standard with a number of key features that are traditionally cost options with rivals, beginning with the entry-level Style.

On the outside, the Style model gets 18-inch alloy wheels, body coloured door handles, body coloured door mirrors with integrated indicator lights, reverse parking sensors, daytime running lights, self-levelling suspension (seven seat only) and a rear spoiler with high-mounted brake light. Inside, air conditioning is standard along with Bluetooth® with voice recognition, multi-function steering wheel and Hyundai’s adjustable Flex Steer™ system. Hyundai engineers have tuned the New Generation Santa Fe’s suspension specifically for UK roads to ensure a refined and cosseting ride. Dampers have been stiffened over the European set-up in order to cope with bumps and uneven road surfaces that are more common in the UK. A number of safety features are also standard from entry including ESP, Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Management, Trailer Stability Assist and seven airbags. A first for Santa Fe is the Active Bonnet System, which raises the bonnet by 60mm in the event of a pedestrian collision to help minimise the impact of head injuries. The system complements the New Generation Santa Fe’s already high safety package.

Moving up to the Premium mid-trim adds additional specification over the entry-level Style such as touchscreen satellite navigation, reverse parking camera with Parking Guidance System, electric folding door mirrors with puddle lamps, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, roof rails, chrome effect door handles and black leather seat trim. Beige leather can be specified as an alternative at no additional cost. Prices for the Premium models begin at £28,995. The new range-topping Premium SE trim is laden with a vast array of comfort, safety, and luxury features and starts at £32,695 for the seven-seat four-wheel drive manual. In addition to the Premium trim, Premium SE gets 19-inch alloy wheels, electric driver’s seat adjustment, Panoramic sunroof, Xenon headlights, keyless entry with engine start/stop button, front parking sensors, Smart Parking Assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, Supervision Cluster with LCD display. Interior space and packaging differs from the outgoing Santa Fe with improvements to rear legroom (+45mm) and first row headroom (+11mm). The New Generation Santa Fe still remains a functional and versatile SUV with luggage capacity at 534 litres plus an additional 48 litres under the boot floor. For added convenience the Santa Fe is fitted with two quick-release levers inside the boot to flatten the second row of seats for maximum load space. The Santa Fe is backed by Hyundai’s 5 Year Triple Care package, which means owners get a fully transferable five year unlimited mileage warranty, five years roadside assistance and five years free vehicle health checks.

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27 June 2012
The Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery 4 are continuing their winning ways in the 2012 Auto Express Awards, taking top honours respectively as Best Compact SUV and Best Large SUV. For Evoque, which was the reigning Auto Express Car of the Year, it is a second successive victory in its class, demonstrating that the promise it showed in the build up to its launch last year has been fully realised. Its quality, performance and appeal have now been recognised by well in excess of 100 awards and excellent sales figures worldwide. Evoque was challenged for honours in its class by its sister model, the Freelander 2, which earned a judges’ commendation, and the BMW X3.

Auto Express Editor-in-Chief, Steve Fowler said: “Last year’s Car of the Year is still the one to beat and easily keeps hold of its Best Compact SUV title. “The Evoque is all about style, quality and driver appeal. It turns heads like little else, is built superbly and is great fun to drive – a truly brilliant all-rounder.” Discovery 4 accomplishes a hat-trick this year, claiming the Best Large SUV award for the third year running, making it the pre-eminent model in its class every year since its launch. The Auto Express success adds to an impressive array of honours for the model, demonstrating Discovery’s strength-in-depth as it progresses beyond the production milestone of 1,000,000 units; it has established its dominance in the class by winning the award eight consecutive times.

Fowler commented: “This is the third Auto Express award for Discovery 4, proof that it is one of the best cars in the real world. Nothing can touch its blend of go-anywhere ability, comfort, tremendous practicality and value. A continual programme of development keeps it ahead of the pack and keeps it looking cool, too." Discovery 4 took top spot in its category this year ahead of finalists the Porsche Cayenne and Hyundai Santa Fe. Land Rover’s across-the-board success this year was completed by the Range Rover being commended in the awards’ Luxury Car category. Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover UK, accepted the awards at a presentation at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. He said: “These awards demonstrate the breadth of appeal that the Land Rover brand has in the UK. We have our strongest ever product line-up, and retail sales in the UK are up 28% YTD. “The Discovery 4 is widely recognised as the world’s most versatile and capable SUV and the Range Rover Evoque is continuing to win awards that recognise its all-round performance, distinctive design, and class leading cost of ownership.”

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18 June 2012
SsangYong is adding a new low priced 4x4 model to its recently introduced Korando crossover range - the Korando SX.
Styled by Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design, this latest addition to the Korando line-up is covered by the standard 5 year unlimited mileage warranty available on all SsangYong cars and priced from just £18,795 on the road.

Korando SX is powered by a new low CO2 version of the Korando power unit. Developing 149ps@4,000rpm, this advanced 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo diesel engine produces 360Nm of torque with CO2 emissions reduced to 157g/km, while providing a full two tonne towing capability. The SX features the Torque on Demand 4x4 system fitted to EX models, and like all Korandos is equipped with ESP with Hill Start Assist. Its specification is similar to the Korando S - which also now features this new engine - but in two wheel drive form brings reduced CO2 emissions of 147g/km. It comes equipped with a number of luxury touches including roof rails, tinted glass and rear parking sensors, while inside there is a leather covered steering wheel and gear shift, cruise control and a Kenwood MP3 CD & RDS radio with iPod & Bluetooth, remote audio controls and six speakers. “The new SX is in direct response to feedback from our customers who said they wanted a 4x4 crossover for less than £20,000,” said Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK. “The result is a car that is extremely well equipped, and at a great value price of £18,795 is 15% lower than its nearest direct competitor.

“SsangYong has an enviable reputation for building extremely competent off-road vehicles, and this new Korando draws on that pedigree - it’s an honest, reliable and highly capable vehicle, and will out perform many more expensive cars, whatever the weather.” Added Steve Gray, marketing and communications director: “As a crossover, Korando provides the perfect solution to meet virtually every motoring requirement. Several cars in one, it’s the family hatchback for the daily school or commuter run; a load lugger for that long distance cross-country dash, and the perfect tow car for hauling the caravan or boat to your summer holiday destination, thanks to its two tonne towing capacity. “With its high driving position and all-weather, off road ability that many drivers are looking for - particularly after several snowy winters, we are confident of the SX succeeding. Along with its affordable running costs, 5 years unlimited mileage warranty, comprehensive specification and SsangYong’s advantageous pricing, we believe we have the trump card in a growing market!”

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18 June 2012
At the forthcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show[1] ("Mondial de l’Automobile"), Mitsubishi Motors will continue to roll out its ambitious, global and green new product generation with a series of significant premieres. Highlight of this offensive will be the world introduction of the all-new Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV.

New Frontier
Neither a mere adaptation of an existing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) – powered vehicle, nor a dedicated Plug-in Hybrid technology showcase, the New Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV (or “PHEV”) will share its architecture with the soon-to-be-introduced New Outlander’s ICE versions – an engineering feat in itself. As such, it will be the first mainstream car from a major manufacturer envisaged from the outset with built-in provisions for either ICE or PHEV power trains.

Plug-in Hybrid EV
Adding to its credentials, the New Outlander PHEV will further distinguish itself:

Mitsubishi Motors’ first Plug-in Hybrid car, it will be an EV-based vehicle, relying on MMC’s extensive EV and electronic know-how, supplemented by a petrol engine when needed – a solution more suited to global markets than Diesel.
Making the best use of Mitsubishi’s renowned 4-Wheel-Drive expertise, it will also be the first permanent 4WD electric car in series production.

Long haul
The New Outlander PHEV unique drive train combination of front electric motor + rear electric motor + front traction/generator petrol engine will translate into a choice of three driving modes:

Pure (Twin Motor 4WD EV)
Series (Twin Motor 4WD - EV supported by generator)
Parallel (ICE engine supported by Twin Motor 4WD).
When fitted to the New Outlander, the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid system will allow for a long haul range and very low emissions similar to that of the Concept PX-MiEV II show car, i.e. a driving distance of over 800 km and a CO2 target below 50 g/km.

Whilst the New Outlander ICE will start its commercial career in Western & Eastern Europe in the fall of 2012, the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV will be retailed in Europe during the course of 2013. Complementing this New Outlander family, Mitsubishi Motors will stage further premieres at the Paris Motor Show, aimed at a European audience and to be detailed at a later stage.

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13 June 2012
The Land Rover Discovery 4 has won its class for the third consecutive year in the coveted annual Tow Car Awards. Leading the field once again in the 1900kg+ class, the Discovery 4 reigned supreme over the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Volvo XC60 and XC70, Ford Ranger, Vauxhall Antara and Toyota Hilux to take the class victory. Tow Car Awards judge and Haymarket Outdoor Leisure Group's Editor in Chief – Digital, Nigel Donnelly, said: "If this were a horse race, the bookies would have stopped taking bets on the Discovery 4. Having won the heavyweight class two years in a row, it was always the red-hot favourite. The big Land Rover is even better than before, thanks to the addition of an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It's smoother shifting than the old six-speeder and, along with tweaks to the engine, improves performance and economy.

"The Discovery 4 is a luxurious way to travel, thanks to the supple ride and roomy cabin. There are seats for seven, and if the rear two are stowed, there is more than enough space for a fortnight's holiday luggage. In fact, there's little on our list of what makes a practical towcar that the Discovery doesn't have. "The Discovery is the best heavyweight towcar." Laura Schwab, Land Rover Marketing Director said: "It is an honour to win this award for the third consecutive year and acts as a strong independent testament to the versatility and capability of the Discovery 4. "Many of our customers choose the Discovery 4 as the perfect all-rounder; the ideal towing vehicle both commercially and recreationally, as well as being a comfortable and luxurious tourer on road with class leading capability off-road."

The annual test programme which started in 2007, is a joint venture between Practical Caravan, What Car? and The Camping and Caravanning Club. The assessment which involves real-world simulations to put each test car through the most relevant and rigorous tests, involving caravans weighted to 85% of the car's kerbweight, acceleration tests, high-speed stability, brake tests, emergency lane change, hill start and practicality tests. The latter appraises the car's ability to cope with a typical caravanner's luggage, has suitable towing electrics, spare wheel, and technology to make towing easier and safer. The Land Rover Discovery 4 features a host of intelligent technology creating a safe and comfortable towing experience: Trailer Stability Assist (Standard) automatically detects the presence of a trailer. Once 37 mph is reached, the sensors monitor the behaviour of the trailer. Should any swaying or oscillation occur, the system uses selective braking of the appropriate wheels to help correct any potential problem. In addition, Towing Assist, a next-generation reversing aid, is also included with the optional Surround Camera System. The Towing Assist technology predicts the trajectory of both vehicle and trailer – guiding when coupling a trailer and providing a predicted path for the vehicle when reversing by superimposing coloured lines over the image on the Touch-screen.

The Land Rover Discovery 4 is available from £38,825 from all official Land Rover dealerships

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13 June 2012
The new Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT boasts an aggressive and muscular look with 20-inch alloy wheels, lowered profile, functional design features and race-inspired interior. Grand Cherokee SRT is the best handling Jeep vehicle ever and boasts outstanding ride thanks to the advanced new Active Adaptive damping suspension and new Selec-Track traction control system. World-class braking comes courtesy of new SRT high-performance Brembo brakes with four-wheel ABS. The SRT reaches unparalleled levels of standard equipment in its category, offering Command-View dual-pane sunroof, Uconnect Navigation infotainment and navigation system, state-of-the-art 825 watt audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon, Adaptive Cruise Control and a variety of advanced safety systems including Forward Collision Warning and Blind-Spot detection with Rear Cross-path detection.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT combines the exclusive styling, functionality, on- and off-road capability of the Jeep flagship SUV with the sporty appeal and high-performance features specifically developed by Chrysler Group LLC’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team. The result is the most powerful and high-speed Jeep vehicle ever produced. Thanks to its world-class braking, outstanding ride and handling, sporty, muscular stance and powerful V8 HEMI engine, the SRT model enhances the Grand Cherokee lineup with an SUV delivering benchmark performance and technologically advanced features. It costs £58,995 OTR. SRT is Chrysler Group LLC’s in-house division responsible for developing the high performance models of the most exclusive cars in the Group’s lineup. Each SRT vehicle adheres to five proven hallmarks that include functional, performance-oriented styling, race-inspired and high-performance interiors, outstanding ride, handling and capability, benchmark braking and awe-inspiring powertrains.

With the introduction of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT model, the Jeep brand’s expertise in developing 4WD systems and the well-known versatility of its vehicles reach a new level of excellence: on board Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, the performance and comfort of a high-class saloon combined with exclusive SRT appointments ensure the driver the confidence of mastering any driving condition on-the highway, on poor grip surfaces and on the race track. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is powered by the all-new 6.4-litre HEMI V8 engine with Fuel Saver technology that turns off four of the eight cylinders when full power is not required to ensure increased fuel economy and reduced overall emissions. The V8 powertrain delivers 461 bhp (344 kW) and 624 Nm of torque and is fitted to the proven five-speed automatic transmission featuring both steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Auto Stick on the floor. The SRT model achieves benchmark performance of 0-62mph in five seconds, a top speed of 160mph and braking from 62-0mph in 116 feet.

The best handling Jeep vehicle ever features new SRT-tuned, Active Adaptive damping suspension managed by the new Jeep Selec-TrackTM system with five dynamic modes. The 4x4 capability of the Jeep brand is delivered by the Quadra-Trac active on-demand four-wheel-drive transfer case with rear Electronic Limited-slip Differential (ELSD). Standard equipment on the high-performance SRT model offers a full-line of technologically advanced features to enhance on-board comfort and infotainment for all occupants, including Command-View dual-pane sunroof, multimedia infotainment and navigation UConnect Navigation system with voice activated Bluetooth UConnect Phone, cutting-edge 825-watt, 19-speaker, 1 subwoofer premium audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon, Adaptive Cruise Control and innovative safety systems such as Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-path detection.

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11 June 2012
The Series III Land Rover further developed the successive refinements of the Series I, II and IIA models, yet remained true to its original design as a utility vehicle for farmers; one that could be repaired and maintained with the minimum of specialist tools. It rapidly built up a worldwide reputation for rugged capability, which led to it being adopted by police forces and armies worldwide.

The book decribes the step-by-step development of the Series III, so the potential buyer becomes aware of each model’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Having chosen your preferred model, you are professionally guided through important aspects of the retail market, and given clear instructions on where and how to check for problems before you buy. You will also be equipped to test drive your potential purchase with competence. Running and maintenance costs are realistically appraised, and a comprehensive checklist is provided to aid you through the evaluation process.

With over 100 colour photographs integrated into the concise and informative text, this book really is the expert in your pocket.

Land Rover Series III by Maurice Thurman

ISBN: 9781845844424
UPC: 6-36847-04442-8

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8 June 2012
Vauxhall will expand its already broad range later this year with the addition of the Mokka SUV, which is available to order from today at a starting price of just £16,995. The new model will enter the growing sub-compact SUV B-segment, but despite its compact 4.28 metre length can accommodate five adults in comfort. Its key rivals will be cars like the Skoda Yeti and from Nissan, the Juke and Qashqai. Like all Vauxhalls, the Mokka comes with Vauxhall Lifetime Warranty. Available in three trims – S, Exclusiv and SE – the Mokka comes with generous levels of standard equipment, including DMB (Digital Media Broadcast) radio, air conditioning, Descent Control System, cruise control, aux-in and a multi-function trip computer.

Three engines, ranging in power from 115 to 140PS, will be available from launch. The 1.6-litre petrol produces 115PS and 155Nm of torque, and with its standard Start/Stop system delivers a combined 43.5mpg. With 140PS, the 1.4-litre turbo is the Mokka’s most powerful petrol engine and brings with it standard four-wheel drive and sub-150g CO2 emissions. The Mokka has a choice of two diesel models, both of which use Vauxhall’s 1.7 CDTi 130PS engine, with CO2 emissions as low as 124g/km. In front-wheel drive form, the 1.7 CDTi is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, and with all-wheel drive the Mokka comes with the six-speed manual only. Like the petrol-powered cars, all manual models have Vauxhall’s fuel-saving Start/Stop system as standard. “The Mokka takes its design cues from larger SUVs and integrates them into a compact, yet modern form,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “We are now growing a compelling and diverse range of products that appeals both to retail and fleet customers, and the Mokka will complement this perfectly.”

The Mokka has been designed to perform efficiently in urban environments, but with the ability to be driven off-road when the need arises. Both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models are available, with the AWD system being fully adaptive. When the vehicle’s being driven on smooth, dry surfaces all drive is sent to the front wheels for maximum efficiency. But when the road surface is slippery, as much as 50 per cent of the drive automatically and seamlessly is diverted to the rear axle. The entire AWD system weighs just 65kgs, benefitting handling and fuel economy.

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6 June 2012
Extreme off roading, live entertainment, loads of family fun and an amazing array of Land Rovers and 4x4 vehicles are all ready and raring to go for the all-new and exciting Bristol and West Land Rover Show, held on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2012 at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet. Enjoy the action packed terrain that will put you and your Land Rover to the test as you drive or get driven around one of the Xtreme Offroad’s most challenging off-road courses, designed to cater for different driving abilities and vehicle specification. Off road course is £10 per session or £30 for four sessions if booked at the same time.

The Difflock Live Action Arena will be bursting with entertainment including Land Rover parades, interactive games, and winching demonstrations from Goodwinch. Test your skills in the see-saw club trophy, see the first double twist off challenge and much more to keep the whole family entertained. As well as displays from the UK’s best clubs, showing the finest examples of rare and prototype Land Rovers as well as ex-military vehicles, take part in the BLESMA Charity Challenge. Organisers are trying to get 1,000 vehicles in formation to mark Armed Forces Week. There will be a celebration afterwards with a fantastic charity auction, live entertainment and a licensed bar. The biggest names in Land Rover and 4x4 will come together to form the Retail Village and Autojumble, so whether you’re searching for that elusive part, some extra tools to complete a restoration project or a new accessory for your favourite 4x4, you’re sure to find everything you need.

If you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the action then book yourself a pitch for the weekend and bring along your tent or caravan so you can enjoy the showground’s excellent facilities. From as little as £35you and your family can enjoy the evening entertainment provided as well as family fun with giant inflatables, sports activities and games. Bristol and West Land Rover Show is open from 9am until 4.30pm on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2012. Adult ticket prices start from £8 when purchased in advance with children under 15s allowed in free with paying adults. For more information on Bristol and West Land Rover Show visit www.bristolandwestlandrovershow.com

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24 May 2012
There is definitely no environment too tough for the latest L200 special edition model, the Barbarian Black, with its striking new moody image. Added stylish accessories in the form of a black satin roof, sports grille, resin guard, wing mirrors and door handles, plus the fuel filler cap, light bezels, rear bar and side steps all transform the L200 Barbarian into its cool, BLACK guise. This is all finished off with moody black 17” alloy wheels and all new carbon effect leather seats.

Available in both manual and automatic derivatives, the L200 Barbarian Black features an impressive range of additional equipment to the standard Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian. The L200 BLACK is available in all colours although Granite Brown and Sapphire Blue will be available via special order only. L200 Barbarian Black is priced at £1,000 ex VAT over the current Barbarian list price with a metallic paint surcharge of £410.

L200 Barbarian Black Man £23,899
L200 Barbarian Black Auto £25,299

The ultimate L200’s Barbarian specification makes a fabulous, versatile family vehicle, for those with a sense of adventure and who demand great value, but not at the expense of getting the equipment, style and engineering prowess they demand. It provides the ultimate pick-up experience.

Demonstrator vehicles are now available. To book, please contact the Mitsubishi Motors in the UK Press Office, at www.mitsubishi-media.co.uk

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23 May 2012
For the first time since the Amarok was introduced in the UK launch last year, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is introducing a competitive finance offer from £299 a month (plus VAT and initial payment), which is available until 30 June 2012. For maximum convenience for all customers, the finance offers include contract hire or finance lease, plus PCP Solutions packages at the same rate for business or private users. This coincides with the news that production of the Amarok will be starting at Volkswagen’s factory in Hanover, Germany, this summer. The move will improve the supply of vehicles to the UK and reduce lead times, while the Volkswagen factory in Argentina will continue to produce the Amarok for Latin American and South American markets.

‘The Amarok introduced new standards of efficiency and quality to the pick-up market, and won a staggering collection of awards last year, so we’re delighted to now be able to offer low finance rates as well,’ said Alex Smith, Director, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The Amarok has one of the widest cargo areas in its class, wide enough to take a Euro pallet sideways. It has one of Volkswagen’s latest and most refined 2.0-litre TDI engines with low emissions from 199 g/km and power outputs of 122 PS and 163 PS, plus impressive torque outputs of up to 400 Nm. This is combined with a choice of selectable or permanent 4MOTION four-wheel drive, and three trim levels. Retail prices starting from £17,995 (plus VAT). Full details of the Amarok finance offer, plus the rest of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles range of vans, conversions and people carriers, are available by calling 0800 717131, or visiting www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk

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18 May 2012
Isuzu UK is offering eight lucky motoring enthusiasts the chance to experience a day in the life of a motoring journalist, test driving its all-new pick-up, the Isuzu D-Max, which goes on sale next month. The competition winners will undergo a full product briefing before putting the Isuzu D-Max through its paces on a comprehensive road driving route and a purpose-designed off-road course.

To apply, entrants must submit up to 200 words detailing why they should win one of the eight places at www.isuzu.co.uk/journalist where the full competition rules and terms and conditions are also available. The closing date for entries is 4 June. During the event, the winners will be encouraged to use their social media channels to update their followers about their experience. Following the event, the winners can also submit a test drive report to Isuzu which will be featured on the Isuzu D-Max website. “The all-new Isuzu D-Max will not disappoint our competition winners,” said William Brown, General Manager of Isuzu UK. “With a new 2.5-litre twin-turbo common-rail diesel engine, exceptional specification across four trim levels, three body configurations and exceptional all-terrain capability, it will appeal to a wide variety of customers. This prize will put winners in the shoes of a motoring journalist, and will provide Isuzu’s social media followers with a valuable layman’s perspective on the new vehicle.”

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18 May 2012
The Azalai is a specially designed conversion which offers exceptional off-road performance combined with comfortable living and sleeping accommodation for up to five people. Ideally suited to overland expeditions, the Azalai is also a practical every day vehicle. Now, one vehicle is capable of exploring the green lanes of Wales, crossing the African desert, keeping up with the traffic on motorways and agile enough to drive around towns. The Azalai can be based on several vehicles including two Land Rover Defender models and the Toyota Land Cruiser or Hilux. It comprises a 'living pod' vacuum moulded in composite materials which is grafted to the back of new vehicles or older models in good condition. The outer body of the Azalai is moulded as a one-piece shell which is 21mm thick and includes 15mm of very high-density insulation. Similar in construction to refrigerated trucks, this provides a high level of thermal insulation – it keeps the inside cool in the summer and warm in winter and avoids condensation. The sides of the roof are made from insulated and UV blocking fabric and include air vents/windows, with integral fly screens, for extra ventilation.

The living pod is lightweight, tough and hard-wearing – the Azalai is built to last. To preserve the stability and agility of the base vehicle, weight is kept as low as possible – extra fuel, fresh and waste water are all housed under the floor and storage lockers and cupboards are below window height. Importantly for all-terrain vehicles, the departure angles are hardly affected. With a limited overhang and only a slight increase in overall length compared to the base vehicle, the off-road ability of the Azalai is not compromised. There is also plenty of spare load capacity for carrying extra fuel, water and so on. When based on a Land Rover Defender 130 crew cab model, the Azalai offers a king-size bed (1.5m x 2m) for two adults as well as sleeping accommodation for three children. Standard features on all Azalai models include a hot water shower, an electric flushing toilet, a fridge with freezer compartment, a gas cooker, a wardrobe and stowage space on the roof. There is a storage locker for recovery equipment, camping gear, tools and accessories and a gas bottle locker for two 2.5kg Camping Gaz bottles. In addition, the rear door is fitted with a three-point lock and the spare wheel is stored in specially designed and secure hatch that can only be unlocked from inside the vehicle. With this specification as standard, occupants have the option of eating, sleeping and washing inside where they are safe, secure and away from hidden dangers – vital considerations when traversing unfamiliar areas. Indeed, on arrival after dark at an unfamiliar location, occupants need only raise the roof, lower the bed and turn in – all within two minutes of switching off the engine.

The Azalai gives you the option to eat, sleep and wash inside. Safe and secure, out of the elements and away from hidden dangers. But you don't have to stay indoors. If they pack a tent (which is offered as an option) and a portable stove occupants can sleep and cook outside. The shower can be used outside as well. A wide range of optional features is available – each Azalai conversion is built to the chosen specification of the purchaser. The Azalai fits into a standard hi-cube container for secure shipping anywhere in the world. The Azalai team offers all aftermarket support to service the vehicles. All parts are available at any time and they can be shipped quickly to any parts of the world. Additional options can be fitted anytime and anywhere. The flexible team of experts guarantee maximum support, no matter if owners are crossing a continent or a European town.

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11 May 2012
A new accessories website, containing equipment and gift ideas for Jeep owners, has just been launched by the iconic four-wheel-drive brand. Accessible via Jeep’s UK website (http://www.jeep.co.uk/) as well as via its own URL (http://accessories.jeep.co.uk/) the new site is the official home of Jeep accessories online. All of the stock described is genuine Jeep product featuring accessories such as mats, mudflaps, roof bars and protection items.

Divided model-by-model into sections for ease of use, customers can browse accessories to suit their own particular car. There is also a section for the most popular searches which include items such as leather key rings, rubber floor mats, boot protectors and door sill kits. The website also offers accessories for previous Jeep models including Commander, Cherokee and Patriot. “Jeep vehicles go anywhere and do anything, but sometimes customers want a handy accessory for a special job,” says Nigel Land, brand director, Jeep Chrysler UK. “We know Jeep owners spend time on the Internet so we wanted to ensure we were giving them a really worthwhile website. I believe we have achieved that.”

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10 May 2012
The design, technology and capability of Land Rover's current model range has been reflected in the brand's emphatic success in the 2012 Diesel Car Awards. The Range Rover Evoque added the magazine's 'Best Crossover' and overall 'Car of the Year' titles to its exceptional tally of 112 worldwide honours. The judges acclaimed Evoque as, "stunning to look at and stunning to drive…a car that is instantly a classic". Ian Robertson, Diesel Car editor, said: "Already an icon, the Evoque combines stunning design and brilliant engineering to great effect."

While Evoque claimed the ultimate prize, the Land Rover Discovery 4 demonstrated the diverse capability of Land Rover design and engineering by taking the 'Best 4x4 Award' for the third successive year. No challenger has yet to do better than the Land Rover, which has occupied the top spot ever since it was launched, and is described by the magazine as "everything you could possibly want in a car". With a nod to the recently completed 'Journey of Discovery' in which the 1,000,000th Discovery was driven over 10,000 miles in 50 days, Robertson added: "Land Rover's continent crosser reigns supreme as the world’s most completely clever 4x4." Consolidating Land Rover's achievements, the Range Rover took the runners-up position behind Discovery 4 in the 'Best 4x4' category. Land Rover UK marketing Director, Laura Schwab said: "We are delighted that Range Rover Evoque continues to set standards for design, engineering and performance right around the world.

"With the lowest CO2 figure of any Land Rover of 129g / km, from the efficient 2.2 eD4 diesel engine, this latest award from Diesel Car Magazine is a further demonstration of Land Rover’s continuous focus on technology and customer requirements. "Moreover, the continuing success of Discovery 4 in these awards and the high praise for Range Rover represent a valuable, independent judgement on Land Rover's across-the-board approach to delivering the highest standards throughout its model range." The Range Rover Evoque featuring Land Rover's powerful yet efficient 2.2 litre diesel engine is available in SD4 190 hp, TD4 150 hp and in eD4 two-wheel drive 150 hp guise, while the Discovery 4 benefits from a 3.0 litre SDV6 advanced sequential turbo diesel engine producing 255 hp and 600Nm of torque. The Range Rover is powered by the 4.4 litre TDV8 twin sequential turbo charged diesel engine delivering 313 hp and 700 Nm of torque.

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3 May 2012
Jaguar Land Rover employees at Halewood Operations in Merseyside have celebrated an important milestone achievement following the production of the 300,000th Land Rover Freelander 2. Production of the Freelander 2 at Halewood Operations commenced in October 2006 and earlier this week the plant's 300,000th Freelander 2 was driven off the line. The vehicle is a 2.2 litre Diesel in Barolo Black and is destined for a customer in Brazil – one of the brand's fastest growing markets. Land Rover is the leading SUV brand in the country with around a 40% market share.

Halewood Operations Director Richard Else, said: "I'd like to congratulate the Halewood team for reaching this superb milestone and also sustaining the highest quality standards on Freelander 2, during the Range Rover Evoque launch period. Freelander was Land Rover's biggest selling model last year retailing around 52,000 units globally." In the UK, the 2012 Freelander 2 is available with arefined 2.2 litre diesel engine offering two power outputs – the 190hp SD4 and the 150hp TD4. An eD4 two-wheel drive derivative gives increased customer choice and offers lower CO2 emissions at 158g/km and improved fuel consumption at 47.1mpg. With class-leading on and off-road performance, featuring Terrain ResponseTM, Hill Descent Control, a premium cabin, improved fuel economy and an affordable cost of ownership. Freelander 2 is on-sale from £22,250 on the road.

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2 May 2012
The eagerly-awaited arrival of the ‘shockingly affordable’ Dacia brand in the UK came another step closer today as the first batch of 22 left-hand-drive Dusters, destined for dealer display nationwide from 28 June, arrived at the brand’s import centre on the South Coast. To give potential buyers their first taste of Dacia, as well as the chance to have a good look around the Duster SUV in the metal, each UK Dacia dealer will display a left-hand-drive version from 28 June, ahead of the arrival of right-hand-drive demonstrator versions in late Autumn. Details of how the brand will be sold via appointed Renault dealerships will be announced in June.

Interest in the UK launch of Dacia and its initial two-model range of Duster SUV and Sandero supermini is continuing to grow on an impressive scale, with more than 5,500 people having already signed up for the brand’s E-Newsletter within a matter of weeks. UK pricing and specification for the Duster SUV range will be released on 28 June, with customers able to configure their preferred version online, including options and accessories, before pre-ordering it with a deposit of just £100. Customer deliveries will commence in January 2013, just as the brand’s all-new Sandero five-door supermini also launches on our shores. For the latest information on Dacia’s UK pre-launch activities, interested customers are invited to sign-up now at www.dacia.co.uk

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2 May 2012
Isuzu saw a record* number of attendees visit its stand at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, with the company taking more than 250 expressions of interest for its all-new Isuzu D-Max pick-up which premiered at the event. With strong customer demand already reported by the Isuzu dealer network, the Japanese-marque’s latest model looks set to cement the brand’s reputation as a manufacturer of tough, reliable and durable pick-ups for professional tradespeople. The new pick-up is available in three bodystyles: single cab, extended cab (with rear-hinged side access panels) and double cab, and four generously-equipped specification levels, ensuring that it delivers as a versatile and comfortable leisure vehicle as well as a robust working tool. Prices start at £14,499 (CVOTR) for the entry-level Isuzu D-Max 4x2 single cab, finishing at £21,499 (CVOTR) for top-of-the-range Isuzu D-Max Utah 4x4 double cab automatic.

William Brown, General Manager of Isuzu UK commented, “The CV Show is one of the most important dates in the industry’s calendar. With tradespeople from across the UK descending on the NEC in Birmingham, it’s imperative to get a positive reaction and our new Isuzu D-Max was very well received. To record more than 250 expressions of interest ahead of the June launch – a third of which were from fleet operators – is hugely encouraging. “That figure represents more than 10 per cent of our 2011 sales. It once again shows that Isuzu understands the needs of buyers in this segment, and that the Isuzu D-Max is a thoughtfully-conceived package combining both rugged ability and an exceptionally refined interior,” added Brown.

The tough new Isuzu D-Max is the most comprehensively engineered pick-up in the company’s history, featuring a highly fuel-efficient, 2.5-litre twin-turbo common-rail diesel engine. The engine in the Isuzu D-Max generates 163 ps and peak torque output of 400 Nm between 1,400 rpm and 2,000 rpm, and is mated to one of Isuzu’s newly-developed six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions. Despite the power and torque increase over its predecessor, the Isuzu D-Max is a more efficient pick-up, recording an impressive fuel economy of 38.2 mpg (combined) and CO2 emissions of just 194 g/km. The entry-level ‘Isuzu D-Max’ variant, available both in two- and four-wheel-drive, boasts features such as electric windows, daytime running lights and air conditioning. Topping the range is the flagship ‘Utah’ model, which includes numerous premium features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, roof bars, iPod / Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker audio system. To further improve choice, two mid-level specifications are also available, named ‘Eiger’ and ‘Yukon’.

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30 April 2012
Jeep’s successful relationship with world number one eventer William Fox-Pitt took another leap forward yesterday (Sunday) after the rider won the Rolex Kentucky, putting him in line for a potential Grand Slam – three consecutive four-star event victories in a calendar year. William, who drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland in the UK, was loaned a similar car for use while he is in North America – a move that certainly helped his preparations as he rode to victory aboard Parklane Hawk in the show jumping final.

Now William’s thoughts will be turning to the London Olympics, selections for which are announced in early June. Having already represented Great Britain at three previous Olympic Games, it’s highly likely that William will be chosen, with Jeep continuing to back him. “Jeep has been a great supporter of the team for more than a year, and the brand perfectly matches with my pursuit of excellence,” says William. “The Grand Cherokee has also fitted very well into my day-to-day outdoor activities and family life. “It was brilliant to have the use of a Grand Cherokee while in America – the home of Jeep – and I’m grateful to the company for arranging it.” “We are delighted with William’s excellent win and we’re pleased that his association with Jeep is being recognised,” says Nigel Land, brand director, Jeep Chrysler UK. “I am sure we will be hearing about a lot more of his victories in the coming months.”

With 237 bhp and 550 Nm of torque available from its 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine, the new Grand Cherokee has no problems coping with the country estate and show jumping terrain so regularly visited by William, nor with his requirement for a car that can tow a large horse box or trailer. The luxury 4WD – launched last June – has been designed on a new platform to deliver premium on-road performance while maintaining the legendary Jeep four-wheel drive torque-on-demand off-road capability. The Grand Cherokee range starts at £37,795 (OTR) for the 3.0 CRD V6 Limited, and includes the flagship Overland (£44,995 OTR) and Overland Summit (£45,795).

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19 April 2012
Every new AMG high-performance vehicle offers an outstanding mix of “more power from less fuel” – and the G 63 AMG is no exception. The “strong man” in the AMG model range has been further enhanced with the state-of-the-art powertrain of the new ML 63 AMG. The design has been comprehensively reworked, so that, for the first time in the 33-year history of the G-Class, AMG customers can enjoy a raft of future-oriented systems: spray-controlled petrol direct injection, the ECO start/stop function and generator management. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine develops a maximum output of 544 hp and a torque of 760 newton metres. This enables the new G 63 AMG to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds, with a new top speed of 130 mph (electronically limited).

The new G 63 AMG outperforms the G 55 AMG KOMPRESSOR by 37 hp and 60 newton metres.

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18 April 2012
Great Wall Motor Company – one of the most successful car manufacturers in China – this month becomes the first Chinese automobile brand to commence volume vehicle sales in the UK, with the launch of the 2012 Steed pick-up. On sale through a newly-appointed nationwide network of 40 hand-picked Great Wall dealers (for locations, visit www.greatwallmotor.co.uk), the Steed is a robust and highly practical pick-up, equally adept as a workhorse or a weekend getaway vehicle. The new Steed promises to be the most affordable pick-up in the UK – both to buy and to run. Prices start at just £13,998 (CVOTR) for the generously equipped Steed S model, and the vehicle’s newly-developed 2.0-litre, 16-valve turbocharged diesel powerplant delivers class-leading fuel economy (30.1 mpg urban; 37.7mpg extra urban; 34.0 mpg combined). To further keep down ownership costs, the Steed boasts the lowest insurance ratings (from 7A) of any vehicle in the pick-up segment.

The Steed’s chunky appearance – amplified by muscular wheel-arches and high ground clearance – signals its durability as well as its capabilities as a versatile load-lugger, both on- and off-road. Under the galvanised steel skin lies a safe and robust, rust-proofed ladder-frame chassis, strengthened and braced by reinforced middle cross-members, an impact-absorbing rear beam and a reinforced cargo bed. Carrying capacity compares very well with established pick-up rivals, the spacious cargo bay measuring 1,380 mm x 1,460 mm x 480 mm (length, width, depth). The 1,050 kg maximum payload is also very competitive – and towing capability is an impressive 2,000 kg with a ‘braked’ trailer and 750 kg unbraked. Inside the four-door Steed’s generously proportioned double-cab body there is ample head, leg and shoulder room for the driver and up to four passengers. Storage areas are plentiful, including a lockable glove-box, front centre console, front door pockets with cup holders and front seatback map pockets. When the terrain gets more challenging, the driver can engage the Steed’s low-range gearbox, as well as the ‘on demand’ four-wheel-drive system – the latter at speeds of up to 12 mph

The Steed might be able to work hard when required, but it is not a stripped-down, utilitarian device. It is luxuriously appointed, and no similarly priced pick-up on sale in the UK will rival its impressive tally of standard equipment. The entry-level Steed S (£13,998 CVOTR) comes with a host of features typically offered as high-cost options in competitor vehicles, including 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, remote central locking, a Thatcham-approved Category 1 alarm, electric front and rear windows, an Alpine CD/radio with USB/MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, air-conditioning, heated fronted seats and a full leather interior. The range-topping Steed SE costs just £2,000 more (£15,998 CVOTR), and adds body-coloured hard-top canopy, body-coloured spoiler, chrome trim to the daytime running lights, chrome side bars, black roof rails, load bay liner, and rear parking sensors.

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16 April 2012
Following news just 25 days ago that Dacia will begin its UK pre-launch campaign on 28th June, with the release of pricing and specifications for its Duster SUV, the brand has confirmed that customers will be able to pre-order their Duster online with as little as £100 deposit, in just 75 days time. If online interest alone is anything to go by, early signs for the brand’s likely success on these shores are more than a little promising and would undoubtedly be the envy of plenty of other car brands. In less than one month since the brand confirmed a sub-£10,000 starting price for the Duster, several thousand savvy potential Dacia owners have signed up to receive regular news updates from www.dacia.co.uk. With interest growing, early signs suggest the new ‘smart choice’ brand is set to take the UK by storm, just as it has in Europe.

The affordable, high-quality, versatile and rugged Dacia Duster will be available to pre-order online in just over two months time, with just £100 deposit. With demand set to be high, wannabe Dacia owners are being urged to secure priority delivery of their chosen Duster by placing a pre-order via credit or debit card on the Dacia website from 28th June 2012. Customers will be invited to ‘build’ their desired Duster via an online configurator before selecting a supplying Dacia Dealer to fulfil their order. Manufacturers’ recommended retail prices will also be guaranteed over the pre-ordering phase, to December 2012. Deliveries will begin from January 2013 onwards.

For the latest information on Dacia’s UK pre-launch activities, interested customers are invited to sign-up now at www.dacia.co.uk, where regular news updates will be posted in the coming months. Details of pre-launch activities will also be available on twitter @daciauk, www.facebook.com/daciauk or by calling 0800 99 11 99.

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11 April 2012
Mercedes-Benz has once again significantly upgraded the G-Class, reemphasising its position as the leader among off-road vehicles. The interior is characterised by high-quality appointments finished with exquisite materials. The instrument cluster and centre console have been completely redesigned. The driver's field of vision now encompasses a colour screen, between two new round dials. The car features the sophisticated COMAND Online infotainment system, including a navigation system and internet access as standard. New LED daytime driving lamps and new exterior mirrors bring a few discreet changes to the exterior appearance of the luxury off-roader. The range of safety features can be optionally enhanced with the addition of Blind Spot Assist, the parking aid PARKTRONIC and the adaptive cruise control system DISTRONIC PLUS. New to the range are the G 63 AMG with an eight-cylinder biturbo engine and the ECO start/stop system as standard.

Since it was originally conceived in 1979, as a vehicle to be used primarily in tough off-road terrain, the G-Class has undergone an astounding process of evolution. Over the course of 33 years Mercedes-Benz has refined what was initially a very practical off-road specialist by giving it a high-class interior and road-going qualities on a par with those of the premium saloons emanating from Stuttgart. The G-Class today is considered the top model among luxury-class cross-country vehicles, and has provided the gene pool for the other very successful SUVs built under the Mercedes-Benz brand. The G-Class has been voted off-roader of the year countless times over the past years – as also once again this year.

A comprehensive range of measures ensures that this classic cross-country vehicle remains in a class of its own in the off-road sector. These measures include new engines, a significantly extended range of appointments, a new, even more luxurious interior and a few discreet external modifications that nevertheless manage to preserve the timeless, classic design – virtually unchanged since 1979 - that has made the G-Class a true automotive style icon. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "Our G-Class has been a force to be reckoned with for the last 33 years. In its latest evolutionary stage, it offers state-of-the-art, powerful engines, a further improved range of luxurious appointments and the very latest safety features, as well, of course, as its now legendary off-road capabilities. At the same time the design remains true to its down-to-earth, unmistakable style."

The technical qualities of the G-Class continue to be highly prized. The tremendous torque of its engines makes the luxury off-roader an excellent vehicle for towing, while its three electrically controlled 100-percent differential locks, ladder frame and rigid axle characteristics make it an unrivalled proposition in rough, off-road terrain. The new generation G-Class will be available from Autumn 2012. UK Pricing and specification for the G-Class are still to be confirmed.

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5 April 2012
The Range Rover Evoque has been crowned World Design Car of the Year 2012. The announcement was made at the 2012 New York International Auto Show and sees Evoque's awards tally reach more than 100 global accolades. The award is testament to the Evoque’s groundbreaking and unique design and recognises the fact that the dynamic new Range Rover has created a new segment of the market to world-wide acclaim. Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director said: "We are honoured that the Range Rover Evoque has been named 2012 World Design Car of the Year. This prestigious accolade recognises the overwhelmingly positive response that we have received to the Evoque's bold and dramatic design. It is a car that truly resonates on an emotional level."

The Evoque was shortlisted from an original 46 nominations and beat off stiff competition from the two other finalists – the Citroen DS5 and the Volkswagen Up! A panel of five highly respected world design experts decided on the shortlist, which was then voted on by each of the 66 World Car Jurors. The jurors are all highly respected, top-level automotive journalists and come from 25 separate countries. One of the five panel expert was Silvia Baruffaldi, Managing Editor of Auto & Design magazine, who said: “True to the concept car it derives from, it is a contemporary automotive design masterpiece. Besides not having equals in the markets, it is able to deliver the Land Rover DNA in a more compact, sporty bodystyle. A premium product without the bad habit of showing off.”

The Range Rover Evoque's award winning design is matched by its class-leading performance with dynamic and agile handling across all terrains plus innovative Range Rover technologies, including Terrain Response, dual-view touch screen, surround camera system and an array of personalisation options to suit customer needs.

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4 April 2012
Land Rover today reveals the new Range Rover Sport HSE 'Red' at the New York Motor Show – Range Rover Sport’s biggest metropolitan market. In addition the Range Rover Sport HSE 'Luxury' is also announced. Powerful, elegant and with a striking presence, the Range Rover Sport already delivers outstanding levels of excitement and unabashed style. The new Red and Luxury models go one step further with a combination of exterior treatments and interior detailing which take the Range Rover Sport's winning mix of style and presence to the next level.

Based on the HSE, the Range Rover Sport HSE Red comes in Firenze Red, Orkney Grey, Fuji White and Santorini Black. The Santorini Black mesh grille is highlighted by a Noble bezel and black surround. Bonnet badges and tailgate finisher are in Atlas Silver and the rear 'SPORT' badge is finished in Salsa Red. Striking fender vents provide a focus for the Red edition scheme with a bright red logo bar set against a Santorini Black grille and finished by an Atlas Silver surround. Unique, 20-inch alloy wheels add the finishing touch to a unique look.

The interior is finished in the HSE Ebony colourway and there’s a choice of four dedicated seat trim styles. Seat inserts can be chosen in Pimento Red, Cirrus, Lunar Grey or Ebony with contrasting stitching. Seats have the Sport logo embossed on the headrest and this is picked up on the floor mats where the logo is embroidered in red to match the striking exterior badge colours. The Range Rover Sport HSE Red is driven by the powerful and efficient 255hp 3.0 SDV6 diesel engine combined with the ultra-refined and responsive 8-speed automatic gearbox. Chassis, suspension and brakes remain amongst the most advanced in the world endowing the Range Rover Sport with uncompromised ability both on and off-road. A wide range of e_Terrain features ensure peerless performance is delivered in the most efficient way possible. The Range Rover Sport HSE Luxury benefits from a host of optional equipment to create a sumptuous interior providing supreme levels of comfort and convenience. The Luxury edition features unique 20 inch five spoke alloy wheels, extended leather pack, heated steering wheel, contrasting stitching and the outstanding Harmon/Kardon® LOGIC 7® Surround Sound system with 17 speakers delivering 825 watts.

Laura Schwab, Marketing Director, Land Rover UK said: "The Range Rover Sport HSE Red and Luxury editions add more choice and personalisation to one of the most dynamic SUV offerings in the market. "Striking yet contemporary, for those who wish to set themselves apart from the norm, these two new models add an extra dimension of comfort, style and luxury." Both the Range Rover Sport HSE Red and Luxury will go on sale in the UK from June 2012 with prices starting from £58,020.

For more information on the Range Rover Sport HSE Red and Luxury, log on to www.landrover.com

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3 April 2012
The Range Rover Evoque 2.2 TD4 Pure has beaten off stiff competition to take top honours in the 4x4 category of Parkers Cost of Motoring New Car Awards 2012. The Parkers Cost of Motoring New Car Awards are based on figures collated by Parkers' Cost of Motoring tool, which calculates the true "hidden costs" associated with owning and running a new car, the calculation includes fuel consumption, depreciation, servicing and road tax. The coveted honour takes the Range Rover Evoque's tally to just shy of 100 awards globally in the short seven months it has been on sale.

Commenting on the award, Land Rover’s UK Marketing Director, Laura Schwab said: "We know our customers take the cost of ownership into serious consideration when deciding on their new car. "This award is further endorsement of the Evoque's balance of luxury, on road dynamics, off road capability and class leading residual values which is a large contributing factor to the car's success." Kieren Puffett, Editor of Parkers added: "The Range Rover Evoque has striking looks that make it stand out of the crowd, and now it can claim to be the best value 4x4 too. With the Evoque claiming three of the price brackets in the 4x4 category for being top for value, it was an incredibly easy decision to award the Range Rover Evoque 2.2 TD4 Pure as winner of the Parkers' Cost of Motoring New Car Awards 2012 in the 4x4 Category. "Key to its strong performance was not only its strong residuals so it really holds on to its value, but also the frugal nature of the 2.2-litre diesel and its low running costs."

The Range Rover Evoque starts from £27,995 on the road.

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3 April 2012
Combining rakish style and dynamic performance with the safety of intelligent all-wheel drive, the G37x S is the latest addition to the Infiniti G Saloon line-up in the UK. It is the first time Infiniti’s sportiest S grade has been available with AWD in the G range. Previously only the GT was available with AWD. Like all G models, the G37x S is powered by a 316bhp (320PS) 3.7-litre V6 mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifts – a combination that delivers 0-62mph acceleration in just 6.0 seconds. And with Infiniti’s torque-sensing AWD system aboard, the swift pace is available virtually irrespective of weather or road surface. The car has a top speed of 149mph and an official combined fuel consumption of 25.7mpg (11.0 l/100km) with CO2 emissions of 255g/km.

The newest G model costs from £38,979 and bears all the style, features and technology that set the Infiniti brand apart. The sole AWD model in the G line-up for 2012, the G37x S is distinguished by S hallmarks such as red S badges, 18-inch Sport design alloy wheels and smoked lens headlights. Inside, features include sports seats, with 14-way electric adjustment for the driver, and aluminium pedals and footrest. The G37x S also comes with the Multimedia pack of hard disk drive (HDD) navigation and music systems, 10-speaker Bose® Premium Sound System, reversing camera and high resolution touch screen. Like every G model sold in the UK, leather seat facings, Shodo aluminium trim, adaptive bi-Xenon lights, Scratch Shield paint, i-Key smart access, electrically adjustable front seats and steering column, and heated front seats are standard. The only option for any G model is metallic paint (£577).

The G37x S takes its place in a new-look G line-up. The flagship G37 S Premium (£40,619) builds its credentials with keen drivers thanks to 4-Wheel Active Steer (4WAS), sports suspension, sports brakes and Viscous Limited Slip Differential to get the most from the balanced rear-drive chassis. It also comes with Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) among a suite of electronic safety aids. Two GT models, both now in rear-wheel drive form only, make up the entry point to the range. The G37 GT costs from £34,909 while the GT Premium – with Multimedia pack and sunroof among its extras features – costs from £37,849 OTR. The G family in the UK is completed for 2012 by the G37 Coupé (from £36,359) and G37 Convertible (from £45,235), both of which continue unchanged.

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30 March 2012
Mighty 4x4 and 6x6 pick-ups achieve polar endurance feat

Toyota’s redoubtable Hilux continues to push the boundaries of extreme endurance, completing a marathon Antarctic journey of more than 5,900 miles, further than any vehicle of its type has managed before. And true to Toyota’s reputation for toughness, it did so without a single technical hitch. The latest feat, achieved as part of the longest expedition in polar history, adds to Hilux’s achievements of reaching both Magnetic North and South Poles.

Remarkably, the vehicles used in the double trans-continental crossing organised by Extreme World Races used standard 3.0-litre D-4D engines and transmissions. But to meet the demands of temperatures as low as -50°C and harsh terrain rising to above 3,400m the vehicles were specially engineered by Icelandic conversion specialists Arctic Trucks. Three Hilux – including two “6×6” models – completed the expedition, running on Jet A-1 fuel to cope with the extreme cold. Each clocked up almost 6,000 miles over four months from November 2011 to February this year. In all 10 Hilux were deployed by the expedition team, which trusted in the Toyotas to meet the demands of setting up a fuel depot and weather station and providing essential support to scientists and competitors in a ski race.

Necessary modifications to the vehicles included fitting a crane to lift heavy equipment and a 280-litre fuel tank – 800 litres in the case of the six-wheel models. The suspension and drivetrain were strengthened, crawler gears were added to the transmission, and the extra large tyres were filled to between 2.0 and 3.0psi (compared to 29.0psi for regular road-going Hilux), giving a “footprint” 17 times larger than standard tyres.

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26 March 2012
Great Wall Motor Company – market leaders for pick-ups and SUVs in China – will this month become the first Chinese automobile manufacturer to commence volume sales in the UK, following the launch of the Steed pick-up at the Commercial Vehicle Show (Birmingham NEC; 24 to 26 April).

The Steed is a robust and highly practical pick-up that will offer unrivalled value for money. Prices will start at just £13,998 (CVOTR) for the generously equipped Steed S model – the lowest for any double-cab pick up in the UK. With a gutsy 2.0-litre diesel engine, six-speed gearbox and selectable-on-the-move two/four-wheel drive, the Steed also delivers class-leading urban fuel economy and the lowest insurance ratings of any vehicle in the pick-up segment. .

The Steed goes on sale through a brand-new, nationwide network of 40 Great Wall dealers. Hand-picked to reflect the brand’s values and philosophy, the dealers have promised standards of customer service that will break new ground in the pick-up market. The Steed can be seen in Hall 3A Stand 70 at the CV Show next month – the first time a Chinese manufacturer has exhibited at the annual commercial vehicle showcase. Further details about the Steed and Great Wall’s comprehensive, high-value ownership proposition will be revealed next month.

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22 March 2012
Actor and former Strictly Come Dancing champion Tom Chambers is celebrating the success of his hit musical Top Hat with the arrival of a new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The stunning 4x4 Limited model was delivered to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking where Tom has been starring in the highly successful dance musical. The romantic comedy, full of spectacular song and dance routines, is now at the Bristol Hippodrome before heading to London’s Aldwych Theatre next month.

Tom is keeping it in the family in two ways: firstly, he remains in the Fiat Group ‘family’ after swapping his Fiat 500C for the Jeep, and secondly, the new car became necessary following the birth of his son, William, last year. “It’s well-known that I have always been a huge fan of the Fiat 500, both the original and the latest model, but even I knew we would have to get something larger when William came along,” said Tom. “The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a beautiful car. With bags of style, an economical diesel engine and, importantly, acres of space inside, it’s the perfect car for my young family. I am delighted with it.”

With 237bhp and 550 Nm of torque available from the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine, the new Grand Cherokee has been designed on a platform delivering premium on-road performance while maintaining Jeep’s legendary four-wheel drive torque-on-demand off-road capability. And with significantly lower emissions than the previous Grand Cherokee together with fuel consumption of up to 34 mpg (Combined Cycle), the new car also offers real value in terms of running costs. The Grand Cherokee range starts at £37,995 (OTR) for the 3.0 CRD V6 Limited, rising to £45,795 (OTR) for the 3.0 CRD V6 Overland Summit.

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16 March 2012
With its raised ride height, 4MOTION four-wheel drive and rugged body enhancements, the new Passat Alltrack has everything you need to venture off the beaten track; but customers need venture no further than their local Volkswagen Retailer to order one, ahead of the first cars arriving in showrooms in the UK on 28 May. Based on the popular and versatile Passat Estate, the Passat Alltrack’s 4MOTION four-wheel drive and raised ride height give it greater agility off-road, while body enhancements provide some protection from scrapes when covering rough terrain. These features endow the Passat Alltrack with the practicality of an estate car and much of the versatility of a conventional SUV, while a high standard specification level adds more than a touch of luxury.

Just one trim level is available in the UK, with a choice of two drivetrains: a 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS with six-speed manual gearbox, priced at £28,475 (RRP OTR), and a 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS with six-speed DSG transmission, priced at £31,025. Standard equipment includes Alcantara upholstery, 2Zone electronic climate control, RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation, DAB radio, MDI iPod connectivity, Bluetooth telephone preparation, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system and 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels. A Driver Alert System that monitors the driver’s responses to raise awareness of fatigue is also standard, as is ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme).

Options include climate seats with massage function; High Beam Assist, which automatically controls dipping of the headlights; Side Scan Lane Change Assist, which monitors the vehicle’s blind spot; Lane Assist; ACC Adaptive Chassis Control; Automatic Distance Control with City Emergency Braking function; Park Assist (second generation); an interior ambient lighting pack; a rear-view camera; and an electrically deployed towbar. The Passat Alltrack has a generous towing capacity of 2,000 kg (braked, 12 per cent incline), 200 kg more than an equivalent Passat Estate.

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7 March 2012
To celebrate the One Millionth Land Rover Discovery being built in the UK, a £1 million (GBP) fundraiser has been launched. The appeal is in aid of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), a Land Rover Global Humanitarian Partner. The capability and versatility of the one-millionth Discovery vehicle will be well and truly tested to the limits during the course of this expedition – a gruelling 50 day, 8000 mile journey from Solihull, Birmingham to Beijing, China. The expedition ends up at the Beijing Auto Show on 23 April. John Edwards, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Director: "Land Rover is delighted to have launched the One Million Pound fundraiser in aid of the IFRC – an organisation we have had a relationship with since 1954." "It is truly incredible in this day and age that clean water – a basic human right and something we take for granted everyday – is still the most common and preventable underlying cause of disease and death today. The funds raised will be donated to a water sanitation project in Uganda, which we hope to help over 45,000 beneficiaries."

Goli Ameri, Under Secretary General, Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy, of the IFRC said: "We are pleased to welcome the Land Rover One Millionth expedition to the city of Geneva, home to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "Just think, for only £22, we can provide someone with access to safe water and basic sanitation for ten years. If we raise £1m GBP, it will help us provide a further 45,000 people in Uganda with clean water and sanitation. This would be a fantastic achievement." 'The Oxford and Cambridge Far Eastern Expedition' was the original 1955 journey and undertaken by six Oxford & Cambridge university students in two Land Rover Series I Station Wagons from London to Singapore and back. The expedition was both filmed and documented, and the footage broadcast in the mid-50s on BBC television, endorsed by Sir David Attenborough. Tim Slessor, one of the original Oxbridge expedition team wrote 'The First Overland', a book recounting the historically significant expedition, as it was the first s uch journey of this type by vehicle, and became the last recorded vehicular journey along the Ledo Road from India into Burma, before the border between the two countries was closed. Tim Slessor and Patrick Murphy were guests of honour at the send-off launch event last week at the Solihull plant.

The expedition crew comprises of Land Rover Experience expedition experts and the convoy consists of three Discovery 4 vehicles in full expedition trim. The expedition route passes through the following countries; UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and ending in China. The Discovery was first introduced 23 years ago in 1989 and since launch has received over 200 international awards. The latest, Discovery 4, was launched in 2009 and is one of the most versatile and capable all-terrain vehicles in the world. In 2011, around 45,000 sold across 170 global markets with 83% of volume exported. To follow the 'Journey of Discovery' and details of how to donate to, please visit; www.landrover.com/million

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7 March 2012
A new all terrain tyre that provides high levels of refinement and stability on road has been launched in Europe by Japanese tyre manufacturer FALKEN. Available from spring 2012, the Wildpeak WP/AT01 blends the operational performance of an off-road tyre whilst incorporating the construction and design features typically reserved for high performance road tyres.

The Wildpeak WP/AT01 marks the first time FALKEN has offered a true all terrain tyre in Europe and follows the successful US launch where a derivative of the Wildpeak won the 2011 Pikes Peak mixed surface hillclimb. “The Wildpeak is designed to appeal to off road vehicle owners requiring a single tyre to provide a safe, refined ride on the road yet still provide performance in a range of off road conditions,” says Yukio Yoshida, FALKEN’s European corporate planning director. “This is the first time FALKEN has sold an all terrain tyre in Europe specifically developed to fulfill the stringent requirements for off-road and utility vehicles. It continues our aggressive growth plan in Europe that saw us achieve record sales last year.”

To achieve an optimum on and off road ability, FALKEN’s engineers have used four multi-angled grooves to divert maximum amounts of mud and snow whilst the tread block edges have been formed to maximise traction and reduce clogging that typically occurs with all terrain tyres. The larger circumferential voids aid off camber traverses providing off road performance usually reserved for pure off road tyres. For on road safety, the open shoulder pattern design achieves effective water dispersion, resulting in excellent hydroplaning resistance, whilst phase-shifted tread bars reduce noise even at the higher speeds now achievable with off road vehicles. The Wildpeak’s design also satisfies the demand for a controlled and comfortable ride, with two stiff extra-wide steel belts providing stability on and off-road. Safety is further enhanced via a hard bead apex and a joint-less nylon band to stiffen sidewalls that minimizes the wallowing effect that can lead to great steering input that ultimately upsets the car balance.
To satisfy a large number of vehicle fitments, the Wildpeak is available from 15 to 18 inches with R, S, T and H speed ratings.

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6 March 2012
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is presenting an extreme version of the successful Amarok pick-up at the Geneva International Motor Show in the shape of its Amarok Canyon concept vehicle. Specially configured for the popular extreme sport of ‘freestyle kayaking’, this impressive show car illustrates how versatile pick-up configurations can be created. All aspects of the Amarok Canyon concept being shown in Geneva are designed to meet the requirements of this extreme sport – from the pick-up’s running gear to details of the cargo box. “We are using this extreme concept to illustrate one of the many diverse uses of the Amarok. By tuning its design to an extreme sport, we are bringing the original DNA of the Amarok into focus,” emphasises Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, spokesperson for the Board of Management for the Volkswagen Brand and Head of Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The concept vehicle is significantly taller and wider than the production Amarok, and its colour is also more exotic. The pick-up’s body, which shimmers in the three-layer effects of its bright ‘Baladi Orange’ paint, was raised by 40 mm with a body lift kit; and when the tyres are included, the concept is a full 85 mm taller than the production model. The freestyle pick-up also has auxiliary headlights mounted on its roof, and additional visual accents are provided by the smoked rear lights and the colour-contrasting underbody protection. Two electrically deployed tread plates make it easy for all occupants to step into and out of the vehicle, despite the raised ride height. The tread plates were designed to be visually unobtrusive, and they retract when the vehicle is moving to maintain the standard Amarok Canyon’s traditional high level of off-road capability. As noted, the concept car’s width has also increased to accommodate outdoor activities. The wheel housings were widened by 35 mm on each side to make room for the big AT tyres, size 275/65 R 18, mounted on ‘Durban’ type wheels painted in ‘High Gloss Adamantium Dark’.

The two carbon fibre kayaks are securely mounted to the cargo floor: at the rear, the floor is designed with two formed cut-outs with soft padding, while the kayak bows are mounted on a styling bar in ‘High Gloss Adamantium Dark’ with straps for firmly securing the boats. The paddles are firmly latched in place on the inside surface of the easy-to-operate tailgate, ready to grab. All other gear – white-water helmets, flotation devices and rafting shoes – are also stowed securely: the helmets in nets on the front wall of the cargo bed, and the rest of the gear in smaller boxes that can be locked with watertight lids. Inside, a special colour scheme was used with many details and new accents. The leather seats have two-tone styling: the seating surfaces are in ‘sterling’ colour, while the head restraints and side supports are elegantly offset in ‘adamant’ colour. The decorative seams on the seats take on the orange-red colour of the body. This colour is also reflected in numerous other details such as in the seams of the three-spoke steering wheel and gear shift lever trim, the safety belts and the air outlets. Housed in a cowl in the cockpit are three auxiliary instruments. They show the climbing and tilt angles of the Amarok, which gives the driver key information for extra safety on extreme off-road drives. To enable maximum off-road capability, the Amarok concept vehicle is powered by a torque-strong 2.0 TDI bi-turbo with 180 PS, which provides a maximum torque of 400 Newton metres over engine speeds ranging from 1,500-2,250 rpm. The switchable 4MOTION all-wheel drive system – together with a reduction gearbox and differential lock at the rear axle – ensures effective power transfer to the wheels even in the toughest off-road conditions.

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5 March 2012
The organisers of Europe’s biggest Land Rover and 4x4 event are bringing Land Rover back to the South West. The all-new and exciting Bristol and West Land Rover Show will open its gates for the first time on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2012 at the Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet. Utilising the showground’s fantastic facilities and the Xtreme Off Road course, Land Rover and four wheeleddrive enthusiasts can come together to celebrate their favourite marque with a weekend of high octane family fun.

Drive or be driven around one of the most challenging off-road courses in the UK. Enjoy the action packed terrain that will put you and your Land Rover to the test. Xtreme Offroad’s course has it all and is guaranteed to keep you on your toes from start to finish, which takes about 40 minutes dependent on the conditions. The course is designed to cater for different driving abilities and vehicle specification. Off road course is £10 per session or £30 for four sessions if booked at the same time. The Live Action Arena will be bursting with entertainment throughout the weekend including Land Rover parades, interactive games, and winching demonstrations from Goodwinch. Test your skills in the see-saw club trophy, see the first double twist off challenge and much more to keep the whole family entertained. Featuring displays from clubs around the UK and Europe, the Bristol and West Land Rover Show is the place to cast your eye over some of the finest examples or this iconic British marque, including rare and prototype models, as well as ex-military vehicles. All the big names in the trade will come together to form the Retail Village and Autojumble, so whether you’re searching for that elusive part, some extra tools to complete a restoration project or a new accessory for your favourite 4 x 4, you’re sure to find everything you need.

If you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the action then book yourself a pitch for the weekend and bring along your tent or caravan. From as little as £35 you and your family can enjoy the evening entertainment provided as well as family fun with giant inflatables, sports activities and games. Bristol and West Rover Show is open from 9am until 4.30pm on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2012. Adult ticket prices start from £8 when purchased in advance with children under 15s allowed in free with paying adults. For more information on Bristol and West Land Rover Show visit www.bristolandwestlandrovershow.com

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1 March 2012
Triumphant last year in the inaugural CarBuyer Car of the Year Awards, the Kia Sportage has repeated the feat in 2012 by capturing the Best 4x4 title. And it has been joined by its sibling, the Kia Rio – honoured as CarBuyer’s Green Car in that award’s first ever appearance! The CarBuyer website gives straight-forward, no-nonsense advice on every new car on the UK market for people who want to know what will suit their needs and Kia’s now well-established reputation for quality, reliability, style and unparalleled value, thanks partly to its industry-best fully transferable and transparent seven year warranty has helped the brand pick up the two awards.

Steve Fowler, Editor-in-Chief of CarBuyer and Auto Express said: “Kia’s Sportage was CarBuyer’s inaugural Car of the Year in 2011 and it wins in the 4x4 category for the second year running. We love its style, quality and the way it drives, which when combined with Kia’s impressive buying package, makes for a superb all-round buy. “Joining the Sportage in the winners’ circle this year is the Rio, which wins CarBuyer’s first Green Car Award. Here’s a car that offers the sort of economy and emissions you’d expect from a hybrid in a conventional diesel-powered car. But the Rio is anything but conventional – it’s a spacious, high quality family hatchback that’s great value to buy and run,” he added.

Michael Cole, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited said: “We were delighted when CarBuyer picked out Sportage last year – and their selection has been endorsed by thousands of satisfied customers since then. So I am extremely happy that Sportage has held on to its crown. “And I am even more delighted that CarBuyer has recognised just how Rio is changing the game for normally-aspirated cars – showing that you don’t have to choose expensive hybrid or range-limiting electric technology to do your bit for the environment!” he added.

The Kia Rio range starts at £9,995, with the 1.1CRDi ‘1’ model chosen by CarBuyer retailing at £11,895. The Sportage range is priced from £17,295 to £26,290.

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29 February 2012

  • The 1,000,000th Land Rover Discovery has been produced at Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull manufacturing plant in the UK West Midlands
  • Land Rover to showcase the Discovery's unique versatility and breadth of capability by embarking on a expedition from its birthplace in Birmingham, UK to one of its fastest growing markets Beijing in China
  • 8.000 miles, 13 countries in 50 days – a team of four Land Rover Experience experts tackle all weather, all terrain in the one millionth Discovery
  • Expedition aims to raise £1million for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Land Rover's most ambitious fundraising project ever (www.landrover.com/million)
  • A significant milestone for the UK car industry, with Discovery's global sales up by 16% year on year, with 83% of production being exported overseas
  • Solihull plant workforce increased by 20% rising to 6,000 in last six months to meet growing global market demand for Land Rover products
  • The Journey of Discovery launched with help from a number of renowned experienced explorers who have all used the Land Rover Discovery in their adventures – including Bear Grylls, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Ray Mears, Monty Halls and Polar explorer Ben Saunders

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24 February 2012
Land Rover will unveil a Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Evoque Convertible Concept vehicle will explore the potential for the world's first premium convertible SUV. This bold concept builds on the global success of the Evoque and continues Land Rover's tradition for creating and leading new market segments. The concept is being shown to gauge reaction and to assess the potential for what could be another white space product from the world's leading SUV brand.

The concept has been developed by Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern and his team. Commenting on the concept, McGovern said: "The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible. This study is not a traditional convertible design execution - instead we have worked with the balance of the Evoque's lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable." The soft-top convertible concept is based on the Range Rover Evoque Coupe. It features a fully retractable premium roof system with a Roll Over Protection System [ROPS]. The concept cleverly combines capability and versatility with a drop down tailgate and a comfortable four seat package. The vehicle has been developed with Land Rover DNA at its heart, retaining key characteristics including a command driving position and all-terrain capability.

The Evoque's dramatic rising waist line and distinctive shape has been retained and the new convertible body style has been achieved with minimal changes to weight and torsional rigidity. The hood is housed in a neat tapered finisher with the roof mechanism stowed discretely below the belt-line. Inside, the concept is packed with Evoque's award winning technology including Terrain Response, surround cameras, Park Assist and class leading infotainment featuring an 8-inch dual view touch screen and a sound system from British audio experts, Meridian. The Evoque Convertible Concept features unique 21-inch Titan silver wheels and is finished in a new metallic Causeway Grey paint. The interior is in Lunar and Ivory with leather seats featuring sporty perforated panels and Ivory contrast stitching. The Range Rover Evoque has been on sale for six months and is widely recognised as an international success with strong sales performances in 170 global markets, and achieving excellent customer satisfaction and class-leading residual values. The Evoque has been launched to worldwide media acclaim and to date has been honoured with over 90 international awards. John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director said: "The Evoque Convertible Concept is a new twist to the Evoque story and explores the potential to further extend the nameplate's appeal by giving existing customers more choice, whilst at the same time reaching out to a completely new customer base. We are excited to see the response to this concept as we assess the potential for building on the Evoque's exceptional success so far." The Evoque Convertible Concept will be revealed at Geneva as a design and engineering study. There are no production plans confirmed.

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22 February 2012
Range Rover Evoque has notched up its 90th global award by being voted Car of the Year 2012 by visitors to the MSN Cars automotive website. More than 30,000 readers of the site were surveyed to find the car that has most captured their imagination during the past 12 months. Range Rover Evoque collected 12 per cent of the votes, in front of the Aston Martin Virage in second place with nine per cent and the McLaren MP4-12C in third with eight per cent.

Tom Evans, managing editor of MSN Cars, said: "With over 30,000 votes, this year's competition generated a great deal of public interest. The competitive MSN Cars' Car of the Year is often won by supercars but this time I'm really pleased to see our prize being won by a car that many people can realistically aspire to own. "The Evoque is a thoroughly worthy winner, and a British one too. The enthusiasm for this global smash hit is palpable. It has gorgeous looks, strong performance both on and off the road, and can still return up to 63 miles-per-gallon. Huge congratulations to everyone at Land Rover." The Range Rover Evoque is built at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood Operations, which is regarded throughout the industry as a centre of excellence for manufacturing quality. The MSN team visited the plant to handover the Car of the Year Award to the 3000 employees who work there. On receiving the award, Richard Else, Director, Halewood Operations, said: "I am delighted to accept the MSN Cars' Car of the Year Award on behalf of the plant and also the wider company. It is always great to receive external awards for our products – especially when the recognition comes from members of the public. We have been overwhelmed by the extremely positive reaction to the Evoque and are working hard here at Halewood to continue the delivery of an outstanding vehicle to our customers."

Visitors to MSN Cars will be able to learn more about Halewood and the Range Rover Evoque by reading the team's report on their visit to the Merseyside facility. Click here to view cars.uk.msn.com/features/how-to-build-a-range-rover-evoque-2 MSN Cars is one of the UK's most popular automotive websites, offering news, information and guides on all aspects of motoring. According to Comscore, the site receives 1.1 million UK unique users per month.

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15 February 2012
London-based bespoke coachbuilder, Prindiville Design, has unveiled a new Limited Edition Land Rover Defender, designed to celebrate the debut of the model in their Collection which counts some of today’s most sought-after supercars such as the Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Aventador. Restricted to only 25 units worldwide, and designed to offer individuality coupled with a superior level of comfort and practicality, the Limited Edition Land Rover is based on the latest Defender 90 Hard Top model, and hand-assembled by a team of highly skilled engineers at Prindiville’s UK manufacturing facility close to Silverstone, in-line with the customer’s bespoke interior and exterior specification. Enhancements to the suspension, braking system, cooling, and engine are undertaken by Defender specialists, Lincolnshire-based Alive Tuning, who has become renowned in their field for their extensive experience, unrivalled quality, and attention to detail.

The Limited Edition offers a choice of four different power upgrades, which gradually increase the output of the 2.4-litre TDi powerplant from 122 to 190 bhp. Coupled with the dual-range six speed transmission, which can be further upgraded to an automatic or tiptronic gearbox, and the additions of a high flow intercooler, silicone hoses, and turbocharger, this translates into a 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100km/h) sprint of just 10 seconds, and a peak torque of 460Nm. The model is specified as standard with 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, complete with a high performance braking system thanks to Prindiville’s bespoke six-pot callipers and sport discs. Custom designed and manufactured performance springs also allow greater vehicle speed and stability.

Each of the 25 customers are invited to specify a bespoke paint scheme in either a matt or metallic finish from Prindviille’s very own palette, thereby complementing the beautifully-designed exterior which boasts a number of features exclusive to the latest Limited Edition. These are namely a rear Prindiville signature badge, a titanium high performance sports exhaust, chrome side protection runners, LED front and rear headlamps, ribbed undershield, in addition to front and rear parking sensors and cameras, a world first for the Land Rover Defender. The full leather interior is trimmed with the finest Italian hides, and superior comfort comes courtesy of Cobra sport seats dressed with hand-stitched piping. This is echoed in the matching leather steering wheel, alcantara driver and passenger carpets, and bespoke centre console storage unit, all built and tailored according to the owner’s colour selection. Each of the Limited Edition Defenders by Prindiville equally receives a dashboard-mounted numbered aluminium plaque commemorating the series in the coachbuilder’s prestigious collection. The application of internal sound proofing significantly reduces road and engine noise, allowing occupants to enjoy the unsurpassed driving experience as well as the in-car entertainment and communication system. This comes as standard with a five-inch built-in LCD television interface providing access to wireless Internet, a DVD player, satellite navigation, 360-degree external vision, surround sound from four loudspeakers, as well as a connection to any mobile handset and MP3 device via Bluetooth.

Commenting on the launch of the new Limited Edition Land Rover Defender, Alex Prindiville, Founder and Chief Designer of Prindiville Design, explains: “The Limited Edition Land Rover Defender is a truly unique proposition in that it offers a more refined, quiet, and comfortable environment comparable to that of high-end 4x4s. This is an uncompromised solution for either urban city driving or long-distance journeys. The significant interest which we have enjoyed to date will no doubt pave the way for further Land Rover or Range Rover customisations of a similar nature.” The Limited Edition Land Rover Defender by Prindiville Design is available to order now at a cost of £52,000 or US$81,500 (excluding import taxes and shipping).

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13 February 2012
The chic new Subaru XV is now in Subaru Dealer showrooms throughout the country. The safest model in its class (certified 5 star Euro Ncap award) for child occupant safety, the Subaru XV combines city style with urban and offroad ability. Core Subaru technologies – Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (Permanent four wheel drive) and the unique Boxer Diesel engine – ensure the XV satisfies the needs of the discerning driver. Whether for business or pleasure, the Subaru XV is well capable whatever the weather.

Despite a ground clearance of 220mm, the best in its class, the Subaru XV offers a low centre of gravity, which aids its “on-road” adhesion giving it an acceleration figure of 0-100km in 9.3 seconds. Priced at €34,995, the level of trim and standard features, which will leave its direct competitors in its wake, suggests the Subaru XV is a serious new comer to this important segment. All models marketed by Subaru Ireland come with the reassurance of a three year or 160,000 kilometres warranty, plus twelve year anti-corrosion cover and three year paintwork warranty. This is in addition to three year’s membership of Subaru Assist – a comprehensive home and roadside repair and recovery package throughout Ireland and Europe administered by Mapfre Asistencia.

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9 February 2012
With the cold snap continuing, Land Rover vehicles are out in action across the UK helping the British Red Cross and emergency services reach vulnerable people. As well as loaning vehicles, Land Rover has provided specialist winter driving training to volunteers from the Red Cross and London Ambulance Service who have been using Land Rover vehicles to respond to emergencies that would otherwise be difficult to access. The same course is now available to members of the public through Land Rover Experience centres nationwide.

When snow fell last weekend, Red Cross ambulance crews responded to 999 emergency calls in Land Rover Defender ambulances. Teams worked from bases in Redhill in Surrey and Winchester in Hampshire to ensure vital support got to people in need – wherever they were. And 4x4 ambulances were on duty in Derbyshire and Leicester, supporting the East Midlands Ambulance Service. Volunteers from the fire and emergency support service (FESS) in Surrey used a Land Rover support vehicle to tackle difficult snowy conditions to reach a couple who’d been forced to flee their home following a fire. And in Essex, nurses unable to get to work through heavy snow were transported by Red Cross vehicles. Emergency teams in Kent and Surrey used their Land Rovers to take care workers to their clients and make house-calls to check on the welfare of vulnerable older people, ensuring that they received personal care and hot meals. With the wintry weather set to continue, drivers are being warned to take extra care in snow and ice and be prepared for difficult conditions. Land Rover has created a useful video for drivers, which gives winter preparedness and driving advice.

Land Rover Experience is also launching a special winter driving course at its 10 centres across the UK, including Solihull in the West Midlands, Halewood on Merseyside and Gaydon in Warwickshire. The half-day course is delivered by trained instructors to prepare drivers for severe weather, advising on the best techniques to negotiate icy, snowy and wet conditions safely and effectively. There is also some timely advice on how to tackle deep water for when the thaw comes. Topics covered include choosing the correct tyres, vehicle preparation, essential kit to carry and how to use the vehicle's controls and make the most of Land Rover's unique Terrain Response™ system in slippery conditions. Hands-on experience comes in one of the Experience Centre’s vehicles on suitable terrain. For further details visit www.landrover.co.uk and follow the link to the Land Rover Experience.

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7 February 2012
Sales of Isuzu pick-up vehicles in the UK rose by 11 per cent last year, putting the UK market firmly at the top of the brand’s European sales chart. A total of 2,431 Isuzu Rodeo pick-ups were sold by the 97-strong UK dealer network, up by 11 per cent compared to 2010 and equivalent to 17 per cent of all Isuzu registrations across the continent. It is the first time that the UK operation, which is managed by distributor I.M. Group, has achieved the number one status in Europe.

Last year’s success is part of an ongoing trend for the renowned pick-up brand, which has seen UK sales more than double over the past three years. Isuzu’s UK sales in 2011 bettered the Japanese brand’s registrations in second-placed Turkey (2,296 units) and France (2,003 units). Isuzu General Manager, William Brown, commented: “The market has responded very positively to the rugged, highly capable Rodeo in recent years, which is testament to the vehicle’s growing reputation as a dependable load-lugger. “This achievement is also a reflection of the professionalism and dedication of our retail network. The hard work of our dealers is fundamental to the continued rise of the Isuzu brand’s reputation, and the impressive year-on-year sales growth of the Rodeo pick-up. Our challenge for 2012 – a year in which an all-new model will be launched to replace the Rodeo – is to further build our sales momentum and maintain our status as Isuzu’s number one market in Europe.”

Rodeo prices start at £13,995 (CVOTR) for the entry-level 136bhp 2.5 Rodeo Single Cab 4x2, and rise to £23,495 (CVOTR) for the top-of-the-range five-seater, 163bhp 3.0 Denver Max LE Auto. Insurance groupings start at 10A for base models and peak at a still-reasonable 13A. Further information on Isuzu’s range of pick-ups and commercial vehicles is available at www.isuzu.co.uk

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6 February 2012
The Range Rover enters its 10th anniversary year in 2012, continuing to set benchmarks in luxury, capability and performance. Going beyond the 2012 model year enhancements that were introduced in October 2011, the Range Rover line-up is being developed to include three new Special Editions; The TDV8 Westminster, TDV8 Autobiography and Supercharged Autobiography. The new arrivals focus on further extending the luxury and high specifications that are at the core of the Range Rover brand. In 2012 Land Rover celebrates 10 years of Range Rover in its current guise. The third generation Range Rover was introduced in 2002 to critical acclaim setting new benchmarks in levels of luxury and all-terrain capability. Over the past decade, several facelifts and model year updates have kept the Range Rover at the cutting edge of technology leading up to the latest special editions, which will provide customers with increased options and convenience.

Westminster Edition

The new Range Rover Westminster Edition joins the line-up to replace the previous TDV8 Vogue and Vogue SE models. Going further than its predecessors, it comes handsomely equipped with an extensive collection of additional features that raise both the vehicle’s prestige style and comfort levels for everyone on board. The exterior of the Westminster Edition is distinguished by the bright 'Noble' finish to the front grille and side vents, 'Titan' silver lower splitter bar and fog lamp bezels, 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels and 'Westminster' badging. Opening the doors reveals illuminated treadplates and a cabin finished with luxury carpets and Grand Black lacquer trim elements, plus bright-finished pedal finishers. The front seats feature both heating and cooling functions and the in car entertainment system benefits from a 19-speaker, 1,200W harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround sound system as well as Range Rover’s innovative Dual View infotainment screen. Featuring the powerful yet refined 4.4-litre TDV8 engine with eight-speed automatic transmission, the new Westminster Edition is available in a choice of seven exterior colours, with five interior colour combinations. The standard equipment specification further includes an electric sunroof, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, Park Distance Control with rear-view camera, memory setting for the steering wheel, driver’s seat and rear-view mirror and a heated, leather trimmed steering wheel.

TDV8 Autobiography and Supercharged Autobiography

Bold design and ultimate luxury underpin the new Range Rover TDV8 Autobiography and Supercharged Autobiography. Both benefit as standard from the Range Rover Design Pack, a collection of exterior styling features that are seamlessly integrated to compliment the car's powerful appearance, without compromising its classic lines. The pack introduces new front and rear bumpers, ‘Titan’ silver front grille and side vent treatments and fog lamp surrounds, integrated stainless steel exhaust finishers and side skirts. These are complemented by striking 20-inch alloy wheels in Shadow Chrome. Inside the focus is on unparalleled luxury and comfort with the Range Rover Seat Style Pack. This comprises rear seats with recline and lumbar adjustment, heating and cooling functions and multi-adjustable aircraft-style headrests with wings for added support. The passenger "front seat away" function provides a simple control for adding extra rear legroom, while the front passenger seat itself benefits from a memory function than can store up to three different personalised settings. Both versions gain the 19-speaker, 1,200W harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround sound system and are fitted with illuminated treadplates. Seven exterior finishes are available, together with an extensive range of interior colour and trim combination options. The TDV8 Autobiography retains its 4.4-litre engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, with the Supercharged Autobiography powered by the 5.0-litre LR-V8 petrol unit with six-speed automatic gearbox.

Sales and pricing

The new Range Rover Special Edition models go on sale in March. The TDV8 Westminster Edition is £69,995, presenting customers with significant additional feature content over and above the specification of the former Vogue and Vogue SE models. On-the-road prices for the TDV8 Autobiography and Supercharged Autobiography are £84,295 and £86,895 respectively.

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30 January 2012
Subaru has announced pricing and specification levels for its new All-Wheel Drive crossover vehicle, the XV. Priced from £21,295 for entry level 1.6i S models, the latest addition to the Japanese brand’s stable is set to firmly establish itself as one of the most capable and best-value-for-money compact crossovers currently available. The five-star Euro NCAP-rated Subaru XV – officially certified as the safest vehicle in its class and which scores particularly highly for child occupant safety – combines style and functionality with generous levels of standard-fit equipment, making it more than a match for many of its established compact crossover rivals.

Every XV is equipped with two core Subaru technologies – Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a Boxer engine – ensuring that this new vehicle feels both engaging and incredibly safe to drive, in all conditions. Subaru is confident that the XV will thoroughly satisfy the needs of existing customers, while also attracting new consumers to the brand. Three Euro V-compliant Boxer engines are offered with the new XV: 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol, and 2.0-litre diesel. The 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines develop 114ps and 150ps respectively, while the 2.0-litre diesel produces 147ps and 350Nm. The go-anywhere XV is available with a choice of either a five and six-speed manual or a six-speed CVT automatic (petrol only). Reaching 60mph in 9.3 seconds, the 2.0 diesel XV – likely to be the best-selling variant in the UK – offers class-leading fuel economy of 50.4mpg on the combined cycle, while emitting 146g/km of CO2. Subaru’s XV also features the highest ground clearance and lowest centre of gravity in class, making it a highly capable performer both on and off road.

Even entry-level S models feature a standard kit list to make many models from premium compact SUV manufacturers blush. Buyers can expect to find ABS, traction control, Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control (SVDC), front, side, curtain and knee airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, daytime LED running lights and automatic air conditioning as standard. SE models add cruise control, rear-view camera, Bluetooth functionality and USB/iPod connectivity. Meanwhile, top-of-the-range SE Lux Premium models also come with a sunroof, Keyless Smart Entry, push-button start, leather seats and satellite navigation. All 2.0-litre models are fitted with roof rails. Petrol-powered XV models benefit from Subaru’s new fuel-saving Auto Start Stop System as standard, boosting fuel savings in congested traffic. It was the aim of Subaru engineers to make the engine cut-out virtually unnoticeable to the driver, and they achieved this with a time lapse between stop and start of approximately 0.2 seconds, one of the fastest currently available. Pricing for the new XV range starts at £21,295 for the 1.6i S models, and rises to £29,995 for the range-topping 2.0D SE Lux Premium. For more information about the XV or the rest of the Subaru line-up, visit www.subaru.co.uk

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26 January 2012
The organisers of the Europe’s biggest Land Rover and 4x4 event are launching a brand new show at Land Rover’s ancestral home at Eastnor Castle. The all-new and exciting Eastnor Land Rover Show is opening its gates for the first time on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2012. Celebrating over 50 years of engineering heritage and set in the beautiful landscape of the Deer Park on the Eastnor Castle estate in Herefordshire, the show is a fantastic event for Land Rover and four wheeleddrive enthusiasts to come together.

Eastnor Land Rover Show organiser Mark Woodward said: “I’m delighted to bring a new Land Rover show to Eastnor Castle. The two have very close links spanning over half a century and there isn’t a more suitable setting for such a show.” Featuring displays of historic vehicles from clubs around the UK and Europe the Eastnor Land Rover Show is the place to cast your eye over some of the finest examples or this iconic British marque, including rare and prototype models. All the big names in the trade will come together to form the Retail Village and Autojumble, so whether you’re searching for that elusive part, some extra tools to complete a restoration project or a new accessory for your favourite 4 x 4, you’re sure to find everything you need. The Live Action Arena, hosted by Land Rover personality Diana Tigwell, will be bursting with entertainment throughout the weekend including Land Rover parades, interactive games, demonstrations and much more to keep the whole family entertained.

If you need some assistance or support on your vehicle rebuild then why not talk to the experts in Restoration Zone. See vehicles in various states of repair and exchange stories on the trials and tribulations of getting the 4 x 4’s back on the road. Features include demonstrations in restoration and maintenance techniques to help you on your way. Land Rover Experience is opening up its off road course in the grounds of Eastnor for you to drive your own vehicle, as part of a surpervised convoy, on the same terrain used by Land Rover itself to fine-tune new products prior to general launch. It’s your turn to be part of that history as the experts show you how to navigate the mysteries of the woodland. This exclusive opportunity is bound to be popular and slots are limited on both the beginner and intermediate convoys so book your session in now to avoid disappointment. Each session lasts two hours and costs just £45. To reserve your place, contact Land Rover Experience by calling 01531 638779 or emailing eastnor@landroverexperience.com

If you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the action then book yourself a pitch for the weekend and bring along your tent or caravan. From as little as £50 you and your family can enjoy the evening entertainment provided complete in the backdrop of the majestic Malvern Hills. Eastnor Land Rover Show is open from 9am until 4.30pm on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2012. Adult ticket prices start from £10 when purchased in advance with children under 16 allowed in free with paying adults. For more information on Eastnor Land Rover Show visit www.eastnorlandrovershow.com

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23 January 2012
2012 Autosport International show sees the worldwide launch of the all new TDv6 Diesel Wildcat, which is manufactured by Plymouth based Qt Services Ltd. This exciting addition to the Wildcat range adds a new dimension to Qt’s lineup of these extreme off road race cars. Taken from the Land Rover Discovery 4, the 3.0 litre twin turbo has raised the bar in terms of performance for vehicles in this field of motorsport.

Qt Services is the first manufacturer to successfully integrate this new powerplant into a race car. Qt’s MD, Dave Marsh says, “This new engine has exceeded our expectations. Delivering 316 HP and 513 ftlbs of torque it produces more than enough power to deal with the toughest off road conditions in the world”. Working closely with their electronics and transmission specialists, the integration of the engine has worked really well and Qt are looking forward to having two of the new Diesel cars racing in the Tuareg Rally, which kicks off in Spain in March.

There has been strong interest from around the world in this new package and Qt are pleased to be able to officially launch the car at the prestigious Autosport show. The TDv6 diesel car was officially launched at the Autosport Show on January 12th and full details of the range of Wildcats can be found at www.qtwildcat.co.uk

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18 January 2012
Sales of Jeep® brand vehicles rose 61.8 per cent in Europe (the 27 member states of the European Union, plus the four European Free Trade Association countries) in 2011 versus 2010 – compared to an industry decline of 1.4 per cent – according to numbers released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

In 2011 in Italy, Jeep sales increased 117.6 per cent versus 2010, with registrations increasing 71.7 per cent in France, 124 per cent in Germany, 21.2 per cent in Spain and 18 per cent in UK. In December, Jeep sales rose 47.8 per cent in Europe versus December 2010, while the industry declined 5.8 per cent. “The increase in Jeep sales in Europe is evidence that Chrysler Group’s integration with the Fiat Group is clearly working,” says Mike Manley, President and CEO, Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Much of the Jeep brand’s success in Europe can be attributed to a strengthened dealer network, as well as a rollout of new Jeep models for the European market – including the incorporation of Fiat’s fuel- and emissions-saving MultiJet II technology on the new 3.0-litre CRD engine that powers the Grand Cherokee.”

In addition to increases in Europe, Jeep brand sales rose 44 per cent in the US in 2011, and 41 per cent globally.

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18 January 2012
UK specifications announced for 2012 Land Cruiser V8
Single model range, fully equipped with new technologies for secure off-road performance, including world first turn assist feature
4.5-litre V8 turbodiesel engine gains diesel particulate filter and meets Euro 5 emissions standards
On sale from 1 March, price £62,285

Following its recent unveiling at the Brussels motor show, the Land Cruiser V8 has been readied for launch in the UK on 1 March. As the ultimate Land Cruiser, the model comes newly equipped with advanced technologies for off-road driving, as well as an impressive array of luxury features. The single version has a £62,285 on-the-road price.

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11 January 2012
Positioned as the ultimate Toyota Land Cruiser, the Land Cruiser V8 has never wanted for much in terms of quality, performance, luxury and unmissable road presence. That formidable combination notwithstanding, the newly unveiled 2012 model goes even further in terms of sharper design inside and out, more creature comforts and advanced handling technologies for exceptional off-road capabilities.

Making its debut this week at the Brussels motor show, the 2012 Land Cruiser V8 will go on sale in the UK in March. More details of the UK range will be announced nearer the time of launch.


Even higher quality, comfort, luxury and off-road performance for flagship Land Cruiser V8
New exterior and interior styling
Revised 4.5-litre V8 turbodiesel engine, meeting Euro 5 emissions standards
Advanced technologies for greater off-road driving capability
World-first Turn Assist, reducing vehicle turning radius when negotiating tight bends
Crawl Control with seven speed settings for steep incline climbs and descents
Multi-terrain Select with five modes to suit different off-road conditions
Multi-terrain Monitor providing 360-degree view of vehicle surroundings via four external cameras
Tyre Angle Display
Variable Flow Control power steering
Toyota Touch Pro advanced multimedia and navigation system with voice command control
Bluetooth and rear-view camera
New premium features including heated steering wheel, front seats with cooling and heating functions and memory settings, new-design 20-inch alloy wheels, powered upper tailgate section and bi-xenon headlamps
On sale in the UK from March, with specifications and prices to be announced

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9 January 2012
The Range Rover Evoque has been named the 2012 North American Truck of the Year. The announcement, which was made at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, saw the Evoque triumph over tough competition from the BMW X3 and the Honda CR-V. The judging panel of senior US automotive journalists chose the Evoque as the winner after reviewing it against its competitors in six key categories: value for the dollar, innovation, handling, performance, safety and driver satisfaction. "We are honored that the all-new Range Rover Evoque has been named the 2012 North American Truck of the Year, one of the most celebrated automotive awards in our industry,” said Andy Goss, President, Jaguar Land Rover North America. “This recognition is in keeping with the overwhelmingly positive global response from consumers who are selecting the vehicle for its ideal combination of luxury and capability, within a sustainable package.”

The Range Rover Evoque was reviewed by a coalition of 50 automotive journalists, from the United States and Canada, representing all media platforms. Every year, the jurors of the North American Truck of the Year convene to determine worthy vehicle contenders and limit the eligible vehicles to approximately 10 cars and 10 trucks. Based on a points system, the jurors rate the vehicles and send their ballots to Deloitte & Touche’s office in Detroit where the selection process is narrowed down to the three cars and three trucks with the most points. Once the three finalists are announced, the jurors vote again on the finalists. The North American Truck of the Year honor is the latest global accolade that the Range Rover Evoque has received since its launch in September 2011. It is the first NAToTY title for Land Rover although the brand has been shortlisted three times. Additionally, in North America, the car has been named Motor Trend’s 2012 Sport/Utility of the Year, Autoweek's "Best of Best" Truck, Road & Travel's International Truck of the Year, Decisive Magazine’s Urban Truck of the Year, Automobile Magazine’s 2012 All-Star Award and Best Luxury Compact Vehicle from Automotive Lease Guide (ALG) and Bloomberg News’ Crossover Car of the Year.

In the UK, the Range Rover Evoque has been named Car of the Year by several titles including Auto Express, Top Gear and The Sun. Additionally, the UK's leading consumer publication, Which? recently chose the Evoque as one of the best vehicles to go on sale in 2011. Frank Klaas, Global Head of Communications for Jaguar Land Rover, said: "It is fantastic news that we have been awarded North American Truck of the Year, which is further recognition for the hard work of both the team in the market and also our employees based at our design, engineering and manufacturing sites in the UK. Also today, the European Car of the Year jury has announced that the Range Rover Evoque is one of seven cars shortlisted for this highly prestigious European award. The entire Evoque team has their fingers crossed ahead of the final announcement at the Geneva Motor Show in March."

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9 January 2012
Calling all expedition enthusiasts! With only weeks to go before the Land Rover 'Go Beyond' Bursary 2012 application draws to a close, now is your chance to apply for funding and the loan of a Land Rover Defender 110 to do a journey of a lifetime. For the fifth consecutive year, the Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary, run by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is one of Land Rover's six Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners.

The award is aimed at those who want to take a journey beyond their limits and boundaries, offering challenges for the team and using a Land Rover Defender 110 as an integral part of the expedition. Mark Cameron, Global Brand Extension Director for Land Rover said; "It's brilliant to see such a wide and exciting variety of expedition enthusiasts applying for the 'Go Beyond' Bursary 2012 this year. And for the first time ever, we have also trebled the total amount of Land Rover funding to £30, 000, enabling the winning Bursary team to adventure further afield than ever before." Paul Rose, Vice President of Expeditions & Fieldwork, RGS-IBG added; "The Land Rover 'Go Beyond’ Bursary offers recipients an amazing opportunity to take a journey to promote a wider understanding and enjoyment of people, places and environments. " "With the use of a Land Rover Defender 110, you can really get off the beaten track and make the most of the vehicle’s capabilities in remote terrain and in demanding environments, helping to turn ideas for challenging and inspiring geographical journeys into a reality."

The journey may connect the team with schools, local communities or projects but, whatever its aim, the team will be expected to inspire and engage others, both from the field and on return. A bursary of £15,000 is available and in addition applicants can apply for a discretionary fund of up to £15,000 to support essential expedition-related costs. The application deadline is 3 February 2012 and interviews will take place in March 2012, in London. To apply, please visit; www.rgs.org/GoBeyond Additionally, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) will also be exhibiting at the Telegraph Adventure Travel Show; Expedition planning zone. The show will provide a collection of extraordinary travel experiences under one roof, at London Olympia on the 28 - 29 January 2012. The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is one of six Global Humanitarian & Conservation Partners with Land Rover which forms part of an integrated approach to sustainability and sits within Land Rovers' Our Planet.

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5 January 2012
Suzuki GB PLC is pleased to announce its latest Special Edition Grand Vitara model, SZ-T, which goes on sale this week. SZ-T is based on the popular five door 1.9DDiS model and offers a unique enhanced specification with just 500 cars available. The SZ-T model is available for £22,315 including metallic paint and has a comprehensive list of standard equipment including new design front grille, new design 18-inch alloy wheels, unique contrasting seat fabric, Silver coloured roof rails and bonnet side vents, built in turn signal lamps for the door mirrors and, for this Special Edition, a tailgate mounted spare wheel. Cruise Control and keyless entry and start are also included.

The Euro 5 emissions 1.9-litre DDiS engine has a power output of 129PS with torque of 300Nm from just 2,000rpm offering strong flexibility when overtaking or driving off road. In combined cycle driving, the DDiS model returns 41.5mpg with emissions of 179g/km. Suzuki launched its first Vitara 24 years ago, creating the world’s first compact SUV and tapping into a new market for vehicles that deliver true off-road performance with responsive, fun-to-drive on-road performance. Since then the stylish and versatile SUV has steadily evolved and kept pace with growing demand for good-looking and versatile 4x4s that are as rewarding on the open road as they are motoring off the beaten track. Grand Vitara remains a true off roader with its switchable low / high ratio Four Wheel Drive system.

SZ-T is available in five metallic colours: Quasar Grey, Silky Silver, Blueish Black Pearl, Phoenix Red Pearl and Nocturne Blue Pearl. For more information on the Suzuki product range visit www.suzuki4.co.uk

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5 January 2012
Land Rover's Defender Concept 100 and Defender Concept 100 Sport have made their Indian debut at the New Delhi Auto Expo 2012. These concepts investigate the potential design direction for a replacement for the iconic Defender. John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director said: "The Defender has always been at the heart of the Land Rover Brand and single-handedly defines our go-anywhere, can-do sprit. Our ambition is to create an all new Defender for a global market that remains absolutely faithful to its original DNA: tough, versatile, durable and capable. At the same time, it will be developed for the 21st century and adaptable for the needs of future generations.

"Our intention is to introduce the all new Defender in the middle of the decade - there's a lot of work to do to meet these dates and our concepts are just the start of the journey. We are here in India to showcase the Defender Concept 100 and Defender Concept 100 Sport." Capturing the rugged, dependable and adventurous spirit of the original, the Defender Concept 100 and Defender Concept 100 Sport are intended to showcase the potential breath of capability for the future Defender family. Evolved since their unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011, the concepts now ride on optimised off-road 20-inch alloy wheels shod with Cooper all-terrain tyres. Shown for the first time in Firenze Red paint with a white roof, the Defender Concept 100 re-invents the essential Defender design cues for the 21st century. These include short overhangs for extreme approach and departure angles, vertical panels, an upright windscreen and strong shoulder line for visibility and ease of positioning and, of course, the honest Defender 'face' with its signature round lamps and prominent grille, incorporating a winch.

Also in Firenze Red, the Defender Concept 100 Sport takes all these key design cues and adds to them the spirit of freedom first embodied by the early canvas-roofed Land Rovers with their fold-down windscreens to create a concept bursting with California cool. Core Land Rover attributes of capability and versatility are underpinned in both concepts by a suite of innovative off-road technological aids that reduce the workload on the driver. Foremost of these is the next generation of Land Rover's acclaimed Terrain Response system which will optimise the car for any conditions without driver pre-selection. In addition, a new Terrain-i system creates an intelligent map of the topography in front of the car and displays it as a 3D visualisation. Terrain-i automatically identifies potential hazards and suggests alternative routes. In urban environments the same system is able to identify pedestrians and hazards with great accuracy. A new Wade Aid system utilises sonar sensors mounted in the bumpers and wing mirrors to measure water depth. As with Terrain Response, Wade Aid will optimise the car for water crossings by closing body vents, raising the ride height, selecting a low gear and advising on the safest speed. Sustainability has always been a Land Rover hallmark - more than three-quarters of the almost two million Defenders made are still doing regular duty - and the Defender Concepts extend this commitment with new technologies that will reduce their environmental impact. The first is an intelligent Twin-Solenoid Stop/Start system mated to the latest eight-speed automatic gearbox, both of which have been designed with future hybridisation in mind. Second is the unique Driveline Disconnect system, which sends power to the front-axle only unless conditions demand all-wheel drive. Unlike conventional systems, this physically, rather than electronically, decouples the rear-axle to reduce friction losses but can reengage drive almost instantaneously.

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3 January 2012
Following the success of the latest (12MY) Mitsubishi Shogun, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK are about to extend the Shogun range with the introduction of the Shogun Black, a new special edition model with enhanced exterior styling. From the outside the new Mitsubishi Shogun Black boasts a dynamic appearance with the introduction of satin black styling kit which includes striking black 20” alloy wheels, roof, spoiler, wing mirrors, grille and headlamp bezels, fog lamp surrounds, door handles and side steps.

Based on the current Mitsubishi 3.2 Di-D LWB Shogun SG4, the newcomer will be available from UK dealerships from 1st January 2012 in the following metallic colours:

Frost White (Solid)
Cool Silver (Metallic)
Diamond Black (Pearlescent)
Orient Red (Metallic)
Granite Brown (Metallic)

The new Euro V compliant Mitsubishi Shogun is the strongest, quietest, safest and smartest Shogun ever built. Now with 197bhp and a massive 441Nm of torque it has increased towing capacity to 3,500kg, best-in-class CO2 emissions which not only means it is kinder to the environment, it also has lower road tax too. Complete with new satellite navigation and Bluetooth systems to help with any on or off road adventure. As always, the Shogun comes packed with an array of standard safety and luxury equipment.

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