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28 June 2013
The all-new Range Rover Sport has been confirmed as the official Pace Car for this Sunday’s 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Known as the Race To The Clouds, the annual event on America’s Mountain in Colorado, USA, is famous for its spectacular location and unforgiving nature, with much of the 12.4-mile course lined by sheer drops down the mountainside.

As the course-opening car, the Range Rover Sport will revisit the scene of its own record-setting run earlier this month, when it powered to a new best time up the hill for a production-standard Sport Utility Vehicle and broke the long standing record for any type of production-standard vehicle. The Range Rover Sport negotiated the 12.42-mile course, which has 156 corners and ascends from 9,390 feet (2,860m) above sea level to 14,110 feet (4,300m), in just 12 minutes 35.61 seconds – an average speed, from a standing start, of 59.17 mph (95.23 kph). The record was set in a Range Rover Sport powered by a 510PS 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8 engine, the vehicle altered from production specification only in the fitment of a roll cage and harness seatbelts to meet racing safety requirements. On the record run, the Range Rover Sport was driven by Pikes Peak specialist Paul Dallenbach. This Sunday, the Pace Car will be driven by veteran motorsports competitor and official Gay Smith, of Colorado Springs. Smith was the 1974 Rookie of the Year on Pikes Peak and has served on the event’s Board of Directors for 20 years.

This year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has attracted 157 competitors (70 cars and 87 motorcycles), with drivers and riders from 16 nations. The entry is headlined by World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb. Timed runs start on Sunday 30 June at 08.00 Mountain Daylight Time (BST – 7 hours, GMT – 6 hours). For the first time, the event is being broadcast to fans around the world via the Internet, on RedBull.TV. Internet visitors can also, starting from this weekend, watch a newly-released four-minute documentary film about the Range Rover Sport’s record run at Pikes Peak earlier this month, with spectacular views from inside and outside the vehicle. This can be seen on Land Rover’s YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/BaPiM_mish4

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20 June 2013
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is proud to announce that its completely redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover will be the “Official Safety Vehicle” for this year’s 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) to be held on June 30, 2013. With available technologically-advanced safety features including Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), the stylish seven-passenger 2014 Outlander will represent Mitsubishi in serving as the “Official Safety Vehicle” for this annual motorsports extravaganza.

Held in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the challenging Pikes Peak International Hill Climb features a unique road course that is 12.42 miles in length with 156 corners, commencing at an elevation of 9,390 feet and finishing at 14,110 feet – nearly three miles above sea level. First run in 1916, this annual event is the second oldest motor race in America after the Indianapolis 500. In addition to its remarkable safety technology, the new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander is available with the company’s outstanding Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system that provides superior stability, traction and control – perfect for negotiating not only the many serpentine twists and turns of the Pikes Peak course but also the harsh weather and road conditions that can change in an instant along this high-elevation route. Mitsubishi Motors will also serve as the Presenting Sponsor at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution high-performance sports sedan will also join the dynamic new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover as a supplemental safety vehicle. These vehicles were built specifically for the race with support coming from AEM®, BBS USA, Cobb Tuning, DC Sports®, Kenwood USA Corporation, and Muellerized Suspension Tuning. In Mitsubishi Motors’ debut in last year’s running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, its innovative i-MiEV Evolution all-electric prototype racing car (using the identical electric motors and lithium-ion battery cells found in the 100% electric-powered Mitsubishi i-MiEV production vehicle) scored an impressive second-place finish in the Electric Vehicle Division in 2013. This year, Mitsubishi Motors will return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with an all-new, more powerful 100% electric-powered prototype racing car dubbed the MiEV Evolution II in a two-car assault, in the very capable hands of two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka and six-time Pikes Peak overall motorcycle champion and 2002 SCORE International off-road series champion Greg Tracy.

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14 June 2013
Smart buy brand Dacia continues to pull in fans after striking gold at the Towcar Awards last night. Its flagship Duster was named Best Budget 4x4 at the ceremony at The Sculpture Gallery in Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire. Judges, including the editor of Practical Caravan magazine, described the shockingly affordable multi-award winner as “a lot of tow car for very little money”. The champion model, the Duster dCi 110 Ambiance 4x4, costs just £13,495 and is the perfect match for happy campers and caravanners who like to keep a close eye on their spending. Judges added: “That price isn’t a misprint. For less than you’d pay for the tiny Kia Rio three-door, Dacia will sell you a five-seat 4x4…the Duster is undeniably a bargain. “It makes a decent tow car, too…In fact, we’d be happy to tow on long motorway journeys with the Duster.”

The Towcar Awards is a joint venture between Practical Caravan, What Car? and The Camping and Caravanning Club, with caravans and technical support supplied by the Swift Group. Each car goes through a series of towing tests at the MIRA proving ground in the Midlands, including 30-60mph acceleration, 30-0mph braking, a hill start and an emergency lane-change test. Cars, however, are not just rated for their towing ability. What Car?’s expert road test team score each for regular driving, safety, running costs and value for money. The Camping and Caravanning Club’s technical team check practical details such as boot space, how easily extension mirrors can be fitted, and whether the spare wheel provision is suitable for towing. Judges also included the deputy road test editor of What Car? and the technical department at The Camping and Caravanning Club.

Romanian smart buy brand Dacia, a subsidiary of the French carmaker Renault, has made an enemy of the unnecessary and makes a simple range of cleverly designed, high quality vehicles which unashamedly favouring function over frivolity. Its jaw-dropping prices are clear and straightforward, whether you buy online at the Dacia Store on www.dacia.co.uk or through its nationwide retailer network

Dacia only launched officially in the UK in January 2013, but has already cleaned up nine major awards, including a hat-trick of trophies at the carbuyer.co.uk 2013 awards, including Car of Year and 4x4 of the Year, plus Scottish Car of the Year for Duster, and Best Supermini under £12,000 for Sandero with What Car?.

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14 June 2013
The Land Rover Discovery 4 has secured an exceptional fourth successive victory in the annual Tow Car Awards. Every year since its launch, the model has proved itself the class of the field in the 1,900kg+ category in the UK’s most prestigious towing honours. Announcing the success for the Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 XS, David Motton, Tow Car Editor of Practical Caravan magazine praised Discovery 4’s all-round qualities and enduring status as the best in its class. Motton said: “As an all-rounder, the Discovery remains the best big tow car you can buy. No car this big and tall should handle the lane-change test with such confidence, but the Discovery stays firmly in control, however lively the caravan gets behind it. “The Discovery is one of the most practical tow cars you can buy at any price, thanks to plentiful luggage space, load adaptive suspension, trailer stability control and a well-installed tow bar.” He added that towing ability was just one aspect of the Land Rover’s all-round capability and appeal: “It’s a fine car to drive without a caravan too, thanks to effortless performance, a commanding driving position and a supremely smooth ride.”

Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: “We are delighted that yet again Discovery 4 has excelled in the Tow Car Awards. This fourth successive win reinforces its enduring leadership as a vehicle that’s not only immensely practical and capable, but also stylish, comfortable and desirable to own, thanks to its combination of Land Rover engineering, design and quality.” The Tow Car Awards are a joint venture between Practical Caravan and What Car? magazines and the Camping and Caravanning Club. Cars are put through a series of towing tests and are further assessed on regular driving quality, safety, running costs and value for money. The Camping and Caravanning Club’s technical team check practical details, such as boot space and the ease with which towing accessories can be fitted. The Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 XS has at its heart Land Rover’s twin-turbocharged, direct injection 24-valve V6 diesel engine, matched to a smooth and efficient eight speed automatic transmission. With 256 PS and an impressive 600Nm of torque available from just 2,000rpm, it is perfectly equipped to excel as a tow car. Powertrain performance is supported by the added benefit of features such as the standard-fit Trailer Stability Assist, which monitors trailer behaviour and applies selective wheel braking to correct any potential problem, and Tow Assist, a reversing aid that is included in the optional Surround Camera System

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13 June 2013
The All-New Range Rover continues to fill the Land Rover trophy cabinet having been bestowed with the Car Dealer Power Car of the Year Award. Uniquely, the awards are voted for by dealerships of all brands across the country with 2500 dealers contributing to the survey. The awards see dealers telling Car Dealer Magazine the best car manufacturers to represent and the best suppliers to do business with. It gives a ‘warts ’n all’ picture of what car dealers right across the UK are thinking.

According to Car Dealer Magazine, the Range Rover was the winner by a clear mile, with dealers saying: ‘it cannot fail to impress’ and ‘it’s a gargantuan step on from the old model – and even that car was best in class’. James Batchelor, editor of Car Dealer, said: ‘I am delighted to reveal the Range Rover has been voted Car of the Year by dealers right across the UK. ‘The Car Dealer Power Awards are unique in the industry and give dealers a chance to tell it like it really is. More than 2,500 dealers voted in Car Dealer Power 2013 – it’s the most conclusive picture of what dealers in this country think.

‘Land Rover should be especially pleased with the Range Rover being named as Car of the Year 2013, as the award has not only been voted for by Land Rover dealers, but also by their peers – dealers from all corners of the UK regardless of what franchise they represent.’ Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks commented: “This award is particularly valuable as it paints a positive picture of how dealers view our current products and the way in which Land Rover interacts with the dealer network. In addition to gain the admiration of other brands and franchises is a really strong indicator of our progress.”

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12 June 2013
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is launching a special edition version of its highly acclaimed Amarok pick-up. Called the Amarok edition, it’s based on the popular Trendline specification but includes more than £3,400 of additional equipment, representing a customer saving of over £2,000. As well as added value, it also offers more style and exclusivity, with just 300 vehicles available to UK customers.

Bolstering a Trendline specification that already includes body-coloured bumpers and wheel arches, the Amarok edition’s additional design features include striking 18-inch Durban alloy wheels, a black side step, black styling bars across the load area, rear privacy glass and special edition decals. Drivers also benefit from front and rear parking sensors, a protective coating for the load area, interior floor mats, Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation with a five-inch colour touchscreen as standard. The Amarok edition comes with Volkswagen’s top of the range 2.0-litre BiTDI 180 PS engine, offering up to 420 Nm of torque and a maximum towing capacity of up to 3,200 kg. Customers can choose the six-speed manual transmission, which comes with selectable 4MOTION, or the latest eight-speed automatic transmission with permanent 4MOTION. The automatic version boasts BlueMotion Technology, which includes low rolling-resistance tyres, start/stop system and regenerative braking to provide greater economy and lower emissions. The Amarok edition is available in two colours: Reflex Silver, with black door mirror covers, or Deep Black, with silver door mirrors.

‘Creating the right image is very important for a lot of our customers, so we’ve had great pleasure creating the bespoke specification for the Amarok edition,’ said Mark Hopkins, head of marketing for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. ‘It not only looks great, but offers fantastic value too,’ he continued. Retail prices start from £22,495 (excluding VAT) with the manual transmission and rise to £24,225 (excluding VAT) for the automatic transmission. The Amarok edition is on sale from July.

For full details of the Amarok edition, or to find the nearest Volkswagen Van Centre, please visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk or call 0800 717131

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7 June 2013
The all-new Range Rover Sport yesterday established the record for a production-standard Sport Utility Vehicle and broke the long standing record for any kind of production-standard vehicle on the Pikes Pike International Hill Climb course, venue of the spectacular annual competition known as ‘The Race To the Clouds’. The Range Rover Sport rose to the challenge of the 12.42-mile asphalt course, powering its way from a standing start, in just 12 minutes 35.61 seconds – an average speed of 59.17 mph (95.23 km/h) on a snaking road that clings to the edge of the mountain with precipitous drops on one side and unyielding rock faces on the other. The record was independently timed and sanctioned by PPIHC (Pikes Peak International Hill Climb), organisers of the annual competition at the Colorado venue.

The Pikes Peak course goes through 156 corners as it ascends beyond the treeline from 9,390 feet (2,860m) above sea level to 14,110 feet (4,300m). At that altitude the air contains only 58% of the oxygen it does at sea level, diminishing engine performance and blunting human physical and mental performance. The new record was set by a Range Rover Sport with a 510PS 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8 engine, the vehicle altered from production specification only in the fitment of a roll cage and harness seatbelts to meet racing safety requirements.

The Range Rover Sport was driven on the record run, by American competition and stunt driver Paul Dallenbach. Best known as a Pikes Peak specialist, Dallenbach, 45 years old, from Basalt in Colorado, has won his division at the Hill Climb six times and won the event outright three times. Dallenbach said: “There’s no margin for error at Pikes Pike – you only need to misjudge one of those 156 turns and you’re into the trees or over the edge of the mountain. To take on this place the way I did today, you need complete confidence in your vehicle, and the Range Rover Sport sure gave me that – it’s fast, responsive and agile. I was able to place the car exactly where I wanted it on the road to keep to the optimum high-speed lines through corners. This is a hugely capable vehicle and I’m proud to have been part of demonstrating that by setting a new Pikes Peak record.” The Pikes Peak record run is the first of a series of global driving challenges to be taken-on by the all-new Range Rover Sport, pushing the vehicle to new limits in a series of the most punishing drives to be found on

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21 May 2013
The Isuzu D-Max has claimed its third accolade in as many months after being awarded ‘Best Pick-Up’ at the prestigious Van Fleet World Honours ceremony, held today (21 May) at the Royal Automobile Club in London’s Pall Mall. John Kendall, Van Fleet World Editor, said: “With the D-Max pick-up range Isuzu has moved from a manufacturer of robust, workhorse trucks, to a full-line pick-up supplier with a wide spread of models and specifications. As one of the few manufacturers to offer a complete pick-up range, including single, extended and double cabs, as well as 4x2 and 4x4 drivelines, Isuzu continues to appeal to its core working utility customer base.”

The Van Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector. The Awards are open to all motor manufacturers and the judging process combines the expert opinion of the Fleet World editorial team with the values provided by a number of leading leasing companies and fleet data providers. Kendall continues, “With the introduction of high specification double-cab models, the company now appeals equally to dual-use and leisure users. Isuzu has also taken an innovative approach to distribution, marketing its utility models through an unusual spread of dealers, including agricultural machinery outlets and competitive 4x4 dealers. Good to drive, with strong performance and frugal economy, the D-Max range is a big step in the right direction for Isuzu.”

Collecting the trophy on behalf of the brand at today’s awards’ luncheon, Isuzu UK’s General Manager, William Brown, commented: “This latest award highlights the momentum we have made in the fleet sector, complementing the record retail sales volume we have secured so far in 2013. The expansion of our business-focused sales activities is already paying dividends with a number of fleet deals secured and others in the pipeline. We’re proud to win this award as it demonstrates the breadth of the pick-up’s appeal to businesses operating across any number of disciplines.” In April 2013, Isuzu appointed Gary Scott to the newly-created role of National Fleet Manager who is responsible for implementing the company’s fleet business plan. The Isuzu D-Max is one of the most cost-effective pick-ups on the market today, with ultra-low insurance groups (8A to 10A), class-leading residual values and fuel economy, industry-leading fleet packages (available from £185 per month), all backed-up by the company’s pioneering five-year / 125,000-mile warranty. The pick-up has already proved to the hugely popular with UK buyers, after the Japanese-marque announced record sales in the UK during the first quarter of 2013. Isuzu further extended the appeal of the Isuzu D-Max pick-up with a new range of utility- and style-enhancing accessories at the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Show in April.

The Isuzu D-Max range includes single, extended (with rear-hinged side access panels) and double cab body configurations. Double cab models are available in four specifications: Isuzu D-Max, Eiger, Yukon and Utah. Prices start at £14,499 (CVOTR) for the entry-level Isuzu D-Max 4x2 single cab and rise to £21,999 (CVOTR) for the top-of-the-range Isuzu D-Max Utah 4x4 double cab automatic.

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21 May 2013
Land Rover has scored a double win with the All-New Range Rover being awarded ‘Best Luxury Car’ and the Range Rover Evoque ‘Best Premium SUV’ in this year’s Fleet World Honours. The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector.

Fleet World Editor, Steve Moody, said: “The brilliant new Range Rover is the answer to almost every question posed of a luxury car. It feels special, has presence, drives and rides well, has every comfort feature imaginable and is now considerably more economical than the last model. And it will drive through a pond if you need to.” On the Evoque winning Best Premium SUV, Moody continued: “The Evoque is one of the genuine user-chooser favourites thanks to its distinctive design and the increasingly important Range Rover badge. Extremely strong residual values offset front end cost, and a luxurious cabin oozes quality and sophistication. Evoque has been a really successful addition to the Range Rover line-up, but the car is still uncommon enough to attract attention wherever it goes.” The Fleet World Honours 2013 award for the Range Rover Evoque takes its awards tally to 131 since its introduction in late 2011.

Jon Wackett, JLR Corporate Sales General Manager, UK said: “We are delighted to receive these two awards. The all-new Range Rover is proving popular on fleets owing to its significantly improved CO2 figures as a result of its lightweight aluminium structure and efficient V6 and V8 diesels. Combined with unparalleled levels of luxury in a SUV and very strong residuals; it makes for the ultimate choice in luxury and capability. “The Evoque, having been on the market for just under two years, continues to be a desirable fleet choice. With the option of two-wheel drive bringing emissions to under 130 g/km, striking design, a wide range of engines, choice of finishes, colour, trims and technology makes the Evoque the desirable choice.”

The all new Range Rover line-up starts from £71,295 for the 3.0 litre TDV6 Vogue rising to £98,395 for the 5.0 litre V8 Supercharged petrol Autobiography. The Range Rover Evoque starts from £29,195 for the eD4 Pure six-speed manual two-wheel drive rising to £45,920 for the Si4 240 hp Dynamic Lux automatic four-wheel drive.

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20 May 2013
The new Subaru Forester has become the first vehicle to score top marks in a severe new frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA and the only small SUV to achieve the highest (“good”) rating. In contrast to the Forester, of 13 SUVs subjected to the test, the protection afforded by 11 other models was found to be “poor” or “marginal”. The new small overlap front crash test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or object such as a tree or telegraph pole. With a 50th percentile male dummy belted in the driver’s seat, 25 per cent of the vehicle’s front end on the driver’s side strikes a five-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40mph.

In the test, the Forester achieved good ratings for structure, restraints and kinematics, and all four injury measures on the dummy, with the dummy’s movements sufficiently well controlled to prevent contact with hard surfaces. In many vehicles, such an offset impact misses the primary structures designed to manage crash energy, increasing the risk of severe damage to the occupant compartment. IIHS data shows that this type of front overlap impact accounts for nearly one-in-four frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants. Joe Nolan, vice president for vehicle research at the IIHS, said: “The Subaru’s performance was textbook. With the redesigned Forester, Subaru’s engineers set out to do well in our new test, and they succeeded. This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes.”

The new Forester has also been awarded the full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, notable scores of 91 per cent for both adult occupant and child occupant protection confirming it as one of the safest cars on sale in the UK.

A link to the IIHS findings can be found at: www.iihs.org/news

To find out more about the new Subaru Forester, visit www.subaru.co.uk

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17 May 2013
Subaru UK is making its XV compact crossover even more affordable by introducing an interest-free finance offer on some variants of the model and significant price reductions on others. For a limited period*, buyers of the XV 2.0-litre diesel can take advantage of three years’ 0% credit. Separately from this, and with no time limitations, all XVs with 1.6-litre petrol engines have been reduced in price by £1,300.

The interest-free finance offer – for the XV 2.0D S, 2.0D SE and 2.0D SE Lux Premium models – includes delivery, registration plates, 12 months’ road fund licence and first registration fee. As an example, the £24,295 XV 2.0D S will require a deposit of £5,876 followed by 36 monthly payments of £295 and a final payment of £7,799. The four XV variants with 1.6-litre petrol engines, which previously ranged in price from £21,295 to £24,715, now range from £19,995 to £23,415. Noted for its practicality, performance and fuel economy, the XV was acclaimed as ‘SUV of the Year’ by the expert judges on 4x4 Magazine, ahead of rivals from Audi, Kia, Mazda, Nissan and Volkswagen. All XVs offer a high level of standard equipment and Subaru’s permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The XV has a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating and one of the highest scores for child protection (90%) in its segment. It also has high ground clearance but with one of the lowest centres of gravity for an SUV, which contributes to its keen handling and road-holding..

Haydn Davies, Marketing Director, Subaru UK, said: “The XV has been equally well received by loyal Subaru buyers and customers new to the brand. Keener pricing and zero-per cent credit can only further strengthen its appeal.”

To find out more about the Subaru XV, visit www.subaru.co.uk

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15 May 2013
Great Wall is giving one lucky visitor to the Balmoral County Show the chance to drive away in one of its new Steed S pickup trucks in a free giveaway on Friday 17 May. Held in conjunction with Northern Ireland’s leading agricultural publication, Farming Life, 25 finalists have been selected at random from thousands of entries to a competition run in the magazine recently. Of these finalists, one winner will be chosen to drive away the Steed at 2.00pm on Friday 17 May at the Farming Life stand.

“We are delighted to be offering a lucky visitor to the Balmoral County Show a chance to win a Great Wall Steed S,” said Neville Matthews, Great Wall’s Managing Director for Ireland. “Our vehicles already represent outstanding value for money, but to be given one free of charge is a fantastic opportunity and goes a small way to giving something back to the hard-working Northern Irish agricultural industry.” Already the UK’s most affordable 4x4 double-cab pick up, with prices starting from £13,998 CVOTR, the Great Wall Steed is also the only vehicle of its kind to be offered with a six year / 125,000-mile warranty. It has also recently been uprated to boast a braked towing capacity of 2,500kg, making it even better value for money.

The Balmoral County Show is the largest agricultural and food exhibition in Northern Ireland, taking place on 15-17 May 2013 at Balmoral Park, Lisburn. For more information, or to buy tickets, please go to www.balmoralshow.co.uk

To find out more about the Great Wall Steed, please go to www.greatwallmotor.co.uk

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13 May 2013
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has wowed the crowds at the annual GTI enthusiasts’ meeting on the shores of Lake Wörthersee in Austria with an Amarok Power-Pickup concept featuring a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine with a power output of 272 PS and 600 Nm of torque. The Power-Pickup, based on an Amarok single cab, is designed as a rolling workshop to carry spare parts, tools and race equipment, with performance to take it from standstill to 62 mph in 7.9 seconds in conjunction with an eight-speed automatic transmission and permanent 4MOTION transmission.

The striking exterior design features widened wheelarches to accommodate 22 inch alloy wheels, 80 mm lowered suspension, bi-xenon headlights with chrome surround and a chrome grille plus an enlarged lower air intake. At the rear there is also a carbon fibre diffuser and dual exhausts, plus tinted taillights and red, white and black side decals. Inside, the dashboard, door trims and exclusive Nubuck leather sports seats have a black, red and white colour theme. In-car entertainment is supplied via an infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen and 500 watt subwoofer.

Full details of the UK Amarok range are available at www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk or by calling 0800 717131.

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9 May 2013
The Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery have continued their winning ways in the annual Diesel Car, Car of the Year Awards. Following on from being crowned Diesel Car Magazine’s Car of the Year in 2012, the Range Rover Evoque, which has been on sale since 2011 and has notched up over 130 awards worldwide, was voted best crossover for the second year in a row. Diesel Car Magazine’s Editor, Ian Robertson said: "We’re huge fans of the Evoque, a car that is equally at home up a rugged mountain track or outside the Ritz."

The Land Rover Discovery 4 also triumphed once again for the fourth year in succession to take top honours with the all-new Range Rover commended as the luxury finalist within the highly-competitive 4x4 category. Robertson added: “If the Discovery 4 is not the most all-round capable car in the world, we honestly don’t know what is.” Land Rover’s UK Marketing Director, Laura Schwab commented: “We are delighted to receive these awards which are a testament to the unique combination of go anywhere ability, practicality and clever design that are intrinsic to Land Rover products.” “The Range Rover Evoque has proved to be an instant hit attracting many new customers to the brand, while the Discovery 4 has long been the choice for customers who want a vehicle for all purposes.” Diesel Car Magazine’s award winning writers put every single new car through its paces, in a stringent test programme, to decide upon the very best cars in ten different segments.

The Awards issue of Diesel Car magazine, including a long term test on the Diesel Car’s resident Evoque coupe eD4 Prestige, goes on sale online at www.dieselcaronline.co.uk. and in all good newsagents on Friday 10th May 2013. It’s also available for the iPad via the Apple App Store on iTunes.

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8 May 2013
Contributing further to the Range Rover Evoque’s highly competitive cost of ownership and strong residual values, Land Rover will introduce a new optional five year service pack for the Range Rover Evoque giving UK customers further value and peace of mind. The service pack covers routine maintenance according to the official servicing schedule through the Land Rover’s nationwide network of Land Rover dealerships and approved service centres, and will be made available to all new customers and owners who have purchased an Evoque since 1st January 2013. The £499 Evoque service pack will provide owners with the confidence that their vehicle will be looked after by qualified Land Rover service advisors and technicians, using genuine parts. The competitive pricing covers the routine service schedule for five years or 50,000 miles for the Si4 petrol engine or 60,000 miles for diesel engines, whichever comes sooner. Customers will be able to transfer the service pack to a new owner should they decide to sell their vehicle.

The Range Rover Evoque was launched in 2011 and has sold in excess of 30,000 vehicles in the UK market, swiftly becoming Land Rover’s biggest selling model worldwide. Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks said: “The Range Rover Evoque has proved to be enormously popular as a blend of modern design, practicality and capability – in fact over 80 per cent of Evoque customers are new to the brand. “This is the first time Land Rover has introduced the concept of a service pack which aims to give customers a simple and effective way to look after their Evoque in the early years of ownership through Land Rover experts across the country.” The offer is available now on all new Range Rover Evoque purchases and available to customers who purchased a new Evoque since 1st January 2013 Full details, terms and conditions are available at: www.landrover.co.uk/approvedservicepack.

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30 April 2013
This week, Land Rover will mark 65 years of technology and innovation with a celebratory event at Packington Estate near Solihull; Land Rover’s first off-road proving ground.

To celebrate the 65th Anniversary on 30th April 2013, Land Rover will launch a Special Edition Defender – the ‘LXV’. Since its inception, the Defender has now sold in excess of two million units. In the UK, 65 Defender LXVs will be available in 90” Hard Top form. The LXV is based on the standard Land Rover Defender Hard Top and is equipped with the 2.2-litre diesel engine and 6-speed manual transmission, producing 122PS@3,500rpm of power and 360Nm@2,000rpm of torque. This striking Special Edition sports 16-inch Sawtooth alloy wheels and comes in Santorini Black with contrast Corris Grey roof, grille, headlight surrounds and facia. The interior boasts exclusive full leather seats with LXV embossed front headrests and unique orange contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel and centre cubby compartment to complement exterior LXV decals. A union flag decal is located on the rear of the vehicle. Pricing in the UK will start from £28,765.

Over 130 heritage Land Rover vehicles will attend the celebratory event at Packington Estate which was the testing ground for the original 1947-48 Land Rover prototypes through to the Range Rover development vehicles of the late 1960’s and early 70’s. These vehicles will showcase key milestones in Land Rover’s 65-year history and also some 4x4 world firsts such as anti-lock brakes, adjustable air suspension, Electronic Traction Control, Hill Descent Control, Terrain Response® and Stop/Start technologies. The vehicles on display will demonstrate Land Rover’s legendary breadth of capability, with ploughing, emergency service, military, expedition, royal and concept vehicles all firmly positioning Land Rover as the world’s most versatile vehicle. They will sit alongside Land Rover’s current model line-up – the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, All-New Range Rover, All-New Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque – and include the brand’s latest technological innovations in the form of the new Electric Defender research vehicle and the world’s first 9-speed transmission for a passenger car. In a nod to the brand’s rich heritage in the provision of adapted vehicles for military use, a cake in the shape of the very first Land Rover nicknamed ‘HUE’ will be flown in by special delivery in a Lynx helicopter by a member of the ‘Black Cats’ Royal Navy display team, renowned for thrilling audiences with their dynamic air displays.

John Edwards, Land Rover’s Global Brand Director says: “Land Rover is celebrating 65 years of proud heritage. It is in fact a dual celebration, as March saw Land Rover deliver the strongest ever monthly and quarterly sales performance in its history. “Since 1948, every component in our vehicles has been designed and engineered with intent and Land Rover continues to this day, to build the world’s most capable all-purpose vehicles. A blend of refinement, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability make Land Rover vehicles distinctive and unique, ready to tackle the world’s most challenging and inhospitable terrain.” John Edwards continues: "The all-new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are the result of unprecedented investment in technology, in engineering and in our manufacturing facilities to produce the world’s first SUVs with a lightweight aluminium body structure. Investing in innovation has always been the lifeblood of Land Rover and we will continue to develop innovative new technology and sustainable motoring solutions for the future, whilst retaining the class-leading and legendary breadth of capability that Land Rover’s heritage is built upon."

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25 April 2013
The new model is a clever lesson in intelligent packaging and versatility; while retaining compact dimensions that contribute to its sporting character – overall length has grown by only 62mm – its longer wheelbase has allowed for the option of an additional third-row of occasional rear seats.

Standard specifications across all grades reflect the luxury and premium quality that are intrinsic to Range Rover. The SE comes equipped with leather upholstery, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, DAB digital audio, a power tailgate, intelligent stop-start, two-zone climate control, heated front seats, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, HD navigation, four-corner air suspension with automatic levelling, Terrain Response® and Say-What-You-See voice control. Prices start from £51,550.

Among the additional features provided on the HSE are 20-inch alloy wheels, Oxford perforated leather seats featuring 14-way electric front seat adjustment with memory function, heated rear seats, power steering column adjustment, front fog lights, paddle shift controls, heated windscreen, rear view camera and aluminium Range Rover treadplates. Prices start from £59,995

HSE Dynamic adds both extra styling and handling features, including stainless steel pedals, a bright finish for the twin tailpipes, a gloss black grille and vents, 21-inch alloys, illuminated treadplates, twin speed transfer box, torque vectoring and the added functionality of Terrain Response® 2 Auto. Prices start from £64,995.

The Autobiography Dynamic specification befits its flagship status, introducing as standard; High Beam Assist for the headlights, configurable interior mood lighting, Meridian Surround Sound audio system, illuminated treadplates, adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, an advanced preventative safety package including emergency braking and active front seatbelts. Prices start from £74,995.

All customers have the opportunity to make their new Range Rover Sport truly individual thanks to an exceptional range of optional features and accessories. This extends to 11 interior colour themes, four aluminium finishes, three headlining colours, 17 exterior paint finishes, seven alloy wheel designs, three contrast colours for the roof and three finishes for exterior accents.

The All-New range Rover Sport will make its UK debut at the Royal Windsor Horse Show taking place from 8th - 12th May. To explore the full range of possibilities through the online configurator, visit: newrangeroversport.landrover.com

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22 April 2013

  • Fourth generation of Subaru’s popular and capable SUV
  • New X-Mode technology improves vehicle’s All-Wheel Drive capabilities
  • 2.0-litre diesel engine returns 49.6mpg and 150g/km CO2
  • All new 2.0-litre direct injection petrol turbo offers stunning performance
  • Choice of manual and Lineartronic CVT transmissions
  • High standard levels of equipment; power tailgate on XT
  • Model range starts from £24,995 (OTR) for 2.0D X
  • On sale from May 1

When the new Subaru Forester goes on sale in the UK this May, it will be the fourth-generation of the SUV and is expected to quickly become the Japanese brand’s most popular model. Last year, the Forester accounted for 170,000 sales globally – 27% of Subaru’s total sales – with 15,000 sold in Europe. Since the Forester was introduced in 1997, European sales in the SUV-C segment have increased eightfold. More now than ever, the new Forester has the ease of use and practicality that appeals to customers looking for this type of vehicle.

There are six trim levels for buyers to choose from, all with a generous level of standard equipment: XE and XE Premium is available on all naturally-aspirated petrol models; X, XC and XC Premium on all diesel models; and XT, the highest specification, is standard on 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol versions of the new Forester. Lineartronic is available on XE and XE Premium models and is fitted as standard to XT versions. All Forester buyers will have the peace-of-mind of a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty, plus a 12-year anti-corrosion guarantee. Prices for the new Subaru Forester are increased only marginally over the outgoing model, despite the greatly increased levels of standard equipment and technology. The most affordable model in the range, the 2.0D X, starts from just £24,995 on the road while the range-topping 2.0i XT is £30,995. The New Forester is on sale from May 1.

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20 April 2013
The Shanghai Auto Show marks the Asian debut for the all-new Range Rover Sport on Saturday 20th April 2013. The Range Rover Sport is the fastest, most agile and most responsive Land Rover ever.

Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is a strong, healthy and vibrant company with a truly global outlook. Europe is our largest sales region and China is now Jaguar Land Rover’s biggest single market. “Our commitment to Chinese customers is a business imperative and we are creating products that meet their desires. We are investing heavily in research and development of ‘green’ technologies. Improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions with innovative advanced technologies, hybrid engines, as well as our world-leading lightweight aluminium engineering technology.”

Bob Grace, President of Jaguar Land Rover China, said: “In 2012 China became Jaguar Land Rover’s largest global market selling nearly 72,000 vehicles, up 71 per cent. This year, we have sustained our growth momentum, with year-to-date sales of nearly 22,000 vehicles. “In addition to providing great new products, over the past three years we have been investing in our sales and aftersales infrastructure. We have worked with some of the strongest local dealer groups to develop an extensive dealer network in China with 163 authorized dealers, 116 of which are already in operation.” In March 2013 Jaguar Land Rover China delivered its best ever month retailing 8,487 units, up 22 per cent. Jaguar sold a record 1,592 cars, up 91 per cent and Land Rover continued its strong sales performance with 6,895 vehicles sold in the month, up 13 per cent.

To drive the Jaguar Land Rover business forward in China Jaguar Land Rover has a joint venture agreement with Chery Automobile and is building a new factory in Changshu. This will become Jaguar Land Rover’s first ever, all-new manufacturing facility outside of the UK. Dr Speth added: “Our joint venture project with Chery Automobile will see us build vehicles in China, for China. We are ontrack towards starting vehicle production in late 2014 and we are actively sourcing Chinese suppliers that are supporting the construction of our factory and developing our component supply chain.”

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9 April 2013
Already the UK’s most affordable 4x4 double-cab pick up, the Great Wall Steed is currently the only vehicle of its kind to be offered with a six year / 125,000-mile warranty, following the introduction of a new offer* from the Chinese brand. The extended six-year warranty comprises the 3 year/60,000 mile manufacturer warranty plus a further 3 year/125,000 mile powertrain extended warranty provided by Great Motor Distributors (UK) Limited. The six year warranty is available on all Steeds purchased between now and June 30, 2013.

As well as the new six-year / 125,000-mile mechanical warranty, all Great Wall Steeds benefit from a six-year anti-perforation warranty, three-year paint warranty and three-year roadside assistance. “The six-year warranty reaffirms Great Wall’s commitment to offer fantastic value and guaranteed quality to businesses and consumers in the UK,” said Haydn Davies, marketing director at Great Wall UK. “The Steed has always represented outstanding value for money, with a low purchase price, generous equipment levels and excellent fuel economy for its class, and this extended warranty will further enhance the appeal of our vehicles.”

Great Wall’s entry-level Steed S is the most affordable 4x4 double-cab pick up, with a purchase price of just £13,998 (CVOTR). Great Wall’s first offering to the UK market, the Steed S, has since been joined in March by two special edition models, the Steed Chrome and Steed Tracker, each offering outstanding value for money at £14,998 and generous equipment levels. Features fitted as standard to all Steeds include 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. All Steeds feature Great Wall’s 2.0-litre 16-valve turbocharged diesel powerplant that delivers class-leading fuel economy (30.1 mpg urban; 37.7mpg extra urban; 34.0 mpg combined), as well as a low-range gearbox and an ‘on-demand’ four-wheel-drive system that can be selected by the driver when the terrain becomes challenging. In January, the Steed’s towing capacity was uprated by 500kg to and impressive 2,500kg braked, as well as an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg. A 1,050kg maximum payload makes the Steed ideal for a range of commercial applications, with impressive performance both on- and off-road.

For further details on the full Great Wall range, including the Steed Chrome and Steed Tracker, please visit www.greatwallmotor.co.uk

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5 April 2013
Ford Kuga production is set to increase by 10 per cent this year to cope with an increasing demand throughout Europe. As a result, production of Ford’s latest smart utility vehicle is expected to reach 100,000 units annually for the first time. Demand in the UK is helping drive Kuga’s production growth. Since it was launched at the end of last year, over 8,000 orders have been placed as families switch to SUVs in favour of conventional saloon cars.

Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe, said: “The new Kuga is a smarter SUV that offers a comprehensive array of technologies including the segment-first hands-free tailgate, and debuts Ford’s global intelligent all-wheel-drive system. “This significant production increase is a very promising start to an SUV rollout that is spearheaded by the new Kuga and leverages Ford’s historic leadership in SUVs in North America and other regions to bring to Europe the all-new EcoSport, and later the Ford Edge.” Ford has said it expects to sell more than one million SUVs in Europe in the next six years with SUVs accounting for 10 per cent of all Fords sold in the region by 2016. Ford Kuga UK sales and share were both up in March 2013, compared with last year. The all-new compact EcoSport will launch at the end of 2013, and will later be followed by the next generation Ford Edge, a larger and more premium utility vehicle popular in the U.S. and other markets. The new Ford Kuga achieved a Euro NCAP overall protection score of 88 per cent, the highest-ever for a mid-sized SUV, as well as a Euro NCAP Advanced reward for the Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance system, which calls emergency services in the appropriate local language for the region following an accident.

New Kuga also delivers class-leading fuel economy through significantly improved fuel efficiency from a powertrain line-up that, for the first time, includes EcoBoost engine technology. Petrol engine fuel consumption has been reduced by 25 per cent and diesel engine fuel consumption by 10 per cent. The new Kuga has been acclaimed by UK media, with Autocar magazine this week rating it ahead of five key competitors.

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26 March 2013
The all-new Range Rover Sport, revealed to the world today on the streets of New York, is the ultimate premium sports SUV – the fastest, most agile and responsive Land Rover ever. The Manhattan skyline was the perfect backdrop for this world premiere with more units of Range Rover Sport sold in the United States than any other global market and New York being the model’s best-selling city.

Developed alongside the highly-acclaimed all-new Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport now delivers the brand’s best-ever on-road dynamics together with class-leading, genuine Land Rover all-terrain capability. The new, technology-packed, Range Rover Sport, presents customers with a more assertive and muscular exterior, more luxurious interior and the flexibility provided by the option of occasional 5+2 seating. Exploiting Land Rover’s breakthrough lightweight suspension design and innovative dynamic chassis technologies, the Sport’s all-new, first-in-class aluminium architecture achieves a weight saving of up to 420kg*. This transforms the vehicle’s dynamic performance, enabling it to blend agile handling with exceptional comfort, offering a unique mix of sporting luxury and a dynamic, connected driving experience, along with CO2 emissions reduced to 194g/km.

Speaking ahead of the official world premiere at the New York International Auto Show, Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards said: “The all-new Range Rover Sport is a vehicle that has been designed and engineered without compromise. With Land Rover capability at its heart, it is one of the most road focussed vehicles we’ve ever produced, but of course still offers unsurpassed all-terrain capability. It is a vehicle which is designed to be driven. We’ve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting drive, together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility. “Building on the success of the recently launched flagship Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport also employs a vast array of new technologies which help to transform its performance, refinement and all round capabilities,” adds Edwards.

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25 March 2013
Subaru UK has today confirmed On-The-Road prices for the all new Forester when it goes on sale in May. The new model will be launched with highly competitive pricing which represents virtual carry over from the outgoing model, despite an array of improvements in safety, refinement and dynamics.

Prices will start at £24,995 for the 2.0D X, rising to £30,995 for the range topping 2.0i XT. (Please see below for a full breakdown of on-the-road prices). The new, fourth-generation Forester goes on sale across the network in May and will build upon the model’s reputation as a go-anywhere, user-friendly SUV with improved performance, safety and efficiency and a more spacious and better appointed cabin. Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system remains at the heart of the Forester, while a low centre of gravity and improved body rigidity contribute to improved refinement and a typically engaging drive on the road. The engine line-up will include 2.0-litre Boxer diesel and petrol units, while Subaru will return to its Forester roots with the introduction of a new 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, producing 240ps. All the engines have significantly improved CO2 and economy figures over the outgoing model. v Full pricing for the new Forester by model is as follows:

Petrol models

2.0i XE - £25,495
2.0i XE CVT - £26,995
2.0i XE Premium - £27,495
2.0i XE Premium CVT - £28,995
2.0i XT CVT - £30,995

Diesel models

2.0D X - £24,995
2.0D XC - £26,995
2.0D X Premium - £28,995

A full press kit on the new Forester, including technical specifications and comprehensive details of equipment will be released on April 15.

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19 March 2013
By providing three new Ford Ranger vehicles, Ford has extended its support for the UK’s longest-running charity off-roading event for the 12th year in succession. The Mac 4x4 UK Challenge is a three-day off-road endurance treasure hunt in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. This year 69 teams took part, raising more than £80,000 and taking the total, raised over 12 years, to around £950,000.

The two double-cab and one single-cab Ford Ranger models were used by course officials in planning the event, including checking the suitability of off-road routes, and marshalling the event, which includes monitoring competitors and rescuing any stranded vehicles. Event founder and organiser, Selwyn Kendrick, said: “The Ford Rangers are vital to the success of the event as they enable us to get around the course, rescue stuck or broken down competitors and carry all our equipment with ease. We couldn’t do it without them, and as you’d expect, the Ford Rangers never miss a beat.” The Ford Rangers are used across the 10 stages of the off-road endurance event, which includes access to land that would not normally be open to off-road vehicles. Each team commits to raise a minimum of £600, with all donations going to Macmillan. “Next year we should soar through the £1 million barrier so we’re planning an even bigger and better event,” said Selwyn.

Winners for the fifth time were Simon Vogel and Mike Walker who were presented with the winner’s cup by actress and ‘petrolhead’ Jaye Griffiths, star of TV series Silent Witness, Coronation Street and Sherlock.

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18 March 2013
The widely-acclaimed Isuzu D-Max has collected yet another accolade – the prestigious 2013 VansA2Z Pick-Up of the Year Award, announced in London on Thursday. Launched last June, the D-Max has quickly established itself as a worthy successor to the highly popular Rodeo and has become a big sales hit, elevating the Japanese brand to second place in the UK pick-up sales rankings.

Neil McIntee, editor of VansA2Z.com, said of the D-Max: “There’s a seemingly endless supply of torque from the 2.5 litre commonrail diesel engine, a full choice of body styles and trim levels; it’s an accomplished mud-plugger, it can match load capabilities with the best, and its external dimensions make it feel nimble to drive. The icing on the cake is the generous five year/125,000-mile warranty.”
The judges’ full citation is at: Vans-of-the-Year-Awards-2013-Pick-Up
William Brown, Isuzu UK General Manager, commented: “This is a terrific accomplishment for Isuzu in a very competitive market, and demonstrates just how well the D-Max balances its tough and rugged capabilities with exceptional every day refinement. We’ve worked hard in the UK to ensure the vehicle’s strong attributes are matched by its pioneering warranty, impressive standard specifications, low contract hire rates and high residual values. It’s very gratifying to see those efforts recognised with this award.”

The Isuzu D-Max range includes single, extended (with rear-hinged side access panels) and double cab body configurations. Double cab models are available in four specifications: Isuzu D-Max, Eiger, Yukon and Utah. Prices start at £14,499 (CVOTR) for the entry-level Isuzu D-Max 4x2 single cab and rise to £21,999 (CVOTR) for the top-of-the-range Isuzu D-Max Utah 4x4 double cab automatic. The Isuzu D-Max is fitted with a completely re-engineered, 2.5-litre twin-turbo diesel engine and is available with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The pick-up is also covered by an industry leading five-year / 125,000-mile warranty. Isuzu UK continues to present customers with additional great value offers, and recently introduced ‘Work’ and ‘Work Plus’ accessory packs, each saving buyers hundreds of pounds on the cost of the individual constituent parts.

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15 March 2013
Superior 6x6 all-wheel drive technology, AMG V8 biturbo power and looks that leave no room for any doubt: the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6 near-series show vehicle is an off-roader which represents the last word in forward-thrusting power far from the beaten track. 400 kW (544 hp), a 6x6 drive, low-range ratio, five differential locks, portal axles, tyre pressure control system and a special chassis allow this pick-up to make good progress in environments where the concept of individual mobility normally bites the dust as soon as the road ends. But anyone who imagines that this is a Dakar-Rally-style vehicle is on the wrong track. Thanks to the wealth of interior enhancements from the AMG stable, the occupants can enjoy the highest possible degree of comfort, even when negotiating the worst that the combined forces of topography and meteorology can throw at them. The exclusive touches even extend to the load area which is finished in solid bamboo.

The Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6 near-series show vehicle brings together the best of three worlds. The latest, revised G-Class series-production models lend the cultured off-roader the effortless superiority and refinement of a vehicle which has dominated the off-road scene for 34 years. They are also the source of the up-to-date interior concept with the contemporary dashboard featuring impressive new instruments and a large, central colour display. Unreserved robustness as well as practicality and a can-do attitude to off-road driving are the traits inherited from the military and the commercial G-Class models. Finally, the renowned Mercedes-AMG luxury and performance division contributes the superior engine technology and the interior which is as luxurious as it is comfortable.

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13 March 2013
The iconic Jeep brand has launched the March Sales Event which includes an additional £500 contribution† in addition to existing March sales offers on any Grand Cherokee and Compass ordered between 11–18 March.

Current incentives on the luxurious Grand Cherokee include £5,200 deposit contribution and a Purchase Contract Plan from £399 per month. Meanwhile the compact Jeep Compass enjoys a £1,800 deposit contribution and payments as low as £199 per month. The Grand Cherokee is the most refined Jeep ever and delivers exceptional levels of luxury in an executive SUV package. With official fuel consumption of up to 42.8mpg (combined cycle) and emissions as low as 172 g/km, the Compass is the perfect all-rounder – superb for city driving with leading 4x4 performance when required.

To find out more or to arrange a test drive, please visit www.jeep.co.uk

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5 March 2013
Suzuki Motor Corporation is unveiling its all-new SX4 Crossover at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show on 5th March. The new SX4 Crossover is a production model based on the S-Cross, which Suzuki showcased at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

Suzuki’s designers and engineers began developing the new model as a successor to the current SX4. However, through the pursuit of responding to customer expectations with regard to crossovers in Europe and other parts of the world, they realised that they needed to "think bigger". While moving into the C segment with its increased size, the new model inherits the “SX4” emblem to show that Suzuki (represented by the letter “S”) is a pioneer of both crossover and four-wheel drive (indicated by the “X” and “4” respectively).

Suzuki created the new SX4 Crossover by uniting its compact car know-how with technologies honed for sport utility vehicles. As a result of focussing on giving the new SX4 Crossover distinctive crossover styling, class leading space for passengers and luggage, next generation 4WD performance and one of the lowest CO2 emissions in the segment, it achieves a remarkable combination of styling, utility, performance and fuel economy. It is a model which can offer great driving enjoyment and versatile family usage for even more people in an even wider range of situations. Suzuki will be building the new SX4 Crossover at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary and the car will be on sale from this autumn onwards. Magyar Suzuki plays an important role as Suzuki’s European production centre. The launch of the new SX4 Crossover marks the start of an expansion programme in which Magyar Suzuki will extend its exports to more countries, increase its production volume, and establish itself as an important manufacturing base for Suzuki’s global strategy.

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5 March 2013
A Fuji White Range Rover Evoque takes centre stage on Land Rover’s Geneva Motor Show stand and showcases the striking new Black Design Pack to full effect. Available on the bold and sporting Dynamic derivative, customers can place order their vehicles with the Design Pack from April this year. The stunning coupé and 5-door models already offer unprecedented customer choice and personalisation options across three design themes: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic, to give every customer the opportunity to tailor their Evoque to suit their lifestyle.

The Black Design Pack emboldens the assertive and confident stance of the Range Rover Evoque ‘Dynamic’, with a host of striking black exterior detailing exclusive to this model, including 20-inch, 9-spoke forged wheels painted in gloss black, never before offered as an option. All exterior bright finishes have been removed to create the Black Design Pack. Dark exhaust finishers painted in Santorini Black are complemented by a gloss black rear bumper and inner and outer sump guard, which is carried through on the front. Darkened front headlights and fog lamps continue the black theme whilst the rear lamps have been modified to give a clear effect so that they do not visually appear permanently red. Santorini Black painted ‘RANGE ROVER’ lettering across both the bonnet and tailgate and a rear sport spoiler complete the look.

“With over 100,000 vehicles sold in its first full year of sales – more than any other previous Land Rover model, and 124 global awards, the Range Rover Evoque has proved itself as our most desirable product and continues to show rapid growth worldwide,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. “Offering our customers even greater choice with the option of the striking Black Design Pack can only make the Evoque appeal to an even bigger audience. With its dynamic and sporty handling, formidable all-terrain performance, choice of premium luxury interiors and colour and feature combinations, customers truly can personalisetheir Evoque to suit their individual taste or requirements,” added John Edwards. The Black Design Pack made its debut earlier this year on the Evoque Special Edition model. The Special Edition is currently still on sale and available in both coupé and 5-door body styles. Customers can choose from two exterior colour schemes unique to the Special Edition: a Sicilian Yellow exterior body finish with a Santorini Black contrast roof, or a Santorini Black exterior body finish with a Sicilian Yellow contrast roof and door mirrors. Unique interior finishes include yellow contrast stitching on seats, central storage area, door trims and fascia mid-section, plus an anodised yellow horizontal finisher.

The Range Rover Evoque is powered by a choice of engines. Land Rover's powerful, efficient and lightweight 2.2 litre diesel engine, in both TD4 150PS and SD4 190PS guise, combined with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. The two-wheel drive eD4 is powered by the 150PS TD4 version of the engine combined with a six-speed manual gearbox and produces just 129g/km CO2. The lightweight Land Rover Si4 petrol engine delivers 240PS and is combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. Customers can also choose from a broad selection of Land Rover accessories. The accessory range includes exterior and interior styling options together with a comprehensive choice of practical loading and towing items.

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4 March 2013
The Great Wall Steed, the UK’s most affordable 4x4 double-cab pick up, has just become even more appealing to trade and recreational users alike with the introduction of two special edition models - the ‘Steed Chrome’ and ‘Steed Tracker’. Both special editions go on sale in March.

Building on the impressive array of standard equipment found on the entry-level Steed S, both models represent outstanding value for money, offering savings of at least £800 over the accessories purchased individually. The Steed’s recently uprated towing capacity of 2,500kg (braked) and a 1,050kg maximum payload make it the ideal load-lugger both off-road and on it. Featuring a host of interior and exterior styling upgrades, the Steed Chrome is ideal for the jobbing tradesman wanting to stand out from the crowd, and for the increasing number of trade users who also use their vehicle at the weekends. In addition to the standard Steed S equipment list, it adds chrome side bars and sports bars, chrome fog-lamp surrounds, chrome rear-lamp finishers, stainless-steel door entry guards, an over-rail bedliner, tinted windows, metallic paint and carpet floor mats.

Meanwhile, the rugged Steed Tracker promises to be the perfect outdoor companion, with additional equipment including special fit General Grabber All-Terrain Tyres, an over-rail bedliner, a towbar with audible monitor, front and rear mud flaps, rubber mats and metallic paint. Both special editions also come with the wealth of standard features that are fitted to the Steed S, 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.

“Since it was launched last year, the Steed has always represented outstanding value for money both to buy and own, and the introduction of these two special editions underlines the vehicle’s status as Britain’s best-value double-cab pick-up,” comments Hadyn Davies of Great Wall Motor UK. “The Chrome and Tracker have been created to suit a variety of Great Wall customers. The Chrome will appeal to the individual or small business looking for a pick-up with real visual impact, while the Tracker is a dedicated workhorse with a host of rugged and robust additional features,” he concludes. All Steeds are powered by Great Wall’s 2.0-litre 16-valve turbocharged diesel powerplant that delivers fuel economy of 34.0 mpg (combined), as well as a low-range gearbox and a ‘shift on the fly’ four-wheel-drive system that can be selected by the driver when the terrain becomes challenging. For further details on the full Great Wall range, including the Steed Chrome and Steed Tracker, please visit www.greatwallmotor.co.uk

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28 February 2013
Land Rover is continuing to champion British innovation and cutting-edge automotive engineering by unveiling seven new electric Defender models at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The research vehicle delivers zero emissions whilst retaining its tough, go-anywhere capability.

“Investing in innovation has always been the lifeblood of our business and our engineering teams are working hard to develop innovative new technology to provide sustainable motoring solutions,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. The standard diesel engine and gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by a 70kW (94bhp), 330Nm electric motor twinned with a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 50 miles. In typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours, or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours. The electric vehicles (EVs) retain the Defender’s legendary four-wheel drive system and differential lock. Because the electric motor delivers maximum torque from the moment it starts, there’s no need for gear shifting and the transmission comprises a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox combined with the existing Defender four-wheel drive system. A modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response®System has also been incorporated.

The vehicles were developed by Land Rover’s Advanced Engineering Team following successful trials of the Defender-based electric vehicle, Leopard 1. The vehicles’ capability has been tested in extreme and environmentally sensitive conditions, demonstrating capabilities not shared by conventional road-going EVs. Trials included pulling a 12-tonne ‘road train’ up a 13 percent gradient and wading to a depth of 800mm. In keeping with Land Rover’s ‘Tread Lightly’ philosophy the smooth, low-speed capability of the electric drivetrain makes the electric Defenders especially well suited to climbing obstacles without damaging the ground unnecessarily. The battery weighs 410kg and is mounted in the front of the Defender in place of the diesel engine. Kerb weight is 100kg more than a basic Defender 110 and ranges from 2055kg to 2162kg depending whether the body style is a pick-up, hard top or station wagon.

All the major components in the electric powertrain - including the battery, inverter and motor - are air-cooled rather than liquid cooled, saving a considerable amount of weight and complexity and adding robustness. Regenerative braking has been optimised to such an extent that using Hill Descent Control, the motor can generate 30kW of electricity. Because the battery technology can be charged very quickly at a rate of up to twice its capacity of 54kW without reducing battery life, almost all of the regenerated energy can be recovered and stored. Up to 80 percent of the kinetic energy in the vehicle can be recovered in this way, depending on conditions. “This project is acting as a rolling laboratory for Land Rover to assess electric vehicles, even in the most arduous all-terrain conditions. It gives us a chance to evolve and test some of the technologies that may one day be introduced into future Land Rover models,” said Antony Harper, Jaguar Land Rover Head of Research. Although there are no plans for the all-terrain electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist real world trials later this year.

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27 February 2013
Land Rover will demonstrate the latest in a long line of technical firsts at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show withthe announcement of the world’s first 9-speed automatic transmission for a passenger car. The ZF 9HP transmission is specifically designed for transverse applications, and is one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle.

Land Rover is the lead partner on the project, working together with ZF which is widely recognised as the world leader in transmission technology. Increasing the number of gear ratios from six to nine gives significant improvement in fuel economy and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. Smaller ratio steps give improved response during acceleration, improved shift quality, drive and refinement. The higher top gear not only reduces fuel consumption but the lower engine revs improve comfort and reduce noise when cruising at high speed. The 9HP is extremely robust and perfectly complements Land Rover’s rugged all-terrain ability whilst delivering exceptionally high levels of refinement and efficiency. The lowest ratio in the 9HP is far lower than the existing six-speed transmission and is specifically designed for off-road use, towing and more extreme on-road conditions like gradients and altitude, giving the driver a heightened sense of control.

With extremely fast gear changes described by ZF as being; ‘below the threshold of perception’, the 9HP is not only highly responsive but versatile too. Whereas the existing six-speed transmission makes shifts sequentially, the 9HP has a skip-shift function for much swifter downshifting under rapid deceleration or from greater driver input demands. The torque converter incorporates a multi-stage damper system for smoother pulling away and improved refinement. “We are extremely excited about the 9HP which has been tailored exactly to dovetail with the unique attributes of our vehicles. It will add another layer of performance, refinement and efficiency, further enhancing Land Rover’s world class abilities,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. The innovative adaptive shifting system matches the driver’s mood within seconds, sharpening up during brisk driving then slipping seamlessly into a more economical regime just as quickly when taking a more relaxed approach. Curve Mode, longitudinal acceleration and pedal position all control upshift prevention.

Fast-Off mode measures the rate of throttle release, anticipates further requests by the driver for high power, then holds the gear if necessary. If the driver requests a downshift when the vehicle is travelling too fast, the transmission will remember the request and make the shift when the speed drops to an appropriate level. The 9HP is a masterpiece of packaging and despite the extra three gear ratios is only 6mm longer and weighs 7.5kg less than the outgoing six-speed transmission. The small package space is achieved by a number of innovative design features including a new hydraulic vane-type pump, which also contributes to improved efficiency, two patented dog clutches replacing bulkier conventional clutch packs, and an Intelligently Nested gear set. Land Rover was chosen by ZF, one of the world’s most technically advanced transmission manufacturers, to be the lead partner on the 9HP and Land Rover engineers have worked in partnership with ZF engineers to jointly develop the transmission to suit the brand. The Land Rover transmission engineering team is already extremely experienced in engineering ZF products to suit Land Rover vehicles having integrated the 8HP with the Range Rover, Land Rover Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport. The 9HP is produced at ZF’s Gray Court facility in South Carolina.

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21 February 2013
The all-new Range Rover, the world’s most refined and capable SUV, has notched up 10 international awards in just three months since production began.

The world's first SUV with a lightweight all-aluminium body, the new Range Rover takes luxury and capability to a new level, with even greater refinement and enhanced performance and handling on all terrains. The new Range Rover also heralds significant advances in sustainability. The most recent honour came from the AUTOBEST group of motoring writers, naming the all-new Range Rover ‘TECHNOBEST 2012’. Recent awards also include ‘Dream Machine’ from Autoweek, ‘Luxury Car of the Year’ from both What Car? and Top Gear magazines and ‘Best Cars – Import Category’ from Auto Motor und Sport. The model was also crowned ‘4x4 Category Winner’ in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Cars 2012, among others.

Land Rover Global Brand Director, John Edwards, said: “We are proud of the recognition the Range Rover is receiving from international motoring organisations and publications. It is a fantastic achievement and a great endorsement for the model, which has only been in production for three months. “Its revolutionary lightweight construction is the result of unprecedented investment in technology and engineering which makes it the most refined, most capable Range Rover ever. It is enormously satisfying to see that international judges, as well as customers, are recognising this too.” The all-new Range Rover was launched last October to critical acclaim and is the world's first aluminium monocoque SUV, which is around 420kg lighter than the outgoing model. The Range Rover is built at Land Rover's new low-energy Solihull facility and there is already strong demand across global markets.

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11 February 2013
Recent snowfall and sub-zero conditions have resulted in a surge of interest from car buyers looking for four-wheel-drive vehicles ­ but exclusive research by www.autocar.co.uk has revealed that car buyers could be safer and save themselves thousands of pounds by investing in a set of winter tyres instead.

Jim Holder, Autocar editor said “Of course the ideal scenario is to fit your 4x4 with winter tyres and enjoy the best of all worlds, but faced with a simple choice between the two, our tests indicate strongly that for most people most of the time, they’d be better off both literally and figuratively keeping their current two- wheel drive car and investing in a set of winter boots.” At a closed test centre, Autocar pitted two Skoda Yetis – each with a 108 bhp diesel engine and each wearing 225/45 R 17 section tyres – against each other on snow and ice-covered roads. The cars were identical in every way, except for one being front-wheel drive only fitted with winter tyres and the other having four-wheel drive but everyday all-weather tyres. A set of new winter tyres typically costs from £400, while the average transaction price of a used 4x4 is currently just under £15,000, having risen by more than 10 per cent during the recent cold snap according to data from British Car Auctions.

Braking test
In a braking test from 22mph ­– a typical speed on snow covered roads even in a built up area –­ the car fitted with winter tyres stopped on average just over 4.5 metres earlier than the four-wheel-drive car, a distance more than sufficient to be the difference between a minor and significant accident.

Cornering test
Both cars were driven around a constant radius circle, with the lateral g-force developed by each car measured. While neither car had much grip, the car equipped with winter tyres developed 35 per cent more grip than the four-wheel-drive car.

Acceleration test
With all electronic aids switched on ­(as in the real world)­ both cars were driven from a standstill to 40mph on the snow-covered road. Initially, the winter tyre shod car fared best, but from 5mph upwards the four-wheel-drive-car showed its advantage, hitting 40mph 4.4sec faster.

Subjective test
As a final test, Autocar’s test drive sampled both cars to give a view on which delivered more confidence. While both cars were deemed good, the car equipped with winter tyres delivered greater accuracy in cornering at all times.

While the ultimate security in snow and icy conditions comes from driving a 4x4 equipped with winter tyres, it is clear that car buyers panic-buying 4x4s in the snow could better off financially and in terms of safety by considering equipping their current car with winter tyres instead. While for most people most of the time a 4x4 clearly gives better traction, aiding acceleration and grip while climbing slippery surfaces, the combination of two-wheel drive plus winter tyres offered significant benefits under braking and cornering.

Link to video: www.autocar.co.uk/car-video/winter-tyres-vs-4x4

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7 February 2013
Subaru will unveil the Subaru VIZIV concept vehicle at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show (5 – 6 March), representing Subaru’s future design direction and vision for technological innovation. The VIZIV is a future-generation crossover concept designed to embody the Subaru brand’s values of ‘Enjoyment and Peace of Mind’. The name VIZIV is inspired by the phrase ‘Vision for Innovation’ and expresses Subaru’s commitment to innovation across its range of All-Wheel Drive models.

Alongside the new concept vehicle, the new Subaru Forester will make its European debut at Geneva. To go on sale in the UK in May, the fourth-generation Forester builds upon the outgoing model’s credentials as a capable, go-anywhere and user-friendly SUV, with improved performance, safety and efficiency along with a larger, higher quality cabin. Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system remains at the heart of the vehicle, which was recently awarded a maximum five-star safety rating by EuroNCAP. The Subaru Outback will also be on show at Geneva, its 2.0-litre Boxer diesel engine now paired with Lineartronic (CVT) transmission for the first time, to give smoother gear-shifting and improved fuel efficiency. The Outback diesel Lineartronic is due to arrive in the UK this autumn.

The Subaru press conference at Geneva is scheduled to start at 09:15 on Tuesday 5 March. Further information about Subaru’s stand is available at www.subaru-global.com/ms2013/geneva/

To find out more about Subaru’s range of All-Wheel Drive models, visit www.subaru.co.uk

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1 February 2013
Mitsubishi Motors in the UK has announced a mighty special offer that is available at all Mitsubishi retailers nationwide now. The outstanding deal offers buyers of the rugged Mitsubishi L200 Trojan a massive £2,000 off, with a starting price of just £15,999.

The Trojan is a great value L200 built for those wanting the double cab experience, with a commercial bias, but with a touch of luxury and added specification. The L200 Trojan comes as standard with the 175bhp engine and Super Select 4WD transmission with rear differential lock, a dash-mounted multi-function display, climate control, electric heated / folding mirrors, a category 1 alarm immobiliser, body coloured wheel arches, electric windows, electric window in the rear screen, tinted privacy glass and chrome door handles all as standard. The L200 double cab is the most stunning, spacious, sophisticated, manoeuverable, comfortable, car-like pick-up ever. There's room in the back for a cart-load of kit and plenty of brawn for towing - enough to tow 2,700kg in fact. And, unlike other pick up trucks, it can be driven in 4 wheel drive mode on a dry road. The Trojan is also the only double cab model in the comprehensive L200 range to come with the standard load bed – 1325 x 1470 x 405mm which means that it can take a full-size Euro-pallet but is even easier to park!

It is tough, strong and supremely safe, boasting a four-star Euro NCAP rating. And in terms of handling, no other pick-up comes close. Once again this L200 has been modified to ensure that it continues to be even better than the last one – that it is better than the very best. The L200 now comes with the longest warranty of any one-tonne pickup truck in the UK, 5 years / 125,000 miles, so there’s no need to worry about unforeseen costs. It’s also available with a 3 year fixed price service plan for just £675.00 inclusive of VAT.

Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: “The Mitsubishi L200 has been Britain’s best loved pick-up truck over many years now. The L200’s success is in its practical, powerful, economical, flexible and user-friendly vehicle range. “The L200 Trojan is hugely popular with workers and families alike, offering affordable, functional, utilitarian work uses, whilst still being safe, comfortable and fun for active families.” The pick-up market has seen phenomenal growth in the last decade and much of that can be attributed to the continued success of the L200. Despite tough market conditions, the L200 has been selling in impressive numbers and still continues to be a top choice amongst pick-up customers. To continue this success Mitsubishi has a fully comprehensive line-up the L200 that remains as rugged as ever, but with more equipment, more style and greater performance. Being rugged doesn’t mean the L200 isn’t without an environmental conscience either, with detailed improvements being made to the L200 allowing it to be one of the lowest emitting and most fuel-efficient pick-ups you can buy.

To book a demonstrator please contact Shona Smith in the Mitsubishi Press Office via Email outlining your availability.

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31 January 2013
SsangYong is offering a range of special finance offers this winter on selected Korando crossover models including the S, LE, ES and four wheel drive EX. With Korando prices starting from £16,995, a saving of £2,000 and with more bad weather forecast, there’s never been a better time to drive a Korando. And with every car covered by a 5 year limitless mileage warranty, ‘peace of mind’ comes as standard.

There are 36, 48 and 60 month payment plans available which can be tailored to suit individual customer requirements, and mean that a Korando S can be driven away from just £239/month. See example below. Designed for Europe in Europe by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design, the SsangYong Korando offers a highly contemporary look. Powered by a Euro 5 2.0 litre diesel engine delivering excellent fuel economy and 157g/km CO2 emissions, this new 175ps diesel engine makes Korando one of the most powerful in its class. With the choice of two wheel drive (S, LE & ES) and four wheel drive (EX) and a full two tonne towing capacity, Korando offers the practicality of a SUV/4x4, the accessibility of a family hatchback, and the capability to go from muddy campsite to urban school run. With a choice of six speed manual or automatic transmissions, buyers can opt for S/LE or ES/EX trim. All variants come equipped with cruise control, ESP with Hill Start Assist and reverse parking sensors as standard, while the ES and EX come with sunroof, climate control, leather upholstery and heated front and rear seats.

“The SsangYong Korando is a car for today’s tough economic motoring conditions,” says Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK, “so we have created a suite of purchase plans to help customers buy the car they want in a way and timescale that suits them best. “These are sensible, honest, well-engineered cars that will give many years of trouble free motoring, and backed by SsangYong’s 5 year limitless mileage warranty - that’s a highly reassuring combination!” All offers are available until 30 April 2013 on vehicles financed through GMAC.

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24 January 2013
Ever thought that buying a car with a headline-grabbing price tag only made sense in the short term? Then think again. New figures for the Dacia Duster SUV from leading UK residual value provider, CAP, prove that you can have your cake and eat it (though whether you’d want to eat any more after overdoing it these last few weeks is another thing). Showing that as well as being one of the best value new cars, they forecast it’ll also be a good buy in the long run too. And it’s all down to being one of the least depreciating cars on sale today.

On the back of a bulging pre-order bank (over 2,000 if you’re counting) for its Duster SUV and Sandero supermini, in true James May style, the “good news” just keeps on rolling in for consumer champions, Dacia. The latest boost for Europe’s fastest-growing car brand comes in the wake of CAP’s announcement that a typical Duster will retain an impressive 34% of its value after three years/60,000 miles. Or, in simple terms, save customers up to £3,260 more than plenty of the competition.

Holding onto a sizeable chunk of its value isn’t something that the multi-award-winning Duster finds difficult, whatever end of its price list you look at. Up first is the UK’s “most affordable SUV”. At a shade under £9,000, compared to every other compact crossover, it’s hardly going to leave you penniless at the outset. Even so, a fair few buyers treat themselves to a Dacia as their first new car, with modern reliability, frugal engines and a comprehensive three year/60,000 miles warranty included as standard. In which case, like every other new car buyer, they will want the peace of mind that it’s still worth something further down the line.

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23 January 2013
The Hyundai New Generation Santa Fe has been named as the safest car in its class assessed by Euro NCAP during 2012. Its scores across all test categories were best-in-class, making it one of the safest vehicles ever tested by the independent vehicle assessment organisation and the best in the ‘Large Off-Road 4x4’ segment –ahead of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Range Rover.

Of the 36 vehicles tested during 2012, the eight top-performers in their segments have been recommended by Euro NCAP for their leading levels of safety across a range of assessments. In the ‘adult occupant’ category, New Generation Santa Fe scored 96% with maximum points in the side barrier test. In the ‘child occupant’category, the D-segment SUV received a score of 89%, and features such as electronic stability control contributed to the car’s score of 86% in the ‘safety assist’ category. In a further demonstration of Hyundai’s commitment to safety, the New Generation Santa Fe is the brand’s first car to be equipped with an active bonnet. This activates if a pedestrian is hit, reducing impact forces and reducing the risk of serious injury. The result of this is a ‘pedestrian safety’ score of 71%, making the New Generation Santa Fe stand out among its rivals in this category with the nearest high score being 63%.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, “Having the New Generation Santa Fe recommended by Euro NCAP as the safest car in its class demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to the safety of its customers and other road users. The car’s inherent safety combined with low CO2, high levels of equipment and emotional design make the New Generation Santa Fe the complete package for European buyers.” The New Generation Santa Fe is the latest of a long line of Hyundai models to achieve the maximum five-star score in Euro NCAP’s rigorous assessment program, following the top ratings achieved by the New i20, ix20, ix35, i40, Veloster and the New Generation i30. Every New Generation Santa Fe on sale in Europe comes with Hyundai’s Five Year Triple Care. This award-winning customer assurance package includes a five-year warranty with no mileage limit, five years of roadside assistance and five years of vehicle health checks.

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18 January 2013
The latest Fiat Panda 4x4 is successor to a best-seller that first appeared over 29 years ago. The third generation Panda 4x4, on sale in January 2013, has the same fun character, versatility, style, functionality and legendary use of space as its predecessors, but with the best of today’s quality, comfort, technology and safety features. It’s a smart solution for drivers who want city car features without trading the passenger room and comfort of a five-door, or the go-anywhere ability of a full SUV.

Despite the obvious advantages of having four-wheel drive in a compact five-door city car shape, the Panda 4x4 remains unique. By linking an automatic four-wheel drive system to a choice of advanced, economical engines in a car with raised ground clearance, Fiat has created a true city car with genuine 4x4 credibility. The innovation doesn’t end there. Sitting between the 4x4 and the regular two-wheel drive version is the Panda Trekking, the world’s first CUV or City Utility Vehicle. This version features the Panda 4x4’s raised ride height but combines front-wheel drive with a sophisticated traction control system to enhance its remarkable abilities over slippery surfaces. The Fiat Panda 4x4 and Trekking have the same friendly, stylish shape as the regular Panda but with design accents to convey the impression of a sophisticated, multifunctional SUV. Compared to the previous generation model the latest Panda is longer, wider and taller. On 4x4 and Trekking versions those dimensions increase slightly, but the cars still retain the requisite diminutive exterior proportions to remain firmly in the city car category. Inside, a modern design combines with high quality materials, plentiful equipment, modular interior space and one of the largest luggage compartments in its class.

The increased ride height of the Panda 4x4 and Trekking give them improved ground clearance for enhanced ability over rutted or uneven terrain. A body that’s significantly more rigid than previous versions sits on all-new suspension that has been optimised for a combination of on-road comfort and off-road aptitude. Under the bonnet, Panda 4x4 and Trekking versions offer a choice between the award-winning 875cc TwinAir Turbo and the 1.3-litre MultiJet 2 turbo diesel. Both engines come with Start&Stop and a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) which suggests to the driver the optimum point to change gear in order to achieve the best economy. Designed to be easy to live with, the Panda 4x4 and Trekking feature the regular model’s Dualdrive electric power steering with ‘City’ function to make manoeuvring simple. There are six airbags, four of them standard, ABS anti-lock braking, and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) as standard. The Panda 4x4 and Trekking also feature the option of City Brake Control, a low speed collision mitigation system usually found only on much bigger cars. This ‘reads’ the road ahead and when it detects an obstacle in the car’s path it applies the brakes automatically.

The Fiat Panda’s helpful features aren’t just reserved for the driver. The rear seats can be specified to have multiple configurations and the Panda 4x4 and Trekking have 15 storage compartments, one more than the regular car. The new Panda 4x4 and Trekking have been designed in line with Fiat DNA to offer smart solutions that improve buyers’ lives and make affordable technology accessible to everyone. They are the ultimate expression of the Panda’s versatility, cars ready and able to tackle mountain mule tracks and the urban jungle with the same assured panache. Talents like these mean the Panda 4x4 has no competitors as the world’s only genuine 4x4 city car. Equally, the Panda Trekking is the only vehicle in its class to be equipped with sophisticated traction control and a raised ride height.

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17 January 2013
The Mazda CX-5 compact SUV has been selected by Total 4x4 magazine as winner of the monthly publication’s ‘4x4 of the Year Green Award’ based on a continuous testing programme throughout 2012. In the January issue of the industry-renowned publication a panel of respected motoring writers praised the Mazda CX-5 for delivering excellent efficiency without compromising driving pleasure or practicality, thanks to its unique fuel-stretching SKYACTIV technology.

Explaining the judging panel’s decision, Total 4x4 Editor, Alan Kidd, commented: “People who want a 4x4 that’s cheap to run are spoilt for choice these days. But what makes the Mazda CX-5 stand out for us is that by making the most of traditional engineering, Mazda has created a vehicle whose other qualities are completely uncompromised. This is an SUV that’s both easy and enjoyable to drive, strong on ‘safety’ and practicality, good looking and excellent value. “There are vehicles out there whose fuel efficiency is achieved at the expense of interior space or drivability, and they can come across as one-trick ponies as a result. With the Mazda CX-5, efficiency is built in – it doesn’t feel like it’s busting a gut to try and be greener than rival models, which is what makes it such a good real-world way of driving a low-carbon 4x4,” adds Kidd.

The latest award for the Mazda CX-5 follows three accolades for Mazda’s SUV and its unique SKYACTIV technology – the 2013 What Car? UItra-low-carbon Award, the 2012 What Car? ‘Best Buy’ SUV award in the under £25,000 category, the 2012 What Car? Green SUV Award and the 2012 SCOTY (Scottish Car of the Year) Safety Award. "I am delighted that Total 4x4 magazine has acknowledged the truly unique fuel-saving SKYACTIV technology found in the Mazda CX-5 enabling Mazda to create a compact-SUV which retains all the fun-to-drive qualities for which our brand is famous, while also delivering best-in-class levels of fuel economy and remarkably low emissions,” comments Peter Allibon, Sales Director, Mazda UK. “Whichever model customers ultimately choose, they can be assured that the Mazda CX-5 makes a genuinely compelling and rewarding ownership proposition. The Mazda CX-5 offers buyers the rarest of combinations – high specifications, attractive pricing, unusually low running costs and excellent residuals – plus a rewarding drive, outstanding fuel economy and ‘green award’ winning environmental credentials,” adds Allibon.

Mazda’s SKYACTIV engines, transmissions, chassis and body technologies are currently available on Mazda CX-5 SUV models and will be available on the all-new Mazda6. SKYACTIV technologies will also be progressively introduced across the Mazda range as other new models come to the marketplace in years to come.

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15 January 2013
Land Rover is proving itself once again as the manufacturer of choice during Britain’s latest cold snap. With the mercury plummeting into negative figures, the Met Office has issued several severe weather warnings throughout the UK and potential SUV buyers are turning to Land Rover as their trusted all-weather, all-terrain brand. Land Rover dealerships across the country are reporting an increase in visitors and hits to the Land Rover website have risen considerably. The new 13MY Freelander, in particular the recently revealed ‘Black and White’ special edition, is proving one of the most popular choices for those looking for all-weather assurance. The Black and White special editions are sold from stock and are therefore often available to drive straight away from a dealer, providing customers with an immediate solution to the cold snap.

The new special edition was launched in December and offers customers an unparalleled value proposition, to include 17-inch split-spoke alloys, signature LED running lights, Bluetooth, privacy glass, rear load cover and gloss black exterior features and is priced at £23,495 for the TD4 manual derivative. The Freelander Black and White special edition, as with all Land Rover 4x4s, features the marque’s patented Terrain Response system which programmes the car’s chassis and powertrain to optimum settings to cope with road and weather conditions. The Grass, Gravel and Snow setting will provide the driver with a softer throttle response to prevent wheelspin, and increased traction control intervention to keep all four wheels under greater control. This intelligent use of the Freelander’s 4x4 systems gives drivers’ increased confidence when negotiating adverse conditions including slush and snow.

The Freelander Black and White edition also benefits from Land Rover’s recent model year updates including new front lights incorporating signature day time running LED light bars, new rear lamps, a revised interior and simplified controls providing a more luxurious ambiance. Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks said: "The Freelander Black and White special edition offers a superb customer proposition providing generous equipment levels, the luxuries associated with a Land Rover together with the command driving position; particularly ideal for negotiating through difficult weather. "The initial reaction to the Freelander Black and White has been enormously positive, so much so that Land Rover has decided to produce a further run later in 2013." Land Rover UK recently published its biggest year-on-year sales increase with UK retails up 24.4% selling 54,480 cars in 2012. This sales success has led to 800 new jobs being created at JLR’s Sollihull plant which manufactures the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery and Defender products.

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11 January 2013
As forecasters predict a drop in temperatures over the next few days, leading vehicle auction company, British Car Auctions (BCA), has released its latest data on 4x4 used sales for Quarter 4 2012. The average value for 4x4s sold at BCA during Quarter 4 2012 rose by nearly £2,000 compared to Quarter 3. December recorded the highest values of the year as 4x4s approached £15,000, a rise of more than £2,260 compared to November 2012.

Tim Naylor from BCA commented “There is a well charted trend between falling temperatures and rising values for 4x4s and we would expect to see that continue in the early part of this year, especially with temperatures returning to seasonal norms. “When choosing a 4x4 it’s crucial that buyers go for the best specification they can afford, as this will help the vehicle retain its value in the years ahead. Alloys, leather interior, air-con and sat-nav are all desirable, while more ‘rugged’ accessories such as mounted spotlights, running boards and winches can drive prices up too. “But absolutely essential is ensuring the vehicle has a comprehensive up to date service history” concluded Tim Naylor. “It may have been no further off-road than up a suburban kerb, but a full service history from the supplying dealer gives that extra peace of mind.”

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10 January 2013
The Range Rover Evoque is gearing up for spring with the Sicilian Yellow Limited Edition model which makes its debut at the Brussels Motor Show on 10 January. Based on the 2013 Evoque Dynamic derivative, the Limited Edition sports a number of unique features giving it a truly striking appearance. Orders are being taken now with deliveries beginning in May.

The Range Rover Evoque has asserted itself as Land Rover’s most desirable model, selling in excess of 100,000 vehicles in its first full year with sales continuing to show rapid growth worldwide. The new Sicilian Yellow Limited Edition offers customers highly desirable styling features which will build on the Evoque’s success and reinforce its global appeal. Available in coupé and 5-door, customers can choose from two exterior colour schemes, each one unique to the Limited Edition model and based on a new Black Design Pack. Choices include a Sicilian Yellow exterior body finish with a Santorini Black contrast roof, or a Santorini Black exterior body finish with a Sicilian Yellow contrast roof and door mirrors. Unique interior finishes include yellow contrast stitching on seats, central storage area, door trims and fascia mid-section, plus an anodised yellow horizontal finisher.

This limited edition model debuts the Black Design Pack which will be available independently of the Limited Edition from April 2013. The Black Design Pack will be available exclusively on Dynamic models and includes rear sport spoiler, darkened front headlights and fog lamps, black Range Rover lettering, clear rear lamps, 20-inch Gloss Black forged wheels, Santorini Black painted bumper sections and dark exhaust finishers. “The Sicilian Yellow Limited Edition is the perfect opportunity to introduce the Range Rover Evoque into 2013 and build on what is already a tremendous success story. Such a striking colour combination attributes itself to the already unique styling of the Evoque. This, combined with the release of the Black Design Pack in April, will provide customers with yet more appealing and unique choices,” said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. In the UK the Range Rover Evoque is powered by three different powertrain options. Land Rover's powerful, efficient and lightweight 2.2 litre diesel engine, in SD4 190PS guise, combined with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. The two-wheel drive eD4 is powered by the 150PS TD4 version of the engine combined with a six-speed manual gearbox and produces just 129g/km CO2. The lightweight Land Rover Si4 petrol engine delivers 240PS and is combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.

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10 January 2013
Land Rover opens the New Year in the same winning style as it closed 2012, with a major award for the all-new Range Rover. The fourth generation model has been named Luxury Car of the Year by What Car? Announcing the award at a presentation dinner in London, the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Chas Hallett said: “The Range Rover combines all the merits of a 4x4 with those of the finest luxury limos in the world.

The vast expanse of glass and armchair-like driving position make this a great place to travel. The sense of security brought to the mix by the high-tech four-wheel-drive system helps to make this about the most relaxing way, bar none, to cover the miles.” Accepting the award, John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, said: “This award rewards everyone at Land Rover who has helped make the fourth generation Range Rover a landmark vehicle. At the same time as we have succeeded in delivering the highest standards of luxury, we have remained true to Land Rover’s core engineering heritage to ensure there is no compromise in Range Rover’s exceptional 4x4 capabilities.” The all-new Range Rover displays its luxury character in its clean, modern design, use of high quality materials and exceptional equipment features. The cool and contemporary interior makes excellent use of high technology to create a relaxing cabin environment, however, demanding the conditions outside. Key elements include a four-zone climate control system, seats with integrated massage functions, seamless connectivity for mobile devices and sophisticated LED ambient lighting.

Range Rover’s advanced chassis and driver assistance technologies not only ensure supreme handling performance and safety, they also deliver exceptional comfort for everyone on board, too. The new model makes advances in this area with its new two-channel Dynamic Response active lean control, and Adaptive Dynamics with continuously variable damping.

In addition to its What Car? honour, Range Rover has also been named Top Gear magazine’s Luxury Car of the Year and the best 4x4 in the Sunday Times Driving supplement’s Top 100 Cars.

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7 January 2013
The Ford Ranger has won the 2013 Pick-Up of the Year Award from Total 4x4 magazine taking the vehicle’s award tally to eight in 12 months. The Ford Ranger was comprehensively tested by Total 4x4, scoring high marks on interior quality, comfort and practicality during repeated drives on a set road route by a number of different judges.

Alan Kidd, Total 4x4 editor, said: "The double-cab market tends to move forward in occasional great leaps, and they don't come much greater than the new Ranger. The last year has seen a huge amount of fresh talent in this sector, but Ford has set a new benchmark with this truck. “It's excellent inside and out, commanding on the road and very capable off it. It's as good as it looks, and it looks great. The pick-up segment has never seen the bar raised so far in one go.” Ford Britain managing director, Mark Ovenden, said: “Ford Ranger’s latest award success is a superb way to kick off 2013! The vehicle has the best towing capacity, load capacity and wading depth of any other in the segment. Combined with its car-like cabin, the Ford Ranger is proving very popular with customers.”

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4 January 2013
Following revisions to the ‘4x4 of the Year’ awards categories to reflect the changing nature of the market, the Yeti did battle in the ‘Small SUV’ class.

Despite the move, the car’s unique blend of practicality and versatility both on and off-road meant it was ranked ahead of all other challengers. And for the second year in a row Yeti won the ‘Special Award for Best Value’. ŠKODA has an impressive record in these honours. In 2011 the Yeti won the ‘Crossover’ category and went on to take the prestigious ‘4x4 of the Year’ title. This time last year it topped the same class again and received the ‘Special Award for Best Value’. Total 4x4 Editor Alan Kidd commented: “By changing the categories the ŠKODAYeti found itself up against a whole new group of competitors. It took them all on and came out top, displaying the same qualities that have been winning it awards since it was launched.” He added: “In the past year more than most, we have seen more vehicles coming into the market that represent outstanding value for money. But in terms of how good it is, how well made it is and what it offers, the ŠKODAYeti it still untouchable.”

Alasdair Stewart, Brand Director for ŠKODA UK, commented: “It’s always great to start the new year with an award and for the ŠKODA Yeti – now in its fourth calendar year on sale – to win two from Total 4x4 magazine shows what an exceptional car it is. Striking the perfect balance between on-road performance, family orientated practicality and highly capable off-roader, sales of Yeti in the UK have continued to grow year-on-year.” The full results are published in the January edition of Total 4x4 magazine, on sale now.

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4 January 2013
In order to demonstrate the class-leading towing ability of the all-new Range Rover, Land Rover teamed up with an American icon to take part in the ultimate road-trip to one of the highest points in Africa.

With a newly-launched Airstream 684 Series 2 aluminium travel trailer hitched to its electrically-deployable tow bar, a Range Rover Autobiography with the 339PS SDV8 engine was chosen for the challenge – to drive from Airstream’s European home in the English Lake District, to the top of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco - and back… More European Airstream owners choose Land Rover products to tow their ‘silver bullets’ than cars from any other manufacturer so all-new Range Rover and Airstream made for an appropriate pairing. The journey started at the factory where Airstream finishes its European specification trailers in Tebay, just a few miles from the Scottish border, to Oukaïmeden, which is the highest ski resort in Africa. En route, it encompassed Land Rover’s state of the art factory in Solihull, Frank Gehry’s amazing aluminium Marques de Riscal building in the Spanish wine region of Rioja, the beach near Casablanca, the desert outside Chichaoua and the race track at Marrakesh, where Land Rover was based for the launch of the new car.

Often on the move for more than 12 hours a day on every type of road imaginable – from the empty motorways of Spain to the precipitous hairpins of the High Atlas – the all-new Range Rover coped imperiously with the challenge of towing a 2,399 kg Airstream 3,676 miles in just 11 days. Ben Samuelson, whose firm Samuelson Wylie Associates planned and executed the trip, was deeply impressed by the new car: “The new Range Rover’s towing ability is nothing short of stunning. It pulled the two and a half tonne Airstream like it simply wasn’t there. It didn’t matter what we, or the weather, threw at it – it just did the job we asked of it without question, while truly cosseting us with its extraordinary luxury and refinement. Half way through Spain, we encountered horrendous side winds, the type that sees articulated trucks tipped onto their side, but the Range Rover’s Trailer Stability Assist meant that any sway in the trailer was dealt with before it ever started. And mountains. What mountains? With 700 NM of torque from that mighty V8 diesel at our disposal, there wasn’t an incline that slowed us down at all, even with a gross train weight of well over 5 tonnes. What was possibly even more impressive was the way that, even after repeated 12 hour driving days, we’d step up into that exquisite cabin in the morning and still appreciate its sense of occasion.”

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3 January 2013
Anglian Water has taken delivery of seven Nissan Qashqai+2 4x4s fitted with the new 1.6-litre diesel engine to fulfil a very demanding job within its vehicle fleet. The Qashqais will be used by sales managers who visit farms across the Anglian Water region.

Muddy tracks, grassy fields and icy slippery winter roads are commonplace in an area that stretches from north of Grimsby to the Thames estuary, and from Buckinghamshire to Lowestoft on the east coast, which is why four wheel drive is specified as standard for drivers. The huge expanse of the Anglian Water region means the Qashqais will cover up to 120,000 miles in their four years of service, with servicing and maintenance covered predominantly by Anglian Water’s network of seven workshops. The Qashqai was preferred to the Skoda Yeti and Mitsubishi Outlander after extensive testing. The new 1.6-litre engine’s fuel consumption, 139g/km emissions, refinement and its overall size and practicality meant the Nissan won the deal.

“We run 100 4x4s on the fleet and they are bought to do very specific jobs for the company. The Qashqais fit the bill perfectly as they must double up as company cars that work in difficult environments in the week and be able to transport the employee’s family safely and comfortably at weekends,” explained Nigel Allen, Anglian Water’s fleet manager. “We were impressed with the fuel consumption of the new 1.6-litre engine of mid 40s during our test period and it fits into our strategy of only buying sub 140g/km emission company cars. In addition the Qashqai+2 gives the driver more available load space for equipment and the added benefit of seven seats,” he added

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