By on March 7, 2017

rrvelar18my367glhdprlocationdynamic010317

Eager to fill a price gap in its Range Rover lineup, Land Rover has come out with a new midsize offering — the Velar. Positioned between the smaller Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport, the Velar is a tasteful and subdued example of automotive opulence. While it’s best to reserve final judgement until after fully experiencing a model, the design both inside and out represents something fresh, possibly signalling a new direction for Land Rover styling.

I speculated last month that the Velar’s teaser images might not be representative of the actual car, due in part to its ultra-modern-looking center console. However, that concept car interior stuck around, resulting in an incredibly spartan and contemporary cabin. It’s almost entirely devoid of buttons, replaced by minimalist design more elegant and clean than even what Tesla has on offer. Land Rover refers to the interior as a “calm sanctuary” for the Velar’s occupants. The majority of the contact points for non-essential functions occupy hidden-until-lit touch areas that, according to JLR, can be endlessly customized. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2017

1990 Land Rover Range Rover in Denver wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Denver drivers love their luxury SUVs, and European luxury vehicles tend to depreciate in a hurry. This means plenty of Land Rovers show up in the area’s big self-service wrecking yards. While this is good news for the several Coloradans who might be interested in finding a Rover V8 to drop into a homegrown MGB-GT V8, I don’t pay much attention to these trucks. IHC Scouts, sure, and maybe the occasional Jeep Cherokee get into this series, but I have walked right by hundreds of discarded British status-boxes and not paid much attention.

A Range Rover with 266,666 miles on the clock, though, is another story. (Read More…)

By on February 22, 2017

2017 Land Rover Discovery

Call it a case of thinking out loud, or perhaps the spark that could propel a company in a new and potentially disastrous direction.

Either way, Land Rover and Range Rover’s design chief, Gerry McGovern, is pretty open-minded about a future where a British automaker famous for making utility vehicles — and only utility vehicles — spawns a car-like model or two. And by open-minded, we mean in a first-year university kind of way. (Read More…)

By on February 22, 2017

range rover velar

Land Rover has confirmed Velar as the name of Range Rover’s new luxury crossover, positioned to rival Porsche’s Macan.

While Velar sounds hand-picked to hang in the air and mimic the vowel placement of the Macan, Land Rover has used it before. According to the company, the name is derived from the original Range Rover prototypes from 1969, dubbed Velar as a way to disguise or veil them. Although why any vehicle before the Defender would need a secret working title is rather baffling when the company called almost every product it made before 1983 either “Range Rover” or “Land Rover” — sometimes tacking on a generational identifier, like “Series III.”

Still, any tieback you can make to your heritage is a win when it comes to marketing. Velar also fits Range Rover’s premium image and borderline sensual naming strategy that started with the Evoque. These are names that would work just as well being whispered by a model in a perfume advertisement; they just so happen to also be the names of two British sport utility vehicles. (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2016

Car Not A Costume, Ford/Land Rover

True story: Many, many years ago I briefly dated a young woman who, at the age of 16, was the subject of a custody battle between her hard-luck mother and her suburban aunt. You’d expect this to go the way of the aunt, and you’d be right. But what you would not expect is that the aunt was married to a fellow who, some 15 years earlier, had been L. Ron Hubbard’s personal bodyguard. He was deeply involved in the “Sea Org” and a bunch of other Scientology-related stuff. He also claimed to have been a Green Beret and a decorated Vietnam veteran. (More information on the dude here, if you’re interested.)

Scientology in general, and my girlfriend’s foster dad in particular, was notorious for “fair-gaming” its lapsed members and anybody else who gets in the way of the organization. “Fair Game” is an L. Ron Hubbard phrase that means, basically, no action that can be taken by church members against the person in question is off-limits. It’s okay to attack them, kidnap them, have their home “SWATted”, destroy their careers or their credit rating. Being “fair gamed” by the Church of Scientology is very far from a picnic. The Church now disavows “fair gaming”. (More info here.)

The Ford Motor Company, on the other hand, doesn’t seem too reluctant to “fair game” a few of its lapsed members, as you’ll see.

(Read More…)

By on November 11, 2016

2016 Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Luxurious Road TripLand Rover sells the company’s flagship luxury SUV with three different powertrains in the United States. In two states of tune, with 340 horsepower or 380 and at $85,945 and $92,945, there’s the 3.0-liter supercharged V6. Priced in between, the $87,945 Range Rover is a 3.0-liter diesel V6.

At the top of the heap sits the supercharged 5.0-liter V8-powered Range Rover, which stretches from $104,190 onward and upward.

You can likely guess which one is most popular. (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2016

2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Ford Motor Company stuck a “for sale” sign on Jaguar Land Rover as the world spiraled into the 2008 financial crisis, but its engines still beat within many of the British automaker’s models.

That will soon change, as the Tata Motors-owned company continues its rollout of in-house engines designed to reduce its dependence on other companies. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2016

landwind-crash-china-evoquw land rover

Over the years, various Chinese automakers have been inspired by produced blatant copies of various mainstream automobiles.

The Landwind X7 appears to be a direct replica of the Range Rover Evoque. So much so, that Jaguar Land Rover recently sued Jiangling Motor, the largest shareholder of Landwind, for copyright infringement and unfair competition. Shockingly, that case is currently in a little bit of a limbo in the Chinese court system.

The worlds of Land Rover and Landwind literally collided today when a Landwind X7 and Range Rover Evoque got into a minor fender-bender. The accident happened in Chongqing, a small city in southwest China with a population roughly twice that of Los Angeles.

(Read More…)

By on July 29, 2016

Overfinch Range Rover

This small-scale British invasion is good news for U.S. Range Rover owners whose vehicle just don’t feel exclusive enough.

UK-based Overfinch, which designs and installs mechanical and appearance “enhancements” for Range Rover products, is coming to the small city of Danville, Virginia. The 40-year-old company plans to open new retail outlets, in addition to its product development and engineering facility. (Read More…)

By on June 13, 2016

2018 Range Rover Sport Coupe

Facing an onslaught of four-door ‘coupe-style’ SUVs from its German competitors, Jaguar Land Rover is firing a return shot across the Channel.

A new model photographed while testing shows an addition to the Range Rover lineup, expected to bow in 2018. The model, which shares a lightweight aluminum alloy frame with the Jaguar F-Pace, could be called the Sport Coupe, though company insiders still refer to it as the Evoque Plus or Evoque XL. (Read More…)

By on November 9, 2015

JLR Halewood - Picture courtesy telegraph.co.uk

Jaguar Land Rover will trim $6.8 billion from its expenses by 2020, in part, because of slowing auto sales in China, Reuters reported.

The automaker will consolidate models to common lines, overhaul its supply chain and build 1 million cars by 2020, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The plan, which is called Leap 4.5 (presumably because the plan cuts £4.5 billion), will also help the automaker afford increasingly difficult emissions standards.

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2015

2015 Land rover land rover sport hse front 34

My childhood was a bit different than most kids. My mother informed me that when I was 4 years old I didn’t know a cow from a sheep, but I knew the make and model of just about every car on the road.

For that, she was pissed at my father, who would read car magazines to me — not children’s books. It was his insistence to watch things like Camel Trophy and Formula 1 races, and not a soccer games, that has sculpted me into the car nut I am today.

And it was his influence and experience that led me to believe that a certain brand makes the best four-wheel drive, by far.

(Read More…)

By on October 1, 2015

Jaguar-F-PACE-teaser

The head of Jaguar Land Rover’s operations in the U.S. said the automaker will stick with its plans to rollout diesel engines for its cars, including the Jaguar F-Pace next year.

Automotive News reported that CEO Joe Eberhardt said at a Detroit luncheon the automaker was “very confident” in the technology for its diesel cars.

“We are convinced of the benefits of diesels from a fuel economy and from an all-wheel drivability perspective, and that hasn’t changed,” Eberhardt said, according to Automotive News. (Read More…)

By on July 1, 2015

2015 Jeep Renegade

More and more automakers are looking at exotic locales to produce their wares (us Canadians can consider Mexico exotic thanks to its ice-free beaches) as they expand their brands and explore in-roads to untapped markets.

For Jeep, that means investing in a shared money-printing press with an unlikely partner: Tata, the parent company of Land Rover. FCA will put $280 million USD into joint venture Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited which, since 2007, has solely produced Fiat models.

(Read More…)

By on June 19, 2015

Range Rover in Albania. Picture courtesy of autowp.ru

As many of you know, I drive a Range Rover, which is a giant, gas-slurping SUV that simultaneously kills babies and harms small animals. This is a horrible vehicle, according to the majority of people I meet, and because of it, I’m always being judged for having more car than I “need.” It is, after all, overkill.

Right?

(Read More…)

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