Blogs: Singing about racetracks isn’t cool

I like motor racing, but I’m not a motor racing nerd. I don’t talk about it obsessively. I don’t even belong to a car club any more because all those guys want to do is talk about cars, and I read and write about them all day already. Anyway, I thought the epitome of motor racing nerdishness would be to write or sing a song about a racetrack, so I went in search of evidence of racetracks used in lyrics. There is a whole song about the Nurburgring (cheese-tastic), but I can’t find it online, but what I have found is a sampling of lyrics from other artist’s songs.

Canibus, Behind Enemy Rhymes

Blistering speeds fools the eyes wit’ fast rhymes, set world records for Nürburgring’s fastest lap times,
Get checkered flags for 48 tracks of rhymes, 100 times wit’ vocal signature too complex to sign

Bottle Rockets, Stuck in Indianapolis

Can’t go west, can’t go east

I’m stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that’s deceased

Ten days on the road now I’m four hours from my home town

Is this hell or Indianapolis with no way to get around

Black Sabbath, Trashed

The crowd was roaring I was at Brands Hatch
In my imagination
But at the canal turn I hit an oily patch

Bands named after racetracks

Then, there are bands and artists named after racetracks, such as Laguna Seca, and Silverstone (Alicia Silverstone)

Common sense at last

Perhaps the most sensible of all, though, was Chris Rea. He wrote a song called Le Mans. It was an instrumental.

Road Tests / Car Reviews: Volkswagen Tiguan TDI 2008 Review

Volkswagen Tiguan fq

The Tiguan is Volkswagen’s foray into the burgeoning CUV (Compact Utility Vehicle) market which is rapidly attracting other European makers to the small ‘soft-roader’ party.

It is not a big SUV and it won’t carry half the soccer team to practice, but if you think of it as a combination of the interior from a reasonably equipped, luxurious sedan, like a Passat or an Audi A4, in the body of a Golf on stilts, you will get it.

First visual impressions of the Tiguan are that it is smaller than you think. It looks a little slab-sided in profile, but the front and rear ends are cohesive if a little Euro-chic bland. The wheelbase is quite short but the interior packaging is good with ample room in the back seat for tall people. The seats are quite comfortable on long trips despite initially feeling firm. Up front it takes time to get used to what all the buttons do and the functions available. The instrumentation is clear but there is a lot of information displayed on the mini-screen between the speedo and tacho which a bit distracting when driving.

The ‘Wild Cherry Red’ colour on our test car set the curves of the Tiguan off very well.

Sporty driving is not the Tiguan’s forte. It can handle tight roads at a moderate pace with  not too much body-roll. The 4-Motion four-wheel drive system provides decent grip as do the 235/55/R17 tyres, but push it hard and the weight and high centre of gravity start to show. The Tiguan has this covered though with ESP and other electronic aides that help to keep the car on the black-top. In everyday driving though, the car feels well-planted and soaks up bumps well.

The Tiguan’s 103kw diesel engine provides decent acceleration from 2000rpm, but below that the 2-litre struggles with turbo-lag. Cruising at 100kph it can be tricky to modulate the throttle for smooth progress when changing lanes on the highway due to the on/off power delivery caused by 320nm of torque being lumped between 1750-2500rpm.

The engine is not an aural gem and sounds more like a synthesized reproduction of an engine than a real mass of reciprocating steel, but it did return a decent city/highway fuel consumption average of 8.1 l/100km on our test which is close to Volkswagen’s official 7.5 l/100km.

The 6-speed transmission is very smooth and performs well in normal, sport, or semi-auto modes shifting seamlessly.

The steering feels jerky at parking speed like the power-assistance is not sure whether it should be on or off. At speed however, the steering feels linear and gives adequate feedback.

The Tiguan’s party-piece is something pretty cool but also slightly disturbing;

it can parallel-park itself. You can’t jump out and watch it manoeuvre into a parking space – that would be silly – but to watch the steering-wheel spin quickly around unaided is a spooky experience, made even more intimidating because with its sensors, the Tiguan parks faster and better than you can.

Now, as a trick, the parking assist is cool, you can freak your friends out with it. But if you were a driver so bereft of parking ability that you routinely needed this function, I would have to come and confiscate your licence myself.

The options we had were the panoramic sunroof ($2500) which made the car feel more spacious and had multiple adjustments, and the upgraded stereo ($750) which a colleague liked but I though was just middling.

The Tiguan is not all things to all men. The boot space isn’t as large as a full-size SUV and the parking assist may eventually evolve into a cyber-tronic robot and steal your soul (or just your driving ability) but it does work very well for its intended market.

The fact that the Tiguan comes into a market place full of Japanese CUV competitors but few German or American rivals also makes it unique, for the time being.

Being a luxurious, smallish car packed with technology and some off-roading ability, the Tiguan looks like a good choice as a family wagon to take to the snow, but all this comes at a price.

At a base price of $53,990 it is at the sharp end of the CUV market and makes the less flashy Japanese alternatives look like good value, but then again the Tiguan has features that the competition doesn’t.

So for now the Tiguan is the top of the CUV heap for all the tech and luxury it packs into a small space, but it will face more serious competition when Audi (?), BMW (X1), Volvo (XC60) and Mercedes-Benz (GLK) release their forthcoming CUVs. Can’t wait.

Price: from $53,990. As tested: $57,240

What we like

  • 6-speed transmission
  • Parking assist
  • Sunroof
  • Interior ambience

What we don’t like

  • Jerky low-speed steering
  • Parking assist
  • Air vents have small range of motion


103kW TDI

1968cc 4-cyl

103kW @ 4200 rpm

320Nm @ 1750-2500 rpm

Diesel Particulate Filter

6-spd Tiptronic Retail Price (including GST) – 103kW TDI $53,990

Performance & Fuel Consumption

¢ 0 — 100 km/h 10.7

¢ Top speed km/h 182

¢ Combined l/100km 7.5

¢ CO2 g/km 199

Safety equipment

¢ 3-point automatic seat belts, height adjustment and seat-belt tensioners for front seats

¢ ESP (electronic stability program) with ABS, EDL (electronic diff lock), ASR and Brake Assist

¢ Driver and front passenger airbags, with front side and curtain airbags

¢ Electromechanical steering with safety steering column (steering wheel height & reach adjustable)

¢ Flat tyre indicator

¢ Front passenger airbag deactivation

¢ ISOFIX mountings on rear seat

¢ Outer rear view mirrors, electrically adjustable and heated

¢ Rear fog light

¢ Three rear headrests

Functional equipment

¢ Automatically dimming interior mirror

¢ Automatic headlight control with coming home/leaving home function

¢ Backrest release for fold-flat front passenger seat

¢ Climatronic dual-zone air-conditioning

¢ Comfort sports front seats with height adjustment

¢ Cruise control

¢ Drawers under front seats

¢ Electric park brake

¢ Folding tables on front seat backrests

¢ Front centre armrest with storage box

¢ Illuminated vanity mirrors

¢ Interior lights in front footwells

¢ Leather multifunction steering wheel

¢ Luggage compartment cover

¢ Multifunction Indicator Plus

¢ ParkScan Parallel Parking Assistant

¢ Privacy glass (65% tint), B-pillar aft

¢ Rain sensor for front windscreen wipers

¢ RCD 300 audio system with 8 loudspeakers, MP3 CD compatible

¢ Remote central locking with immobilizer, tilt sensor and interior monitoring alarm

¢ Silver anodised roof rails

¢ Storage pockets on front seat backrests

¢ “Visible” cloth upholstery


¢ 17″ Boston alloy wheels, 235/55 tyres with space-saver spare wheel

¢ 4Motion all-wheel drive

¢ 4-link independent rear suspension

¢ Towing weights (unbraked / braked / tongue weight): 750kg / 2200kg / 100kg

Warranty and Assistance

¢ 3 year / unlimited km mechanical warranty, 12 year anti-corrosion

¢ 3 year Volkswagen Roadside Assistance

Words Ben Dillon, photos Darren Cottingham

Blogs: Holden Astra Twin-Top – style at the expense of performance

A folding hard-top roof is the best way to have your convertible – more secure, warmer and safer. The problem is that the mechanism involved takes up most of the boot space and is heavy. Add to this the extra reinforcing required to keep the chassis stiff and the 2.2-litre engine in the Holden Astra Twin-Top struggles to get anywhere fast.

Whether this is a major issue for the target market (women and ‘metrosexuals’), I’m not sure. While I can see the appeal to various market segments in its quest against the Peugeot 207CC, those wanting a driver’s car that’s a convertible will almost definitely choose the two-seat Mazda MX-5 over the four-seat Astra.

Blogs: In-car internet – killing road trip conversations

I had a road trip from Auckland to Hamilton on Saturday. Four of us headed down as part of the larger AKSamba group to run a couple of workshops and do a gig in the ‘Tron. Lots of conversation topics were covered. We discovered that one of us had met Sean Connery, another had had an interesting evening with a sailor on the top of the Rock of Gibraltar, and another had had a fairly intimate experience with a very famous rugby player. One of the less x-rated conversation topics was what’s the difference between a fruit and a vegetable (don’t ask how we got there). This kept us entertained with various crackpot theories for, oooh, at least 20km. That’s fully one-seventh of the journey!

We happened to be driving in the VW Tiguan, but if we’d had one of BMW’s new offerings in Germany we would have been able to access the answer on the in-car internet by searching Google within several hundred metres. Then what would we have talked about for the missing 19.5km? More sordid stories of sexual liaisons? Perhaps, but maybe we don’t have that many stories to share! So, the moral of the story is: in-car internet will kill road trip conversations.

HSV (Holden Special Vehicles): HSV Clubsport R8 LS3 2008 Review

HSV Clubsport R8 317 fq

HSV’s Clubsport R8 is like a power tool. I, like many other power-crazed DIY enthusiasts, will turn a power tool on and give it a couple of revs — a couple of totally unnecessary ‘blips of the throttle’ so to speak. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a skillsaw, chainsaw, drill, or line trimmer — we all give them a couple of squirts to check they’re turned on. Even though we know they are.

Blipping the HSVs throttle bursts the 317kW and 550Nm LS3 into life and is even better than having a mulcher, bandsaw, nail gun and lathe combined into one megatool. Even at idle, the engine gives the Clubsport R8 the occasional shake. It’s a nice reminder that an LS3 is not to be forgotten.

But you shouldn’t use power tools in the wet. With traction control off (which most sane people won’t try), the Clubsport R8 feels like a Doberman on rollerblades — all bite, but very little grip. So torque-laden is the LS3 that one slip of the throttle and you’ll make a committed attempt at drilling the HSV backwards through some roadside foliage. Even the traction control can’t reign in the power, leaving the R8 with a nervousness under acceleration.

The main problem is the six-speed automatic gearbox. It’s just no match for the engine and chassis, with inconsistent kickdown when you want the power. It turns what could be an exhilarating drive into an apprehensive and meek excursion. I ended up trying to drive the R8 with the sequential manual. It’s better, but not much, with lethargic changes sometimes meaning you hit the rev limiter under acceleration while it thinks about choosing the next cog.

This just means is that HSV has chosen the wrong auto ‘box, therefore I would recommend prospective purchasers harden up and buy the R8 in manual like a proper sports car. Then they can experience the glory that is the HSV’s engine note. This isn’t a weedy, tinny, strained sound like the FPV FG range of 5.4-litre V8s; this is a symphony of eight cannons assaulting the armada of your ears. It comes from a 6.2-litre block of Detroit’s finest metalwork and it’s so lusting for recognition that HSV has put a power and torque plaque on the engine cowling.

“What’s it got, mate?” comes the question from the interested bystander. “Well, let’s just pop the bonnet so I can gloat,” comes your reply.

The LS3 has an extra couple of hundred cubic centimetres over the previous LS2 6-litre 307kW variant, and this gives another 10kW, which isn’t enough to notice, but does give bragging rights over FPV’s 315kW¦at the flywheel, anyway.

The view most people will see of your Clubsport R8 is it disappearing into the distance. Observe the twin intersecting LED rings that form the tail lights, and the quad tailpipes that emit the bellowing thunder of the engine from either side of a trapezoidal diffuser.

The Clubsport R8 rolls on 19-inch, 10-spoke mags with a rounded triangle design, wrapped in Bridgestone tyres in 275/35/R19 on the back and 235/35R19 on the front. The alloys partially conceal ventilated and slotted brake discs the size of a satellite dish, gripped by four-pot callipers front and rear. These give a stopping distance from 100kph of just 36m in the dry, doing a great job of ensuring the pointy end, with its fog lamps that frame the deep front splitter, doesn’t get damaged in an emergency situation.

The Clubbie feels much bigger inside than the FPV GT. Holdens let you sink into the depths of the car and the dashboard and steering wheel seem large. The seats, while comfortable, are designed for far wider hips than mine and therefore I found them not supportive enough laterally.

Three dials sit at the top of the centre console for oil pressure, oil temperature and voltage. Beneath them lies the large screen that serves as a multifunction entertainment system and reversing indicator.

I’m sure HSV will sell plenty of autos to lazy drivers who want the kudos of a 317kW badge on the back of their car. For cruising and open road driving, the HSV has all the trimmings, though you might find the noise a bit tiring over a very long distance. With FPV having just released its FG range, which is a big improvement over its previous BF series, which should you buy? I think the FPVs edge out the HSV in terms of driving feel, but if you’re a die-hard V8 fan because of the noise, and you want to sound like Skaife every time you pull away from the traffic lights, the Clubsport R8 will give you by far the most satisfaction.

Price: from $77,990 (manual), $78,990 (auto)

What we like

  • Engine tone
  • Braking performance
  • Power

What we don’t like

  • Gearbox
  • Handbrake lever


Front: 365mm ventilated discs. Four piston calipers Standard
Rear: 350mm ventilated discs. Four piston calipers Standard
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Standard
Incorporating Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), Standard


317kW, 6.2 litre LS3 Generation 4 alloy V8 Standard
Power (DIN kW) 317kW* @ 6000rpm
Torque (DIN Nm) 550Nm* @ 4600rpm
Recommended petrol – octane rating 98 RON PULP. Note that using 95RON (PULP) or lower will not cause any problems, but will result in slightly less engine performance and economy.


Exhaust system Stainless steel, high performance quad outlet Standard


Linear Control Suspension Standard
Sports Touring Suspension Standard
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) incorporating Standard
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) – Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) Standard
- Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) – Traction Control System (TCS) Standard
Suspension Front: MacPherson strut Direct acting stabiliser bar. Standard
Progressive rate coil springs Standard
Rear: Multi-Link independent rear suspension (IRS). Standard
Progressive rate coil springs. Stabiliser bar Standard
Steering Variable ratio rack and pinion Standard
Track (mm) Front: 1592 Rear: 1590 Standard
Turning Circle (kerb to kerb, m) 11.4 Standard


Acceleration 0-100kmh Manual 4.96 sec
Acceleration 0-100kmh Auto 5.05 sec


6-speed Manual Transmission Standard
6-speed Automatic Transmission with active select Option
Limited Slip Differential with HSV specific ratio Standard
Gear ratios 6-speed Manual / 6-speed Automatic Standard
1 3.01 / 4.03
2 2.07 / 2.36
3 1.43 / 1.53
4 1.00 / 1.15
5 0.84 / 0.85
6 0.57 / 0.67
Final Drive 3.7 / 3.27


Front projector fog lamps Standard
Front driving lamps Standard
Projector headlamps Standard
HSV unique sports rear tail lamps Standard
HSV Performance rear spoiler Standard
HSV Performance body kit Standard
Quad exhaust outlet Standard
Metallic Paint Standard


19″ x 8″ front alloy wheel with 245/40 R19 98Y tyre Standard
19″ x 9.5″ rear alloy wheel with 275/35 R19 96Y tyre Standard
Full size spare wheel and tyre (as per front wheel and tyre) Standard


Dual zone electronic climate control: driver and front passenger Standard
6.5″ multi-function display colour LCD screen. Displays stereo, heating and air conditioning information. DVD player and Satellite Navigation compatible Standard
Power windows. Driver and front passenger windows express down Standard
Electric tilt and slide sunroof Option
Front centre sliding armrest with leather trim Standard
Rear seat centre armrest Standard
Vanity mirror, driver and passenger. Illuminated with cover Standard
Sunglasses holder (except where sunroof fitted) Standard
Satin Chrome finish interior door handles Standard
Passenger overhead assist handles; rear with coat hooks Standard
Two front reading lamps Standard


Steering wheel height and reach adjust Standard
Leather wrap HSV unique Sports steering wheel Standard
Multi-function steering controls for: Standard
- Sound system – Trip computer Standard
- Bluetooth phone – Satellite navigation (where fitted) Standard
Multi-function driver display, featuring: Standard
- Trip computer information – Sound system information Standard
Priority key. Stores settings for: Standard
- Climate control – Sound system Standard
- Trip computer – Speed alert Standard
- Headlamp and interior lighting time delay options Standard
Alloy faced pedals Standard
Leather wrap gear selector Standard
Cruise Control Standard
Rear Park Assist Standard
Power exterior mirrors Standard
Road speed dependent intermittent wipers Standard
Automatic headlamp mode. Switches on at twilight or low light Standard
Headlamps auto-off feature (variable delay) Standard
Trip computer with triple display, including: Standard
- Average speed – Odometer/Tripmeter/Trip time Standard
- Distance/Time to go – Average fuel consumption Standard
- Digital speedometer – Visual and audible speed warning Standard
- Tracks two trips simultaneously (eg. Short day trip within long interstate trip) Standard
- Fuel used/range Standard
Service reminder. Appears 1,000km before service is due Standard
HSV Sports instrument cluster Standard
Tachometer Standard
HSV sports triple center gauges (Voltage, Oil Temp. and Oil Pressure) Standard
Sound system able to accommodate mobile phone kit. Auto mute when in use Standard
Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity Standard
Satellite navigation Option


HSV Sports seats with cloth trim Standard
HSV Sports seats with leather trim (Onyx) Option
4-way/2-way electric/manual adjustment of front drivers seat Standard
Adjustable driver and front passenger seat lumbar support Standard


Entertainment Rear seat overhead DVD player Option
Blaupunkt AM/FM stereo Standard
6 disc in-dash CD player. MP3 Compatible Standard
Eleven speakers including sub-woofers. Total 230 watts Standard
Speed dependent volume control Standard


Twin cup holders in centre console Standard
Centre console storage compartment Standard
Auxiliary power socket in console Standard
Fold down rear seat centre ‘ski’ hatch for long loads Standard


Dual-stage airbags for driver and front passenger Standard
Side impact airbags for driver and front passenger Standard
Side curtain airbags Standard
Front lap/sash seat belts with load limiters and pyrotechnic pre-tensioners Standard
Front seatbelt sash height adjustable Standard
Rear seat child restraint anchor points (3) Standard
Active front seat head restraints to help reduce risk of whiplash injury in a collision from behind Standard
Road Safety Emergency mode after seat belt pre-tensioners are triggered. On-board computer turns engine and fuel pump off. Unlocks doors. Turns hazard lights and interior lamp on, if battery power is available Standard


Remote control priority key: Standard
- Operates central locking – Operates interior lighting. Time delay on entry. Automatic illumination when engine turned off – Operates exterior lamps, to show location of car at night – Enables/disables alarm system – Unlocks boot Standard
- Disables remote boot release button in glove box (when locking) Standard
Horn sounds if either front door is ajar when remote locking Standard
Sound system only operates in original vehicle Standard
Flip key Standard

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

Land Rover: Land Rover Defender 110 SW 2008 Review

Land Rover Defender off-road front

I’d only been driving the Land Rover Defender 110 for two hours and I came across the perfect test of its rugged pulling power: a medium-sized truck stuck in the mud after trying to do a u-turn across a piece of grass.

“Got a rope?” the driver yelled across to me. At this point what I should have said was, “Sorry mate, this is a press vehicle and as such they don’t come with the accoutrements associated with getting knee deep in a swamp.” But I didn’t, I just apologetically said no. This now means that the truck driver thinks that I have a Land Rover for picking up my non-existent kids from a hypothetical inner-city school.

The Land Rover doesn’t belong in the inner city though, and never has. The Defender is as ‘country’ as friendly waves and neighbours who know each other’s names.

Land Rover came up with a formula for the Defender’s predecessor, the Series 1, 60 years ago. It’s been modernised a bit (you get power steering and electric windows now, for example), but basically you’re still getting a vehicle designed to traverse gruelling, rock-strewn territory like it’s a field of pancakes.

Aerodynamics was never the Defender’s strong point, and Land Rover doesn’t make any apologies. A 2.4-litre common-rail diesel engine churns out 90kW and 360Nm and allows the two tonne Defender to bludgeon the air out of the way, though not in any rapid way.

Fully kitted out for a life of muddy wellies, hunting trophies, dogs and (worst of all) children, the Defender’s interior is mix of easy-to-clean rubber flooring, half leather/half fabric seats and large chunky switches. The switches, knobs and stalks aren’t remotely Japanese — they’re all very eclectic and English and in places you wouldn’t find them on a Corolla. It all looks very rugged, but if you peer closer you’ll find creature comforts such as heated seats, an MP3-compatible stereo with auxiliary input, air conditioning, an enormous central storage bin and ABS with traction control.

On the outside the Defender features a towball rated to pull 3500kg, next to a folding rear step. Moving towards the front the side runners are welcome when getting in such a tall vehicle and around the front there’s the classic Brunel grille and headlight surrounds (the instruction manually, incidentally, tells you how to pull many parts of the Defender apart to repair any damage you may sustain, including the complete headlight unit).

This all rests on an immensely strong ladder chassis that carries the lightweight aluminium body. The rivets are still visible, and the panel gaps are significant; it all points to no-nonsense practicality and functional simplicity.

Long wheelbase Land Rovers have the turning circle of a herd of wildebeest but this didn’t seem to matter when I took the Defender to a farm west of Auckland with three other passionate Land Rover owners and their machines, including a 1953 Series 1. You can read about that in an issue of Classic Car magazine. Anyway, the 235/85R16 road tyres weren’t the best choice for a late autumn jaunt around the clay tracks, but dropping the pressure to 18psi saw us through. A low range box with diff lock helps the Defender charge across the tough stuff.

If you’re buying a Land Rover solely for the off-road experience you’ll probably want the shorter Defender 90 rather than the 110, for its added versatility in tricky situations (such as the seven extra degrees of departure angle and superior turning circle). But the Defender 110 is still a very capable unit off the beaten track – approach and departure angles are excellent with 49 and 35 degrees respectively, and the Defender will climb a 45-degree slope. It’s the better option for carrying more cargo and towing heavy loads over long distances.

It’s easy to look at the Land Rover compared to the ‘softer’ pretenders (the SUVs) that are cunningly disguised to look like they will survive off-road and think that there’s a certain quaint ‘agricultural-ness’ about it. We’re used to driving enormous vehicles that look the part but would struggle with a particularly high kerb because they’re designed to drive like a car. The Land Rover certainly sacrifices some of the smoothness that you would expect from a solely road-going car, but that is its raison d’être — it’s a workhorse vehicle that belongs in the wilderness being put to hard work.

Price: from $67,990

What we like

  • Rugged practicality and interior space
  • Every other Defender owner in the city waves at you
  • The Queen drives one (and stops hers in the middle of streams, apparently)

What we don’t like

  • Interior layout needs a redesign
  • Too tall for some car parks
  • Turning circle


·    2.4 litre common rail diesel engine

·    6-speed manual transmission

·    2-speed transfer box and Locking centre differential


·    Permanent 4-wheel drive

·    3,500kg towing capacity

·    Front and rear beam axle with coil spring suspension

·    Deep section, fully boxed chassis frame

Comfort, convenience, safety and security

Stereo radio & single CD, MP3 / AUX with speakers & tweeters

·    Heated front seats

·    Heated windscreen

·    Rear door stowage net

·    Heated rear window and wash/wipe

·    60:40  split folding bench seat

·    Remote central locking

·    Electric front windows

·    Tinted glass

Interior and Exterior

·    Rear folding step

·    5 or 7 black part-leather seats

·    Leather steering wheel

·    Cubby box

·    Front and rear mudflaps

·    Body coloured wheel arches

·    Brunel grille and headlight surrounds

Wheels and tyres

Michelin XZL Std steel



General Grabber Alloy



Key: S= Standard, O = Option, NCO = No cost option, N/A = Not available

Interior Features


Seats: Part leather


Individual rear stowable seats


Cubby box with twin cup holders


Steering wheel – leather


In car entertainment

In Car Entertainment

Stereo radio & single CD / MP3 / AUX


Comfort, convenience and safety

Comfort, Convenience and Safety



Air conditioning




Cold Climate Pack (heated front seats and windscreen)


Convenience Pack (electric front windows & remote central door locking)


Headlamp levelling


Heated rear window & wash wipe


Rear door stowage net


Sliding Glass (rear side windows)




Tinted glass




Alloy wheel & 235 tyre


Michelin XZL 750 Heavy Duty


‘Brunel’ grille & headlight surrounds


Cargo cover – with side windows


Folding rear step


Front mudflaps


Metallic paint


Roof – body coloured


Side runners


Side steps


Suspension — heavy duty (90 = 2550 kg. 110 = 3500 kg.)


Tow ball drop plate & electrics


Under ride protection bar


Wheel arches — body coloured


Bodystyle Applications

Increased payload option available


Towing  short distance [eg agriculture]


Towing  long distance [eg exhibition units]


Carrying equipment [heavy, valuable, vulnerable]


Carrying materials  loose, dirty, smelly, livestock]


Carrying people


Extreme off-Road

[Max. including 750 or 235 tyre option, where applicable]



5 seats

[optional third row rear seats available]

Fuel tank capacity

Diesel – litres


Fuel economy MPG (l/100 km)



Extra Urban




Drive by noise


CO2 g/KM


Certifiable emissions


Approach/Departure angles

Gradients at kerb height

Maximum gradient


Approach angle


Departure angle


Ramp break


Traverse angle



Gross vehicle


Minimum Kerb weight*


Maximum Payload**


Key: *Kerb weight = unladen weight + full tank & 75kg driver, **Payload = GVW — kerb weight

Minimum kerb-kerb turning

Minimum turning radius metres (feet)

Tyre size


Minimum turning radius

7.18 (23.6)


Maximum Axle (Kg)

Station Wagon


Front axle [kg]


Rear axle [kg]


Gross vehicle weight [kg]




Live beam axle, dual rate coil springs, telescopic hydraulic dampers. Panhard rod.


3050kg live beam axle, multi-rate coil springs, telescopic hydraulic dampers. “A” frame.

Obstacle clearance

Ground clearance mm (inch)

Tyre size


Minimum ground clearance, unladen

314 (12)

Towing (Kg)

Braked Trailer


Unbraked trailer


Recommended max. trailer nose weight [kg]


Roof Load System

Approved Land Rover Genuine Parts roof rack. All weights in kg. Weight includes roof rack

Roof rack


Ladder rack


Wading depth mm (inch)

Wading depth

500 (20)


Servo assisted front and rear disc brakes on all models.


All models have power assisted steering. Worm and roller.


Track front/rear

1486 [58.5]

Cargo bed length

*add 161 mm if spare wheel removed

1900 [74.8]

Tailgate aperture width

864 [34]

Largest box length

1100/1470** [43.5/57.9**]

Largest box width

660 [26]

Largest box height

1050 [41.3]


1790 [70]

Height with 205 tyres

1968 [77]

Height with 750/235 tyres

2021 [80]

Overall length

4639 [183]


2794 [110.0]

Words Darren Cottingham, photos Dan Wakelin

Blogs: I know why New Zealand produces great racing drivers

New Zealand has a small pool of racing drivers and a small number of tracks compared to the USA and Europe. We have a small number of classes and series that don’t feature enormous numbers of races. There’s a reasonable selection of circuits, and it’s about to get better with Hampton Downs.  We do have a bit of a travelling logistical problem with the north and south islands, but it’s not like you’re racing in Miami one week and LA the next.

So, motorsport at the top level in New Zealand is more accessible. In the UK and USA I think that there are a lot of chequebook racers. In NZ I don’t think this is the case. Natural talent is much more easily spotted amongst the pool. In the USA there might be 1000 guys in contention for the top spots in various series. In New Zealand there will be 10. In America to be heard above the din of the 1000 you need to have a marketing machine behind you. The best marketers aren’t necessarily the best race drivers.

At some point there will need to be a significant financial outlay – a driver will need to go to Australia, Europe or the USA and prove their worth there. But, at least it’s likely to be the most talented. We’ve seen this with McLaren (who was the recipient of a Driver to Europe scholarship in the late 1950s), Hulme, Radisich, Dixon, Murphy and now Hartley (European open wheelers), Whiddet (international drifting), Coppins (motocross) and Cunningham (Indy Lights).

Let’s hope the situation doesn’t change so that New Zealand can keep fielding racing drivers who show the world the way.

Blogs: Dixon wins the Indy 500

Apparently the Indy 500 is the biggest race in the world, but from the footage it seems that it’s the race with the biggest spectators in the world. Congratulations to Scott Dixon, though, who thoroughly deserves the win. I never raced against him in New Zealand (he was a league or two ahead of me). It’s comforting that a country of so many people and so few decent racetracks (compared to the UK and USA) can turn out so many top-flight race drivers. McLaren, Hulme, Dixon, Cunningham, Hartley, etc – when all you’ve got is Taupo, Pukekohe and Manfeild in the North Island, how can you prepare for something like Laguna Seca, Indianapolis and the other iconic tracks of the world?

Roll on Hampton Downs. Perhaps it will see a new breed of race driver who is even more versatile. Look out world