Tag: Land Rover

The Forest Whitaker of SUV’s – Land Rover Discovery Driven

Land Rover Discovery

New Land Drover Discovery Driven

There is much in common with the new Land Rover Discovery and Forest Whitaker. Well, the most obvious being the name Forest and the Discovery’s ability to traverse through forests with ease. Forest, as we all know is a phenomenal actor. Accolades such as an Academy award, a BAFTA, Golden Globe and more prove this. The same goes for the Land Rover Discovery. For years it’s won awards from various institutions. Whether it’s off-roading or for just being a good overall vehicle, the Discovery is a staple for those with adventure on their sights. Family appeal is something both Forest and the Discovery have in common, as he has four children – making the Discovery a perfect vehicle to fit them all in. The last attribute applies specifically to the All New Discovery, but we’ll talk about that just now.

Land Rover Discovery

Fixing what wasn’t broken.

Creating a new land Rover Discovery is not an easy thing to do, since the vehicle has a cult following. Generally, when this is the case, its fans don’t like too much change. From the original 1989 vehicle, to the fourth generation, the Discovery shared the same DNA, similar to how the Porsche 911 has kept the same lines. For the 5th generation, what did Land Rover do? They took the old Discovery and burned the designs. Square has been replaced with round. Hardcore has been substituted for soft. The result is a vehicle that has caused jaws to drop, some in a good way and others in a bad way. Honestly, I feel the new Discovery’s design success is very spec based. With the right wheels, the right line package and even the right colour choice, can mean the difference between a great looking Discovery and a weird looking Discovery.

Stepping inside a new Land Rover Discovery is our favourite aspect of the vehicle. Are we in a lounge? Is this a house? Truthfully speaking, being a 5ft7 male and driving this car, made me feel like a child in the driver’s seats. The sheer mass of the vehicle is noticeable. For those with procreation on their minds, like Mr. Whitaker – look no further. Unlike its rivals, the Discovery is not a very dynamic vehicle. You can feel its size in the corners, understandably so. Expecting this car to feel like it’s Range Rover siblings would be too much of an ask. Rather, comfort is where this vehicle outshines many. It’s ability to lock in the tar and go on and on and on is very impressive. Everything about this car screams “road trip”. Countless storage spaces in the cabin, comfortable seats and a third bench that can accommodate adults are some of the key features that make you want to go far in this vehicle.

Land Rover Discovery

 

The model we drove was the HSE Luxury which basically means it’s the fancy one. That fanciness does give you larger wheels, navigation, 3 zone climate control, extended leather package, surround camera, keyless entry and more as standard. Most importantly, the new Discovery comes chock full of safety equipment, a prerequisite of any vehicle in this league. Technology is something the car boasts and we loved demonstrating some aspect of it to inquisitive neighbours. One of those features was the electrically adjustable seats. At the rear of the vehicle, you’re able to adjust all five rear seats – laying some or all flat if need be, with a button. This can also be operated through an app, which allows you to control the seats from your phone.

Powering this vehicle is a 190kW/600N.m 3.0 diesel engine which uses an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This engine does well considering that the Discovery weighs around 3 tonnes. At times, it does feel like the vehicle is taking its time to get going but once it gets going, it does a fine job at maintaining that speed, especially on the highway.

The daily commute in a vehicle of this size may take some time to get used to if you’re coming from a standard sized SUV. Once you get the dimensions right, however, it gets easier and easier. Overall, the Discovery does well in the city but felt lonely to drive for someone like me who has no wife or kids. Those with family will enjoy not hearing the kids scream “stop touching me” as they’ll have more than enough space to themselves.

The final Forest feature.

So, what’s the last Forest Whitaker quality this car possesses? Well, one thing no one can dispute is Forests abilities, but watching him on screen can be distracting at times. Why? Because he has a noticeably droopy eye. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. The Land Rover Discovery shares a similar trait with its rear number plate positioning. The number plate holder is positioned to the left of the boot, which doesn’t look right. It’s something that cannot be unseen and is arguably the most annoying feature of the car. Unlike Forest, who was born like that, surely the LR designers must’ve felt that their internal symmetry gauges were beeping when signing that design off? Every Land Rover has indeed had an off-set number plate, but it was built for a square number plate. In the new Discovery, the number plate is horizontal and as a result just looks wrong. If there was one thing I’d change about the car, it would be that. I guess if Forest wanted to, he too could go for an eye lift, but he’s comfortable enough to not be phased by other’s opinions of him. Perhaps Land Rover feel the same way. They know their car is good, all we need to do is learn to deal with it…

Land Rover 70th Year Anniversary Expedition

70 years of Land Rover – Kingsley Holgate Expedition

Many of the motoring launches we attend usually include plush hotels, top food, and of course, a brand spanking new vehicle to review. And as comfortable as these launches can be, this just isn’t the right way to celebrate 70 years of heritage, innovation and the iconic Land Rover brand.

70th Year Land Rover Exhibiton

If we think back to the first ever defender in 1948, to the modern era 2018 Discovery, we can see that these vehicles are so much more than just a means to travel from A to B. The reality is however in the city, many of the 4×4 vehicles we see on the road, have never graced any kind of surface which can be considered as proper off-road terrain.

Speak to those who have gone off-road and many of them will tell you just what a fantastic experience it can be. But as much fun as off-roading, and traveling across borders is, some expeditions have a more serious side to them, one with a bigger picture in mind. I had an opportunity to learn more about those expeditions, as I joined Land Rover and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation for the last few days of their Land Rover 70th-anniversary expedition.

The Kingsley Holgate foundation focuses on conservation and education throughout Africa. Part of their primary tasks are rhino conservation, an initiative called  Rite to Sight, water purification and malaria prevention. As we arrived at a village in Shakaland, I experienced a glimpse of the great work they take part in.

Many children from the local primary school lined up, each with their own Rhino art they produced after receiving education around Rhino conversation. It was wonderful to see the many different expressions from each and every child and it was heart-warming to see the importance being placed on educating the next generation.

This was followed by the one sport which speaks the most languages, football. The aptly named black rhino and white rhino teams played against each other with the man of the match winning a bicycle. After trying to display my skills in the warm up, I didn’t crack the starting 11, but being asked to judge the “man of the match” award was a true privilege and the talent on display made that job very difficult.

While the young were catered for with a simple sack of air, the older ones from the village were not forgotten with the Rite to Site campaign. Many from the local area who struggle with vision queued up to have their eyes tested and then received glasses from the amazing Kingsley Holgate team.

70th Year Land Rover Exhibition

While this expedition was fairly local, Kingsley and his team take to the dusty roads of Africa and spread this love and education far and wide. What is their literal driving force during these trips? Land Rovers – a brand which over 70 years has evolved into one of the major players in the SUV and 4×4 market. At the 70th year exhibition, were Land Rover’s from all ages, including one model which had driven from London to South Africa, as well as the owner that did it many moons ago. With all these vehicles in one place, tackling the same terrain, you can really see the evolution of the brand. 70 years on, Land Rover now sell some of the most capable 4×4 vehicles, with the added benefit of luxury and technology.

While for many they are just a way to do the school and work commute in style, for organisations such as the Kingsley Holgate Foundation, they are so much more. For the foundation and others doing impressive community work in these cars, these vehicles and the brand, have greatly assisted in providing much-needed help and assistance throughout Africa. This is the bigger picture, which was amazing to see – even though it was a small glimpse.

A starry night, some “Captains and Coke”, a bonfire and endless expedition stories was the perfect ending to understand what Kingsley and his team get up to. I walked away realising that this is a team that loves the work they do, and really are true adventurers. Well done to Land Rover for 70 years of innovation and well done to the Kingsley Holgate Foundation for their fantastic work. We wish the whole team all the best on their next expedition.

Range Rover SVR – Mixed emotions and loud exhausts.

Range Rover SVR

Range Rover SVR – Mixed emotions and loud exhausts.

A Range Rover is known for its British heritage, uncompromised build quality, modern luxury and all-round driving elegance. It’s a vehicle very popular with old money, understandably so because it gives off a certain feeling of class. This class isn’t earned by producing one vehicle, but years of pursuing excellence, and delivering it.

Range Rover SVR

When it comes to the Range Rover SVR however, take all of the above and simply throw it out of the window. I say this, not because the SVR Range Rover doesn’t possess most of the qualities above, because it does. These qualities are just hidden behind quite a few “in your face” features.

The looks:

Our Range Rover SVR was white in colour, with other black design elements and of course, 22” wheels. Apart from the slight front and rear bumper changes and the placement of “SVR” badging around the vehicle, it wasn’t painstakingly obvious that this was not a normal Range Rover Sport. It looked great and while it is attention seeking, it isn’t on the “stare at me” level of those awful yellow Hummer H2’s, thankfully.

Range Rover SVR

There are stand out features about the car that set it apart from a normal Range Rover aesthetically. For instance, a not so subtle black and white interior upholstery and racing style seats are hard to ignore. Yes, racing seats in an SUV. As you can expect, they were not particularly comfortable, but they looked the part. Looking the part is top priority in any sport variant of an SUV. The SVR does that and then some. After spending more time in the vehicle, I realized that the SVR had a very unique appeal about it. As much as I hate to say it, I felt like I had become the leader of an underground syndicate for the day. It’s got a “badass” feel to it that other cars in this segment don’t have.

Then came the noise from the exhausts. My word, what a noise. With the “pipes turned on” as my colleague Francisco likes to say, the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 bellows out a sound that is actually hard to comprehend. I would go as far as to say it could be one of the loudest cars on the road. Volume isn’t everything, but it does also sound fantastic whilst being loud. If it becomes a bit too much, it can be toned down to a much more reasonable level with a touch of a button, while still maintaining that V8 purr.

 

Not too sure about it…

The first few days in the car had made me reach a tentative conclusion of the vehicle. So far, the SVR simply felt like an obnoxious version of the standard Sport. If I was to stereotype this car to a human personality, it would be one of those rude teenage boys who knows everything and thinks he is the next Conor McGregor. Like Conor McGregor, the SVR has a trick up its sleeve.

Driving Dynamics:

The time soon arrived in the week for me to drive the SVR on roads which allowed me to exploit its performance. This included some straight roads as well as sweeping corners. The result? Let’s just say my opinion on the car changed completely.

What I didn’t mention before was that with the glass shattering V8 sound produced by the SVR, came acceleration which was quite unbelievable. If you have ever seen an Airbus A380 or a Boeing 747 on the tarmac at an airport, you stare at it in amazement that something so big can actually fly. Similar thoughts processed in my mind when I planted my foot in the Range Rover SVR. There are very SUV’s that can accelerate this quickly, the SVR is one of them. On paper, it boasts a 0-100 km/h time of 4.5 seconds, which is certainly believable.

Range Rover SVR

One may expect the SVR to possess the same body role you get in a standard Range Rover Sport, but you’d be wrong.

The words “body roll” very seldom make an appearance in the Range Rover SVR’s vocabulary. Of course, understeer will present itself in any vehicle large vehicle should you carry too much speed into a corner. Respect the SVR and it will respect you. However, corners at good speed are taken with marvelous ease and grip, inspiring confidence and leaving unwanted vehicle dynamics behind. Bundled with fantastic acceleration and you have a very fast and capable performance SUV. The racing seats suddenly don’t seem so stupid now.

Sometimes unexpected situations happen in cars. We had a moment like that in this car, when we experienced an surprisingly sideways moment. Pulling off from a T-Junction on a damp road surface, turning right with a heap of acceleration, resulted in just over half a lock of smooth, glorious oversteer. “What!?” we thought to ourselves, leaving Francisco and myself looking at each other in complete amazement. This was by no means planned, as we just wanted to see how good this 4×4 system was, pretty good it turns out, if going sideways is your thing. Which is probably not the case in an SUV.

What does SVR mean by the way?

SVR is a division of Jaguar Land Rover’s performance division SVO or Special Vehicle Operations, similar to that of BMW M or AMG. They fine tune and adjust their vehicles to provide more performance and driving enjoyment with unique styling, all while being covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Further to this, SVO offer extended levels of customisation and personalisation with extended paint options and a further range of interior leathers, trims and styling.

Range Rover SVR

Overall

Under the aggressive design and bold styling, the Range Rover SVR is a true performance SUV. It further encourages the “I don’t care, I drive a Range Rover” attitude, and you really don’t have to because well, you drive a Range Rover. It’s a hall pass to be as loud or obnoxious as you want. For many people, driving this type of vehicle is exactly what you want from it. In a few words the SVR is “Luxury with attitude”. You either love it or loathe it. Either way, if it comes behind you on the highway, chances are, you’ll move out the way.

Range Rover SVR Pricing in South Africa

The 2018 Range Rover Sport SVR and starts at a tasty R 2 080 100

Discovery SVX – The most off-road focused Discovery yet!

Discovery SVX

Discovery SVX

Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations unit has created what they have dubbed the most capable Discovery ever. Making use of JLR’s famed 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 boasting 386 kW & 625 N.m, the All New Discovery takes on some important modifications in the interest of go-anywhere characteristics. The major changes include an increase in ground clearance, a suspension lift, increased wheel articulation and larger walled all-terrain focused tyres. Further adjustments include the use of an enhanced version of the Terrain Response 2 System with Active Roll control, through the Hydraulic Active Roll Control system.

Launched at the Frankfurt Motor show, it will fall into the current Special Vehicle Operations range in amongst the SVAutobiography and the Range Rover Sport SVR and will be built at the SVO technical centre in the UK as from early 2018.

The list of 4×4 goodies is long and comprehensive and will include the usual in premium off-roading in the form of active and electronic centre and rear locking differentials, Hill descent control, Electronic Traction Control, Adaptive Dynamics, All-Terrain Progress Control and variable ratio electric power-assisted steering. The familiar ZF eight speed auto with variable speed transfer box has also undergone minor revisions to allow for the software to work best with the new changes The SVX will sit on a set of beefy 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres on forged aluminium alloy wheels.

Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director John Edwards had this to say about the SVX;

“SVO designers are embedded within the Land Rover team and have worked with our engineers to unleash their own passion for adventure to create another truly desirable and versatile vehicle in the Land Rover line-up.”

SVO Director Mark Stanton Added;

“The SVX product line gives us a fantastic opportunity to deliver the ultimate Land Rover all-terrain capability in a dynamic and distinctive manner, creating a rugged and versatile SUV that the whole family will love: effortless, unstoppable and connected, whatever the terrain.

“Discovery SVX is designed to reward off-road driving enthusiasts with the next level of all-terrain capability, without compromising comfort and practicality.”

 

Land Rover Discovery SVX Pricing and Availability in South Africa

With the Current Disco range starting at R980 000 for the base S and climbing all the way to the R1 314 000 HSE LUXURY, expect the price to be between R1.5 million and R2 million. Expect models to arrive bright and early in 2018.

 

Range Rover Velar Pricing & Spec in South Africa

Range Rover Velar Pricing

Range Rover Velar

The new Range Rover Velar is now available to order and spec in South Africa, with the vehicle launching in the Q4 of 2017. The Velar is actually the most customisable Land Rover to date which a choice of 5 petrol engines, 5 diesel engines, 17 alloy wheel options, 13 exterior paint colors and 15 interior materials.

The Range Rover Velar starts at R947 700 and will be mainly available in Velar and Velar R-Dynamic variants with four spec levels: base, S, SE & HSE respectively. There is a third variant, the Velar First Edition. This limited-edition model is only available in a single, hi-spec trim that features every single optional extra. The only choice First Editions customers have to make is what colour they want, what engine they would like and which alloy wheels pick their fancy. The Velar First edition will only be available for the first year and is an order only vehicle.

The only question left is this, How would you spec yours? Head over to the Land Rover Builder Here and Spec your Range Rover Velar! We chose the R-Dynamic HSE Model in Corris Grey with some very nice optional extras; you can view our full spec here. Scroll down for pricing on the Range Rover Velar. 

Range Rover Velar Pricing South Africa

Velar

2.0 diesel 132kW (D180) – R947 700

2.0 diesel 177kW (D240) – R1 010 400

2.0 petrol 184kW (P250) – R947 700

3.0 diesel 221kW (D300) – R1 089 000

3.0 petrol 280kW (P380) – R1 099 400

Velar R-Dynamic

2.0 diesel 132kW (D180) – R980 500

2.0 diesel 177kW (D240) – R1 043 200

2.0 petrol 184kW (P250) – R980 500

3.0 diesel 221kW (D300) – R1 121 800

3.0 petrol 280kW (P380) – R1 132 200

Velar First Edition

3.0 diesel 221kW (D300) – R1 529 300

3.0 petrol 280kW (P380) – R1 539 800

 

Land Rover Discovery 5 Spotted in Cape Town

We spotted the new Land Rover Discovery 5 in Cape Town. See the images below, it looks fantastic.

The car will feature new technologies such as Activity Key (Let’s you lock the car with a water resistant bracelet), Intelligent Seat Fold, (Allows you to fold the seats using an App) and other nifty things.

We were slightly unsure of its proportions but seeing it in the flesh changes that as it looks good. It still maintains its large presence, but now looks more modern and stylish. It’s sad to see the iconic “box shape” gone, but it looks like there’s a good future ahead.

 

 

Performance on the rocks: JLR’s Ice driving academy in Sweden.

For those that have attended an advanced driving course, you know how it generally involves a lot of driver briefing and hot weather, especially in South Africa. There’s nothing like coming home sunburnt with a certificate to tell the world that you know what ABS braking does. Jaguar, on the other hand, have tried a different approach to this whole thing. They have opened an ice driving academy in Sweden, so you can drive your favourite Jaguar on the rocks. Cars like the F-Type, F-Pace and Range Rover Sport will be made available to drive in slippery sub zero temperatures. Of course,an expert on all things ice related will accompany to teach you how to best handle these cars in such conditions. We’re sure this driving academy must be fun, considering that back home the best part for many doing an advanced driving course is the skid-pan.

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For those not into modern day cars, you’re not left in the lurch because there is the option to drive some vintage Jag’s and Land Rovers as well. This must be a tad bit more intimidating because most  classic cars don’t feature the safety equipment we have in modern cars today, so it may be advisable to bring some extra underpants. One thing is for sure, you’ll come out a better driver and you’ll most likely have a great time. The not so fun part will be paying your R38 000 for this course because that’s what it will cost you in our money.  Yikes.

Find out more here : http://www.jaguar.com/experience-jaguar/iconic-experiences/ice-drive-sweden.html

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