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Land Rover previews new seven-seat Discovery Sport

07/31/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, Land Rover, Luxury, Off-Road

2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Every automaker has its own way of revealing its new models. Some just pull the veil off the thing when it's ready, while others release hints and teasers leading up to the full reveal. Jaguar Land Rover seems to be taking a different approach, purposely releasing images of its new products wearing camouflaging body wraps before taking those wraps off at long last. That's the tactic it seems to be taking with the new XE sports sedan, as it is with the Range Rover Sport SVR, and now it's following a similar path with the upcoming new Discovery Sport.

Previewed by the Discovery Vision concept at the New York Auto Show a few months ago, the new Discovery Sport is slated to join the Discovery (known in North America as the LR4) in the Land Rover lineup next year, and appears to carry over the concept's styling: compared to the boxier existing model, the Discovery Sport (like the Discovery Vision) has a higher beltline, more swept-back greenhouse and forward-swept C-pillar, but a roofline that appears to taper off where the concept's was straight.

Land Rover has confirmed that the Discovery Sport will - like the LR4, Discovery Vision and Range Rover Sport - offer a third row of seats for seven-passenger capacity, as revealed by the "peeled-back" camo. The Discovery Sport will be manufactured at the Halewood plant where the Freelander and Evoque are made. Scroll down below for official details from the automaker.

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These are the top luxury cars bought by people entering the segment for the first time

07/26/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Luxury

Volvo C70

Let's say you just got a big promotion at work or the kids are moving out of the house, and you finally have some extra money. You decide to blow it all at once and treat yourself by upgrading your ride. Naturally, you look to a luxury automaker. What do you choose?

Models like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class may be tailor-made to introduce buyers to the premium segment, but a new study finds that they don't garner the highest rates of non-luxury customer conquests. It turns out that a Volvo leads among folks moving up to a premium brand, and it isn't even one that's made anymore, at that.

A recent study by Polk and IHS Automotive looked at what models had the highest rates of buyers upgrading from a non-luxury segment. The information comes from its new vehicle registration data through April 2014. All ten top models boasted conquest rates of over 50 percent, but the Volvo C70 led the field with 68.01 percent of its customers coming from non-premium brands.

It's an odd winner because the C70 isn't even available as a new model anymore, having been discontinued after the 2013 model year. It isn't the only car no longer offered that's on the list, either. The BMW 128i is in seventh place with 53.93 percent of conquest buyers despite leaving us in MY 2014. It seems likely that some of these vehicles are still on dealer lots, and buyers are getting good incentives to pick them up at lower prices.

According to Polk, the 10 models with the highest conquest rates from non-luxury segments are:

  • Volvo C70 - 68.01 percent
  • Infiniti JX35 (QX60) - 63.89 percent
  • Acura ILX - 59.66 percent
  • Audi A3 - 57.34 percent
  • Cadillac ATS - 56.88 percent
  • Acura RDX - 56.53 percent
  • BMW 128i - 53.93 percent
  • Lexus CT 200h - 53.17 percent
  • Land Rover LR2 - 52.47 percent
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class - 51.83 percent
If you're curious about the other side of the table, the Mercedes S-Class is the least likely vehicle for new luxury buyers to choose at 10.35 percent. Although, that's not exactly a shock - with a starting price of nearly $100,000, it would be quite a leap up from a Camry or Accord.
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Tata to get Jaguar and Land Rover tech, platforms too?

07/22/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Tech, Jaguar, Land Rover, India, Tata

Tata Nano

Since buying Jaguar Land Rover, Indian automaker Tata has generally left its luxury arm's platforms and technology alone. However, those days might be gone. The two of them are gradually growing closer with coordinated development and rumors of shared platforms. And it looks like all of that work and money is finally going to pay off with an actual vehicle in the near future.

According to Australian website Drive, Tata wants to make its cars more attractive to buyers outside of India, and to do that the company knows it must improve quality. The Indian company is being careful, though, because it doesn't want to dilute the Jaguar or Land Rover brands with cheap models. "You're going to see in the future a lot of sharing of technologies and platforms over time, but you won't see a JLR with a Tata badge on it," said Darren Bowler, managing director of Tata's Australian distributor, to Drive.

According to Bowler, these future vehicles are already on the way. Tata and JLR have a global platform in the works for 2017 that both companies could use for cars or crossovers. He also hinted that Jaguar's new Ingenium engines could be shared among the brands in the future, too.

The latest pronouncements align rather closely with previous rumors. Earlier this year, reports emerged that Land Rover and Tata were considering a shared platform for the next-generation Freelander. The Landie would be aimed at its normal luxury, off-road market, and the other would be cheaper and more mainstream.

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Jaguar Land Rover puts the freeze on wounded soldier-athletes [w/video]

07/22/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Videos, Jaguar, Land Rover, UK

Invictus Games Training Jaguar Land Rover Gaydon

For athletes, the cold is often a powerful ally in treating injures, with RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) a popular means of treating muscle pulls, bruising and other common forms of discomfort. Did you know, though, that frosty temps are also popular tools for simply recovering from a rough training session?

Well, we're guessing Jaguar Land Rover knew that, as the British company was kind enough to loan out its climactic testing chamber to Jaco van Gass and Luke Darlington, a pair of veterans wounded in their service to Queen and Country. Van Gass, a former private in the Royal Army, and Darlington, a Royal Marine, are attempting to earn a spot on the British Armed Forces cycling team for the upcoming Invictus Games.

The Games, inspired by the Warrior Games held in the United States, are a sporting competition reserved for injured servicemen and women, either active duty or veterans, and is slated to take place from September 10 to 14 in London's former Olympic venues. Van Gass lost his left arm below the elbow after getting hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (he also suffered from a collapsed lung, punctured internal organs, severe shrapnel and blast wounds, a broken tibia and a fractured knee). Darlington, meanwhile, suffered a traumatic brain injury during action in Afghanistan, and he now suffers from weakness in his right side and cognitive issues.

As for why a pair of cyclists opted to take the military lingo "stay frosty," to its literal extreme, it's all because of cryotherapy. As explained in the video, full-body cryotherapy is an increasingly popular form of recovery training for professional athletes, as it forces the body to saturate the blood with powerful (and natural) endorphins, which can alleviate the stress and strain from training. That means quicker recovery times and, consequently, more training for athletes like van Gass and Darlington.

Scroll down to see the pair in action, as they prepare for the 2014 Invictus Games.

Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover puts the freeze on wounded soldier-athletes [w/video]

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Imported Land Rovers being seized as part of Federal investigation

07/18/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, SUVs, Government/Legal, Land Rover, Off-Road

Land Rover Defender

Early Tuesday morning, federal authorities from the Department of Homeland Security allegedly seized 40 gray-market Land Rover 90, 110 and Defender SUVs in what is believed to be part of an ongoing case that has already resulted in 20 of the iconic SUVs being taken from their US owners in May of last year.

The important bit of that opening statement is "allegedly," as at least one of the victims of the seizure claims that the Vehicle Identification Number on his 110, which he purchased last year, is from that of a 1979 to 1984 model, with his particular example being from 1983. Police and the feds, though, apparently think otherwise, arguing that the truck was imported illegally shortly before the unlucky owner purchased it.

Jalopnik has the entire rundown of this sad, depressing story, including first-hand testimony of the seizure from the unfortunate (and probably former) Land Rover owner. Head over and take a look, it's worth a read.

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Jaguar Land Rover offers (some) detail about new Ingenium engine

07/11/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Tech, Jaguar, Land Rover, Diesel

Jaguar Ingenium Engine

Jaguar Land Rover officially announced its Ingenium family of engines with the unveiling of the 2.0-liter version in the Jaguar XE concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but it kept details very thin at the time. All we knew was that the new turbocharged mills could be configured to use gasoline or diesel, and be positioned longitudinally or transversely. Months later, JLR is finally letting some more info slip about its new baby, but there are still some big questions to be answered.

For the Ingenium project, Jaguar Land Rover gave its engineers a clean sheet of paper and told them not to worry about using any previous parts or machinery. In the end, the designers came up with a family of turbocharged, aluminum-block engines based around modular, 500cc cylinders to allow it to grow or shrink as the market demanded. The layout was also made adaptable enough to incorporate hybrid drivetrains, if needed. "Being configurable and flexible are the two key strands of Ingenium's DNA because we have future-proofed our new engines from the outset," said said Ron Lee, the company's director of Powertrain Engineering.

To maximize efficiency, Jaguar promises that all versions of the Ingenium engines come with computer-controlled, variable oil pumps and water pumps to use only as much energy as needed. They also get direct injection, roller bearings for the cams and stop/start. The diesel version alone has 17 percent less internal friction than the mill it replaces, the company claims. JLR is also promising class-leading figures for Ingenium's torque and horsepower too, but it's not giving away those specs just yet.

While it all sounds intriguing, we still have to wait a while before actually driving a product that makes use of the Ingenium. The production of the 2.0-liter diesel (codenamed AJ200D) doesn't begin until early 2015. Scroll down to read the full press release about JLR's new pride and joy.

Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover offers (some) detail about new Ingenium engine

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Land Rover knows where you're going and how you want to get there

07/11/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, Tech, Videos, Jaguar, Land Rover, Luxury

JLR's self learning car

Land Rover makes some of the most capable SUVs on or off the road, and some of the most luxurious too. But the British automaker isn't about to rest on those laurels - not when every other automaker assaults its territory with sport-utes of their own. That's why Land Rover has been working so hard on nifty new technologies from a depth-sounder in the door mirror of the Range Rover Sport an augmented-reality head-up display that makes the whole front of the car virtually disappear.

JLR's newest tech may not be ground-breaking, but its integration promises to make driving around town that much easier. The system syncs with the driver's smartphone and uses all manner of parameters - including driver habits, weather and location as well as the presence of other passengers - to make the commute go as smoothly as possible. Get into the car and it'll set the seat and mirrors for you. No big deal, because lots of cars do that. But it'll also set up the nav system to take you to work and the sound system to play your favorite music. Okay, getting more interesting.

Get in with your kids and it'll know not only that you've got to drop them off at school first (or remind you to pack their gym bag if they've got soccer practice after school that day) but that they might not enjoy that Chumbawamba album you've been listening to since college and it'll play something it knows you'll all enjoy based on your listening history. Then it'll switch back to Tubthumping once the kids are out, remind you of your morning meeting and alert those you're scheduled to meet with if you get stuck in traffic while finding you a better route to get there, monitoring fuel levels all the while and telling you if you'll need to tank up before you reach your destination. It knows if you like calling your mother on the drive to work and will lower the air suspension to make it easier to hop out once you get there.

Impressive stuff, and you can delve deeper into it in the press release and video below.

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Kahn and Evanta team up for hot-rod Defender, custom Barchetta

07/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, SUVs, Aston Martin, Land Rover, UK

Ant-Kahn Evanta Barchetta

If you're familiar with the work of Afzal Kahn, it's probably for his tuned Range Rovers. And if you live in London, you may have seen his Bugatti Veyron with the F1 license plate. But the British tuner and self-styled "automotive fashion designer" is now embarking on a far more ambitious project.

Kahn is teaming up with Ant Anstead of Evanta fame - responsible for rebodying Aston Martin DB7s to look like DB4 GTs and that full-scale DBR1/2 model kit - on a new outfit called Ant-Kahn. Far more than a tuning endeavor, Ant-Kahm is setting about creating truly unique (and uniquely British) automobiles.

Their first project is called the Flying Huntsman, a long-nose Land Rover Defender that we imagine will emerge as something like a British take on the 1998 Jeepster concept crossed with something Icon might concoct. It'll pack a 6.2-liter GM LS3 V8 producing 550 horsepower, mated to a push-button six-speed automatic transmission, mounted close to the bulkhead with over 15 inches of extra bodywork and set to be unveiled within the coming months.

Their second collaboration is set to yield the Evanta Barchetta previewed by rendering above. "Inspired by the design language of 1950s motorsport," the Barchetta pays homage to classic British and Italian roadsters. It's being built around a tubular frame with handcrafted composite Kevlar bodywork and powered by that same LS3 tuned to 450 hp but in a much lighter form than the Flying Hunstman. Only 20 examples will be made after its debut at the Goodwood Revival come September.

An Aston Martin project codenamed WB12 is also in the works, painting a picture of an ambitious startup backed by two experienced operators whose projects we're looking forward to seeing come to fruition.

Continue reading Kahn and Evanta team up for hot-rod Defender, custom Barchetta

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Range Rover Sport SVR sounds like a lion... or a Jaguar

07/03/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, SUVs, Videos, Land Rover, Misc. Auto Shows

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR uncrated

Jaguar's AJ-V8 engine is many things to many cars. It may be old, sure - having been developed with Ford money back in the late 1990s - but it's also grown to be seriously powerful, with output rising from 240 horsepower in the original 3.2-liter version to 575 hp in its latest 5.0-liter supercharged form. It's rather ubiquitous, too, powering an assortment of Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ford, Lincoln and Land Rover models like the one you see here. And it's one of the sweetest-sounding engines on the market.

That latest AJ-V8-powered Land Rover is the Range Rover Sport SVR, presented in prototype form at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this past weekend. That's where Shmee150, one of the most popular automotive videographers on YouTube, caught a glimpse of it being uncrated and started up.

With 550 metric horsepower on tap, it's sure to give even the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S a run for its money - and really, there are few SUVs that can do that (at least until the Lamborghini Urus comes along, or Jeep decides to slot the new 707-horsepower Hellcat V8 into the Grand Cherokee SRT). Expect the first of JLR's SVR models to debut at Pebble Beach next month, but in the meantime, watch - and more importantly, listen - to the video below.

Continue reading Range Rover Sport SVR sounds like a lion... or a Jaguar

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Jaguar to offer high-performance SVR models like Land Rover?

07/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, SUVs, Jaguar, Land Rover, Luxury

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR Prototype at Goodwood

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed this past weekend, Land Rover previewed its upcoming performance version of the Range Rover Sport. Only instead of wearing the R-S badge that adorns the most hardcore of Jaguar models, the performance SUV from JLR's Special Operations unit introduced the letters SVR. And now, it seems that badge is here to stay.

Following the Range Rover Sport SVR, a new report from Motor Authority now says that Jaguar Land Rover will use those letters to distinguish the top-of-the-line performance models from both marques moving forward. As such, we might expect SVR models of the upcoming Jaguar XE compact sedan and Land Rover Discovery Sport, as well as potential new performance models based on the new F-Type and next-generation XF.

If accurate, the move would seem to separate Jaguar in particular from the R-S badge that has adorned performance models like the XFR-S and XKR-S. Both Audi and Porsche use the letters RS to distinguish its most hardcore models as well (e.g. Audi RS7 Sportback and Porsche 911 GT3 RS). Whether the similarity was a factor in shifting to the SVR moniker, we don't know, but either way, we welcome the arrival of a new generation of Jaguar and Land Rover performance models - especially if they pack the 575-horsepower version of the company's ubiquitous 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Not incidentally, that delicious powerplant gained a couple of new engine bays to call home at Goodwood as well - it's not just found in the forthcoming Range Rover Sport SVR, it's found a home in the F-Type Project 7, too.

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