With Land Rover having done so well over 2012 and 2013, being voted as Luxury car of the year 2013 by What Car? And unveiling their new direction for model production the future is looking bright.
With the increase of emerging markets buying luxury vehicles, Land Rover are to open a manufacturing plant in Brazil after an agreement was signed with the State of Rio De Janeiro. There will be an investment of £240 million into the new plant that will produce 24,000 vehicles a year, with the first set of the vehicles to roll off the plant by 2016. Land Rover will be the first British manufacturer to open in Brazil, which will also support the significant growth in Brazil and the rest of the Americas. The plant will create 400 jobs within the first year.
Research and development of the in-car infotainment systems in Land Rovers will now be developed in collaboration with Intel and the vehicle brand will also open a research and development centre in Oregon, USA which is the first dedicated software research and development facility for Land Rover. This new partnership will accelerate the creation of in-car technologies for future Land Rover models.
This new facility opening in 2014 will employ 30 infotainment specialists including 16 highly skilled software engineers, complementing the infotainment team based at Land Rover’s Gaydon facility. The Oregon facility will include a variety of multimedia suites, innovation spaces, development laboratories and a vehicle workshop.
Land Rover Design boss Gerry McGovern revealed Land Rover’s three design pillars giving insight into the future for the brand at the 2013 LA Motor Show.Luxury, Leisure and Dual Purpose are the three pillars that will take the brand through 2015.
The Luxury pillar, which is considered to be Range Rover, will mean that now all luxury SUVs will wear the Range Rover logo. This pillar has been substantially worked on over the past 24 months with release of all three new models bearing the Range Rover brand. The Leisure pillar which includes the Discovery and the new Freelander replacement, which will also take the Discovery name. The Dual-purpose pillar is that of the Defender which will be replaced in 2015, which we have been seeing for a while now with shots of the DC100 concept.
There will also be another two models entering the range, one will sit between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport and the second is said to be smaller than the Evoque.
Today Range Rover is working as its own brand, with JaguarLandRover dealers now representing all three-brand logos. After the release of the Range Rover Evoque, The Land Rover brand stated that Land Rover dealerships would not only sell Land Rover and Jaguar but will also sell Range Rover. This allowed the company to give the brands their own identity.
“Land Rover is more utilitarian, Range Rover is the top end of luxury,” said Wayne Kung, Jaguar-Land Rover’s manager of national product communications.
Early Range Rover products were utilitarian just as the previous Land Rover models but with a slightly more luxurious feel. Modern luxuries included a cigar lighter and sporty paint. It was not until Range Rover was used in sporting events such as the British Trans Americas expedition in 1972 led by John Blashford-Snell. He used two Range Rovers travelling through swamp jungle establishing the vehicle as a tough Land Rover.
The brand went ahead with advertising the vehicle as one that is as comfortable on the road in a city as it is in the desert. This style is still used today with the adverts for the Range Rover Evoque.
It took until 1981 for Land Rover to start pushing their brand image to the higher end of the luxury market. Over Finch in collaboration with Land Rover designed and built the automatic gearbox fitted in the Range Rover.
Land Rover was never a name synonymous with luxury, but that has changed with its current range of vehicles competing with the most luxurious on the market. Current owners consist of professional footballers and many celebrities who not only own a Range Rover but also choose to add their own bespoke elements, which can be seen on most glossy magazines and newspapers.
Victoria Beckham is the brand ambassador and was on the design team for the interior of the Range Rover Evoque. Putting on an event for the vehicle release in Bejing in 2012, the brand created a viral campaign that was backed by social media marketing via the automaker and Ms. Beckham. Brand analysts judged this as a wrong move by the Range Rover brand as fundamentally it has always been an elitist brand for the ‘posh’ which the Beckham brand does not evoke.
In 2013, Daniel Craig (007 actor) launched the new Range Rover Sport in New York in front of a huge audience. This further propelled the brand into its cool stage, linking with one of the coolest agents in the business.
Today’s Range Rover is often found roaming the streets of rich cities, swathed in soft leather and wood trim rivalling the luxury of the iconic Rolls Royce. However, the original Range Rover was not as lavish.
After the success of the seven seater Land Rover in America, the Land Rover team realised a possibility of selling a new type of off-road vehicle with a more sophisticated feel and ride. A two door version was the first Range Rover to be built-in 1970, and soon enough the company realised that the Range Rover may succeed in the higher end of the market.
A ladder-type chassis allowed up to 11 inches of axle movement provided a very sophisticated ride for a 4×4 vehicle making it very durable off-road. Powering this machine was a 3.5l V8 engine with a permanent 4WD system and a lockable differential. To help stop this new Range Rover, disc brakes were fitted to the front and back replacing the conventional drum brakes.
In 1981, the four door version was released with some significant developments such as the automatic gearbox designed by OverFinch and Land Rover. OverFinch still modify Range Rovers to this day. The top of the range vehicles were then given the ‘Vogue’ name.
The second generation of the Range Rover was launched in 1994, the same year that Rover was bought by BMW. A newly styled body and chassis with the same length as the original at 108 inches now with a more powerful choice of engines ranging from a 2.5L six cylinder diesel to the range topping 4.6L V8 petrol engine.
The ‘Classic’ as the original was named ran side by side with the second generation Range up until 1996, when the Classic ceased production after selling over 317,000 units.
By 2001, BMW group wanted to show what they could do with the British brand and launched the third generation Range Rover. A big off-road vehicle which felt at home on the road as much as it did off it. Air suspension was introduced giving the vehicle the ground clearance expected by the Land Rover purists. A 3.0L six cylinder Diesel and the 4.4L V8 powered the SUV up until 2005 when a 4.2L Supercharged V8 and a 3.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 were added to the selection. The selectable 4WD system was now removed from the Range and an all new Terrain Response system was launched in its place, allowing the driver to concentrate on the driving and less on the terrain he is driving on.
The fourth generation of the Range Rover was revealed to the public in 2012, and has now positioned the brand at the top of the luxury SUV list with prices ranging from £75,000 up to £120,000 depending on extras fitted to the base vehicle. This is the first Range Rover to be built with a complete aluminium body and chassis allowing it to save 420kg off the last model. The new model has the updated Terrain Response system among other bells and whistles to allow it to compete with the most luxurious vehicles on the market.
With the Range Rover doing so well around the world, and other car makers trying to muscle into the market, the Range Rover Sport was designed to tackle the new Sports jeeps that were sprouting up. The Range Rover Sport was designed to have optimum on road capability but also usable off-road as was the case with all Land Rovers that came before it. More Tech was thrown at to help counter balance the act of body roll, known as Dynamic response which hydraulically set the ride level depending on the cornering forces.
A new lump sat under the bonnet, a 4.2L V8 natural and supercharged petrol and 2.7L V6 turbo diesel all available when debuted. The Supercharged was the most powerful Land Rover ever produced and has been in the highest demand.
By 2010, the Sport was re-engineered and got some new design cues making it look sportier and more aerodynamic while still looking typically Range Rover. New engines with more power were released with a 5.0L naturally aspirated and the 5.0L Supercharged topping the power charts.
The all-new 2013, Range Rover Sport can boast a sub 5.0s 0-62mph time with a saving of 420kg over its predecessor. Revealed to the public in New York by James Bond actor Daniel Craig, the all-new Sport is also one of the cleanest Range Rovers with CO2 emissions of 194g/km and one of the most stylish made synonymous with 007.
Not to be confused with its predecessor, this is an all new chassis and body with new engines and technology purposely built for the Sport including a sports exhaust, which gives it a throatier sound in the cabin.
The SUV market has been constantly changing over the years, consumers wanting vehicles on both ends of the size chart. When the LRX concept was first revealed, it was accepted with great enthusiasm and it began production in 2011. The Evoque as it was to be known, had to be everything Land Rover and Range Rover has been known for. Uncompromised luxury, impeccable off-road capability. For in town use, the vehicle was also available with CO2 emissions below 135g/km rivalling most hot hatches. For the first time, Land Rover built a vehicle which was not a full-time 4WD system.
Power for the Evoque comes from two turbo diesel 2.2L engines and a new 2.0L petrol engine was also made available. With British fashion at one of its highest points, Land Rover decided to bring in Victoria Beckham as a design consultant for the Evoque’s impressive interior.
Feel guilty about owning a big Range Rover? Now you don’t have to.
Land Rover have released details of their first ever hybrid model of both the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport. Range Rover promises not only better fuel economy but also substantially lower CO2 emissions. The new Hybrid models will be on the road in early 2014, when first deliveries start.
The two vehicles are all-aluminium models, based on Land Rover’s Premium Lightweight Architecture and share an identical power-train. Both the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport Hybrids are powered by a 3.0L SDV6 engine coupled with a 35KW electric motor and an eight speed ZF automatic gearbox. The power output is on par with that of the bigger SDV8 engine. Both models accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) in under seven seconds, with a top speed of 135 mph (218km/h), reducing CO2 emission by 26% down to 169 g/km from 196 g/km. Fuel Economy is up with the Hybrid models averaging 44.1mpg on combined cycle up from the standard 37.7 mpg. The electric motor produces 170 NM of torque for added acceleration and allows you to trundle around town in EV mode. The motor also acts as a generator, harvesting kinetic energy through regenerative braking, charging the battery when the vehicle is slowing. In driver-selectable EV mode the Range Rover Hybrid can travel at speeds of up to 30 mph (48km/h) for a range of up to 1.6km before the diesel engine seamlessly restarts.
To completely validate this vehicle as a true Range Rover, capable of handling all types of terrain, a convoy of seven hybrids embarked on the ‘Silk Trail 2013’ driving from Solihull, UK, the home of the Range Rover brand to the Tata Headquarters in Mumbai, India. A total of 16,000km. The Silk Trail expedition is divided into 10 stages and is scheduled to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Nepal and India. This is the first time this route has ever been tackled by a hybrid vehicle.
Only four punctures and a cracked windscreen hindered the vehicle’s progress in the first 20 days of their gruelling battle with the treacherous conditions including asphalt surfaces riddled with deep potholes and layered with small stones; mud tracks that have been dry and rutted or wet and slippery; and dusty desert trails sometimes hard as gravel and sometimes soft as sand. All seven vehicles will be crossing the Himalayas and entering India for their final stretch to Mumbai.