FX and M debuted, Future product range disclosed, New European Infiniti headquarters to be located in Switzerland
Moscow, (30 August , 2006) – Infiniti, the luxury division of Nissan, celebrated its official launch in Russia today at the Moscow International Motor Show. The initial line-up of Infiniti vehicles, which go on sale this fall, includes the sporty crossover FX and the M luxury performance sedan, both offered in 3.5l V6 and 4.5l V8 versions and available at dealerships in Moscow and St Petersburg. Infiniti also disclosed its future Russian product line-up including the G35 sport sedan and QX56 full-size SUV and provided a hint at the future with the Infiniti Coupe Concept. During its press conference, Infiniti also announced its new European headquarters would be established in Switzerland.
Infiniti’s entry into the Russian market is part of the global expansion of the brand as part of the company’s three-year plan called NISSAN Value Up. Launched in the US and Canada in 1989, Infiniti is currently sold across North America, Taiwan, Korea and the Middle East. Further launches of the Infiniti brand are planned for China and Ukraine in 2007.
“Today, we celebrate Infiniti’s expanding presence as a globally recognised luxury brand, a brand that offers a unique combination of serenity, silky design and driving pleasure,”
said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Product Planning and Corporate Strategy,
Nissan Motor Co. “We believe that in Russia, as in other Infiniti markets, our customers will be those looking for this new, very personal style of luxury and respectful treatment,” continued Tavares.
Infiniti also disclosed details about the future Infiniti product range in Russia. “In the course of 2007, the Infiniti FX crossover and M luxury performance sedan will be joined in dealer showrooms by two additional products: the all-new G35 sport sedan and the QX56 full-size luxury SUV,” Tavares added. The range of products on stage at the Moscow International Motor Show was completed by the Infiniti Coupe Concept, “a hint at the future embracing the continuous advancement of Infiniti design with a unique combination of passion, imagination and creativity,” said Tavares.
At launch this autumn, Infiniti will be supported by a dedicated sales and service network consisting of two dealerships in Moscow and one in St Petersburg. The dealer showrooms will incorporate the new Infiniti Retail Environment Design Initiative (IREDI) design standards, a dynamic global dealership design standard for Infiniti retailers around the world. The IREDI program is one of the key pillars of the Total Ownership Experience (TOE), a customer-centric philosophy dedicated to building lasting relationships that go beyond product and embraces Japanese luxury.
Infiniti also announced the establishment of a regional headquarters for Infiniti Europe operations to be located in Rolle, Vaud canton in Switzerland, “a natural home of luxury brands in Europe,” noted Tavares. Infiniti will be distributed in Europe through a dedicated sales and service network that will begin operations during 2008.
Motorists are more likely to fail their vehicle MOT test by using a garage that also carries out repairs. Women are especially at risk according to recent research.
Motorists risk being handed a list of jobs that don’t need carrying out when they go for an MOT. Some garages use the MOT test as an opportunity to look for, and even create work. Failing brakes when only adjustment is required was the most common complaint according to mail order specialist Car Parts Direct.
The survey also found that women taking a vehicle for an MOT were 12% more likely to fail than a male motorist. Motorists using an MOT station where repairs are also carried out were 18% more likely to fail their MOT test.
According to VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Service Agency) the Government body responsible for overseeing MOT centre activities claim 32% of vehicles failed their MOT test last year. Around 10 percent of all motorists driving in for an MOT failed due to a brake related problem. A similar number failed because of a smoky exhaust or high exhaust emissions.
Mark Cornwall said, “Dishonest garage traders profit from vulnerable motorists. Checking brake pads and discs is an easy job for motorists and a smoky exhaust can normally be reduced by adding an injection cleaner to the fuel – it’s one of our best selling products to help pass the MOT emissions test.”
Mark Cornwall claims that more than half of all motorists could avoid the need for an MOT re-test and expensive unnecessary repairs by following a few simple rules. Car Parts Direct provides a free motorists’ check list on how to pass your MOT first time and avoid garage scams by rogue garage traders – visit www.carparts-direct.co.uk
Honda will reveal production versions of the new CR-V compact SUV and the high performance Civic Type R, on its biggest ever stand at the Paris Motor Show in September.
The completely new CR-V combines SUV practicality with saloon car-like driving dynamics, sophisticated styling and an upmarket, well-equipped interior that help take the car into the upper tiers of the SUV market. It will also be available with the advanced Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), two unique and cutting-edge technologies that deliver added driver convenience and enhanced safety.
A new 2.0-litre petrol engine, together with Honda’s renowned 2.2-litre i-CTDi diesel engine, ensures the CR-V continues to offer class-leading fuel consumption and performance.
The keenly awaited Civic Type R also makes its debut in production-model guise, a car which captures the same degree of exhilarating performance as its predecessor, but in a more refined package for the road.
The ‘superhatch’ Type R offers impressive performance levels with aggressive styling and improved handling characteristics to deliver enhanced predictability, responsiveness and an even more rewarding driving experience.
Also being revealed at Paris is the 2007 FR-V, which has a new engine line-up for next year. Honda’s compact multi-purpose vehicle, featuring six seats arranged in two rows of three, now features the 1.8 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine (first seen in the 5-door Civic) together with a series of detail exterior and interior changes.
The Honda stand at the Paris Show is made up of three zones: Advanced Technology, Sports and Product.
New CR-V and new Civic Type R are the main ingredients of the new Product Zone. They will be joined by the revised FR-V and the recently-launched Civic Type S, as well as the gadget-laden Accord.
In the Sports zone, Honda’s success at the pinnacle of motorsport – Formula 1 – will be represented on the stand by the winning RA106, as raced by Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello this season, together with the Honda RA806E V8 engine which powers this car.
Alongside will be a racing variant of the new Civic Type R. Developed by JAS Motorsport – the official partner of Honda in customer racing support – the racing Civic Type R will be fully FIA homologated for 2007 track and rally events.
The Sports zone is rounded off by a special edition of the Honda S2000 roadster in Super Platinum White and with a Passion Red and Black interior.
Honda’s pre-eminent role in developing fuel efficient and alternatively-fuelled vehicles is showcased within the stand’s Advanced Technology zone.
Honda will also be showing the very latest fuel cell technology in the form of the FCX Concept car, a sleek, premium four door saloon featuring a unique, low-floor fuel cell platform that allows a spacious cabin previously unimaginable in a fuel cell vehicle.
Displayed alongside, and illustrating how such vehicles might be fuelled, will be Honda’s Home Energy Station. This can generate hydrogen from a domestic gas supply, as well as generate electricity to power the home using its own fuel cells, and at the same time recover the heat produced to provide a supply of hot water – represented at the Motor Show by a ‘home’ set complete with TV screen and wash basin producing hot water, courtesy of the Home Energy Station.
Meanwhile, the Civic Hybrid Sports concept proves that super-efficiency can be stylish and visually-arresting. Fitted with deep front and rear spoilers and side skirts, the aggressive-looking body is finished in a special blue paint, and set off by chrome finish seven-spoke alloy wheels and exhaust tailpipes. The equally distinctive interior uses the contrast of black and white as a colour scheme, with bucket seats providing a sporting flourish.
Sharing the same part of the stand, the Civic Hybrid Cut model uses cutaways and transparent body panels to expose key elements of the hybrid technology to provide a better understanding of the technology and the benefits achieved.
Honda press conference: on the Honda Stand in Hall 3, at 13.30 on Press Day, 28 September – Paris Motor Show.
Road tolls and congestion charges will take over as the biggest cost for an average motorist in the next decade according to a report by Autocar magazine.
Today fixed costs like road tax, insurance, loans and depreciation considerably outweigh variable costs like fuel, servicing and tolls. This is likely to change dramatically with the expected introduction of higher tax bandings, motorway tolls and widespread congestion charges which will alter the balance.
Combining figures from The AA and Autocar’s research, running costs for a Ford Focus 1.6 driver averaging 15,000 miles per year are predicted to grow to 38p per mile, 20 percent more than the fixed costs.
An average driver can expect to spend £1000 per year just on road tolls by 2015. A 30,000 mile a year driver, will be spending £3000 a year on tolls.
Green taxes will also see our Focus driver spending around £750 per year on car tax, but any car emitting more than 225 g/km of carbon dioxide will be forking out £2000 a year to the treasury.
Chas Hallett, editor Autocar said: ‘It’s going to be a lot more costly for car drivers over the coming decade. It’s right that polluting cars should pay a penalty but the government should rethink its road tolling proposals immediately, or a lot of motorists on average incomes are going to be priced out of their cars.’
Singer Katie Melua just one of thousands of converts
“The inaugural National Motorsport Week (August 12-20) achieved far more than we could ever have hoped,” said Chris Aylett, Chief Executive of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA).
“Our concept was simple – ‘take a mate to motorsport’, ie introduce people to the sport we love so they can experience the fun and excitement firsthand. Everybody did their bit, from manufacturers who opened their doors to visitors, to event organisers who went out of their way to encourage fresh faces.”
Charity golf tournament including Nigel Mansell hits the spot
The week teed off with the ‘MIA Masters of Golf’ tournament – a Pro-Am event that gave motorsport industry members the chance to play with kings of the track such as Nigel Mansell, Derek Warwick and Riccardo Patrese, before being transferred to Silverstone to watch them practice for the Grand Prix Masters race.
The golf proceeds went to the MIA Motorsport Foundation, the charity adopted by Grand Prix Masters and the body behind National Motorsport Week. The Foundation’s ‘Putting it back’ logo was proudly displayed on the Grand Prix Masters’ two-seater demo racer and the overalls of the lucky passengers.
Star passenger – Katie Melua
Top selling female singer Katie Melua is a star example of what National Motorsport Week is all about. She was performing at the Grand Prix Masters event at Silverstone on August 13, was treated to a ride in the two-seater, and enjoyed it so much she now wants to race herself!
There was evidence of support among the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) runners, where Team RAC displayed National Motorsport Week stickers on both their MGs.
Top racing car manufacturer Lola Cars held an open day at their Huntingdon facility. Communications Manager Sam Smith said, “We had 65 people here in total, many of whom had no experience of any type of racing. It was a very rewarding two days for both the guests and our staff.”
Innovative interactive calendar and wallpaper
Many participants in the week took advantage of an innovative interactive calendar and wallpaper which could be downloaded from the National Motorsport Week website. Through the ‘screenza’ software provided by Lateral Syncing, fans were even able to add information and upload their own photos for others to enjoy.
Typical feedback included, “I never knew just how many motorsport events there were in the UK. You normally only hear about the big stuff like Formula One and occasionally some rallying, but it is great to see all the info in one place.” This included details on everything from the Welsh Automotive Forum exhibition in Cardiff and the Oxford Motor Club ‘Scatter’, through to the launch of Mattel’s new radio controlled Hot Wheels toy car range. There were hundreds of related events in total.
Firm foundations for the future
Everywhere the message was clear - motorsport offers great challenges, great camaraderie and great fun. National Motorsport Week received extensive national media coverage and the response from everyone involved was very encouraging. Firm foundations have been laid for developing the concept and exciting plans are already under way for 2007.
Said Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), which did so much to inspire the members of its 700-plus affiliated motor clubs, “We were delighted with the response of our clubs to National Motorsport Week. Despite the short notice, the concept was warmly welcomed and endorsed, with many clubs and organisations making special arrangements to open up the sport to new audiences. We look forward to agreeing the plans for next year and helping to develop the initiative into a high profile annual event.”
Further information and images of the activities that comprised National Motorsport Week are available on the dedicated website www.nationalmotorsportweek.co.uk
Powerful, state-of-the-art TDV8 turbo diesel – new, fourth engine option for Range Rover Sport
Power and torque over 40 per cent greater than TDV6 turbocharged diesel engine, but still achieving 25.5 mpg (11.1 litre/100 km) on combined fuel cycle
Class-leading refinement helps emphasise V8 acoustics
Ride, handling and brakes on a par with Range Rover
The introduction of a powerful and brand new TDV8 as a fourth engine option, completes the launch phase of the Range Rover Sport. Since its debut in 2005, Land Rover’s most performance-oriented vehicle yet – dubbed a ‘sports tourer’ by the company – has been consistently in high demand, leading to waiting lists in many markets.
With its combination of exhilarating performance and fuel economy of 25.5 mpg (11.1 litre/100 km) on combined fuel cycle, the new TDV8 is expected to extend the Range Rover Sport’s appeal still further.
“The new TDV8 engine is a tremendous achievement, with performance, outstanding refinement and exceptional efficiency. It extends choice still further for our customers, and we expect it to help maintain the vehicle’s outstanding sales success,” says Land Rover managing director, Phil Popham.
The TDV8 engine has been designed specifically to power the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, ensuring no compromise to its off-road credentials, and it was first seen earlier this year in the Range Rover. For Range Rover Sport, the engine calibration, installation and applications have been developed to deliver a more sporting driving experience to suit the vehicle.
The introduction of the TDV8 engine at 2007 model year is accompanied by detailed specification upgrades and improvements across the Range Rover Sport line-up. The existing three engine options continue to be available – TDV6, V8 petrol and V8 supercharged.
STRONG AND EFFICIENT NEW TDV8
Complementing the Range Rover Sport’s existing TDV6 engine, Land Rover’s state-of-the-art TDV8 engine is lightweight, strong and fuel efficient. Designed from the outset to accommodate Land Rover’s uncompromising off-road demands, the engine has been developed to provide huge reserves of torque across the rev range.
Peak power from the TDV8 engine is an impressive 272 PS (200 kW), 42 per cent higher than the existing V6 diesel. The new vehicle reaches 60 mph in 8.6 seconds (100 km/h in 9.2 seconds), while top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph (209 km/h). The TDV8’s torque curve is impressively flat. Peak torque – an enormous 640 Nm (45 per cent higher than the TDV6) – is available continuously from just 2000 rpm to 2500 rpm. With more than 500 Nm of torque available from less than 1500 rpm to over 3700 rpm, it’s no surprise that in-gear performance is where the TDV8 really excels. In CommandShift™ manual transmission mode, the new derivative takes only 6.8 seconds to accelerate from 50 to 70 mph in fifth gear. Yet, despite such performance, the TDV8 delivers 25.5 mpg (11.1 litres/100 km) over the combined cycle.
Each cylinder bank is fed by a dedicated variable-geometry turbocharger via separate, high-capacity intercoolers to help achieve the engine’s impressive throttle responses. Twin fuel-coolers help reduce temperatures in the engine’s high-pressure fuel circuit, where the camshaft-driven fuel pump supplies the piezoelectric injectors with diesel fuel at pressures of up to 1700 bar. A sophisticated intake port deactivation system helps optimise combustion chamber swirl for even greater efficiency and cleaner combustion.
Land Rover’s patented turbo oil-scavenging system works in conjunction with specially developed sealing and intake systems to help ensure that the engine can withstand the vehicle’s 700 mm wading capability and rigorous off-road operating-angle requirements.
A key objective for the TDV8 engine was refinement. Superb combustion control, exceptionally stiff engine structure and tuned acoustic covers for both the engine and fuel-injection system all help make the TDV8 one of the world’s quietest large diesels.
Even at idle, vibrations are on a par with those of many V8 petrol engines thanks to electronically controlled, switchable-rate hydraulic engine mounts. Very low levels of base-engine noise have allowed Land Rover engineers to tune the exhaust system to emphasise the TDV8’s naturally sporting burble; the result is a uniquely appealing soundtrack for a big diesel.
ACCLAIMED DRIVELINE TECHNOLOGYThe TDV8 engine is mated to Range Rover Sport’s sophisticated full-time 4x4 driveline. Electronic control continuously adapts the change characteristics of the ZF six-speed automatic transmission to the prevailing driving style. In addition, the CommandShift mode also provides manual gearchange when required, providing even greater driver involvement.
Land Rover’s Positive Torque system is standard on all TDV8 derivatives, providing faster downshifts by automatically blipping the throttle to match engine and road-speeds. When not locked, the four-wheel-drive system’s electronic centre differential continuously adjusts the front-to-rear torque split to help optimise traction, whatever the surface. The two-speed shift-on-the-fly transfer box incorporates a low-range reduction gear, designed to help achieve Range Rover Sport’s class-leading standards of off-road gradeability and control.
EXTRAORDINARY COMPOSURE, AGILITY AND BALANCE
TDV8 derivatives share the acclaimed independent, double wishbone airsprung suspension system of other Range Rover Sport models and are available with either 19” alloy wheels with 255/50 tyres or 20” alloys with 275/40 tyres. As Range Rover Sport’s chassis was designed from the outset to accommodate the TDV8 engine, it’s no surprise that the new derivative’s on-road agility and balance match the remarkable standards set by its V8 supercharged sibling.
And like the V8 supercharged derivative, Range Rover Sport’s highly effective Dynamic Response system is standard equipment on the TDV8. The system’s electronically controlled hydraulic actuators continually adjust Range Rover Sport’s roll stiffness in response to cornering forces, providing outstanding body control without the ride penalties associated with conventional roll bars.
The TDV8 shares its braking system with the Range Rover Sport Supercharged too, with four-piston Brembo front brake callipers and 360 mm front discs helping to achieve consistently excellent stopping power.
UNRIVALLED BREADTH OF CAPABILITY
In addition to the TDV8’s impressive on-road behaviour, its off-road performance is class-leading. Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response™ system, standard on Range Rover Sport, has been specifically tuned for the TDV8. The way the vehicle’s engine and chassis systems should react for optimum control on surfaces such as snow or grass is very different from the way they should react when – for example – crawling over rocky ground. Selecting the appropriate Terrain Response setting adjusts the responses of features from suspension ride height and axle articulation to gearchange and traction-control maps. This helps optimise the vehicle’s behaviour to suit the prevailing ground, leaving the driver free to concentrate on the route ahead. Terrain Response’s five settings cover ‘general driving’, ‘grass, gravel, snow’, ‘mud and ruts’, ‘sand’ and ‘rock crawl’ conditions, a range that underpins Range Rover Sport’s exceptional breadth of capability.
Dynamic Response also helps Range Rover Sport perform better off-road. While conventional roll bars are great for roll control on smooth tarmac, they work by increasing the force needed to move individual wheels up and down, potentially a real disadvantage off-road. Dynamic Response automatically reduces roll stiffness when driving off-road to improve the suppleness with which individual wheels can move, making progress over rough ground even easier. In conjunction with electronic cross-linking of the vehicle’s air suspension units, this allows Range Rover Sport to achieve excellent cross-axle articulation, helping to keep all wheels on the ground when negotiating challenging off-road obstacles.
FEATURE REFINEMENTSThe TDV8’s bright, Titan-finish grille and side vents are performance cues shared with the V8 supercharged derivative. Stunning new 18” and 19” lightweight alloy wheels are available on both the TDV6 and V8 naturally aspirated petrol derivatives, saving around 10 kg per vehicle.
Detail improvements abound within the cabin too. The optional new hybrid TV unit not only offers better analogue TV reception, it’s capable of processing digital TV signals too. This helps future-proof against the planned migration to digital- only TV signals in many countries. An attractive metallic finish is now applied to several controls to improve tactility, while crisp, clearer instrument graphics and an additional instrument pack clock make life easier for the driver. Other enhancements to specific derivatives include stowage pouches on leather driver seats, enhanced navigation functionality, lane-change indicator functionality (providing a three-flash lane-change signal in response to a single touch), an electric tailgate latch (for automatic closing once lowered) and the optional availability of Land Rover’s fully electronic Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (which keeps an accurate watch on temperature-corrected tyre pressure within each road wheel).
In the words of chief programme engineer Stuart Frith: “The TDV8 engine is the company’s fastest diesel to date and marries Range Rover Sport’s unique blend of dynamic handling and off-road ability with an unprecedented combination of powerful performance and diesel efficiency.”
All photographs and engineering data in this press pack are from pre-production prototype work. The specification, design and production of any vehicle shown is subject to alteration without notice. Some images feature optional accessories.
New bonnet bulge on 90/110/130
* New 2.4-litre common rail diesel engine for improved driveability, refinement and pulling power
* New six-speed gearbox featuring a wide ratio spread for better off-road and cruising abilities
* New fully-integrated facia improves quality and ergonomics
* New, more comfortable seating with full-size forward-facing third-row seat option
* New high-output heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system
* Unique Defender architecture retained, with 90, 110 and 130 wheelbase versions supporting a wide range of bespoke derivatives
Greater ability both on-road and off-road plus increased comfort, performance and refinement are among the major improvements introduced for the Land Rover Defender for 2007. A new 2.4-litre diesel engine offers increased torque and improved driveability while the new six-speed gearbox provides a lower first gear ratio, for better off-road control, and a high sixth gear for improved cruising refinement. Inside the vehicle, a new facia improves ergonomics, whilst new seating improves comfort for all occupants, from the four-seat Defender 90 to the five-seat 110 and 130 models. A seven-seat Defender 110 is also available.
The latest in a long line of evolutionary updates to a vehicle whose roots date back to 1948 (since when nearly 1.9 million units have been sold), the 2007 model year changes maintain Defender’s relevance while enhancing its functionality, versatility and durability.
Since the current model’s introduction in 2002, Defender has consistently sold an average of 25,000 units a year worldwide. Retail and utility customers, armed forces and NGOs in over 100 countries value Defender’s class-leading blend of towing and load-carrying versatility, alongside the vehicle’s extraordinary strength, robustness and capability. The unique combination of these attributes helps account for the model’s exceptionally high standards of customer loyalty.
Land Rover managing director Phil Popham said: “We’re building on Defender’s success with a package of improvements that will extend its off-road abilities even further, while transforming on-road refinement and comfort. These changes represent a significant vote of confidence in a product which is the foundation of Land Rover’s reputation for off-road excellence; we believe these enhancements will win the hearts and minds of new and existing customers alike.”
110 for 2007MORE PULLING POWER
Defender’s new 2.4 litre, four-cylinder engine draws on parent company Ford’s acknowledged diesel engine expertise, and represents a major step forward in terms of refinement and driveability. Torque output is higher than the outgoing engine right across the usable rev range, and the 360 Nm (265 lb ft) peak is delivered at only 2000 rpm; over 315 Nm (232 lb ft) of torque is available from 1500 rpm to 2700 rpm.
Engine peak power output is 122 PS (90 kW), with more than 90 per cent of peak power available from less than 2200 rpm to over 4350 rpm – over 60 per cent of the usable rev range. Naturally, in European markets (with high quality diesel fuels), the new engine is designed to be fully compliant with EU4 emissions legislation. But with Defender’s status as a truly global product, a unique engine tune has also been developed to tolerate variable quality, high-sulphur fuels.
Based on a cast-iron block, the engine features an alloy, 16-valve cylinder head with Denso common rail fuel injection. Not only is combustion noise dramatically reduced, thanks to the excellent control provided by the engine’s solenoid-driven fuel injectors, but a new Garrett variable geometry turbocharger also helps ensure throttle response is improved over the outgoing engine. The engine’s lubrication and sealing systems have been specially developed to cope with Defender’s onerous range of operating angles.
The new GFT MT 82 six-speed gearbox provides a much wider ratio spread than before; the lower first gear offers a reduction in crawl speed and combines with the engine’s increased torque output to make towing on-road and off-road even easier. The increased engine torque also helps in-gear acceleration, and has allowed the new sixth gear to be set 20 per cent higher than the outgoing model’s top gear. This helps to improve real-world cruising refinement and fuel economy. Ground gears in both the gearbox and new transfer box help boost refinement, while reductions in clutch and gear-change loads make day-to-day living with Defender significantly easier.
Individual pedal maps specifically matched to the demands of each gear are designed to ensure throttle progression and control is better than ever before; in addition, improved anti-stall characteristics further extend the vehicle’s renowned ability to tackle the toughest terrain.
Changes to the vehicle exterior have been kept to a minimum, with a revised bonnet profile the only clue to the new Defender’s increased capability.
As Dave Saddington, Defender chief designer points out, “Defender’s timeless exterior has become synonymous with functional design. Every line and surface seems to be linked to the vehicle’s extraordinary capability, so we deliberately changed very little.
“But the interior’s a different story. We wanted to change the heating system and instruments, as well as improve ergonomics, all of which gave us the opportunity to introduce an all-new facia. In doing so, we’ve worked hard to reflect Defender’s unique purpose and versatility inside the vehicle too. The new facia is better integrated, more robust and functionally superior to the old unit, whilst still entirely in keeping with Defender’s character.”
New 90/110 dashIMPROVED COMFORT AND ERGONOMICS
Defender’s new facia is based on a single, large moulding supported on a robust steel rail to help eliminate squeaks and rattles. Instruments from Land Rover’s Discovery 3 provide clear, concise information to the driver, and details like all-LED instrument illumination help ensure high standards of reliability. Improvements to ergonomics abound – for example, a new passenger-side grab handle provides robust, two-handed support during extreme off-road driving. The process of modernising Defender’s facia hasn’t sacrificed its usability either, with versatile stowage shelves conveniently located for both the driver and passenger. Two console options are available: a practical open-tray design that keeps contents to hand and a large, lidded design that provides an impressive 14-litres of stowage.
In-car entertainment systems have been upgraded to take advantage of Defender’s improved refinement. For the first time, high-mounted tweeters are available in Defender and work in conjunction with the new speaker installation for significantly improved clarity and sound reproduction. An auxiliary/MP3 audio input socket is also available.
The new facia houses an all-new heating and ventilation system. Cabin airflow is up almost 50 per cent, with new aluminium plate and fin heat exchangers helping deliver impressive performance. In cold weather, the heater warms the cabin 40 per cent quicker than before and can achieve cabin temperatures a full 12°C higher. The air-conditioning system can cool the cabin in half the time of the old unit, and achieve cabin temperatures 7°C lower too. The addition of side window demist vents helps maintain visibility whatever the weather.
SeatsSeating is also comprehensively improved. New, taller front seats are designed to improve back support and head restraint ergonomics.
Robust, more supportive second row seats are introduced too. 110 Station Wagon and 130 Crew Cab models can comfortably accommodate three occupants on a new, asymmetrically-split second row seat. A spring-assisted fold mechanism helps when folding the seats for carrying large or awkward loads.
Defender 90 Station Wagon second row occupants benefit from a pair of individual, full-size, forward-facing rear seats. Providing significantly increased comfort and space over the outgoing model, these seats are also available as a third row option on the 110 Station Wagon. Accessed either through the rear door or by folding the second row seats, they can be easily folded and stowed sideways in the loadspace.
Seat trims include durable all-vinyl and cloth specifications; a half-leather option is also available to add a touch of luxury to the new cabin. Three-point safety belts are specified for all seating positions.
SeatsUpgraded sound insulation, the common rail engine’s excellent combustion control and the significantly higher top gear all contribute to a substantial overall improvement in cabin refinement. In the words of Gary Taylor, Defender’s chief programme engineer, “For many customers, the step change in Defender’s refinement will be one of the most welcome advances; not only are noise levels significantly lower, but sound quality is transformed too.”
Defender’s unique vehicle architecture has been retained. The chassis frame is available in three different wheelbases, and in both standard and heavy-duty guise (for even greater load-bearing capabilities). A total of 14 separate body styles – from pick-ups and soft-tops to crew cabs and station wagons – are produced on the mainstream production line. Beyond this, Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations team offer a range of products from standard drop-side or box-body conversions to bespoke design and build adaptations into ambulances, mobile hydraulic platforms and even airport fire tenders – all of which are covered by Land Rover’s extensive warranty.
All photographs and engineering data in this press pack are from pre-production prototype work. The specification, design and production of any vehicle shown is subject to alteration without notice. Some images feature optional accessories.
As Brits hit the roads for the long bank holiday weekend, drivers are being advised to enjoy the sights along the way without taking risks when behind the wheel.
Research by safe driver champions Privilege Insurance reveals that many drivers admit to putting themselves and their passengers at risk by losing concentration at the wheel in order to take in the nation’s famous sights.
One in four drivers finds stunning countryside like the Lake District a distraction from driving. Landmarks such as the Angel of the North distract a sixth of drivers and dramatic buildings cause more than one in ten motorists to lose concentration on the road.
And men are the worst culprits. More known for being distracted by attractive pedestrians, a third of men (30 per cent) have their attention diverted by beautiful scenery, compared with less than a quarter of women. And twice as many men’s eyes as women’s are drawn to dramatic buildings like Durham Cathedral.
Young drivers are the most in awe of their surroundings. A third of those aged 18 to 29 admitted being sidetracked by a lovely landscape and a fifth by famous monuments.
But while checking out the local countryside may seem harmless, approximately 16,000 people are killed or seriously injured on the UK’s rural roads each year. Earlier this month, the Government announced a major overhaul of road speed limits in an attempt to cut casualty rates – especially on rural routes. 74 per cent of drivers believe the current speed limit is too high for some or all country roads 2.
Ian Parker, Managing Director of Privilege Insurance, said:
"Our advice to motorists, when driving on unfamiliar roads, is that it’s even more important than usual to concentrate on your driving – no matter how beautiful or fascinating the surrounding landscape may be. If you do want to enjoy your surroundings, you will usually find designated parking areas close-by, so you can take in the sites and stay safe."
Privilege specialises in offering highly competitive insurance for safe drivers, with a guarantee to beat renewal quotes for any driver with 4+ years no claims discount. For a competitive Privilege quote, telephone 0845 246 8336 or visit www.privilege.com.
ISA (Intelligent Speed Adaptation) should be re-named as USELESS (Unintelligent Speed Engineering Lowering Existing Safety Standards) says the Association of British Drivers.
The ISA system being planned by the government to control the speed of vehicles, has just two inputs, the speed of the vehicle and the posted speed limit, which it looks up from the location given by a satellite navigation system, and it matches one to the other. That is not intelligence --- in no way can ISA be described as 'intelligent'.
Vehicles, however, really do need intelligent speed adaptation. We need an ISA system which as well as having an input of the vehicle's speed, has visual inputs so it can determine whether that speed is appropriate given the traffic pattern and likely actions of other road users.
The visual input would also enable the ISA system to determine the weather and state of the road surface and to tell in advance how gradients and bends in the road will affect the safe speed of the vehicle. Ideally the system would also have an audio input. The system should also have motion sensors built in to it, so it can tell how the vehicle is handling. It should have sufficient pre-learned data to be able to predict how different vehicles handle so as to be able to adjust the safe speed to that particular vehicle, and it should be continually adding to its store of learned data. And, of course, it should have a very powerful computer which can process all the inputs in real time and output the safe speed for that moment.
In addition to having control of the throttle and brakes, the ISA system should have control of the steering and ancillary controls as well. It should be programmed with an instinct for its own survival and self-preservation, as well as a strong desire not to cause damage to other
such systems or to vehicles fitted with them.
When we can come up with a system which can do all that then they should be made compulsory on all vehicles.
But wait! We already have such a system. It's called a human being. All human beings which are allowed control of vehicles have visual inputs, most of them have audio inputs, they have motion sensors, huge stores of learned and pre-programmed data, and computer systems so powerful that they've taken millions of years to design. They also have an overwhelming survival instinct and a strong desire not to injure other humans or cause damage to property, which cause them to keep to a speed where risk of damage is minimised.
Why don't we just leave control of vehicles to the TRUE ISA systems --- drivers?
ABD Chairman, Brian Gregory, said:
"The only real intelligence in a vehicle's control system is found between the ears of the driver. We blunt that intelligence at our peril."
Sometimes there is not a comfortable road on the way to the final destination, but the new Škoda Octavia Scout is prepared to continue – anytime, anywhere. Its ground clearance is 40 millimetres higher than that of the Octavia Combi and 16 mm greater than that of the Octavia Combi 4x4, thus increasing the its off-road ability considerably, enabling it to master poor and rutted tracks effortlessly.
The reliable four-wheel drive estate car, with its boot volume of up to 1620 litres, can cope with even the most demanding transport tasks and is ideally suited for hard daily use or as a partner for leisure and vacation. The Octavia Scout radiates a feeling of both power and dynamics. Robust and authentic, it is representative of the brand’s competence in four-wheel drive and represents a further step in the still-young life cycle of the Octavia.
The Octavia Scout, at 4581 millimetres in length, is one centimetre longer, 1.5 centimetres wider and 1.3 centimetres higher than the Octavia 4x4. Newly designed bumpers at the front and rear, body-colour side mouldings and profiled door sills lend the Scout its design and are also an indication of its possible uses. Protective strips on the wheel housings, front door sills with “Scout” engraved on them and sumpguard protection front and rear equip the car for difficult tasks. The 17" “Proteus” alloy wheels cope with even the worst roads and provide reliability in the flight from the humdrum of the day. The Octavia Scout is also distinguished by its exclusive logo and polished steel dual exhaust pipes.
In the interior, the driver and passengers enjoy outstanding comfort. Under the comfortable front central armrest is the Jumbo box, a spacious storage compartment, something which normally is offered only in higher level models. Upholstery that is exclusive to the Octavia Scout, and a front passenger handgrip on the dashboard are further characteristics of the new model.
The Škoda Octavia Scout is supplied with the most powerful diesel and petrol engines - the 2.0 TDI PD diesel engine with 103 kW (140 HP) and the 2.0 FSI petrol engine with 110 kW (150 HP), both of which are four cylinder engines. The diesel is fitted with a diesel particle filter (DPF) as standard. Both engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission.
To provide its off-road capability, the Octavia Scout is fitted with the well-proven four-wheel drive system from Škoda Auto. The core of the drive train is the Haldex multi-plate clutch installed in front of the rear axle.
The Octavia Scout will make its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September 2006. Its market introduction is planned for the first quarter of 2007.
Photographs of the Octavia Scout and the full range of Škoda vehicles and the text of this Press Release are available on Škoda Auto's official media server http://media.skoda-auto.com
British motorists are being invited to create their ‘ideal’ car by logging on to www.newcarnet.co.uk/design_car .
With car manufacturers constantly dreaming up new types of cars that the average driver never knew they needed – SAVs, MAVs and GSTs among the latest – the team at NEW CAR NET, the leading news and advice portal for buyers of new and used cars, have set motorists the challenge of combining their favourite parts of different models to come up with what they really want in a car.
Visitors to the NEW CAR NET site will be able to browse through different styles of wheels, tyres, body shapes, engines and ‘mod cons’ in their search for the perfect motor.
The results will then be collated using NEW CAR NET’s state-of-the-art graphic technology to reveal Britain’s ideal car. All entries will be valid for a free prize draw to win an i-Pod.
NEW CAR NET’s Massimo Pini said: "The market is constantly being flooded by car companies’ latest vehicle concepts, most of which are given seemingly indecipherable acronyms as names. The real question is: what is the UK PLC car?"
Visit www.newcarnet.co.uk/design_car to submit your thoughts.
What do you do with a car that’s just three years old, that’s won a string of awards and that’s consistently been a top-six seller in its sector? Well, if your name’s Kia and the model in question is the Sorento, you give it a complete overhaul to keep it at the forefront of the SUV sector.
The Sorento, which has just clinched a second successive top spot in the 4x4 category of the J.D. Power and Associates Customer Satisfaction survey to add to its Towcar of the Year 2006 award from The Caravan Club and Best 4x4 in 2005 award from 4x4 magazine, now offers more of everything.
The revised 2.5-litre turbodiesel and new 3.3-litre V6 petrol engines deliver improved performance; suspension modifications provide a better balance of ride and handling; safety is enhanced with state-of-the-art accident-avoidance features; there is a contemporary new look; more luxury car options become available; and there are smarter trim materials in a higher-quality cabin.
Yet prices have been held, which means the range again starts at just £19,995.
The Sorento was Kia’s first foray into the high-end SUV market. Designed with European input and with European buyers in mind, it has been a huge success. Sales in the UK were up by 10% in 2005 – more than double the average for the SUV sector.
The revised model uses the same body panels as the original car. But new front and rear bumpers, projection-style headlamps, tail lights and body mouldings give it a more elegant and modern appearance without representing such a total change that the excellent residual values of the original Sorento would be damaged. The overall length has increased by just 20mm as a result of the new bumpers.
With diesel models accounting for an ever-increasing percentage of sales, the revisions to Kia’s acclaimed 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, 16-valve common-rail engine create scope for improved market penetration, especially in the all-important fleet sector. Now fitted with an electrically-actuated variable geometry turbocharger for even more flexible performance, the engine gains 21% more power (now 168bhp) and 25% more torque (392Nm at just 2000rpm).
This helps reduce the 0-62mph time by 2.6 seconds, while combined fuel consumption is a highly respectable 35.8mpg, subject to official ratification. The engine now meets Euro IV emissions standards.
A new 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine will replace the former 3.5-litre unit at the start of 2007, and has an extra 48bhp, trimming its 0-62mph time to 8.9 seconds
The diesel is available with five-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, while the V6 will be sold only as an automatic. Higher top gear ratios in both gearboxes reduce cruising noise levels, and the automatic also features Kia’s Sports Mode, allowing manual override of gearchanges.
The ladder-frame chassis and dual-frame body construction of the Sorento have earned praise since launch, but for 2006 Kia has retuned the springs and dampers of the fully-independent suspension to give a smoother ride.
The Sorento continues to be available with selectable or full-time four-wheel drive systems. A low ratio gearbox assists in severe off-roading conditions.
There will be three trim levels – XE, XS and XT – all with improved occupant safety features. Active head restraints which protect against whiplash injury, front seat-belt pretensioners and a passenger airbag cut-off switch are fitted as standard and ESP stability control is added to the standard specification of range-topping XT models. ESP automatically corrects potential skids by braking one or more wheels and, if necessary, reducing engine power.
An audible reversing aid is also now offered to help reduce the risk of parking knocks.
Twin front and full-length curtain airbags are standard.
The quality of the interior is raised through a new centre stack and floor console, a neater control layout and higher-quality materials. The XE comes with grey cloth, the XS grey leather and the top specification XT black leather.
The centre stack now houses dual-zone air conditioning, an audio with CD player and MP3 compatibility and on the XT a CD autochanger facility.
Reshaped backrests on the front seats increase legroom and comfort for passengers travelling in the rear.
Six turbodiesel versions of the refreshed Kia Sorento in three trim grades (XE, XS and XT) go on sale in August 2006, with the sole petrol V6 in range-topping XT guise to following in early 2007.
Ricardo announced today that the company is working on an advanced research project – in collaboration with a global manufacturer – to demonstrate an advanced diesel technology capable of achieving U.S. Super Ultra-Low Emission (SULEV) and Tier II Bin 2 requirements
The objective of this program is to remove the diesel combustion engine from the environmental debate on regulated emissions – allowing advanced diesel engines to take their place alongside gasoline hybrid and fuel cell powered vehicles in the future of environmentally friendly automotive products.
Started in late 2005, early project focus has been on developing technologies to deliver engine-out exhaust emissions (without NOx aftertreatment) that achieve stringent Tier II Bin 5 emission requirements, delivering NOx levels approximately one-sixth those currently proposed for Euro 5. These technologies include advanced air handling systems, two-stage boosting, advanced exhaust gas recirculation and application of closed-loop cylinder pressure-based engine controls.
In parallel, work is being carried out to develop an advanced exhaust aftertreatment system. Combining advanced aftertreatment with engine optimisation will allow demonstration of a system capable of meeting the requirements of US SULEV/Tier II Bin 2, thereby achieving NOx levels less than one-tenth of currently proposed Euro 5 levels.
Throughout the project, a major emphasis has been placed on achieving low emissions under transient conditions to maintain or improve the "fun to drive" responsiveness of the engine without deteriorating emissions performance. The engine is being developed with a competitive power rating of 65kW/l to meet U.S. emissions regulations for both sea level and altitude compliance.
These advanced diesel technologies will be integrated into a vehicle capable of meeting the lowest current world-wide exhaust emissions standard (SULEV, Tier II Bin 2) without compromising customer appeal, while maintaining significant fuel efficiency (therefore CO2) advantage over current US equivalent gasoline products.
Also, by applying a systems engineering approach, combining engine-out optimization with advanced aftertreatment, a highly cost effective solution is expected. This program illustrates Ricardo’s commitment to innovation and leadership in development and application of advanced technologies that improve both industry performance and the global environment.
Road safety group, the Association of British Drivers, has learned that a key change to the rules for speed limit setting, announced recently, was opposed by a 2-to-1 majority of those police forces that responded to the government's consultation on the issue.
Under the new rules, issued in a government circular earlier this month , speed limits will in future be set on the basis of mean (average) vehicle speeds. This tears up the scientific basis on which speed limits have been set for nearly 40 years. Research from around the world shows that the most respected and effective speed limits are those set at a speed that only 15 per cent of drivers would exceed if there were no limit -- the "85th percentile" speed. It has also been found that drivers travelling at around this speed have the lowest accident involvement .
Changing to average speeds will result in lower speed limits being set, meaning that half of all drivers, including the safest, will be acting outside the law if they drive normally.
It now emerges that the government has decided to go ahead with this change, despite opposition from the police. The results of a consultation into the proposed changes have been circulated to all those organisations that made their views known . Of the 18 police forces and police organisations that responded to the consultation, 11 opposed the change to mean speeds as the basis of speed limit setting, with only five in favour.
The reason for the police objections is that the new rules will lead to lower speed limits being set, which will mean there will be less self-compliance and a need for greater enforcement.
ABD Policy Director, Mark McArthur-Christie, comments: "The organisations with arguably the best knowledge of how speed limits work in practice -- the police -- have voted decisively against a change to mean speeds for speed limit setting. It is another example of the arrogance of this government that it thinks it knows best and has decided to go ahead anyway."
The government justifies the change to mean speeds because of the claimed "well proven relationship" between average speeds and accident frequency. In fact, this claimed relationship is based on a couple of desk-top studies carried out in the 1990s, in which accident rates were compared on roads of similar type but with different average speeds. However, when similar roads have different average speeds, this is because they have different traffic flows, and accident rates are affected by changes in traffic flow. For this reason, the Transport Research Laboratory has recommended that "...roads with very different flow rates should NOT be studied together" (original emphasis) .
The government's lack of understanding of how speed limits affect road safety is summed up in its new guidance, where one of the aims of the new system is to have "...all vehicles moving at speeds as close to the posted speed limit as possible." As Mark McArthur-Christie explains:
"This shows the government's nanny-state tendencies, by assuming that drivers are incapable of thinking for themselves and must be constantly regulated. But even well set speed limits are only a rough guide to what may be a safe speed under a particular set of conditions, and drivers need to vary their speed as those conditions change -- and reduce their speed to well below the limit when necessary. Most drivers are capable of doing this successfully, but those skills are eroded if drivers are encouraged to offload their responsibility and slavishly drive at the posted speed limit regardless. Switched-off, zombie drivers are dangerous drivers."
The Berkeley, London, 17 August 2006 – For the second year running as title sponsor, Land Rover is heading to The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, from 7 to 10 September 2006 in Stamford, Lincolnshire.
Guts, control, power and responsiveness are what riders require of their horses and are the core values built into every Land Rover. It is therefore no surprise that Land Rover enjoys such a natural association with Burghley.
On the world stage, The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is second to none. With the added excitement of the Rolex Grand Slam, this year’s event is set to be a thrilling climax to the eventing calendar.
"The company has been a sponsor of Burghley for many years as ‘the official vehicle supplier’, supporting veterinary teams and officials with a fleet of Land Rovers. Extending this relationship to ‘title sponsor’ in 2005 has been a great honour and we look forward to building on last year’s success," says John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director.
The recent introductions of the Discovery 3 and the Range Rover Sport to the Land Rover product range have resulted in sales continuing to grow the world-over, with sales in 2005 being the best in the company’s history. This year will see further additions to the Land Rover stable, with the introduction of the all-new Freelander 2, which will make a debut appearance at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this year, together with the Range Rover for 2007.
A spirit of adventure is fundamental to Land Rover’s character and the great outdoors has always been Land Rover territory. If you are in the mood, Land Rover has got plenty of adventures for you to undertake at Burghley too. Whatever your off-road driving experience, try a passenger ride in one of the latest vehicles on the ‘Terrapod’ – a simulated off-road course that includes a 15 foot descent from an articulated truck!
The company will also be staging a trailer-reversing competition all week. Visitors will have the chance to hone their reversing techniques and show-off their skills, with the chance to win a weekend off-roading at one of the nine Land Rover Experience Centres around the UK.
Land Rover is also looking forward to welcoming visitors back to The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials next year – 30 August to 2 September 2007 (prov.).
New GPS navigation products expand award-winning Talex range
Embedded Technology, makers of award-winning Talex global positioning (GPS) speed camera warning systems, has extended the Talex product range with new GPS satellite navigation systems combining leading edge technology with ultra-competitive prices.
There are two Talex Transonic Personal Navigation Assistant (PNA) models, designated PNA 6000 and PNA 6000T. Both have 3.5 inch colour LCD touch screens with a host of standard features, covering the UK and Ireland. Additionally, the 6000T boasts an embedded Traffic Message Channel (TMC) module for real-time traffic information. With battery operation, they can even be used on foot and for pastimes such as mountain biking and hiking.
Talex has established a reputation for top quality at very competitive prices and the Talex PNA 6000 is only £249.99 with the PNA 6000T at £299.99 complete with in-car charger and mounting kit, secure digital (SD) card and USB synchronization cable. Online at www.talex.co.uk, these prices include VAT and post and packing.
The Talex PNA 6000 and 6000T can both be programmed using five-digit postcodes with mapping for Europe as an option. Modes for 2D or 3D navigation can be selected and there’s a comprehensive database of 2.5 million ‘points of interest’ such as fuel stations, hotels, restaurants, ATMs, car parks, museums and schools. Each Talex PNA has customizable navigation including fastest or shortest routes, and will show distance to destination and estimate time of arrival, displaying a compass and actual vehicle speed. Turn by turn navigation has voice instructions and the mapping is speed sensitive, giving road detail as needed.
The Talex PNA 6000T goes even further and includes an embedded TMC channel providing lifetime FREE traffic updates via the Trafficmaster network and local radio stations. This provides instant information on accidents, roadworks and traffic jams relevant to the user’s immediate route, in real time. The PNA 6000T will describe the problem, the precise location, direction and effect on surrounding routes, the likely duration of the problem and offer diversion advice and alternative routes.
Talex director Nigel Carter, explained the company’s thinking: "Talex GPS products have gained a great reputation, so we didn’t want to rush into the navigation market without being sure that we had the right products at the right prices. The PNA 6000 and 6000T are accurate, offer real value for money and are very easy to use."
For the technically minded, both use the Windows CE .net 4.2 operating system with SiRFStar III GPS technology. Dimensions are 107.5mm x 70mm x 20mm, weighing in at just 200 grams.
The visually arresting TechArt Magnum is proof that 4x4s can outgun Supercars in the power stakes.
Based on the already brutal 450bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the Magnum’s bodywork and engine have been extensively reworked by renowned German Porsche specialist, TechArt, to deliver a whopping 600bhp.
The latest powerhouse from the Teutonic tuning firm will be on display at this year’s theatrical car-fest, MPH’06 (Birmingham, NEC 26-29 October and London’s Earls Court 2-5 November) in the Sony Ericsson Studio.
The new TechArt machine pumps out its Pagani Zonda rivalling power thanks to a heavily modified twin turbo V8 engine. Despite weighing in at over 2300kg, the Magnum is capable of accelerating to 60mph in a Lamborghini Gallardo humbling 4.5 seconds.
Where speed limits allow, TechArt’s ultimate interpretation of the Cayenne will reach 183 mph; impressive for a supercar, unbelievable for a 4x4.
If you want to see it for yourself head down to MPH’06 and feast your eyes on the most desirable cars on sale in the world today. Alongside the displays of exotica, MPH’06 will feature a live motoring theatre hosted by Jeremy Clarkson and friends. Visitors will also be treated to the sights and sounds of a host of dream cars being tested to their limits in a £1 million choreographed stunt show.
Tickets for MPH ’06, powered by Shell Optimax, are on sale now from £22-49 and can be purchased from www.mphshow.co.uk
VX Racing challenged for the lead of all three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Snetterton this afternoon, in one of its most competitive performances of the year.
Gavin Smith put in a masterful drive in race one to nurse a car with broken suspension home in fourth place. At one point the Dubliner looked good for a win as he closed in on leader, Jason Plato, registering the fastest lap of the race. But a tangle with back-marker Fiona Leggate spun the 28-year-old, causing the suspension damage and letting SEAT rival James Thompson and team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi through to complete the podium.
Earlier in the race Giovanardi had also been running well in second before a side-ways tap from Thompson spun the Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch. The Italian controlled the car brilliantly and gave the Norfolk crowds a real spectacle as he slid around the high-speed circuit sideways in an over-steer-hampered car - the result of wet tyres on a drying track.
Tom Chilton had fought his way up to sixth place after dropping to ninth off the start but his race was ended in a battle with Gordon Shedden in which the pair ran wide at Riches Corner.
In race two Chilton was the only VX Racing regular to finish after Giovanardi retired with front end damage following a hard-fought battle with Thompson for second place.
The incident gave Smith an opening which saw him leap into second. He held position for three laps before reigning champion Matt Neal cut through. Neal was followed a few laps later by team-mate Shedden in an over-zealous move which saw the Scotsman slam into the side of Smith, ending his race.
Tom Chilton finished seventh which put him third on the grid for the last race of the day with Neal and Gareth Howell ahead of him. He made short work of the two Honda Integras, driving straight through the middle and into the race lead.
The 21-year-old held the lead for three laps before Neal snuck through, leaving Chilton at the mercy of SEAT's Thompson, who put the Vauxhall under extreme pressure before passing on lap 10.
Chilton, from Reigate, never lost touch with the leaders and finished third for his fourth podium of the year.
Giovanardi did not start the race after a mechanical failure and Smith made excellent progress to secure seventh from 18th on the grid.
VX Racing's guest driver, Erkut Kizilirmak, retired from race one but put in solid performances to finish 13th and 14th - an improvement on his last outing at Croft.
Gavin Smith: "The car felt pretty good. I hate saying ifs, buts and maybes ... but on the last two laps in race one I was quicker than Jason Plato and I could've got the lead, I'm sure of it. When I came up behind Fiona Leggate I had to go for it because James Thompson was right behind me. She didn't leave enough room and I went off and broke the car.
"It would've been nice to have a podium and it was looking quite possible. The car is turning the corner now - it has the potential and the team has done a really good job. Now we just need a bit of luck."
Fabrizio Giovanardi: "In the first race the wet tyre was destroyed very quickly on the dry track and it's quite difficult to drive like this - I spun twice. With so much trouble I think third is OK!"
Tom Chilton: "I thought I was on for my first win in race three. I got a cracking start and found myself sandwiched between Neal and Howell. The car moved around a bit but I kept my foot down and cut through the middle nicely. It was a bit sideways but I managed to hang on.
"I tangled with Gordon Shedden in the first race. He tried to out-brake me. I turned in and we just hit wheels. I'm disappointed because that would have been at worst a fourth-place finish and probably a third.
"Despite that, I really enjoyed the race. I got past two MGs and a couple of Honda Integras - it was fun."
Erkut Kizilirmak: "This was my first time racing in the wet and from the start of the first race I couldn't use my gears. There was something wrong with the shifting and then on lap nine or 10 it stuck in sixth gear. I did three or four laps like that and then I had to retire."
John Morton, VX Racing's Technical Director: "In race one Gavin Smith managed to hero the car around to the end of the race with broken suspension. He did exceptionally well. At one point we were convinced he could win. He had the fastest car and was closing in on Plato when the damage occurred."
Simon Cumberpatch, Tom Chilton's Race Engineer: "Looking forward to Knockhill, if it's dry I think we have got a very good chance there. The car does seem to suit the more high traction circuits rather than fast and flowing. As long as we can get up the hill OK we should be in fairly good shape there."
Land Rover today announced that its highly regarded Design Director, Geoff Upex, is to retire from the company at the end of 2006 after 23 years service.
He will be succeeded by Gerry McGovern, currently Director, Advanced Design, Land Rover, who will assume responsibility for all Land Rover design with immediate effect.
To ensure a smooth handover, Geoff will stay with the company until the end of the year and will continue to play a key role in the launch of new products including the all-new Freelander2/LR2.
"These have been some of the best years of my life and it has been a privilege to lead the Land Rover design team through such an exciting time," said Geoff Upex. "In particular the last six years must have been some of the most rewarding anyone in our business could hope to have. We have completely revitalised Land Rover and now have a world class model line-up. In many ways you could argue that strong product design has helped to give Land Rover the foundations for continued and future success by creating some of the world’s most acclaimed and distinctive vehicles."
Commenting on the move, Geoff Polites, CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover, said: "It is very sad to see Geoff go and I want to thank him for his crucial role in guiding Land Rover Design to achieve an unparalleled level of success in recent years. However, in Gerry McGovern we have the ideal successor. He is another hugely talented designer with a strong reputation and enviable track record at Land Rover Design as well as outside the brand."
Ford Motor Company Group Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, J Mays, said; "Geoff Upex’s talent and passion for both design and the brand are evident on every product in the current Land Rover line-up – it is an achievement worth celebrating. Like all great designers, he understands the crucial connection between brand and product and knows how to translate it into sheet metal. He can also lay claim to influencing some of the most credible and significant automotive products in recent history, including the current Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery 3/LR3 and the all-new Freelander 2/LR 2."
J Mays says he is confident about the brand’s future designs, to be developed under Gerry McGovern’s direction. "In Gerry, we have one of the best designers in the industry – his experience with Land Rover dates back more than 15 years, and his understanding of how to marry the brand’s values with modernist design will carry Land Rover well into the future," he said.
Commenting on the move Gerry McGovern said; "I have really enjoyed working with Geoff (Upex) and appreciate the experience that has given me. I take over Land Rover design at an exciting time, with the brand in excellent health and still with huge potential. We face new challenges and I look forward to working with one of the most talented groups of designers in the industry."
One of the hallmarks of an advanced driver is a smooth style with manual gear changes.
A car’s gearbox is a wonderful piece of engineering, rarely casing problems during the expected lifetime of fifteen years, withstanding hundreds of thousands of shifts up and down the ratios. It’s so well developed that all you need to do is gently guide where it wants to go.
Yet "snatching" at gears is common, causing an abrupt and a less than comfortable ride for passengers. Another problem is drivers who hold the gear stick constantly, refusing to let go, in order that they can make the gear changes as quickly as possible. That hand would be more use on the steering wheel.
To make the gear change smoother, let the gearshift pause for a second or two as it crosses the "central gate" or neutral zone. This alone will make your gear changes smoother – there’s no need to rush them.
Secondly, guide the gear lever with the palm of the hand semi-open with the thumb sticking out. Guide the gear lever away from you for 1st to 2nd. The thumb should be pointing down. Now guide the lever towards you for 2nd to 3rd,3rd to 4th and 4th to 5th (or even 5th to 6th). Now the thumb is pointing upwards.
For block changing (when you "skip" intermediate gears) keep the thumb down for 4th to 2nd.
And remember, around town, you can often stay in third gear and respond to new hazards early by easing off the throttle. Adjusting your speed with a fine throttle has all sorts of advantages.
As a check to see how smooth your gear changes are, take a glance at your front seat passenger’s head. Are they constantly "nodding"? If so you need to make your gear changing smoother and less hurried. Your passengers (and transmission system!) will appreciate it.
In a new white paper entitled Jaguar’s part in rescuing Ford, UK automotive research firm Trend Tracker’s analyst Michael Wynn-Williams suggests that Ford should consider selling its Ford Credit finance arm, or even Volvo, before potentially selling its premium marques, Jaguar and Land Rover.
A new research paper by Trend Tracker Analyst, Michael Wynn-Williams, argues that using Land Rover to enhance a potential deal would do nothing to make Jaguar itself more attractive and would deprive Ford of two premium brands and not one. Caught in a market squeeze between the premium brands and the fast proliferating value brands, Wynn-Williams suggests Ford’s future lies with its own globally recognised premium brand. Ford should consider selling the Ford Credit finance arm, or even Volvo, before putting Jaguar on the block.
Wynn-William’s latest Trend Tracker white paper analyses the factors that lead to Jaguar’s present predicament, showing that Jaguar’s rumoured sale is the result of a market-led failure. Although product engineering is now world-class the once provocative design has been thrown away in a disastrous attempt to resurrect obsolete styling cues. Wynn-Williams suggests: “Ford’s recovery strategy must now involve cutting costs by moving production to Jaguar’s biggest market, the United States. At the same time Ford should embolden Jaguar’s British product development skills so that it can once again seduce the market with authentic and forward-looking designs”.
“For Ford to let Jaguar go now would be the beginning of the end for both brands” he added.
BuyYourCar is a revolutionary new way to buy and sell cars that will upset convention but will dramatically lower the price of cars and significantly widen the options for car buyers. It launched just two days ago and has been immediately successful. There is nothing like it anywhere in the UK and it is already making savings of up to £10,000 for car buyers.
Good for car buyers
BuyYourCar enables consumers to buy and compare prices of cars for sale all over the UK. For the first time ever, people can compare the prices and specifications of new cars, used cars, contract hire and lease cars. This is already benefiting buyers by driving down prices and giving them access to the lowest priced cars in the UK. There is also a used car section so consumers can sell their existing car for a record £2.45.
The reason the cars are selling so cheaply is because BuyYourCar by-passes rules that don’t allow dealers to market or advertise their cars outside of their own region. For the first time dealers can compete UK-wide, they can sell their cars for any price of their choosing, not one set by a manufacturer and the increased competition has seen prices tumble. Already, after just one day of trading, the biggest saving on a car is a record £10,937.
New car buyers
* New car buyers will be able to specify exactly what they are looking for according to make, model, colour, features and any other specifications.
* They will receive the top ten prices and details of how far away the garage selling the car is.
* BuyYourCar lists collection and delivery costs so the buyer can decide whether to choose a car that is closer to home but costs slightly more or one that costs less but is further away.
* Unique to BuyYourCar, the car quotes are printable so the buyer can take a copy of the quote to their local dealer and barter if they choose.
Used car buyers
* Buyers looking for used cars can compare prices of cars sold by private individuals with those of used car dealerships, giving them the widest chance of finding the car they want and the greatest opportunity to make a saving.
* They can specify exactly what they are looking for according to make, model, colour and features.
* BuyYourCar also allows you to sell your car. Sellers can advertise their car to a UK-wide audience for just £2.45, as opposed to £15-30 on all other car sale websites.
Contract hire and leasing
* This is a rapidly growing market and individuals who prefer to lease than to buy will have access to an unprecedented wide choice from around the UK – already there are over 1000 contract hire offers on BuyYourCar
For the first time ever, people will be able to compare the cost of the car they want across all options, comparing the cost of contract hire, to buying either a new or a used car to find the best and most cost effective option.
Dave Long, Managing Director of BuyYourCar says, "BuyYourCar will create huge savings for people looking to change their car whilst giving them the widest possible options. Whether you want to buy a new car, used car, sell your car or lease a car it will provide the most competitive deals in the UK. It is a completely open and transparent system and totally unique; no other site in the UK currently offers the benefits to car buyers and sellers now available through BuyYourCar. This website is set to revolutionise the car market."
To find what savings you can make on your ideal car visit: www.buyyourcar.co.uk
Isuzu is now offering a Prodrive Performance Pack for its new 2.5 litre entry-level Rodeo Denver Max pickup.
Costing just £760 including VAT and fitting, the PPP boosts power from 100 PS at 3,800 rpm to 128 PS – a 28 per cent increase.
Equally important – especially for towing and load-lugging duties – the torque rises by 33 per cent from 166.7 lb.ft to a substantial 222.0 lb.ft.
Available immediately – and fitted by any official Isuzu (UK) Limited dealer – the PPP gives stronger throttle response, increased flexibility, greater refinement and quicker acceleration.
The extra power and torque is achieved thanks to a reprogrammed Electronic Control Unit which uprates the fuel supply and alters the ignition timing.
As turbo boost is not affected, engine strain remains low. It allows Isuzu (UK) Limited to include the PPP under its normal three year/60,000 mile warranty.
Winner of a host of accolades, the Rodeo range now starts at £13,990 (on the road but excluding VAT) for the new 2.5 litre Denver Max. And until September 30, automatic transmission is free of charge on the popular Denver 3.0 Max and Max LE models.
VX Racing has the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Manufacturers Championship in its sights and the thrill of the chase has invigorated the Banbury-based team in the run up to this weekend’s round at Snetterton.
At the beginning of the season, it seemed the lighter SEAT Léon had the championship all sewn up, but a change in fortunes at Donington Park two weeks ago saw VX Racing halve the gap in the title chase after scoring three podiums in as many races.
Now the squad is hoping to narrow the gap further as it arrives in Norfolk for the fastest venue on the BTCC calendar. The long straights at Snetterton should play right into the hands of the Astra Sport Hatch, which has one of the best straight line speeds of all the competitors.
“Making up so much ground on SEAT at Donington has given us something to fight for,” said John Morton, VX Racing’s Technical Director. “If we’re in with a sniff of getting that Manufacturer’s Championship then we’ll be mad for it.
“The data shows a lot of potential in the car but so far we’ve not fully exploited it either because of crash damage, inexperience or failures.
“Snetterton should see a turnaround. Since last year the main change with the car has been a more powerful engine and Snetterton is the circuit where that will give us the biggest advantage. It’s basically a series of long straights, so engine power is vital.”
Snetterton is the favourite circuit of VX Racing’s prodigy, Tom Chilton. “Last year I got two wins back-to-back and I think I’ll be good again in the Vauxhall,” said the 21-year-old, from Reigate. “We can run the car a little bit more aggressively because the tyre wear isn’t an issue here, which will really help us. We could find ourselves in a good position.
“To get the most out of this circuit you have to put mind over matter. When you lift off the throttle the weight of the car pitches to the front and you have to floor it to get the front back around. It gets to the point, especially on a circuit like Snetterton, where you just don’t lift at all!”
Fabrizio Giovanardi is keen to put the disappointment of the last race behind him, when Colin Turkington took the race win after passing the Italian on the last corner. “Losing my first win at Donington still hurts but I’m not angry like I was,” said the two-times European Touring Car Champion. “I will never make the same mistake – I learn very fast.
“I know something about Snetterton because I’ve tested there before but only in the wet. It’s quite difficult - really fast - but it’s a circuit where drivers can really make the difference. We’ve taken a big jump on performance. Now we can fight.”
That sentiment is echoed throughout the team. “Vauxhall has got a lot closer to SEAT and we’re starting to rattle their cage,” added Chilton. “Hopefully we can keep the pressure on.”
The inaugural National Motorsport Week goes live this Saturday (August 12), yet has already been hailed a great success by its founders, the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), and its partners in the nationwide initiative, the Motor Sports Association (MSA).
The idea behind the week is for the sport to help itself by opening its doors to new drivers, marshals, spectators etc as, for it to flourish and thereby create more work for Britain’s motorsport industry, it must attract new blood.
Teams, organisers, circuits, promoters, clubs and individual participants have all been encouraged to contribute in any way they can and the response has been phenomenal. For its part, the MSA has briefed over 700 of its affiliated clubs and supplied them with information packs in order to optimise support throughout the country.
A dedicated website has been created – www.nationalmotorsportweek.co.uk - on which details of 50-plus of the many related events can be found. Courtesy of MIA member Lateral Syncing, fans can also use it to download (free of charge) the official calendar for the week – the company’s innovative technology ‘Screenza™’ will then automatically update recipient’s desktop wallpaper and screensaver with images from the events as they take place. In addition, fans can submit their own photographs
of the events to be featured on Screenza, or add an event to the interactive calendar.
The events concerned include the Grand Prix Masters of Great Britain at Silverstone (August 12/13), featuring British former World Champion Nigel Mansell. The related ‘MIA Masters of Golf’ Pro-Am tournament takes place at Whittlebury Park tomorrow (August 10). It will feature such international motorsport heroes as Mansell (a first class golfer and golf course owner), Derek Warwick, Ricardo Patrese, Jan Lammers, Pierluigi Martini and Eric van de Poele. The tournament will effectively ‘tee off’ National Motorsport Week.
Said the MIA’s Chris Aylett, “We are thrilled at the way the motorsport community has taken National Motorsport Week to heart and there is no doubt the sport, and therefore the industry that underpins it, will benefit enormously. Everyone is a winner in this – thousands of people will get to sample our wonderful sport for the first time, the net effect of which will help to keep our world-leading industry in its rightful place.”
More power, lower emissions, better fuel consumption
All-new six-speed automatic gearbox
BMW’s first ever car with third-row seating
New technologies in the segment: Head-up Display, Run-flat tyres, Adaptive Drive suspension management
The BMW X5 defined a new segment of the car market when it first appeared in 1999. It was the first SUV-type vehicle to offer a genuinely sporty car-like drive. BMW coined the phrase Sports Activity Vehicle to define its dynamic attributes over its rivals’ utilitarian construction. Year-on-year record sales since its launch in the UK are evidence of its appeal to customers and it set a new standard for the competition.
New standards in economy and emissions
The new BMW X5 is powered by the latest, most advanced engines. A choice of three units is offered, all of which feature increased power compared to the engines in the outgoing model, while also posting more economical consumption figures and reduced emissions. The biggest seller in the UK will be a 2,993cc six-cylinder diesel but, for those preferring the characteristics of petrol power, the X5 can also be specified with a 2,996cc six-cylinder or a 4,799cc V8 engine.
The BMW X5 3.0d uses an engine with high-precision piezo crystal injection technology for better economy and emission figures. This advanced technology, combined with the introduction of an all aluminium crankcase that saves 25kg in weight compared to the former 3.0-litre diesel engine, sees the new X5 record improved performance figures. It is now seven per cent more fuel efficient with a combined fuel consumption figure of 32.5mpg while also emitting eight per cent less CO2. The 3.0d engine records 231g/km.
While the new X5 is more economical it still comes with increased power. Output from the 3.0d engine is 231hp, up six per cent compared to the previous model, and maximum torque is 520Nm, up four per cent. This peak torque is available from 2,000 to 2 ,750rpm offering near instantaneous reactions for swift yet refined motoring. Such an advanced engine powers the BMW X5 3.0d from zero to 62mph in 8.3 seconds before going on to a top speed of 134mph (130mph for a non-Dynamic Package equipped model).
Based on the world’s lightest production six-cylinder petrol engine, the BMW X5 3.0si comes equipped with BMW’s patented Double VANOS and VALVETRONIC variable valve technologies for high performance, yet economical, motoring. Put simply, Double VANOS determines when the engine’s valves open, while VALVETRONIC determines by how much. The net effect of both systems is that the engine is always operating at its optimum efficiency with only the exact amount of fuel needed being used. This is why the X5 3.0si has a combined fuel consumption of 25.9mpg (an 18 per cent improvement compared to the previous X5 3.0i) and an emissions figure of 260g/km, but still delivers maximum driver enjoyment.
Developing 272hp at 6,650rpm, the high-revving nature of the engine and its sonorous exhaust note set it apart from the competition. Peak torque of 315Nm is attained at 2,750rpm for in-gear responsiveness, with zero to 62mph dispatched in 8.1 seconds. Top speed for the new BMW X5 3.0si is140mph (when fitted with the Dynamic Package).
Representing the flagship of the range, the BMW X5 4.8i with its 355hp engine is faster from zero to 62mph and has a higher top speed than the supercharged Range Rover Sport or a Mercedes Benz ML500 Sport. The 4,799cc V8 powers the car to 62mph in just 6.5 seconds before going on to a top speed of 150mph (when fitted with the Dynamic Package). Despite such scintillating performance, fuel consumption is a respectable 22.6mpg on the combined cycle and emissions are 299g/km.
New six-speed automatic gearbox
The new BMW X5 comes with an all-new faster-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox now features a new torque converter with enhanced software resulting in gearshift times up to 50 per cent quicker compared with the previous automatic gearbox. A new design of gearstick also creates more space on the centre console for additional storage space and cupholders. The use of an electronic parking brake in place of a conventional handbrake aids ergonomics further.
Driving dynamics and safety
The BMW X5 offers unsurpassed safety credentials and on-road ability. Not only does its intelligent xDrive four-wheel drive system transfer power between front and rear wheels depending on available grip for optimum handling, but it can now be specified with Adaptive Drive and Active Steering – two advanced systems never offered before on a BMW X model.
Adaptive Drive uses active hydraulic anti-roll bars to counteract the cornering forces of the car to keep the body from leaning too heavily and unsettling the occupants. In addition to this Adaptive Drive incorporates an Electronic Damper Control system that uses sensors to continuously adjust the damper setting for optimum comfort.
Active Steering uses an electronically operated planetary gear intersecting the steering shaft that adds more lock than inputted by the driver at slow speeds to make parking effortless. When driving at speed the opposite occurs for a smoother, more composed ride.
First SAV with Head-up Display and Run-flat tyres
The BMW X5 can be specified with Head-up Display – a first for a Sports Activity Vehicle or SUV. For enhanced safety the system projects speed, navigation and check control messages into the line of sight of the driver. Such a system allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road ahead while still being made aware of important instructions.
A further safety benefit is the fitting of Run-flat tyres – again a first for an SAV or SUV. Run-flat tyres allow a driver to continue his or her journey in the event of a puncture for up to 90 miles at speeds of 50mph. Run-flat tyres also provide the best stability in the event of a blowout. The BMW X5 comes fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels and Run-flat tyres as standard with optional 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels offered.
The latest in traction control technology, Dynamic Stability Control+, is also standard on the new X5. DSC+ comes with four unique functions for added safety and comfort. Brake Pre-tensioning shortens stopping distances during an emergency stop by priming the brakes should it detect the driver lifting off the accelerator sharply in reaction to an incident ahead. Brake Drying improves braking performance in the wet by periodically applying the brake pads to scrub away the film of water that can build up on the brake discs. Hill Start Assistant allows a car to pull away smoothly on a steep gradient without rolling backwards, courtesy of the brakes being held for the short time it takes the driver to apply the accelerator after releasing the foot or handbrake. Brake Fade Compensation applies additional braking without any extra effort from the driver should sensors detect that the brake pads are starting to lose ‘bite’ due to heat build up.
The driver of a BMW X5 will now also be able to select the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) function of DSC+. DTC allows for a greater degree of wheel slip for more spirited driving without the main traction control system safety net intervening. This option can be selected via a button on the centre console.
Additional seating practicality comes with new design
In a first for a BMW, the new X5 can be specified with an optional third row of seats allowing up to seven occupants to be transported in comfort. An increase of 19cms in overall body length and an increase in body width of 6cms, combined with innovative design, has made it possible to introduce a brace of seats in the rear, while still retaining luggage space. However, unlike many competitors even with all seven seats in place there is still 200 litres of boot space. The two extra seats, complete with three-point seatbelts and head restraints, are stowed under the boot floor when not in use. BMW X5 owners who do not specify the third row of seats benefit instead from an additional 90-litre storage compartment situated below the boot floor.
Whatever seating combination an owner chooses, the new BMW X5 is capable of taking most payloads. In a standard five-seat configuration the boot measures 620 litres – up 155 litres compared to the outgoing X5. For those looking to move sizeable objects, luggage capacity increases to 1,750 litres with all the rear seats stowed – a figure greater than that of any other BMW.
While being one of the most practical cars BMW has ever made, the new X5 still has a luxurious interior feel and a dynamic and sporty exterior shape. A drag coefficient as low as 0.33 places the BMW X5 at the top of its segment as the most aerodynamically efficient large SAV or SUV. This low figure is partly achieved by a rear tailgate that incorporates a roof spoiler and a near flat underbody to aid airflow. Nine exterior colours are offered initially alongside four levels of trim and seven upholstery colours to allow owners to personalise their X5s.
BMW’s innovative iDrive control system also comes to the X5 for the first time. A new ‘wave’ style of dashboard houses the colour display while the iDrive controller sits on the centre console adjacent to the new style of gear selector. The controller is complemented by eight buttons integrated as system short cuts for ease of use.
Supplementing the standard fit front and rear Park Distance Control, X5 customers have the option to specify a rear camera for added parking convenience. Automatically activated when the reverse gear is selected, the driver is presented with a wide-angle colour image on the iDrive display in the centre console.
The BMW X5 has proved to be a huge global hit since it was launched in 1999 with more than 580,000 sold. In the UK its sales reached record levels each year. In 2001, the car’s first full year, BMW UK sold 5,650. In 2005 a record 10,808 X5s found customers in the UK. Prices for the new BMW X5 and details of the Dynamic Package will be revealed nearer to the spring 2007 UK market launch date.
Seven years after its 1999 Frankfurt Motor Show debut, BMW is pleased to announce the arrival of an all-new X5 Sports Activity Vehicle that aims to redefine its class courtesy of an enviable list of firsts. The new BMW X5 is the world’s first SAV to be offered with Head-up Display and an active suspension system – BMW’s Adaptive Drive package. It is the first SAV that can be specified with Active Steering for unsurpassed manoeuvrability and the first to be shod with Run-flat tyres for added safety. It is also the first BMW to offer a third row of seats for added practicalit
Owners of the new Daihatsu Terios 4x4 can leave the beaten track with confidence thanks to the offer of free satellite navigation.
Worth £289, the Clarion MAP 360 system is free with every retail sale between
1 September and 31 October.
Launched in May, the new Daihatsu Terios is available in three trim levels starting with the Terios 1.5 S which costs £12,995 on-the-road.
This is despite a high standard specification including air-conditioning, power-steering, ABS with EBD, full-time four-wheel drive with electronic centre diff-lock, driver, passenger and side airbags, radio/CD player, four electric windows and even reverse parking sensors.
Being considerably larger than the previous Terios – and boasting a generous
380 litre capacity boot – the Daihatsu flagship also has three rear-seat three-point seatbelts.
Running costs are low for a 4x4 with a ‘politically-correct’ Extra Urban fuel consumption of 40.4 mpg for the Terios 1.5 S and a highly-competitive Group 7D insurance rating.
Ford may sell Land Rover, the iconic maker of four-wheel-drive vehicles, along with Jaguar as part of a shake-up of its portfolio of upmarket British brands.
It is understood that Ford’s senior management, led by chairman and chief executive Bill Ford Jr, is considering packaging the two marques together and selling a majority stake to a financial investor.
Ford would retain a minority holding, and continue its technical and supply links with the two British carmakers. The Land Rover sale is one option being studied after the appointment last week of Kenneth Leet, a former Goldman Sachs and Bank of America banker, as special adviser to Bill Ford.
Ford said last week that no decisions on disposals had been taken, and banking sources said last night that it was not certain that Ford would part company with Jaguar. There was a possibility that it would be retained, but with reduced production and a concentration on exclusive luxury sports cars.
Bill Ford told staff in a memo last week that Leet would “explore strategic options”, but sources in Detroit pointed out that Leet’s expertise was in mergers and acquisitions, making it more likely Ford would look to sell assets, including Jaguar.
Ford bought Jaguar in 1989, paying £1.6 billion for what was then regarded as one of the most valuable upmarket car brands in the world. But it has struggled to make a success of the Midlands-based company, despite heavy investment.
Over the 17 years in Ford ownership, Jaguar has racked up trading losses of about £1.6 billion, according to Companies House filings. Ford has continually made those good by injecting fresh capital, most recently putting in £1.2 billion in December. Including the original purchase price, Ford has ploughed in at least £3.7 billion.
Ford is understood to have held exploratory talks about Jaguar with Renault, the French car group run by Carlos Ghosn, Hyundai, the aggressive Korean company, and an unnamed Russian car firm. The talks are not thought to have led to anything substantial.
But including Land Rover with Jaguar would sweeten the deal for any buyer. After a costly restructuring and heavy investment in new models, Land Rover is experiencing strong sales and, unlike Jaguar, is making money.
The two marques already have strong management and technical links, with the companies sharing senior executives and their products sharing engines and other components.
If Ford were to retain a minority stake, it would avoid the bad publicity in Britain that might result from an outright sale. It would also allow the American group to continue to benefit from the supply of technical expertise and components to the two British companies.
Bill Ford told staff in his memo last week that he planned to revisit his swingeing recovery plans for the company, which will lead to the closure of seven plants and the departure of nearly a quarter of the workforce. He said nothing had yet been decided “and we will not rush to judgments”.
A revised restructuring plan is expected to be announced in a couple of months. Bill Ford said the measures “may be difficult, but are necessary”.
If Jaguar were to be sold or scaled back, it would be a blow to the West Midlands motor industry, already reeling from the collapse last year of MG Rover.
Mitsubishi Motors UK is delighted to announce it has recently concluded a deal with the RNLI to supply L200 4Work double-cab pick-ups for the charity’s front-line beach rescue teams.
Initially, 12 Mitsubishis have been purchased to fulfil duties in the South and South West of England. It is expected that over the next two-years the L200 will replace existing vehicles at all 36 beaches in the region and then go on to replace all 62 units around the UK.
The RNLI Lifeguards provide an immediate response to incidents on Britain’s most popular beaches. To perform this invaluable service they require a tough, reliable, multi-purpose vehicle – enter the Mitsubishi L200.
"When we considered all of the things we needed from a vehicle, the L200 came out on top," said RNLI Transport Manager, David Tidman. "It needs to be 4-wheel drive as it will operate almost entirely on sand, have excellent load-carrying and towing capabilities and ultimately, be reliable."
There were a number of other factors which also came into the purchase criteria, as Mr Tidman explains:
"The design of the vehicle is an important feature. The L200 double-cab has excellent space in the rear of the passenger compartment – ideal for carrying personnel or injured swimmers. Its load-area is also a good size and allows teams to carry all of the equipment they need. Our Lifeguard units are very high profile, so with its modern styling, together with the equipment and sign-writing added, the new L200 really looks the part and conveys the professionalism of our teams, their training and equipment."
Each of the all-white L200s will be fitted with racks to carry surf rescue boards and other necessary equipment, plus emergency lighting, a PA system, VHF radio, as well as displaying the RNLI’s distinctive Beach Lifeguard livery.
In some cases, the vehicles will be required to tow the RNLI’s ‘Rescue Watercraft’, more commonly known as jet-skis and small inflatable boats for off-beach rescue operations.
The RNLI are no strangers to Mitsubishi, having already purchased Shoguns and previous model L200s.
"From experience we have found our Mitsubishis to be excellent work-horses. We have been pleased with the back-up service we receive and the excellent warranty arrangements – especially when you consider what our vehicles are put through," says Mr Tidman.
The L200s are supplied through Dorset based Mitsubishi dealers, Poole Car Centre, with the first group of vehicles having equipment fitted in the RNLI’s Wadebridge workshops.
"We are delighted the RNLI has chosen the new L200 for its Beach Lifeguard operation," said Andy Wertheim General Manager – Fleet Sales for Mitsubishi Motors UK. "It’s great to know that the L200 was selected for all the right reasons and it’s an added bonus that the cars will be seen at most of the popular beaches in the UK doing what they do best."
The RNLI’s inaugural fleet of L200s went into operation a few weeks ago, just as the busy part of the season began, at some of the most popular coastal resorts in the South West, including Newquay, Perranporth and others in North Cornwall and North Devon.
- A Response to the What Car? “£192m Rip-Off” Story -
The latest edition of What Car? has a feature which is extraordinarily misleading. It claims to be an investigation into why car drivers might fail to achieve the official fuel consumption figures quoted by manufacturers.
The simple and obvious truth is that everyone drives differently over different types of road. No two people will get exactly the same results, let alone everyone match the official figures.
But according to What Car? it is a £192million rip-off, intimating that car makers are deliberately misleading car buyers.
The reality, as What Car? know, is that all cars are subjected to exactly the same test so that comparative data can be obtained. Further, by law car makers must publish this and only this data. It is of real value to the consumer as it allows many different cars to be compared, enabling an informed choice to be made. It is scientific and repeatable.
What the figures are not are manufacturer claims. If they were, Toyota could, for example, claim 90mpg for the Aygo diesel based on the result achieved by one of our Fleet customers at the GreenFleet Fuel Challenge earlier this year. Toyota quotes – not claims – the official figure of 83.1mpg.
In their eagerness to create an eye-catching headline What Car? has also missed a basic arithmetic principle, namely that comparisons cannot be made directly between the percentage shortfalls in fuel consumption of high and low efficiency cars.
For example, take two cars over 15,000miles. One is quoted at 50mpg, but only achieves 40mpg in use, while the other is quoted at 21mpg, but achieves 19mpg in use. That seems like a 10mpg or 20 per cent shortfall versus one less than 2mpg or less than 10 per cent. A rip-off?
No, the fact is both will consume exactly the same amount of extra fuel over the same distance because the relationship between mpg and miles travelled is not a linear one. Here are the sums:
15,000miles / 50mpg = 300gal
15,000miles / 21mpg = 714gal
15,000miles / 40mpg = 375gal
15,000miles / 19mpg = 789gal
Difference = 75gal
Difference = 75gal
No multi-million pound rip-off, just simple arithmetic.
The truth, the good consumer advice What Car? failed to give, is that high efficiency cars, such as modern diesels and hybrids like the Toyota Prius, can return what at first appears to be a larger shortfall in real mpg, but are in fact subject to the same level of discrepancy between the quoted and the actual figures as any other car.
The results achieved by the current EU fuel consumption testing system may not be ideal, but in the absence of a better alternative it offers the consumer information to help them compare one car with another. It is a shame What Car? chose largely to ignore that in the chase for a sensationalistic headline.
What Car? has today exposed the huge inaccuracies in fuel economy figures used by car makers in their advertising. On average, cars in the real world are 8% thirstier than manufacturers' official figures.
Most owners expect to achieve the economy claimed in adverts and brochures, but are disappointed when their fuel bills are higher. What Car?’s research proves that Britain’s new-car buyers spent £192 million last year in inflated fuel bills as a result.
What Car? used an independent specialist to assess the fuel economy of 85 best-selling cars in real-world driving. Only five cars managed to hit their makers' claims. Worst performer was the hybrid petrol-electric Toyota Prius – famed for its green credentials. What Car? could only manage an average of 52mpg, 13.7mpg below Toyota's official claim.
Eight of the top 10 worst performers against official figures were superminis – the very cars that are bought by budget-conscious motorists with an eye on fuel economy.
What Car?’s tests calculated what owners can expect in the real world, by using an electronic meter inserted in cars’ fuel systems to measure accurately the fuel used over identical routes and conditions.
What Car?'s independent research was backed up by tests from 120 readers. They recorded their consumption for a week and, on average, managed 3mpg below manufacturers' figures. What Car?'s own fleet of test cars recorded an average of 6mpg less than car makers' claims over a massive 1,143,197 miles.
Steve Fowler, What Car?'s editor, said: 'With fuel prices already topping £1 per litre in many places, fuel economy is an increasing concern for car buyers. But on average, they're having to pay £87 a year more than they'd expect based on car makers' claims – and that figure will only rise as fuel prices increase further.
'However, the fault lies not with the manufacturers, but the unrealistic method of testing cars' economy enforced by the EU. Tests are carried out in laboratories, not on roads, with only gentle acceleration and at high temperatures - very different to real-world driving conditions.'
What Car? believes that the European Union should adopt a more realistic system suited to the way motorists actually drive to provide drivers with accurate and useful data.
Road safety group, the Association of British Drivers, has suggested a new survey from insurers Direct Line takes road safety `up a blind alley’. The survey demands a limit of no more than 40mph on all rural roads because of “the high number of fatalities now occurring on country lanes”.
A quick check on accidents and accident rates by road class and severity from Transport Statistics GB 2005 shows that accident rates are much lower on rural roads than urban ones (1)
Direct Line did not produce a supporting analysis but inferred that because 26% of rural drivers surveyed admit to exceeding 60mph speed limits on rural roads, speeding is `one of the main causes of accidents’. Mark McArthur-Christie, the ABD’s Director of Policy commented “It’s difficult to see the road safety logic behind Direct Line’s rather confused argument. They don’t offer any evidence that the fatal crashes are related to people breaking the 60mph limit -because there is none. And if breaking the 60 limit were the problem, where is the sense in reducing that limit to 40mph? This reads more like a PR-driven survey than serious road safety.”
McArthur-Christie concluded “We must move away from the view that `the answer’s a blanket speed limit - now what’s the question?’ A safe speed for the conditions varies constantly, from second to second and can be significantly above or below 40mph. Good drivers know and recognise this. Blanket speed limits just increase frustration overtakes, cause drivers to tailgate and reduce respect for speed limits generally. Forcing compliance with such limits reduces attention and stops drivers thinking for themselves - a head on collision between two cars doing 40mph is still likely to be fatal, and speedo watching, brain dead driving makes this more likely on country lanes.”
1. 70 accidents per 100 million veh-km on urban A-roads against 25 on rural A-roads; 64 accidents per 100 million veh-km on other urban roads against 46 on other rural roads.
CERTAIN VEHICLES MAY HAVE BEEN BUILT WITH A INCORRECTLY BUILT SEAT BELT BUCKLE MOUNTINGS.
WHEN THE REAR LEFT HAND SECOND ROW SEAT BELT IS USED, THE BUCKLE MAY NOT BE FULLY RETAINED. A SEAT OCCUPANT MAY NOT BE PROPERLY RESTRAINED INCREASING THE RISK OF PERSONAL INJURY.
DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND REPLACE THE SECOND ROW LEFT HAND SEAT BELT BUCKLE FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN NOVEMBER 2, 2005
Channel 4 has appointed COLIN OVERLAND as editor of 4Car, the channel's successful motoring website, effective immediately.
Overland, who has been with Car magazine for the last three years, has worked for a wide range of car and motorcycle magazines, and has helped establish successful overseas editions of both Car and Autocar. He will replace GAVIN CONWAY, who is taking over as editor on Automobile, the monthly US title.
4Car continues to be a major part of Channel 4's interactive strategy, not least because it is one of the company's most successful sites. Since 4Car was launched in February 2000, it has built a reputation in the UK as the first stop on the internet for car buyers and enthusiasts to find the latest news, information and entertainment. Monthly usage figures show that the site now serves just under eight million page impressions to an average of over 930,000 users.
Commenting on his appointment, Overland said: "After a decade as a magazine journalist, I'm very excited to be getting involved with Britain's best motoring website. Gavin has built up a great team at 4Car and, with Channel 4's backing, we'll be building on the site's current strengths and moving into some new areas."
Departing editor Conway said: "I couldn’t leave 4Car in better hands than Colin’s. His understanding of what makes 4Car the best site in the UK is absolutely spot-on and his plans to move the site forward will bring some really exciting changes over the next year."
Andy Pipes, producer for 4Car at Channel 4 New Media, said: "We are pleased to welcome Colin into the 4Car fold as editor. During Gavin's tenure, 4Car has made huge strides and boosted its reputation as the UK's leading online motoring magazine. We trust that Colin will steer the site to even greater prominence."
4Car’s plans for content expansion will continue under Overland’s direction, including building on the burgeoning video coverage, which now boasts over 160 video test drives, along with comprehensive video coverage of motor shows and other events.
* Free insurance, three years free servicing and special finance deals on selected Colts
* New Lancer 2.0-litre Sport saloon for £11,524 on the road
* More power for Evo IX with launch of FQ-360 derivative
* Three years zero per cent finance or 50:50 payment scheme on several Grandis, Outlander and Shogun models
* Shogun Field DI-D with £2,045 off and free satellite navigation
With a host of new range additions plus an array of finance incentives and cash discounts on some of its proven best sellers, Mitsubishi dealers are gearing up for one of their busiest months.
From affordable superminis to a turbo-engined drop top, best-selling pick-ups to award winning MPVs, driving away in the latest ‘56’ registration Mitsubishi this September could cost less than you may think.
But be quick, since many of these exclusive offers are valid only until September 30th, 2006.
A model portfolio consisting of sporty three-door, practical five-door and sun-loving Coupe-Cabriolet derivatives, plus a wide variety of petrol or diesel engines, ensures there’s a Mitsubishi Colt to cater for every buyer in the supermini sector.
Since the new generation Colt’s arrival almost two years ago this sensational supermini has been a sales success throughout Europe. More than 8,000 examples were sold in the UK last year and, with the range now complete, this figure is set to be bettered in 2006.
Although the launch of the CZC (a sun-loving Coupe-Cabriolet with electric roof mechanism costing from £13,999) and Colt Blue (a three-door 1.1 litre model loaded with luxury levels of kit for £8,499) hit the headlines this September, the rest of the range should not be ignored.
The Colt CZ1 may cost only £7,494 in three-door guise but it comes with electric front windows, remote central locking, CD player, twin airbags and ABS. Order now for September delivery and you’ll also benefit from free insurance, free servicing and a special finance deal of £1,000 deposit plus an affordable £149 a month for 37 months.
Mitsubishi’s free insurance deal applies to all 1.1 litre Colts for drivers over 21 years old and includes cover for a second named driver. The rest of the hatchback range is offered with 50:50 finance or no deposit and low rate finance.
Renowned Japanese quality and reliability at a price which undercuts many Korean alternatives has established the Lancer’s position as a top choice among cash-conscious private buyers.
Providing prospective Lancer owners with even more choice is the recently launched four-door Sport saloon. Priced at just £11,524, this newcomer offers a lengthy list of equipment and plenty of performance yet undercuts the comparable Toyota Corolla by more than £2,000.
Opting for the Sport saloon sees the Lancer’s likeable looks smartened further with the addition of 16-inch alloy wheels, sports grille and rear spoiler while the suspension is lowered by 30mm to sharpen up the handling. Inside there’s even a hint of Evo courtesy of a MOMO leather steering wheel, sports front seats and white instrument dials.
It’s no slouch either – the 2.0 litre 16-valve powertrain with five-speed manual gearbox deliver 0-62mph in an impressive 9.4 seconds with top speed listed at 124mph.
The Lancer Sport saloon is now in Mitsubishi showrooms complementing the Sport estate and even more affordable 1.6-litre models.
Mitsubishi re-wrote the MPV rulebook when it unveiled the Grandis back in 2004 and last year’s introduction of diesel power plus a lavish Warrior range-topper has heightened the profile of this award-winning people mover.
Both 134bhp 2.0 DI-D six-speed manual and 162bhp 2.4 petrol automatic models are offered across Classic, Equippe, Elegance and Warrior.
However, as a special incentive, those who order any petrol-engined Grandis will receive a choice between zero per cent finance over three years or Mitsubishi’s popular 50:50 scheme, where buyers pay half the purchase price at delivery and the outstanding balance 12 months later.
The Grandis range, which spans in price from £18,524 to £23,744, distinguishes itself from the opposition by its striking body and unique ‘Hide and Seat’ fold flat third row seating. Standard equipment includes eight airbags, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, Isofix child seat securing points, passenger airbag deactivator switch, climate control, remote central locking, alloy wheels, six speaker CD stereo system with MP3, leather steering wheel and gearknob alarm and immobiliser. Upgrading to the flagship Warrior adds niceties like DVD entertainment system and unique black leather interior with Warrior branding.
OUTLANDER, SHOGUN and SHOGUN SPORT
Mitsubishi continues to reign supreme in the 4x4 marketplace, providing customers with a wide choice of model to suit the demands of differing drivers across the various SUV segments.
A car-like driving position, intelligent 4x4 system and lively 2.4-litre 16-valve petrol engine are the Outlander’s key attributes but it’s now even easier to own with a choice of interest free repayments over three years or the 50:50 finance offer.
These incentives also apply across all Short and Long wheelbase Shogun Warriors plus the Shogun Sport Warrior while a minimum discount of £2,000 applies to the £20,044 Shogun Sport Equippe with torquey 2.5-litre turbo diesel power.
A similarly huge saving benefits buyers of the Shogun Field. Previously a special addition but now a permanent fixture in the Shogun family, the Field also comes with a free satellite navigation system that’s worth over £1,700; combined with the discount this represents almost £4,000 worth of added customer value.
Positively received by both the press and public, Mitsubishi’s all-new and radically styled L200 Pick-Up is on target to retain its predecessor’s market leading position.
Mitsubishi expects to sell more than 12,000 of the new model this year in addition to a further 5,000 examples of the trend setting outgoing derivative.
The L200 has already notched up two major awards. In the Commercial Fleet World honours, the magazine presented the new L200 with the Best Pick-Up award for 2006 while, just eight weeks after going on sale, Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine nominated Mitsubishi’s new contender as their Pick-Up of the Year.
Offering the widest choice of body cab/trim choice options in the segment, the latest L200 is competitively priced from £12,249 - £20,439 (basic retail price). Buyers of this trendy but tough Pick-Up now also have the option of automatic transmission while the flagship Animal and Elegance versions come with all the toys you’ll ever need, including the availability of luxury items like satellite navigation, climate control and leather upholstery.
Sports saloons don’t come much more thrilling than Mitsubishi’s critically acclaimed Lancer Evolution series.
Winner of numerous awards over the years, the four-door Evolution is arguably the world’s most accomplished everyday supercar.
New for September is the most potent Evolution IX yet – the FQ-360. Featuring a 366bhp version of Mitsubishi’s 2.0-litre turbo engine, the performance flagship is available to order now, priced at £35,504. Orders for this 160mph motor can now be placed at any Mitsubishi Ralliart dealer with first deliveries expected in time for September’s registration plate change.
Owners of the new Daihatsu Terios 4x4 are spoilt for choice when it comes to accessories, thanks to the unveiling of an extensive new range of styling, luxury and practical dealer-fit equipment.
Despite only going on sale this May, the completely new 1.5 litre Terios can be customised with more than 100 individual accessory items – all carrying the same three year/unlimited mileage cover as the car itself.
And with traditionally strong demand among SUV and 4x4 customers to personalise their car, Daihatsu dealers are anticipating brisk business.
Popular items include alloy wheels from £125 each in 17 ins size, with the largest wheel/tyre combination – an 18 ins alloy with 235/55 tyres – costing £325 each.
Exterior styling accessories include a painted hard wheel cover for £225, painted rear spoiler at £195.95, centre mesh grille for £79.95, aluminium side steps priced at £225 and door side mouldings for £55.
Meanwhile inside, full leather trim in a variety of colours is available for £1,028.13 including fitting with other items including a rear tonneau cover at £139.95, full dog guard for £120 and rear cargo tray costing £39.95.
Other fast-moving accessories include a detachable towbar with full electrics for £325 excluding fitting, aluminium cycle carrier at £72.50 and a wide range of navigation and security upgrades. All quoted prices include VAT.
Launched in May, the new Daihatsu Terios has got off to a strong sales start and is expected to be the manufacturer’s best-seller in the UK.
It is available in three trim levels starting with the Terios 1.5 S which costs £12,995 on-the-road.
This is despite a high standard specification including air-conditioning, power-steering, ABS with EBD, full-time four-wheel drive with electronic centre diff-lock, driver, passenger and side airbags, radio/CD player, four electric windows and even reverse parking sensors.
Being considerably larger than the previous Terios – and boasting a generous
380 litre capacity boot – the Daihatsu flagship also has three rear-seat three-point seat-belts.
Running costs are low for a 4x4 with a ‘politically-correct’ Extra Urban fuel consumption of 40.4 mpg for the Terios 1.5 S and a highly-competitive Group 7D insurance rating.