UK team smashes 1963 London to Cape Town driving record

October 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

A three man British driving team in a Land Rover Discovery, led by adventurer Mac Mackenney, has smashed the London to Cape Town overland driving record by nearly two days. The 10,000 miles across 20 countries was achieved in 11 days and 14 hours and 11 minutes. The previous record had stood for almost 50 years.

The London to Cape Town event was one of the last great driving challenges taking the team through some of the most inhospitable areas and difficult road conditions to be found anywhere in the world. The overland attempt was dedicated to raising funds and generating awareness for Help for Heroes and was supported by Chevron Lubricants.

The three man team of Mac Mackenney, his brother Steve Mackenney and Chris Rawlings, started from the RAC Club in London’s Pall Mall on Saturday, 16th October and arrived at the AA building in the centre of Cape Town at 11.29 BST on Thursday, 28th October.

The attempt was also supported by two patrons, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, OBE and Sir Stirling Moss OBE. Sir Stirling said, “Congratulations to Mac, Steve and Chris for breaking the 47 year old London to Cape Town record, an outstanding achievement by three adventurers who pushed the boundaries of driving endurance and won.”

The original 1963 record was set by Eric Jackson and Ken Chambers in a Ford Cortina GT and Eric, who is now retired, said, “I know how difficult the trip is and I have great admiration for Mac and the team and whilst I’d like to have kept the record for a lot longer I am delighted for Mac, Steve and Chris.”

Land Rover to start production in India

August 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Tata Motors big cheese Carl-Peter Forster has just announced that Land Rover production would begin in India in 2011. So far there is no word on which model exactly would be built in the sub-continent but the T5 platform used on the current LR4 and Range Rover Sport seems a likely option. The T5 platform is also expected to be used on an upcoming replacement model for the iconic Defender range which is expected to be launched sometime in 2012.

Forster also announced that Jaguar is looking for a partner to produce cars within China. Because Chinese law dictates that foreign automakers are required to work with local companies in China, Jaguar is in negotiations for a production deal in the rapidly developing nation. China’s luxury vehicle market is still experiencing growth and local production would undoubtedly make it easier for Jaguar to get a much larger share.

Land Rover Freelander 2 gets upgraded

August 5th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Range Rover has just released official information and images of the new 2011 Land Rover Freelander 2 facelift. The facelift model is more than just a new face and will be powered by an updated 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine that’s available in two power output levels. The TD4 variant produces 110kW and 420 Nm of torque which is a 20 Nm increase over the previous version. The more powerful SD4 model develops 140kW and the same amount of torque, 420 Nm.

The 2011 Freelander 2 will be made available in Europe with both automatic and manual transmissions. Awayfrom the 4WD models, Land Rover will also be offering a two-wheel-drive version of the Freelander 2 that will become available in the UK from January 2011. Called the Freelander 2eD4, the 2WD version promises to be the most efficient Land Rover ever produced, with a 5.9l/100km fuel consumption on the combined cycle and a 158g/km CO2 emissions level. The 2eD4 will be equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and will come with Stop/Start technology as standard.

The exterior styling of the new Freelander 2 has also been reworked with a new front bumper, new headlights, and tail lamps and some new tailgate trim. The Freelander 2 will be rolling on newly designed 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels and come with three new color options.

Range Rover Evoque unveiled at Kensington Palace (+video)

July 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Range Rover’s newest model, the Evoque, has been unveiled in London as part of the celebrations of the marque’s 40th anniversary.

Held at the Orangery, Kensington Palace, the production Evoque looks almost identical to the LRX concept vehicle on which it’s based.

The Range Rover Evoque will join the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport line-up in the northern hemisphere summer of 2011 and reach New Zealand later next year. It will be the smallest, lightest and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever produced.

Customers will have a choice of both a 4WD and a 2WD version, with below 130g/km CO2 emissions demonstrating the Range Rover brand’s fresh commitment to environmental sustainability.

While the company declined to release exact specifications, engine options will likely include a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, a 3.2-liter petrol inline six-cylinder, and possibly a hybrid 2.0-litre turbodiesel.

“Today is a very special occasion for Range Rover, not only are we celebrating 40 years of the brand, we are also demonstrating our exciting future by showing the all-new Range Rover Evoque. Range Rover is one of the most highly regarded and iconic vehicles in the history of motoring and has been a continuing success since we first introduced it in 1970,” said Phil Popham, the managing director of Land Rover.

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Range Rover turns 40 years old (+video)

June 4th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Seeing a luxury SUV in NZ is now a daily occurrence but back in 1970 there was only one vehicle that really belonged in this segment – the Range Rover. It’s easy to forget the ground-breaking significance the Rangie has had on the history of motoring, but on June 17, 2010 it will celebrate its 40th birthday.

The Range Rover was the world’s first vehicle to be both good on-road and off-road. The Range Rover was the first fully capable luxury 4×4 and was a milestone in the development of the SUV.

There have been three generations of Range Rover. The original, now known as the Classic, went on sale in 1970 and continued in production, with numerous upgrades and a multiplicity of variants, for just over 25 years.

The second-generation vehicle went on sale in 1994 and was replaced in 2001 by the current model. The continuing success of the Range Rover ensured that other premium makers jumped into the booming luxury SUV market. The latest version has enjoyed higher annual sales than any previous models and continues to be popular around the world. Sold around the world, from London to Los Angeles, Sydney to Shanghai, Turin to Tokyo, the Range Rover remains a solid choice for the luxury SUV customer.

A second model line, the Range Rover Sport, was launched in 2005, aimed at more sports-oriented driver-focused customers. It has been a great success, and in 2007 was Land Rover’s biggest selling vehicle worldwide.

Later this year, a further member of the Range Rover family will be added, taking the portfolio to three model lines. The new vehicle will be smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient, yet it will be no less premium and no less luxurious than other Range Rover models.

To celebrate the milestone Land Rover has released images and a short video showing all three generations of the luxury 4×4. Check them out below. Continue reading “Range Rover turns 40 years old (+video)” »

Land Rover LRX to be unveiled at Paris Motor Show

May 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Is the world ready for a kinder, gentler, environmentally friendly Sport Utility Vehicle? Land Rover thinks so and is hoping to cash in with its hotly anticipated LRX. The new SUV will be unveiled in production form at the Paris Motor Show later this year. With a North American debut in LA following shortly after. According to reports, the LRX will go on sale globally in the third quarter of 2011.

The LRX Concept was first seen at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, where it was very well received by both the press and the showgoing public. The LRX is expected to be Land Rover’s most fuel efficient model and will be offered with both a conventional combustion engine and later a diesel-electric powertrain.

Land Rover’s first hybrid drivetrain will consist of a 3.0-litre diesel V6 engine mated up to a 25kW electric motor. The system would be a full parallel hybrid, meaning it could operate on any combination of gasoline or electricity using a lithium ion battery pack. The hybrid version of the LRX will be more than 100kg heavier than the standard version and will make use of the new ZF eight-speed transmission.

Hamann builds new ‘Conqueror II’ Range Rover Sport

March 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Tuners Hamann has lent it’s skilled hands to create a custom Range Rover Sport, named the Conqueror II, it follows up on an earlier effort that debuted a few years ago.

Benefiting from the Rangie’s Supercharged  5.0-litre V8, the Conqueror II comes packing 560 horsepower and 506 lb-ft torque thanks to a revised engine management system and a reworked exhaust system.

The exterior gets the usual Hamann upgrades, with a full body kit, carbon fibre bonnet, LED running lights and massive 23-inch black wheels.

Interior mods are more subtle and include the usual goodies like embriodered mats, aluminum and carbon fibre trim.

Check out some images of the Conqueror II by clicking the link below.

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Turners holding prestige car auction this Saturday

March 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Do you want a car that will take you from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in less than five seconds? This luxury car will do just that and is up for auction at Turners Prestige Auction on Saturday 13 March.

The 2006 Bentley Continental GT is part of a limited edition Diamond Series built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Bentley. It’s one of only seven in the country.  New it is worth $400,000 but is estimated to sell on Saturday for $170,000 – less than half the original price.

“Bentleys are renowned for their sporting performance and craftsmanship and a limited edition Bentley is just about the best you can get. This special edition car features an exclusive package of enhancements unique to this model, including carbon ceramic brakes, a production-first for Bentley, and new 20-inch, 14-spoke alloy wheels,” says Chris Broadhurst from Turners.

The prestige auction features 17 other vehicles with an estimated value of more than $1.4 million NZD with individual lots ranging in value from $21,000 to $200,000.

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