2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Unveiled back in October at the 2014 Paris Auto Show, the new Land Rover Discovery Sport is aimed at delivering legendary off-road ability at a price point that won’t break the bank. Available in both a five and seven seat configuration the 2015 Discovery Sport offers an updated sleek design with enhanced technology compared to the LR2 model it replaces.

The Sport’s standard powertrain is a 2.0L, 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine shared with the Range Rover Evoque. This is mated to a full-time all-wheel drive system with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

True to its roots, the Discovery Sport provides rugged capability with ground clearance of 212 mm, towing capacity of 2500kg and the ability to wade through water up to two feet deep. With a full size spare fitted to the five seater and a space saver in the seven seater it provides the confidence to take it off-road.

Starting at $37,995 USD the new Land Rover Discovery Sport is priced well in the crowded luxury compact SUV market. The final sticker price can climb dramatically with additional features so buyer beware but let’s be honest it’s a Land Rover after all.  If you are crazy budget conscious this is likely not the vehicle for you.

We are glad to see Land Rover is updating its line-up and are looking forward to getting some seat time behind the wheel in 2015 when these models hit our streets.

This video makes me want a used Land Rover

Our friends at Jalopnik have posted an amazing story about a time lapsed video where technicians in Framingham, Massachusetts at J. White’s Automotive spent a whole weekend swapping a rusty frame on a 2004 Land Rover Discovery for a shiny new one. For anyone that loves Land Rovers as much as we do this video is proof that you really can do anything to these beautiful beasts….

Range Rover Sport HSE vs. Range Rover Supercharged

The Range Rover brand is truly iconic since people who know nothing about cars are aware of its rich pedigree of craftsmanship, luxury and performance. Resulting from this amazing brand recognition, Land Rover stands out among its competitors as one of the world’s top brands. Interestingly, today, Land Rover is now owned by India’s Tata Motors who acquired both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in a blockbuster deal in 2008. Over the past six years, Tata has done a stellar job of rejuvenating the brand globally. Consequently, when you look at Land Rovers’ current 2014 model line-up it’s obvious the nameplate has come a long way since Maurice Wilks constructed the first Land Rover back in 1947 after being inspired by the American World War II Jeep.

Last month, we had the incredible opportunity to experience first hand Land Rover’s 2014 Range Rover Sport HSE and the 2014 Range Rover Supercharged model.

2014 Ranger Rover Sport

2014 Ranger Rover Sport HSE

We started behind the wheel of the newly redesigned Sport HSE model equipped with the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 which pumps out 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Redesigned from the frame up to be lighter and more nimble, (it tips the scales 800 pounds lighter than the 2013 model) Land Rover has turned its stylish SUV into a family friendly SUV for those who strive to drive a premium vehicle. Although now longer than its predecessor by 2.5 inches for a total of 191 it is still over four inches shorter than the 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan.

The Sport was a ton of fun to drive in both city and highway environments and its size works well for an urban environment as I never felt it was too big.  As for overall appearance the black on black colour scheme along with the motor hood venting provides a sinister and sporty look. A few welcomed features during the last few days of our Canadian “hell” winter were the heated windshield along with the ultra comfy heated seats and heated steering wheel. Although there are several other engines offered in the Sport trim including the unreal supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 the 3.0 V6 engine is more than enough power to propel the Range Rover Sport. Land Rover estimates the V6 configuration provides a 0-60 mph performance time of 6.9 seconds which should be enough for most families aside from the Andretti’s.

Back seat of Ranger Rover Sport

Back seat of Ranger Rover Sport HSE

It’s amazing how capable this new Range Rover Sport really is and it’s a bit of a shame that few owners will ever challenge it on anything rougher than an unpaved road on their way to the cottage. Its perfect combination of subtle suspension and Brembo brakes results in excellent driving and braking capability at all speeds and it does this in spite of the beefy 4700 lb curb weight. 

Motor hood of Range Rover Sport

Hood vents on Range Rover Sport HSE

Overall, the Range Rover Sport is an amazing ride and I would truly love to have one in the driveway.  Our test model came in at $86,000 CDN reinforcing the premium price Range Rover’s garner in the marketplace.

Range Rover Supercharged

Range Rover Supercharged

Next up is Land Rover’s flagship model, the Range Rover Supercharged, which brings an out of this world level of power and size to the ring.  Beginning with its regal design the Ranger Rover Supercharged is as close as you can get to having your own personal chariot.  Its stance exudes confidence and poise and let’s be honest if you are driving one of these you want the world to know you have made it. Designed to compete with the big boys of high-performance luxury SUVs including the Mercedes GL 63 AMG and Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the supercharged 5.0L V-8 engine delivers a whopping 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Kudos to the team at Land Rover as they have done a magnificent job designing this new powertrain. When you stomp on the gas pedal it provides the acceleration of a V8 supercar and launches like a cheetah. At one point during the week-long test, I seriously thought I may need some wheelie bars. The power is instant and visceral and the V8 sound that goes along with it is intoxicating. With a sizzling 0-60-mph time in the range of 5.0 seconds it is the most powerful Land Rover ever built and driving it is a sure way to get the adrenaline pumping.  But the best part of all is it’s a true wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Aside from the Supercharged badge on the tailgate nobody knows it has so much power. Hence, you pull up beside someone at a stoplight, and when the light turns green you might as well be in a Z06 Corvette since most vehicles will not even come close to challenging you. Having said this, I’m not condoning this type of activity as it’s illegal, but this is a risk associated with owning the supercharged V8 model.

Interior of Ranger Rover Supercharged

Interior of Ranger Rover Supercharged

The Range Rover includes a host of other goodies that make life easier and driving a little safer too. To name a few there’s a surround camera system, reverse traffic detection with blind spot monitoring and closing vehicle sensing, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, rain sensing wipers, an 18-speaker Meridian audio system, massaging and heated seats and best of all are the heavenly front headrests which are hands down the most comfortable headrests I have ever experienced. Although designed to be an incredible off-roader it is way too beautiful and expensive to take to the trails and I’d be surprised to hear that any of these models ever see the mud and water they are designed to tackle.

Ranger Rover Supercharged

Ranger Rover Supercharged

Coming in at a price tag as tested of $127,145 the Range Rover Supercharged is certainly not for the everyman.  Nope, this vehicle is designed for those who have successfully climbed the corporate ladder and/or entrepreneurial rock stars along with professional athletes and celebrities. However, there is other important group worth mentioning who have had a long history with Land Rover products and that is the British Royal family. A few years back in a story we did about the introduction of the Range Rover Evoque we also included a video of Queen Elizabeth II driving her Land Rover equipped with a manual transmission. And just this past summer, we saw Land Rover once again star as the vehicle of choice for Prince William and Kate at the birth of Prince George. Kudos to Land Rover since you could not ask for better global brand ambassadors!

RIP Land Rover Defender

News this week that Land Rover will be discontinuing their Defender model in 2015.

The Land Rover Defender is being discontinued

The Land Rover Defender is being discontinued

The Defender was first introduced into the consumer market in 1983 as the Land Rover Ninety and the Land Rover One Ten, with the numbers representing the wheelbase in inches.

It was also sold in North America between 1993 and 1997 until in 1998 US regulations were introduced requiring airbags for both front seat passengers as well as side door impact requirements. The Defender could not be fitted with these without major modifications and based on sales numbers it was not economically viable to continue their sale in the US and Canada. Despite not being sold in North America from 1998 onwards, the Defender was popular enough that enthusiasts found ways to bring them over from Europe.

More stringent regulations, this time in European relating to fuel efficiency, also appear to be one of the reasons why the Defender will be discontinued.  In addition, recent sales of the Defender have been lagging with only 561 sold in the first eight months of the year. A replacement to the Defender is reportedly in the works, but won’t be available for some time.

RIP Defender….

Source: Wikipedia, Autonews.com, BBC News

2013 Range Rover Review

Although the Cadillac Escalade is the ultimate in North American SUVs, the foreign SUV crown goes to Land Rover with its opulent Range Rover models.

land-rover-range-rover-fd

For most people purchasing a new Range Rover is likely only a dream as a result of its rich sticker price, however, that does not extinguish the allure of the Range Rover as the modern day chariot.  Well, the Range Rover 4th generation has now been launched and is attracting a ton of buzz within the international auto media.

Earlier this month, Auto Guide.com’s Colum Wood put the Range Rover through its paces  somewhere on the border between Arizona and Utah. Check out the official video review.

We want one…

RedlineNorth News Round Up

Over the past week, we saw lots of significant negative news in the auto world with the announcement of Suzuki declaring Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the US and the class action lawsuits filed against Hyundai Canada and Kia Canada.  However, there was some positive ink including exciting news for Mazda fans as Mazda Motor Corporation’s Sports Car Chief Nobuhiro Yamamoto announced the award winning Mazda RX-7 will return to the marketplace in 2017.  Adding to the fun, there was also a story from the Washington Post about the new Land Rover Defender coming to the U.S. which was confirmed by Land Rover executives at the recent 2012 Paris Auto Show.

New Land Rover Defender

Based on the current smashing success of the Range Rover Evoque we better get in line now to review one of the these babies down the road.

2012 Range Rover Evoque

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past eight months you have likely seen some of the buzz around the 2012 Range Rover Evoque.  It first appeared in Canadian showrooms in October of 2011, as the newest addition to Land Rover’s 2012 vehicle line-up and since then there has been no shortage of marketing and PR support. However, recently the PR machine seems to have slowed down so we thought now would be a good time to take a closer look to see what all the hype is about.

The combination of Range Rover’s Illustrious lineage as the estate vehicle of royalty, celebrities and anyone who matters, certainly lends itself well to attracting attention when w models are launched. Much of the recent launch fanfare has been around Victoria Beckham’s (a.k.a. Posh Spice) involvement in the interior’s design as she provided input into the final design giving it a “chic” touch.

In spite of being Range Rover’s smallest and most efficient models ever built, the interior stays true to form and portrays the Range Rover luxury look and feel so many other manufactures can only aspire to ever achieve.

The Evoque is available in both a two door and four door model, its new sleek innovative design is intended to appeal to a younger, urban market versus the higher-end larger Range Rover models. And with a competitive starting price of $46,995 CAD it is priced right for the entry level, luxury SUV/Crossover segment.

Along with massive amounts of mainstream press coverage, the kudos and industry awards just keep flowing for Range Rover’s Evoque as it has now won a variety of global auto awards including; 2011 Car of the Year by Top Gear and Motor Trend’s 2012 SUV of the year.

Keeping with Range Rover’s royal theme connection we wanted to point out an amazing video of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II driving her vintage Range Rover in the UK countryside.  It’s absolutely priceless listening to her chit chat with the local rabbit hunters while driving through one of her estates.

So to close, I think it’s safe to say the new Range Rover Evoque is living up to the hype of its launch and if the older Range Rover models are good enough for the Queen, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque should certainly be at the top of the list for any car savvy soccer Mom.  But of course, the big question still remains. Has the Queen added the Range Rover Evoque to her royal fleet line-up?

To be continued….