Nissan’s latest crossover the QASHQAI, when fitted with the constant variable transmission (CVT), boasts a lower exhaust emission level and improved fuel economy over the manual. Yes, an automatic that’s better for the environment and your wallet, compared to the equivalent manual. And you can choose to have it in either two- or four-wheel drive.
Linked to an all new lightweight aluminium fuel efficient 2.0 litre petrol engine the CVT shows a CO2 rating of 192g/km compared to 199g/km for the manual which represents a 3.6% improvement. Economy goes up from 41.5mpg to 43.5mpg in the extra urban cycle and from 34.4mpg to 35.3mpg in the combined cycle.
It’s more comfortable too: a long uphill drive in a conventional automatic will invariably be accompanied by regular down shifts as the engine hunts for power. With CVT, the engine revs stay constant as the transmission itself adjusts seamlessly to ensure momentum is maintained. CVT also ensures less power loss which results in better efficiency and performance.
The advantages do not end there. CVT is a computer controlled ‘stepless’ transmission providing a virtually limitless number of ratios, ensuring the engine is always working as efficiently as possible, resulting in smoother acceleration. However, if you wish to manually change gear then a computer generated six speed sequential manual override is provided through the gear lever to give a more sporty drive.
A 2.0 litre two-wheel drive QASHQAI fitted with CVT costs £15,999 which is £1100 more than the manual. The four-wheel drive version starts at £17,599. Either way they will both be sure footed as ESP is fitted as standard.
Within the recently announced Nissan Green Programme CVT is an influential part of the overall strategy. Compared to a conventional automatic it emits 10% fewer g/km and with a target to achieve one million sales of CVT-equipped vehicles by the end of FY2007 the benefits are substantial.
* New Scénic Conquest combines space and practicality of a compact MPV with more aggressive, rugged style of an SUV
* Revised chassis includes 20mm higher ride height and stiffened suspension - ideal for both city streets and country roads
* Choice of four engines - two diesel and two petrol, offering 106hp to 136hp
* Priced from £16,765 to £18,965
* Available to order from 1st June 2007
Never shy to explore new market territories, Renault is now gearing up for a new voyage of discovery with the launch of the Scénic Conquest. Combining the space and practicality of a compact MPV with much of the look and driving benefits of an SUV, the new model will be available to order in the UK from 1st June 2007, with prices starting at only £16,765, up to £18,965.
Increased on-road ability
Making its debut at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show, Scénic Conquest is a car aimed at a wide range of customers, including those with a passion for leisure pursuits and the great outdoors. The new addition to the Scénic range is sure to have a broad appeal through its fusion of MPV practicality and low running costs, allied to the rugged look and greater on-road capability of an SUV.
Let’s be clear. Scénic Conquest is not trying to be a 4x4 SUV with off-road ability, as Renault will launch an SUV in 2008 based on its Koleos Concept. Countryside dwellers using unmade or poorly maintained roads and city slickers tackling giant potholes and speed bumps need the raised driving position and ride height with stronger suspension, but not the 4x4 transmission that comes with an SUV.
Scénic Conquest provides this increased level of on-road ability without the weight penalty, fuel economy reduction and CO 2 emission increase associated with SUVs. If you really don’t need four-wheel drive but like all the other abilities of an SUV then Scénic Conquest could be the answer, especially as it costs several thousand pounds less than equivalent-sized and equipped SUVs like the Land Rover Freelander and Toyota RAV4.
You couldn’t mistake Scénic Conquest for any other member of the Scénic range. Conquest is front wheel drive, yet nevertheless, will be able to take the rough with the smooth as its chassis has been adapted to cope with life away from the beaten track.
At first glance, the most obvious sign of the Conquest's rugged nature is its 20mm higher ground clearance than a standard Scénic. The car's taller stance should prove a boon for city dwellers tackling the urban jungle, as well as those who live in the country who would benefit from a better view of the road ahead when negotiating muddy tracks and B-roads with high hedgerows.
In addition to the increased ground clearance and twin skidplates protecting the underbody, the suspension has been modified to improve comfort on rough terrain. The front and rear dampers have an increased range of travel and smaller anti-roll bars have been fitted. Finally, the special settings of the ESP electronic stability programme and ASR traction control enhance Scénic Conquest’s all-terrain character.
At the front, the lower part of the bumper has a protective black graphite coating while the radiator grille and air intake have been revised and a satin chrome-finish skidplate shields the engine. Making the Conquest even more distinguishable from other Scénics, it features dark lens headlamp covers, 16” alloy sports wheels, while at the rear, the black graphite bumper incorporates a satin chrome-coloured skidplate.
Scénic Conquest’s profile also reveals its fondness for off-road adventure or city parking through chunky rubbing strips which protect the side bodywork, while the wheel arch inners are protected by black graphite plastic and it also features robust door sill guards. Finished in chrome and black, the longitudinal roof bars are ideally suited to transporting outdoor leisure equipment.
Scénic Conquest will be offered in a wide range of colours, one of which will be exclusive to this model – Cayenne Orange.
Subtle but distinctive interior
Inside Scénic Conquest, splashes of orange differentiate the cabin from other Scénics. The dark grey centre console features orange graphics which echo the contours of a map and hint at the car's adventurous nature, while other unique touches include the blood-orange seatbelts and stitching for the gearlever gaiter and steering wheel. The carpets are also protected by Conquest-badged rubber mats.
Based on the best-selling Dynamique trim level, Scénic Conquest costs £550 more but adds extra equipment in the form of rear parking proximity sensors, ESP and roof bars, worth £700 if bought separately. The parking sensors in particular should prove invaluable for urban driving and the school run, as well as avoiding trees and gateposts!
Adding a personal touch to Scénic Conquest, Renault has developed bespoke accessories that can be purchased as a range of kits. They include an interior bike rack, additional storage units, guards for the door and boot sills, a compartmentalised boot box and so on.
A major factor in Scenic’s sales success is its interior versatility. All of its hallmarks remain in Conquest, such as the rear row of individual seats which can be slid forward, back, folded or removed completely, plus the numerous cabin stowage cubbies, rear aviation tables and underfloor storage, particularly as there is no 4x4 transmission taking up extra space. Customers can add even greater flexibility by specifying extras such as the opening tailgate window, panoramic glass sunroof and sliding centre storage unit. The Conquest will not be offered in Grand Scénic guise.
Power to explore
Scénic Conquest is available with a choice of two economical petrol and two diesel engines, ranging in power from 106hp to 136hp. All versions come with six-speed manual transmission as standard.
The entry-level petrol, 1.6 VVT, develops 111hp at 6,000rpm and 152Nm of torque at 4,250rpm, with combined cycle fuel consumption of 37.2 mpg. The more potent 2.0 16V petrol engine produces 136hp at 5,500rpm and 191Nm of torque at 3,750rpm. On a combined cycle, it returns fuel economy of 35.3 mpg. On the diesel side, the 106hp version of the 1.5 dCi diesel, generates peak power at 4,000rpm and 240Nm of torque at just 2,000rpm, returning 54.3 mpg on a combined cycle and emits CO2 of just 138 grams per kilometre. The second diesel option - 1.9 dCi 130hp offers maximum performance at 4,000rpm and 300Nm of torque at 2,000rpm. Offering a particularly wide power band, this engine sips fuel at a rate of just 47.1 mpg on a combined cycle and emits CO2 of 159 grams per kilometre.
The Association of British Drivers support North West MEP David Sumberg's demand for a Congestion Charge referendum.
Manchester Council insists that the proposed congestion charge must pass the key test of 'Measures must be acceptable to the public and businesses'. This can only be achieved through a referendum. Despite opinion polls and petitions both locally and nationally showing massive public opposition, the Government is determined to press on with the regional road pricing pilot schemes.
Ken Livingstone said of the London Congestion Charge extension: "The proposal to extend the zone is clearly controversial," he said. "Consultations, however, tend to draw responses primarily from those opposed to whatever is being consulted upon."
He also said 'The Transport for London consultation was useful to refine the plan and identify any problems but it was "not a referendum on the scheme."'
ABD Manchester Co-ordinator Sean Corker said "Evidence from the London congestion charge shows a huge negative impact on businesses turnover within the charging zone and very little return for drivers in the form of improved journey times. Congestion charging and vehicle tracking cannot be imposed on the commuters of Greater Manchester through a self selective consultation process."
With just one weekend to go until new, stiffer penalties for using hand-held phones behind the wheel come into force, the RAC Foundation reveals exclusive survey results showing that drivers need better support from mobile phone retailers about safe use of phones behind the wheel if they are to avoid a fine, points, or a potentially devastating accident.
* Although all mobile retailers advised our mystery shoppers that the law requires motorists to use a handsfree kit while driving, just one in three explained that this is because using a hand-held phone can be distracting.
* Only one retailer in five (20%) explained that drivers face an increased risk of being involved in an accident while using a hand-held phone.
* Only one retailer in 20 (5%) advised that talking on a hands-free phone can also increase the risk of being involved in an accident.
The RAC Foundation is warning motorists to stop taking a chance with their chat. It has been illegal to use a hand-held mobile behind the wheel since 1 December 2003, but around half-a-million motorists break this law every day. From 27 February mobile menaces will face a £60 fine and 3 points on their licences. The police have made it clear that they will implement the new rules as soon as they are in force. They do not need to stop your car to issue you with a penalty. Three points in the post might follow an opportunistic call.
A quarter of retailers advised RAC Foundation researchers that Bluetooth headsets would allow motorists to talk and drive safely at the same time. The Foundation is concerned that this under-states the risk of trying to make calls while behind the wheel. New research from the US has revealed that, while hands-free is better than hands-on, it is still a potential distraction, and cannot really be described as ‘safe’- it is the length and intensity of the conversation which slows reaction times.*
The Foundation is calling on retailers and network operators to make advice more easily available to motorists. Our mystery shoppers found leaflets about safe use of phones while driving in just two stores (both O2 stores).
Mobile heroes included:
* the assistant who insisted our researcher took a catalogue, on which he’d written “£60 fine; three points” next to the recommended hands-free kits.
* the assistant who told our researcher that he would lose his job if caught using a phone behind the wheel.
Mobile villains included:
* The assistant who recommended throwing the phone down if blue lights were spotted.
Edmund King, Executive Director of the RAC Foundation, said, “Motorists need to change their mobile habits. From next week motorists could be getting penalty points in the post from police spotting them using hand-held mobiles.
“The best advice is to switch off the phone in the car as new research has shown that even using a hands-free phone can increase the risk of a crash. If drivers must make or take calls they must be handsfree, must use only pre-programmed numbers and must be short and simple conversations. Drivers, employers and callers must take this seriously.
“Our survey shows that some mobile phone retailers could do more to explain the risks drivers run when they try to chat and drive at the same time. The police must also do more to enforce the law. Mobile menaces need to know that that they will be caught and fined.”
Jim Ward, Chief Executive of industry association MX Alliance, said, "We welcome this new research from the RAC Foundation and would call for the industry to look at how we can continue to better educate motorists about the dangers of using mobile phones whilst driving. Unless drivers start to change their behaviour and act more responsibly there could be calls in the future for an outright ban on using mobiles."
The RAC Foundation guide to mobile phones includes:-
* Never use a hand-held phone whilst driving.
* Buy and fit a good hands-free system, but try not to make calls unless essential.
* Never compose or read texts or emails while driving.
* Recognise that driving requires a high level of concentration. Use the built in facilities of the phone to minimise distraction, such as voice mail for incoming calls and single number dialling of pre-programmed numbers.
* Keep calls short. Don’t chat and never argue.
* Do not take or make calls when road, traffic or weather conditions are particularly bad.
RAC Foundation Mobile Phone FactFile
* 84% of the UK population owns a mobile phone (Wireless World Forum)
* 74,000 fixed penalty notices were issued in 2004 for illegal use of a mobile phone while driving. (Home Office)
* In 2005, 13 people were killed and over 400 injured in crashes involving drivers using hand-held phones (Department for Transport)
* Every day 500,000 motorists use a hand-held phone while driving (TRL research)
* One in six students are physically addicted to their phones. (Dr David Sheffield, University of Staffordshire).
Choosing the right towcar will become a whole lot easier this summer with the launch of the Towcar Awards.
What Car? magazine, Practical Caravan, and The Camping and Caravanning Club have joined forces to set a new benchmark for towcar testing. Every car on test will be judged across four broad categories: towing ability, driving unhitched, practicality and buying, owning and the environment. Only cars which perform well across the board can hope to win an award.
Each of the three partners in the Towcar Awards brings its own expertise to the project. What Car? has been the car buyer’s champion for over 30 years. Its road tests are the most thorough in the business. Practical Caravan is Britain’s best-selling caravan magazine and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The Camping and Caravanning Club has been serving caravanners and campers for over 106 years. Its technical department adds in-depth technical knowledge and an unrivalled depth of experience.
The three partners will receive support from the Swift Group, Britain’s biggest caravan manufacturer, who will supply the caravans for towing.
Steve Fowler, group editor of What Car?, commented: “We’re delighted to be part of the Towcar Awards. What Car? is all about helping people buy the right car at the right price, whatever their needs. As the towing community grows in size, we’re getting an increasing number of people looking for buying information about towcars. The Towcar Awards will set a new benchmark for expert, impartial advice in this hugely important market.”
David Motton, editor of Practical Caravan, said: “These awards are different from other towcar tests. For one thing, we’re going to choose the cars we test, rather than invite manufacturers to send any model they like. Proper acceleration and braking tests using satellite tracking equipment will take the guesswork out of performance testing, and emission levels and running costs will also be assessed.”
David Welsford, Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “The club is absolutely delighted to be involved in this exciting initiative. The club’s participation will add in-depth technical and practical understanding to the tests and, as such, will help to make these the definitive towcar awards.”
The Awards will be published in Practical Caravan’s August issue, on sale 20 June. The Camping and Caravanning Club’s magazine will publish the results in its July issue, posted to members on 25 June. What Car? will feature the results in its ‘New Reg’ issue, on sale 5 July.
Loyal Terios owner, Ronnie Woods cannot believe his luck after having the entire cost of his new car reimbursed as part of Daihatsu’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
Ronnie and his physiotherapist wife, Kit, live in Newton Mearns near Glasgow and were the 100th Daihatsu customers this year, taking delivery in early January.
It is their second Terios and they use the car to travel to their three physiotherapy practices – sometimes encountering snowy winter roads.
He said: “Not only have we found the service from Halleys Garage in Milngavie to be first-class but we really appreciate the extra space and comfort in the new Terios. We especially like the curved styling and improved interior and instruments.”
Priced from £12,995 on-the-road for the Terios 1.5 S, all models boast a high standard specification which includes air-conditioning, power-steering, ABS with EBD and full-time four-wheel drive with electronic centre diff-lock.
Also standard on the Terios are driver, passenger and side airbags, radio/CD player, four electric windows and even reverse parking sensors.
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.
Daihatsu Vehicle Distributors Limited Managing Director, Paul Tunnicliffe, said: “We have several surprises planned this year to celebrate our 100th anniversary and this is just the first one. Clearly Mr Woods’ windfall was pure chance but this reimbursement couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person thanks to his loyalty to the brand.”
Daihatsu’s forerunner, Hatsudoki Seizo Company Limited, was founded in 1907 to manufacture internal combustion engines.
The first truck was produced in 1919 and a range of three-wheeled vehicles introduced in 1930, followed by the mid-sized four-wheeled car – the FA – in 1937.
In May 1965 Daihatsu became the first Japanese manufacturer to export to Britain with the 797 cc Compagno Berlina.
This exact car is now owned by Daihatsu Vehicle Distributors Limited and regularly takes part in classic car rallies and dealer events.
Suzuki GB has been presented with the Manufacturer of the Year title in the prestigious AM Awards 2007. The accolade from one of Europe’s leading automotive trade titles is a ringing endorsement of Suzuki’s strategy of delivering products with strong customer appeal at competitive prices.
“Suzuki was up against tough opposition, including Audi, Fiat, Honda, Lexus and Toyota,” commented AM editor Stephen Briers. “However, the popularity of Swift, Grand Vitara and SX4, together with strong transaction prices and profitability, have all kept this car maker in the top ranks for dealer value.”
“We are extremely delighted with this award which recognises the growing strength of the Suzuki brand in the marketplace,” said David Seward, Suzuki Sales and Marketing director. “The Grand Vitara, SX4 and Swift have all been well-received and our growth is set to continue with the launch of another exciting new model later in the year, together with further product introductions between 2008 and 2010.
“Our success also demonstrates the vital part played by our dealers; key surveys over the past five years have consistently confirmed that they provide some of the very highest levels of customer satisfaction in the industry.”
Worldwide, Suzuki has been enjoying buoyant sales and in the last financial year production output totalled 2.2 million vehicles. Plants have been operating flat out to meet the demand and this has prompted substantial new investments in production capacity worldwide, including almost doubling potential output at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary.
Volvo strengthens its V and XC ranges at the Geneva Motor Show in March with the world premiere of two all-new premium estate cars, the Volvo V70 and the Volvo XC70, and the European premiere of the Volvo XC60 concept.
Following an exclusive pre-show sneak preview in Geneva on Monday 5 March1, the all-new Volvo V70 and the all-new Volvo XC70 will be revealed to the world on the Volvo stand on Tuesday 6 March.
The Volvo press conference takes place at 16.30 on Tuesday 6 March. Interviews with Volvo senior executives and the all-new V70 and XC70 project teams2 are available during both press days and can be booked in advance by contacting the Volvo UK press office.
All-new Volvo V70
The all-new Volvo V70 redefines Volvo’s leadership of this segment and adds even more luxury, style and refinement than its predecessor. The all-new V70 also promises sharper handling and even better versatility (it’s longer, wider, taller and has a longer wheelbase) with 40-20-40 split folding rear seats, a wider opening tailgate and 60 litres of extra load space.
All-new Volvo XC70
Rugged and capable, the all-new Volvo XC70 has an individual style which combines AWD (All-Wheel Drive) technology and higher ground clearance with all the flexible, practical features of a traditional estate car. More details will be released on Monday 5 March.
With a range of powerful 5 and 6 cylinder petrol and diesel engines, prices for both models will be announced in the summer and the cars will go on sale in the UK in September.
Volvo XC60 concept
Following its successful world debut in Detroit in January, the Volvo XC60 concept now hits Europe. This charismatic crossover vehicle integrates both the unmistakable, muscular XC-versatility and the sporty charisma of a coupe. The production version of the XC60 concept will be in sale in the UK in spring 2009.
Innovative policy well-suited to lifestyle and driving habits
MOTORISTS up to the age of 70 can now take greater control of their motor insurance and save up to a third on their premiums with the news that Norwich Union is extending the age range of its flexible “Pay As You Drive”™ insurance policy.
The only insurer in the UK to offer a usage-based motor insurance policy, Norwich Union introduced “Pay As You Drive”™ insurance in October 2006, initially to motorists aged between 24 – 65, with a separate offering for young drivers.
Drivers over 60 typically have a lower annual mileage than other drivers and are less likely to use their vehicle for commuting or school runs – thereby avoiding the “peak” tariff times of 7 – 10 am.* Of the motorists between 60 and 69 insured with Norwich Union, 88 per cent drive less than 10,000 miles a year, with the average mileage clocking in around 7,000 miles a year. “Pay As You Drive”™ insurance benefits most motorists who drive less than 8,000 miles a year. That’s why “Pay As You Drive”™ insurance, which calculates premiums based on when, where and how far a vehicle is driven, could suit many older drivers, giving them greater flexibility and control of their insurance premiums.
Kay Martin, head of “Pay As You Drive”™ insurance, said: “The original launch was hugely successful. “Pay As You Drive”™ is an ever-evolving insurance policy, and this extension to age 70 reflects our continual attention to its ongoing development, as well as overwhelming consumer demand. We feel that by extending the age range to 70, we are offering these drivers the opportunity to save money on their insurance premiums with a policy that is likely to better suit their lifestyle.”
“Pay As You Drive”™ insurance for motorists aged 24 - 70
This policy was developed as a result of data from Norwich Union’s “Pay As You Drive”™ pilot, involving more than 5,000 motorists, which ran from 2004 – 2006. The data showed that:
* Driving during a morning weekday rush hour is 50 per cent more likely to result in an accident than driving at weekends or in the evening
* Serious accidents are more likely to occur at night
* Motorway driving is up to 10 times safer than driving on low speed urban roads
In-car GPS devices mean that customers receive monthly bills based on car usage, including time of day, type of road, and mileage. In addition to the usage-based tariff, the premium also includes a fixed monthly fee to cover risks such as fire and theft. For the 48% of customers, including retirees, who don’t use their car to drive to work in the morning rush hour, “Pay As You Drive”™ insurance represents a great opportunity to save on insurance, with costs for off-peak motorway driving starting at less than 1p per mile and off-peak urban driving starting at less than 4p per mile.
“Pay As You Drive”™ is now available to purchase online. Motorists can log on to www.payasyoudriveinsurance.co.uk to find out how much they could save with “Pay As You Drive™” insurance.
"ROAD PRICING IS NO ANSWER," SAYS RHA
The Road Haulage Association notes with interest the Prime Minister’s assertion this morning that no decision has been taken on national road user charging.
"Such a tax on journeys would be full of problems. It would be intrusive, complex and hugely expensive. At best, the congestion benefit would be marginal," said RHA Chief Executive Roger King.
The RHA has serious doubts as to whether a national journey tax is practicable. This view is based on the experience of lorry road user charging, which was promised only for the project to be abandoned after four years and £40m spent on consultants’ fees.
"We need to change the debate", he continued. "Far simpler options are available for tackling congestion, such as: changes in the hours of employment - local and central government could give a lead here; and greater home working.
“Investment must be made to increase trunk road and motorway capacity, to meet existing demand for efficient and reliable transport, with or without a charging system. And at a more modest level, we are frustrated at the lack of progress in making relatively minor infrastructure improvements at bottlenecks.”
"Let's talk about reducing the burden of congestion, not about how to introduce a complex, unproven new journey tax," says Roger King.
A new website has been launched to help motorists tackle the increasing scourge of Britain’s potholed roads.
The logically named, potholes.co.uk, is designed to assist long-suffering tax-payers highlight poor road surfaces to their local councils, plus advise on how to make a compensation claim should their own vehicle be damaged by a pothole.
Despite the billions of pounds paid into public coffers every year, Britain’s roads are quite simply falling apart. Experts say there has been a 65 percent rise in defects on English roads alone during the past decade, with the shortfall in funding for repairs running at an estimated £1.6bn*.
As a result, the deteriorating roads - which latest research suggests can be blamed for a whopping 1 in 5 mechanical failures - saddle the motorist with an estimated £320m bill for unwanted car repairs**.
Potholes.co.uk aims to campaign for swifter and more efficient road works on the nation’s network. As a community-based website it also offers details about how to report a pothole, as well as providing a forum to voice frustrations or offer advice to fellow motorists.
“We want the site to become a public service,” said spokesperson, Amanda Allen. “Motorists have a right to have their voice heard on the subject, and it’s clear that local authorities need help to identify the potholes in their region.”
For further information visit www.potholes.co.uk
Motorists travelling along the A4 in Hammersmith will see unique works of art created in front of their eyes as Nissan launches its latest model, the QASHQAI.
The JCDecaux exhibition site above the A4 will be home to a QASHQAI for two weeks during February. Every day, passing motorists will see graffiti artists creating exciting artwork as a backdrop to the car, based on TBWA\’s current poster and print advertising for the QASHQAI.
Said Justin Elias, Marketing Director at Nissan: “We used the same exhibition site to create and showcase a lifesize sculpture of the Nissan Murano when we launched it in 2005 and we wanted to bring the ground-breaking idea into play as part of the QASHQAI launch.
“We pre-launched the QASHQAI via our fictitious QASHQAI Car Games website to reach people who would not normally engage with the Nissan brand. Now the mainstream campaign is going live and we have already had incredible success with many dealers reporting healthy order levels for the new car.”
Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 2006, QASHQAI is the new compact crossover for Europe from Nissan. Inspired by the concept car of the same name, the QASHQAI (pronounced “cash – kai”) is a new vehicle for Nissan that is now in showrooms. The car has been designed for buyers who want the agility and compact size of a hatchback, but with the tough presence and dynamic design of an SUV.
The lower portion of the car suggests strength and solidity thanks to large, pronounced wheel arches, slightly elevated ground clearance and a purposeful stance. The interior has been designed to give the driver a focused cockpit feeling, with a clear separation between them and their passenger.
The deeply recessed instruments give a sporty feeling to the driving environment –reinforced by the raised central console. However, the front and passenger environments have been designed to feel airy, spacious and relaxing.
The QASHQAI is available in a choice of 1.6 and 2.0 litre petrol engines or a 1.5dCi or 2.0dCi* diesel engines, with prices starting from £13,499.
*2.0dCi is available from June 2007
The Jeep® brand is expanding into new territory with the all-new Jeep Compass – a modern-styled compact Jeep that delivers a competitive package of size, performance and fuel economy.
The Compass extends the Jeep brand to compete for the first time in the compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment and is the first Jeep vehicle to offer fuel economy in excess of 43 mpg, on the combined cycle with its diesel engine, which is best in class. Compass will also be the Jeep brand’s first front-wheel-drive-based product and also the first with a fully independent suspension for comfortable on-road ride and handling.
Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK, said “The Jeep Compass is designed to reach younger and female customers who may not have previously considered the brand but value the distinctive Jeep look and see four-wheel drive as a must-have on their daily drive. Customers are increasingly interested in family hatchbacks with four-wheel drive systems as they offer better handling and enhanced safety on the road.
“The new Jeep Compass offers a roomy interior, a choice of fuel efficient diesel and petrol engines and an all-new Freedom Drive 4WD system in a package the size of a Ford Focus.”
Freedom Drive I is a full-time, active four-wheel drive system that offers the driver tangible benefits in every day driving conditions such as wet and icy tarmac. The car operates in front-wheel drive for 90 per cent of the time and automatically switches to 4x4 when more traction is required.
“This family hatchback-sized car represents a new chapter in the history of the Jeep brand – the compact 4x4 segment in Western Europe is expected to increase to nearly 400,000 units by 2010, and this new car-based four-wheel drive vehicle means the Jeep brand is ideally placed to meet this growing demand.”
“The whole compact-4x4 segment is shifting – our competitors are pricing themselves out of the sub-£20,000 segment and we aim to fill this space this year.”
In the UK the Jeep Compass Limited model will launch in May 2007 with a VW-sourced 2.0-litre six-speed manual diesel engine and 2.4-litre petrol engine with a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. The Jeep Patriot shares the Compass platform and engines, but has a more traditional Jeep look and design. The Jeep Patriot Sport and Jeep Patriot Limited models launch in July 2007 and will be the new entry-level price point for the Jeep brand (pricing to be confirmed). The Jeep Compass will be priced from £17,990.
* Vauxhall’s new compact 4x4 starts at just £19,850
* Style, driving dynamics and quality aim to tempt buyers from larger SUVs
* Biggest selling model averages a hatchback-rivalling 37.7mpg
With its stylish looks, high quality interior and massive level of standard equipment, the new Vauxhall Antara is the sort of car which could start to make drivers of bigger SUVs start to think they’ve been short changed – especially since the Antara’s prices start at only £19,850 on-the-road.
On sale now and due to arrive in showrooms from July, the Antara comes in three distinctive trim levels, each offering comprehensive levels of standard equipment which could cost up to £6,000 if ordered as options on some rivals.
Even the entry-level Antara E has standard kit that you’d expect in a much more expensive car, and has a quality feel that makes some larger 4x4s look decidedly down-market. Included in the price is ESP, Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive, a Descent Control System, air conditioning, remote control ultrasonic alarm, front fog lights, silver-coloured roof rails, 17-inch alloys and a CD with MP3 compatibility and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
Moving up to the Antara S, additional standard equipment includes 18-inch alloys, climate control, heated front seats, cruise control, Automatic Lighting Control, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, heat-reflective windscreen, self levelling suspension and chrome detailing on the door handles and exhaust tailpipe.
The top model Antara SE is exceptionally well specified, with a DVD sat-nav, six-disc CD changer with MP3 capability, a built-in Bluetooth phone kit, xenon headlamps, leather seat facings, electro-chromatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror and electrically foldable door mirrors, front and rear parking distance sensors and an on-board tyre pressure monitoring system.
The only option will be the innovative Flex-Fix integrated bike carrier system, as first seen on the New Corsa and priced at £475. This special rack slides out of the rear bumper in seconds and allows two bikes to be carried safely without having to worry about storing and fitting complicated roof bar systems or attaching complicated frames to the tailgate.
As well as the visible equipment, Antara promises to be a great car to drive, thanks to speed-sensitive power steering, Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive system and dynamically-tuned sports chassis. Whereas some SUVs have a tendency to pitch and wallow through bends, Antara has been designed to offer rewarding, car-like handling.
The Antara operates as a normal front-wheel drive car in everyday use, providing the sure-footed handling which most drivers are familiar with. The car automatically switches to four-wheel drive when the car’s ESP electronics sense that the extra traction is needed. As well as giving the driver greater reassurance, the set-up delivers economy benefits over permanent four-wheel drive systems – delivering 37.7mpg on the combined cycle for the 2.0CDTi manual and producing 198g/km of CO2 – comparable to similarly-sized hatchbacks and estates with petrol engines.
Antara E is available with a choice of a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and manual gearbox or a 2.0-litre CDTi 16v diesel with a manual or five-speed automatic gearbox. The Antara S and SE are available with the 2.0-litre CDTi engine with a manual or auto ‘box.
The e-petition asking the Prime Minister to "Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy" has now closed. This is a response from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
Thank you for taking the time to register your views about road pricing on the Downing Street website.
This petition was posted shortly before we published the Eddington Study, an independent review of Britain's transport network. This study set out long-term challenges and options for our transport network.
It made clear that congestion is a major problem to which there is no easy answer. One aspect of the study was highlighting how road pricing could provide a solution to these problems and that advances in technology put these plans within our reach. Of course it would be ten years or more before any national scheme was technologically, never mind politically, feasible.
That is the backdrop to this issue. As my response makes clear, this is not about imposing "stealth taxes" or introducing "Big Brother" surveillance. This is a complex subject, which cannot be resolved without a thorough investigation of all the options, combined with a full and frank debate about the choices we face at a local and national level. That's why I hope this detailed response will address your concerns and set out how we intend to take this issue forward. I see this email as the beginning, not the end of the debate, and the links below provide an opportunity for you to take it further.
But let me be clear straight away: we have not made any decision about national road pricing. Indeed we are simply not yet in a position to do so. We are, for now, working with some local authorities that are interested in establishing local schemes to help address local congestion problems. Pricing is not being forced on any area, but any schemes would teach us more about how road pricing would work and inform decisions on a national scheme. And funds raised from these local schemes will be used to improve transport in those areas.
One thing I suspect we can all agree is that congestion is bad. It's bad for business because it disrupts the delivery of goods and services. It affects people's quality of life. And it is bad for the environment. That is why tackling congestion is a key priority for any Government.
Congestion is predicted to increase by 25% by 2015. This is being driven by economic prosperity. There are 6 million more vehicles on the road now than in 1997, and predictions are that this trend will continue.
Part of the solution is to improve public transport, and to make the most of the existing road network. We have more than doubled investment since 1997, spending £2.5 billion this year on buses and over £4 billion on trains - helping to explain why more people are using them than for decades. And we're committed to sustaining this investment, with over £140 billion of investment planned between now and 2015. We're also putting a great deal of effort into improving traffic flows - for example, over 1000 Highways Agency Traffic Officers now help to keep motorway traffic moving.
But all the evidence shows that improving public transport and tackling traffic bottlenecks will not by themselves prevent congestion getting worse. So we have a difficult choice to make about how we tackle the expected increase in congestion. This is a challenge that all political leaders have to face up to, and not just in the UK. For example, road pricing schemes are already in operation in Italy, Norway and Singapore, and others, such as the Netherlands, are developing schemes. Towns and cities across the world are looking at road pricing as a means of addressing congestion.
One option would be to allow congestion to grow unchecked. Given the forecast growth in traffic, doing nothing would mean that journeys within and between cities would take longer, and be less reliable. I think that would be bad for businesses, individuals and the environment. And the costs on us all will be real - congestion could cost an extra £22 billion in wasted time in England by 2025, of which £10-12 billion would be the direct cost on businesses.
A second option would be to try to build our way out of congestion. We could, of course, add new lanes to our motorways, widen roads in our congested city centres, and build new routes across the countryside. Certainly in some places new capacity will be part of the story. That is why we are widening the M25, M1 and M62. But I think people agree that we cannot simply build more and more roads, particularly when the evidence suggests that traffic quickly grows to fill any new capacity.
Tackling congestion in this way would also be extremely costly, requiring substantial sums to be diverted from other services such as education and health, or increases in taxes. If I tell you that one mile of new motorway costs as much as £30m, you'll have an idea of the sums this approach would entail.
That is why I believe that at least we need to explore the contribution road pricing can make to tackling congestion. It would not be in anyone's interests, especially those of motorists, to slam the door shut on road pricing without exploring it further.
It has been calculated that a national scheme - as part of a wider package of measures - could cut congestion significantly through small changes in our overall travel patterns. But any technology used would have to give definite guarantees about privacy being protected - as it should be. Existing technologies, such as mobile phones and pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes, may well be able to play a role here, by ensuring that the Government doesn't hold information about where vehicles have been. But there may also be opportunities presented by developments in new technology. Just as new medical technology is changing the NHS, so there will be changes in the transport sector. Our aim is to relieve traffic jams, not create a "Big Brother" society.
I know many people's biggest worry about road pricing is that it will be a "stealth tax" on motorists. It won't. Road pricing is about tackling congestion.
Clearly if we decided to move towards a system of national road pricing, there could be a case for moving away from the current system of motoring taxation. This could mean that those who use their car less, or can travel at less congested times, in less congested areas, for example in rural areas, would benefit from lower motoring costs overall. Those who travel longer distances at peak times and in more congested areas would pay more. But those are decisions for the future. At this stage, when no firm decision has been taken as to whether we will move towards a national scheme, stories about possible costs are simply not credible, since they depend on so many variables yet to be investigated, never mind decided.
Before we take any decisions about a national pricing scheme, we know that we have to have a system that works. A system that respects our privacy as individuals. A system that is fair. I fully accept that we don't have all the answers yet. That is why we are not rushing headlong into a national road pricing scheme. Before we take any decisions there would be further consultations. The public will, of course, have their say, as will Parliament.
We want to continue this debate, so that we can build a consensus around the best way to reduce congestion, protect the environment and support our businesses. If you want to find out more, please visit the attached links to more detailed information, and which also give opportunities to engage in further debate.
What Car? is urging the Government to ditch a plan to introduce two-yearly MOT tests.
At present, all vehicles over three years old must have an MOT test every year. Under the new proposals motorists will only have to have their cars checked every other year.
The new proposals also mean that new cars will not have their first test until they are four rather than three years old.
Steve Fowler What Car? Editor said: “The move to a two-yearly test is misleading for consumers who may think they are saving money, but MOT test prices will rise as garages close due to lack of business and competition declines.
“Although modern cars are more reliable, that shouldn’t be confused with safety. This proposal has no safety or financial benefits for any road user.”
According to Government statistics 3% of all fatal accidents are caused by vehicle defects. That means that of the 3201 fatalities on Britain’s roads in 2005, 96 were caused by defective vehicles. Dodgy cars also caused 580 serious injuries and 4777 slight injuries.
Currently 29% of UK cars already fail the annual test, of those 14.9% relate to defective lights, 11% steering faults, 10% brakes and 8% down to tyres. The next biggest failure rate is down to emission and visibility problems.
The UK has the lowest record of deaths per 100,000 in the UK, Sweden is the second lowest and Holland is third, all operating a yearly MOT inspection system. Most European countries that operate a two-year system have higher road deaths per 100,000.
‘We cannot allow our roads to become any more dangerous. Well maintained, safe cars are an absolute priority for all road users and pedestrians alike,’ commented Steve Fowler.
The MOT Trade Forum forecast that if the move to a two-year check is adopted and delayed by an additional year we will see up to 150 more road deaths per year and many more major and minor associated injuries.
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 15 February 2007 – A new well-equipped limited edition Discovery 3, called the Pursuit, will be on sale in March 2007, for under £30,000 OTR.
Only 300 Discovery 3 ‘Pursuits’ will be available from Land Rover dealerships across the country. Based on the TDV6 GS model, the Pursuit also features Java Black paint work with Ebony interior, 19” alloy wheels, body coloured wheel arch surrounds, manual leather seats and chrome finish mirror caps.
Land Rover’s multi-award winning Discovery 3 is a technology-packed, premium 4x4 designed to deliver outstanding performance both on the road and off-road. The bold, versatile design is distinctively Land Rover and offers exceptional space, comfort and flexibility, for up to seven adults.
All Pursuit limited editions are powered by the Discovery’s acclaimed TDV6 diesel engine and feature standard technologies including Hill Descent Control, air suspension and Terrain Response™, all industry-firsts for Land Rover.
“Since launch, the Discovery 3 has brought new levels of ability, comfort and refinement to the large 4x4 market. Winning 95 awards worldwide is a testament to its class-leading diesel engine, its versatility and its all-round package,” commented John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director.
“The limited-edition Discovery 3 Pursuit gives customers the opportunity to buy an exclusive specification for the exceptional price of £29,995 OTR for the TDV6
manual and £30,995 OTR with automatic transmission. We think this represents incredible value for money.”
All Land Rover vehicles include a CO2 offset for the first 45,000 miles within the on-the-road price. Administered by Climate Care, an independent CO2 offset provider, the programme ensures that the average amount of CO2 produced by a Land Rover is offset by investments in a mixed portfolio of projects, including renewable energy, technology change and energy efficiency initiatives.
The Discovery 3 has sold nearly 30,000 units in the UK and 115,000 units globally since launch in 2004, and continues to collect critical accolades the world over.
To book a test drive of the new Discovery 3 Pursuit or for more information regarding the Land Rover range, please visit your local Land Rover dealership or log onto www.landrover.co.uk.
In the wake of Gwyneth Dunwoody's savaging of the DfT as 'a terrible picture of failure', the ABD believes the department needs to change its priorities.
Mark McArthur-Christie, the Association of British Drivers' Director of Policy, said "Since John Prescott's integrated transport policy, the DfT has often appeared keener to develop measures that make driving harder rather than finding ways to give people real, viable transport choices."
The ABD argues if the department wants to ease congestion, it needs to see the car as a key tool in a 'transport toolbox' along with other modes. It believes that people need to be free to choose the best mode for them and their journeys. Deliberately making one mode more unattractive than others simply hamstrings travellers.
The ABD says the DfT's Integrated Transport Policy failed because it focused on discouraging car use rather than encouraging viable alternatives. The group now says a change of emphasis is vital away from 'some modes good, other modes bad' to a truly integrated approach which matches the transport mode with the journey.
McArthur-Christie concludes "We need to get the ideology out of transport. The car is a tool like any other. It's great for some jobs and no use at all for others. We'd love to see the DfT promoting the idea of a properly integrated 'transport toolbox' that gets people to pick the best tool for the job."
Promises from Ministers to listen to the 1.4 million signatories of the anti road pricing petition and debate the issue sensibly have today been exposed as a total sham.
"The Goverment have already made up their minds that national road pricing is going to happen," said ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries. "Infrastructure and laws are already being put into place - the wheels are already turning. Protestations that nothing has been decided and accusations that the public have been duped into signing the petition by false information are spin doctoring of the worst kind."
Already, Stephen Ladyman has contradicted Douglas Alexander by saying that road pricing is 'inevitable'
Embarrassing revelations occur on a daily basis: A minister has called the person who thought up the idea of e-petitions a 'prat', and a German GPS Systems Company, has, according to the London Evening Standard, allegedly contributed a substantial sum to The Institute of Public Policy Research, an organisation known to favour 'selling' road pricing to the public. (See links below)
Furthermore, the ABD has been sent inside information, complete with a schematic system diagram, from an employee working for a consortium company involved in a Highways Agency 'driver information system', claiming that it will be used for a National Road Tolling System.
Overwhelming public opposition to being tracked and charged on the UK's woefully inadequate road system has manifested itself in the prime minister's e-petition started by ABD member Peter Roberts, which is now likely to exceed 1.5 million signatures.
There is no debate. On one hand, there is massive public opposition to road pricing, on the other, the Government regards Road Pricing as a 'fait accompli'.
The ABD calls on all drivers opposed to road pricing to support the ABD and its stance and force the government to abandon their ruinous plans - or give up their car keys and privacy to the Government.
USING a mobile phone while driving becomes an endorsable offence at the end of February and GEM Motoring Assist – formerly The Guild of Experienced Motorists - (GEM), that is concerned for the safety of all road users, has issued a useful list of things you can and cannot do while driving a vehicle.
It says that apart from using a phone that is not fitted with a ‘hands free’ device motorists need to remember that they cannot eat or drink while at the wheel. The driver can smoke, but lighting the cigarette while on the move can prove a challenge as if both hands are taken off the steering wheel the driver may not be considered to be in proper control of the vehicle.
Disposing of the cigarette by throwing it out of the open car window is also an offence as it may hit or distract another motorist or motorcyclist. In fact ejecting any rubbish from a vehicle contravenes litter laws.
Most recently GEM has noted that a health and safety inspector was stopped by police in Perthshire while shaving as he overtook a line of rush hour traffic at between 60 and 70 mph, setting a particularly bad example as he was late on his journey to deliver a first aid course. He was banned for six months and fined £300.
Chief Executive of GEM David Williams points out that fines for using a hand-held mobile can be as much as £1,000 with an increase to a potential £2,500 for drivers of vans, lorries, buses and coaches. “You also may not use a hand-held mobile while stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic,” he said. “It is also against the law to use a mobile while supervising a learner.”
“Other offences which are also regularly witnessed are drivers reading maps while driving and women applying make up on the move. Both these activities could lead to substantial fines and penalty points being awarded, said David.
“Although it is not an offence as such, GEM recommends that no one should drive with a dog on the front seat of a car,” said David. “Not only is it a potential distraction but if you have an accident there is a very good chance the pet will be injured or killed as well or it may become protective and frustrate any rescue attempts to help an injured or trapped driver. “Dogs should be secured with a harness or a cage in the rear of the vehicle.”
David said GEM welcomed the fact that three penalty points will be added to the licence of a driver caught using a mobile phone, that is not hands free, while on the move. “All evidence points to the fact that a person on the phone whether hands free or not is much more likely to have an accident and the safest option is to turn the phone off as soon as you enter the car.”
For a free leaflet on the new mobile phone laws or for more information about GEM, its services and road safety work go to www.motoringassist.com.
Drivers are now able to tune in and catch travel news from Trafficmaster's unique traffic monitoring network on the local radio network, thanks to a deal between Trafficmaster and GCap Media, owners of Classic FM, London's 95.8 Capital FM and 37 local radio stations* across the UK.
From February 2007, peak-time travel bulletins across the GCap network will feature up-to-the-minute local information directly from Trafficmaster's UK Control Centre, in Cranfield Bedfordshire, to help keep drivers ahead of the latest jams. Trafficmaster's network comprises 7,500 sensor sites across the UK, covering 8,000 miles of Britain's motorways and A-roads.
GCap Media's Hugh Broom, travel news reporter on Capital FM, said: "Up to date information across our stations could make the difference between sitting in that jam and avoiding it. Trafficmaster travel news will be critical to keeping our listeners moving."
Craig Blount, Director of Trafficmaster Services, said: "Our aim is to give drivers the best possible travel information, wherever they are. Like our network, GCap covers the whole UK, so motorists can make use of Trafficmaster news, wherever they are."
*List of Participating Radio Stations
96.4 BRMB - www.brmb.co.uk
Red Dragon FM - www.reddragonfm.com
103.2 Power FM - www.powerfm.com
103.1-102.8 Invicta FM - www.invictafm.com
102.4 and 103.5 Southern FM - www.southernfm.com
Fox 102.6 and 97.4 FM - www.foxfm.co.uk
Essex FM - www.essexfm.co.uk
Radio Broadland - www.radiobroadland.co.uk
Trent FM - www.trentfm.co.uk
97.6 Chiltern FM - www.chilterndunstable.co.uk
GWR FM - www.gwrfm.co.uk
2CR FM - www.2crfm.co.uk
Severn Sound 102.4 FM - www.severnsound.com
Gemini FM - www.geminifm.co.uk
Mercia FM - www.merciafm.co.uk
Leicester Sound - www.leicestersound.co.uk
SGR FM - www.sgrfm.co.uk
102.7 Mercury FM - www.mercuryfm.co.uk
Northants 96 - www.northants96.co.uk
Q103 - www.q103.co.uk
Ram FM - www.ramfm.co.uk
Orchard FM - www.orchardfm.co.uk
MFM 103.4 FM - www.mymfm.co.uk
Plymouth Sound - www.plymouthsound.co.uk
Hereward FM- www.hereward.co.uk
SGR Colchester - www.sgrcolchester.co.uk
Wyvern FM - www.wyvernfm.co.uk
FM 103 Horizon - www.horizonmk.co.uk
Lantern FM - www.lanternfm.co.uk
Buzz 97.1 FM - www.wirralsbuzz.co.uk
Ten 17 - www.ten17.co.uk
Hertfordshire's Mercury - www.hertsmercury.co.uk
Coast 963 - www.coast963.co.uk
Champion 103 - www.champion103.com
2-Ten FM - www.2tenfm.co.uk/
West Midlands' Beacon Radio - www.beaconradiowestmids.co.uk,
Shropshire's Beacon Radio - www.beaconshropshire.co.uk
Tony Blair Admits Road Pricing is "Just a Tax"
The Downing Street petition against road pricing, started by ABD member Peter Roberts, today raced past one million signatures. Meanwhile, Tony Blair appeared to admit to MPs that road pricing is a tax, not a transport policy.
"The petition gained 300,000 names in five days," said the ABD's Nigel Humphries. "The closing date is the 20th February and there is time for it to reach several million by then - people almost universally loathe the idea of road pricing so the sky's the limit."
These people know that road pricing is a bad idea, and they are sick of government spin on transport, which appears to ignore everyday reality and to justify incompetent policies that make their lives more and more unpleasant.
But Transport Minister Douglas Alexander is still determined to ignore millions of voters and press ahead. His boss, Tony Blair, admitted to a committee of MPs last week that road pricing is all about raising money. According to the Daily Mirror, Blair said "Road pricing is a key way of getting more money to cut congestion and improve public transport."
"Tony Blair's comment cuts through the spin like a knife," continues Nigel Humphries. "Road pricing is just another tax - and a tax that is unfair, expensive to administer and difficult and inconvenient to collect. And it won't improve congestion without large scale investment."
Contrast this with what the Government spin machine has told us - that road pricing will solve congestion problems by itself, and even that some people will be better off because fuel taxes and VED will be reduced. Did anyone seriously believe this?
But now it seems that Blair himself knows that congestion cant be improved without investment in both roads and public transport. That costs money, and Britain need that investment now.
Instead of getting on with the job, like other European countries who are using EU money to build new roads, we have to wait ANOTHER ten whole years until road pricing provides the cash to develop the adequate rail network, station car parks, better cycling facilities, by-passes for traffic blighted communities and the completion of the trunk road network that was planned after World War 2. Ten years in which Britains motorists will have paid more than £400 billion in tax!
"We have had fifteen years of negative transport policy," said ABD Policy Director Mark Mc-Arthur Christie. "Its all been about bashing the motorist without offering any real alternative. We need to get away from this and implement a "transport toolbox" approach which encourages the best type of transport for the job and helps them all fit together efficiently. Alongside the investment, we need to encourage homeworking. Above all we need a key planning objective to help people live closer to their place of work. Road pricing is a concept thats already failed on the M6 Toll and in London, and it needs to be scrapped before it does any more damage to our economy and quality of life."
Solihull, West Midlands, 12 February 2007 – Customer demand for the Defender, today, saw a substantially revised new model for 2007 roll off the production line at Solihull. Land Rover employees were present to celebrate this important milestone which marks the continued success of the iconic model which began life in 1948.
The new model goes on sale this spring and will feature significant upgrades to enhance the ownership experience and meet forthcoming legislation.
The extension to the long life of Defender, which has been in production in various models since 1948, will preserve more than 750 jobs at the Solihull factory where it is produced alongside the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 3.
Annual production of Defender has remained consistent at around 25,000 units in recent years, with much of the demand coming from large contract orders. For example, the Italian energy distribution company, Ente Nazionale Elettricita, recently placed an order for over 900 Defenders.
Since its emergence, nearly 60 years ago, the original Land Rover has carved a heroic path through some of the world’s remotest regions and it's estimated that around two thirds of all Land Rovers are still in use.
“Defender remains a significant contributor to the business as well as an enduring symbol of Land Rover’s 4x4 heritage,” said Phil Popham, Land Rover’s Managing Director. “Its simple concept hasn’t changed fundamentally over the years, but it remains as relevant as ever.
“Defender continues to play a vital role for emergency services, aid workers and farmers around the world. As we grow Land Rover we’re not forgetting our core values and our traditional customers.”
With a rugged ladder-frame box-section chassis and aluminium bodywork, the Defender is incredibly tough. Its practical advantages include its unmatched combination of off-road supremacy, carrying capacity and towing capability.
The Defender name was introduced in 1990 but the model is a direct descendant of the original Land Rover introduced in 1948. Production of Defender and its predecessors has passed 1.8 million.
Commenting on the introduction of the model updated for 2007, Paul Cope, Manufacturing Director at Solihull said: “The introduction of Defender 07 Model Year is recognition that consumer demand remains very strong for this iconic model. The 07 Model Year with its new design enhancements, will ensure that Defender remains a key contributor to the success of the Solihull manufacturing site. Our manufacturing team is absolutely dedicated to increasing customer satisfaction by making the 07 Model Year Defender, the best Defender yet.”
For more information on the Land Rover range go to www.landrover.co.uk
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 9 February 2007 – In response to high customer demand, Land Rover has announced that it is to launch a commercial derivative of the award-winning Discovery 3, which will go on sale on the 19 March 2007.
Since launch in 2004, the Discovery 3 has demonstrated a class-leading breadth of capability and accrued awards from all over the world. Now, it has been engineered with approval from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to gain N1 Light Commercial 4x4 Vehicle status. Business users will therefore be able to take advantage of the Benefit in Kind tax and full VAT reclaim associated with Light Commercial Vehicles.
There will be two derivatives available: the Discovery 3 Commercial and the Discovery 3 XS Commercial. Standard features include 2130 litres of loadspace with a full length phenolic floor, privacy glass, two-piece bulkhead, four corner air suspension and Terrain Response™.
“Since launch, our dealers have received a number of requests from customers for a commercial derivative, many of whom bought standard models and then converted them independently for their own commercial use,” stated John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director.
“The launch of the Discovery 3 Commercial means that for the first time, customers are now able to purchase a Land Rover approved Discovery 3 commercial vehicle, which benefits from the superior levels of ride, handling,
comfort and equipment offered by the standard Discovery 3. We believe the Discovery Commercial will further re-define the 4x4 commercial segment.”
All Land Rover vehicles include a CO2 offset for the first 45,000 miles within the on-the-road price. Administered by Climate Care, an independent CO2 offset provider, the programme ensures that the average amount of CO2 produced by a Land Rover is offset by investments in a mixed portfolio of projects, including renewable energy, technology change and energy efficiency initiatives.
To book a test drive of the new Discovery 3 Commercial or for more information regarding the Land Rover range, please visit your local Land Rover dealership or log onto www.landrover.co.uk
Nissan has just added a couple of new items to the already extensive list of accessories available for the Navara. The Armadillo Sports Bar and Roll Top are available now and ordering them both before the end of March with a Nissan Navara Loadliner will get you a £50 discount.
If it’s more ‘bling’ you want then the Armadillo Sports Bar fits the bill. Made from polished stainless steel it certainly makes you stand out from the crowd.
For added security the matching Armadillo Roll Top is a must for hiding anything in the loadbed. Made from aluminium and available in a choice of Black or Silver, the top can be locked into three different positions to cater for carrying all different shapes and sizes. Although aluminium ensures the top is light, it still has a carrying capacity of 500kgs.
Finally, to ensure the load area is fully protected, you can complete the package with the purchase of a Nissan Loadliner. The perfect accessory for protecting the load area from sharp and abrasive objects.
The price for the Armadillo Roll Top, Sports Bar and Loadliner starts from £2,432.78 including fitting and VAT. This includes the £50 reduction.
Citroën’s bold, innovative and versatile C-Crosser is to make its World Show debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Citroën’s first ever SUV will then go on sale in Europe later this summer.
With its strong styling, flexible 5+2 seating configuration, powerful yet environmentally friendly diesel engine (capable of virtually 40mpg on the combined cycle), together with its 4-wheel drive capability, the C-Crosser will complement Citroën’s range and offer a vehicle to appeal to drivers with a love of outdoor pursuits.
The C-Crosser’s exterior styling radiates vitality and robustness with the front of the vehicle dominated by the familiar Citroën chevrons that stretch across the multiple-ribbed bonnet to unite with the streamlined headlights. The chunky wheel arches, elegant chrome detailing and striking two-tone wheels further emphasise the C-Crosser’s muscular design.
Citroën’s impressive, new generation 156bhp 2.2HDi engine produces a massive 380Nm of torque at just 2,000rpm. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the engine has strong green credentials with its low fuel consumption, ultra-clean Diesel Particulate Filter System and ability to run on 30% bio-diesel.
To ensure an optimum blend of comfort, road holding and off-road capability, drivers have a choice of three transmission settings that can be changed depending on road conditions and driving style. Drivers can switch between two-wheel drive, electronically controlled four-wheel drive and a lock setting for low-grip conditions, all of which can be selected using a control mounted on the central console.
Occupants benefit from the versatile second and third row of seats, which feature an easy-to-use modular design allowing seating changes to be made quickly and effortlessly to provide a flat floor and vast load space. The vehicle’s generous dimensions offer comfortable passenger space, over 20 storage compartments and a large boot with a useful split-opening tailgate for easy loading.
This tailgate optimises the advantages of the flat boot space so heavy objects can simply slide in. Opening in two sections, the lower part is able to support up to 200kg, allowing it to double up as an al fresco seat, perfect for owners with a love of outdoor pursuits.
To further enhance passenger comfort the C-Crosser offers a selection of optional hi-tech equipment, including a useful reversing camera which assists with manoeuvring and parking in tight spaces. Located above the number plate, the camera is automatically activated once the vehicle is shifted into reverse and the image is displayed on the smart navigation screen.
Citroën’s managing director Xavier Duchemin commented; “The C-Crosser will add a new dimension to the already diverse Citroën range and ensures that we have a vehicle to suit all our customer needs, whether it be an SUV, a compact MPV or a supermini.”
FINDLAY, OHIO, FEBRUARY 8, 2007 – Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) will announce its 2006 fourth quarter and year-end financial results before the market opens on Thursday, March 1, 2007. Company management will discuss the financial results in a conference call beginning at 11 a.m. EST that same day.
Individuals can access a webcast of the conference call at the investor relations web page at www.coopertire.com or http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=99422&eventID=1473636
Replay of the conference call will be available at the previously listed web addresses through Friday, March 9, 2007. Questions concerning this conference call can be directed to the Investor Relations Department at (419) 427-4768 or by emailing email@example.com.
The Motorsport Safety Fund has produced a new film – Motorsport First Aid. It replaces one made some years ago and incorporates important changes in techniques recommended by the European Resuscitation Council. Split into two sections, it comprises a broad overview of the subject, followed by a more detailed look at the removal of helmets and HANS (Head and Neck Support) devices. It also includes a sequence on how to right a rolled car without injuring the crew.
The new film was launched at the Fund’s 2007 Watkins Lecture. Held at the recent Autosport International Show at the NEC, Birmingham, it was the 10th in the series and was presented to great acclaim by Professor Sid Watkins – F1’s celebrated safety pioneer – who made the very first presentation and who the lecture is named after.
The film is available on DVD, together with four other productions by the Fund: Motorsport Marshalling, Motorsport Rescue, Motorsport Firefighting and It Could Happen To You. The latter gives advice on personal preparation and equipment to help newcomers take up motorsport in safety.
The 5-in-1 DVD is available for £10, including post and packing, from the Motorsport Safety Fund, PO Box 200, Sevenoaks, TN15 8WZ.
Kwik-Fit urges motorists to prepare for meltdown on British roads
With the UK in the midst of an arctic blast, research from Kwik-Fit reveals that more than one in four British motorists – some 7.5 million in total – have suffered the misfortune of breaking down during the winter months. In addition, many more run the risk of being stranded on roads for long periods of time by bad weather, sometimes even overnight.
Despite this, over 4.3 million motorists (16%) fail to carry any sort of emergency supplies and equipment in their car to help them deal with a winter breakdown or a lengthy period of being stuck in their vehicle.
As the chart below indicates, 79% of motorists fail to carry an extra set of winter clothes in the car over the winter months. A warning triangle is overlooked by 65%, basic personal supplies such as bottled water by 64% and a warm blanket by 53%.
David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, commented:
“Most people recall arctic weather conditions that have left thousands of motorists stranded in their cars for hours. Carrying essential survival items such as warm clothes, extra food and drink can make lengthy waits in the cold weather safer and more comfortable. A little planning and forethought can make a big difference, for example, having a mobile phone charger in the car at all times will prevent motorists that need to make emergency phone calls from being caught out and enable them to keep in touch with concerned friends and family.”
The german maker of the iconic 16-spoke rim has filed for bankruptcy after one of their suppliers bailed, while aluminum prices shot up over the past year. The company had lost 3.8 million Euro in the first half of 2006, then came up 10.2 million Euro short for the year.
The world’s first horizontally-opposed turbo diesel engine – offering exceptional refinement and smoothness – makes it debut at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show next month on the Subaru stand.
The Japanese all-wheel drive specialist – renowned for producing cars with outstanding chassis dynamics and active safety – will be displaying an entire drivetrain at the ’show.
Subaru believes passionately in its ‘boxer’ engines which are more compact than in-line units and provide a much lower centre-of-gravity.
This reduces body roll for safer cornering and also enhances handling precision such as during a sudden lane-change manoeuvre on a motorway.
Due for its first vehicle application early next year, the Subaru ‘boxer’ turbo diesel is a highly rigid unit with low levels of noise and vibration.
Not only does this eliminate the need for a balancer shaft which counters uneven combustion pressures and general roughness, but Subaru’s first diesel is as compact as its petrol sisters and combines unusually strong pulling power at low engine speeds with high-rev throttle-response.
Both the engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive drivetrain will be unveiled as part of Subaru’s press conference at the ’show on March 6 at 10.15 am.
February 7, 2007 – Chicago - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., unveiled the all-new next-generation Highlander and Highlander Hybrid mid-size sport utility vehicles (SUV) at a press conference today at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.
"Highlander holds a unique distinction within the Toyota brand and within the industry," said Don Esmond, TMS senior vice president, automotive operations. "Along with the 4Runner and the FJ Cruiser, it anchors one of the industry's only three-vehicle, mid-size SUV line-ups. Equally important, along with Prius and Camry Hybrid, it is a key component in the industry's only three-vehicle hybrid strategy."
The 2008 Highlander is significantly larger, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces. Yet its fuel efficiency will be virtually unchanged. It is noticeably quieter, smarter, with improved versatility and ride comfort. It will offer the highest level of standard safety equipment in a segment where safety is at the top of purchase considerations. And, it's all wrapped in a package designed for buyers who want to stand out and make a statement.
Highlander will have no equal to its comprehensive list of standard safety features. It will provide a segment-leading total of seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag and roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows.
As with all Toyota SUVs for the last three years, Highlander will provide Toyota's STAR safety system, featuring:
• anti-lock brakes,
• traction control,
• electronic brake-force distribution,
• brake assist,
• and for the first time, enhanced vehicle stability control,
• with electronic power steering.
On all models except the base models, it will provide a stand-alone backup camera with a multi-information screen, not tied to a navigation system. And, Highlander will have the distinction of being the first Toyota division vehicle to feature both active head restraints and a new hood and fender system designed to crumple on impact with a pedestrian.
On the outside, Highlander moves away from traditional SUV styling cues with a statement of strength instead of ruggedness; of intelligence over toughness. Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif. sculpted clean, crisp lines, a wide, stable stance and muscular contours to give Highlander an advanced, contemporary, forceful and dynamic personality.
Highlander rides on an all-new chassis derived from the current Camry and Avalon. It is nearly four inches longer and three inches wider, with an inch more ground clearance and three inches of additional wheelbase.
Interior designers took full advantage of Highlander's substantial dimensions. Design intelligence is carried through to the refined interior, where smart and sophisticated blend with practical, flexible and versatile.
The passenger compartment is open and airy. Convenient and innovative interior features such as flexible seating arrangements, and ease of entry and exit, were directly related to customer input.
For example, Highlander's second-row features captain's chairs with armrests that, if needed, can be converted to a bench seat for three passengers. A "Center Stow" seat, when not in use, is hidden in a compartment under the front center console. In its place, passengers can easily snap in the provided center stow center console or choose to leave the area open as a walk-through to the third row. The second row also slides forward and back 4.7 inches and reclines.
Clever and convenient standard features include:
• a third-row bench seat with foldable headrests for a flat rear cargo area,
• a rear glass hatch for quick access to the back (optional on base grades),
• and Smart Start and Entry for Limited and all hybrid models.
When Highlander arrives in July, it will be offered in Base, Sport and Limited grades. All three grades will be powered by a new 3.5-liter V6 that delivers an impressive 270 horsepower -- a 55 horsepower gain over the previous generation's 3.3-liter engine.
Two months later, the all-new Highlander Hybrid will arrive at dealerships. Offered in both Base and Limited grades, all Highlander hybrids will feature Toyota's advanced VDIM stability system. The system integrates:
• full-time four-wheel drive with intelligence,
• electronic brake and throttle control,
• with true electronically-controlled active steering.
Highlander's advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive system has been extensively upgraded and refined for 2008 for both power and economy. The new Highlander gained about 500 pounds, growing significantly in every dimension and receiving extensive body and chassis reinforcement, aimed specifically at achieving best-in-class crash ratings. Not only were engineers able to increase output to 270 net horsepower, they were able to maintain Highlander Hybrid's impressive fuel economy at 31 city and 27 highway.
The Highlander will be loaded with standard-equipped comfort and convenience features. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels will be standard on both Sport and Limited gas models and both hybrid models.
An array of options and accessories will be offered, such as a power backdoor that can be opened and closed with a key fob, a navigation system with an eight-inch screen, a rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch screen, and three-zone air conditioning.
Other options include:
• JBL audio with six-disc changer and nine speakers with Bluetooth,
• third-row seat delete to create a second-row model,
• leather seat trim and heated seats,
• and a tow package with a 5000-lbs. maximum towing capacity (class-leading for car & van-based mid SUVs).
"The 2008 Highlander takes the car-based SUV concept to a new level," said Esmond. "I say that with conviction, because it's a category we invented."
The Toyota RAV4, now in its third generation, was the world's-first car-based SUV. In 1998, Lexus established a whole new category of car-based luxury SUVs when it launched the RX300. The debut of Highlander in 2001 marked the beginning of a shift in the mid-size SUV segment, from truck platforms to car platforms.
"As you can see, the new Highlander has raised the bar significantly," said Esmond. "Last year we did the same with RAV4. And in about a year, we'll do the same with both Land Cruiser and Sequoia. The Toyota division now markets a six-vehicle SUV lineup that appeals to specific buyer demographics and life-stages. It is a lineup that gives us enormous flexibility in responding to shifts in the marketplace. We are committed to keeping our products fresh and at the front of the pack."
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 7 February 2007 – Land Rover is on standby to offer the services of up to 100 vehicles and their off-road experts, following extreme weather warnings for central and north-west areas of the UK.
As in previous years, all 10 Land Rover Experience centres in the UK will be available tomorrow to assist the local emergency services - including highway patrols, fire services and local police forces – helping people get home safely. They will also help to recover vehicles broken down in the bad weather and vehicles involved in road traffic accidents.
John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director commented: "Year after year Land Rover has assisted local authorities in severe weather and emergency situations. With such an extreme forecast for the next few days, we've assured them that our vehicles will once again be available should they need them."
Land Rover UK has also this afternoon dispatched a fleet of vehicles from their head office in Warwickshire, to support police forces in the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and West Mercia areas.
Land Rovers have a towing capability of up to 3.5 tonnes, permanent four-wheel drive and advanced off-road technology such as Terrain Response™. This includes a snow setting to utilise the vehicle's electronic controls and traction aids in slippery and treacherous conditions.
Land Rover Experience Centres offer a variety of courses and training to teach safe and responsible off-road driving skills. To find out more please visit www.landroverexperience.com
While the motor industry accepts that it has an important part to play in the climate change debate, it has grave concerns over the impact of proposals made today by the EU Environment Commissioner, Stavros Dimas. For more than a decade, car makers have voluntarily made significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions from their vehicles, but this proposed legislation is likely to result in less choice for the motorist and higher prices on the dealer forecourt.
'The industry is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products and we have proven that we are doing our bit by hitting interim targets of our voluntary agreement. We have also already produced and brought to market cars that can meet the 120g/km limit – the problem is that motorists do not buy them!' said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.
'We recognise the importance that cars play in climate change but everybody has a role to play in reducing CO2 emissions. It is important to put this in context and if the Commission is intent on placing the onus onto car manufacturers, then we see serious difficulties ahead. There is a huge threat to employment and the economy. Not only will the choice of cars be reduced by these measures if we are to meet the limits, but independent estimates place a projected increase in the region of £2500 to the sale price of each new car.'
The motor industry is a world leader in many fields of expertise, based on a long tradition of innovation and fulfilling consumer demand. Preserving the environment is always a key consideration for car manufacturers and the technological solutions are available, but at a cost. New markets and jobs are only created when there is clear demand and an economic basis to back this development.
Car makers believe that a concerted drive by all the stakeholders - Government, oil companies, suppliers and motorists - would not only be the quickest and most effective solution to reducing CO2 but also the cheapest. The motor industry has shown its willingness and capability to produce technological solutions. What is now required is an integrated approach from all stakeholders to work towards these important aims of the Commission, without causing a negative impact on consumer choice and the economy.
Cooper Tires has increased its commitment to the European market by announcing that its UK factory in Melksham, Wiltshire, will be the home for a prestigious new European Technical Centre (ETC) that will be the hub of the company’s activities on the continent.
The ETC will be responsible for all elements of the design and development of products manufactured at Melksham, primarily high-performance passenger vehicle tyres in both Cooper and Avon brands.
Englishman, Marcus Hancock, who currently works for parent company, Cooper Tires, in America, will take up his new role as general manager of the Centre on February 5 at the UK arm’s headquarters.
Cooper Tire Europe, managing director, Julian Baldwin said: “This is an important investment for us, and proves that we are committed to producing quality European performance products for European roads. It is also a big boost to the British workforce in Melksham, who will once again spearhead the design and development process for the company.”
Tyre applications development manager, Paul Sketchley, and technical services manager, Gavin Edwards, will support Hancock.
* Drivers of 4x4s / MPVs five times less likely to hit a crash barrier than those in other types of car
* 4x4 / MPV occupants are less likely to be killed or seriously injured in an accident. Occupants are also more likely to be uninjured
* SUVs 'under-represented in accidents on unclassified roads'
A quick glance through TRL's report on roadside safety barriers and 4x4s and MPVs shows a very different picture to that painted in many of today's press reports. The authors reviewed National Accident Statistics and DVLA data and conclude that drivers and passengers of 4x4s and MPVs are less likely to be killed or seriously injured than those in other types of car.
TRL's research also shows that 4x4s and MPVs are involved in fewer impacts with crash barriers. Just two per cent of strikes involve 4x4s / MPVs. But on Britain's roads these vehicles make up 10.1 per cent of the total fleet1. That means 4x4s and MPVs are five times less likely to be involved in this type of collision.
SMMT says this is probably because more of these vehicles are fitted with accident avoidance technology like ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) to prevent skidding and loss of control. The huge investment in 'active safety' systems like ESP, as well as anti-rollover technology, assisted braking and lane departure warning systems, is saving lives every day.
TRL's findings follow a Department for Transport report published in October last year. This examined 2004 accident data and revealed that occupants in a 4x4 / SUV were around half as likely to be killed or seriously injured in a two-car impact as those in other types of car.
While this report is no longer available to download from the DfT web site, copies can be requested from the DfT on +44 (0)20 7944 6395 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . SMMT also has a hard copy.
'We need to reassure owners who have read reports in today's papers', said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. 'Researchers at TRL have demonstrated that drivers of 4x4s and MPVs are less likely to be involved in collisions with safety barriers and that occupants are less likely to be killed or seriously injured in all types of accident.'
TyreSafe, the recently established campaigning arm of the Tyre Industry Council (TIC), has launched a brand new website (www.tyresafe.org), with the aim of providing a valuable information tool to promote awareness, and the importance of tyre safety. The site replaces that of the Tyre Industry Council (http://www.tyresafety.co.uk) which has been providing essential advice to motorists for the last 10 years.
Tyresafe.org introduces a fully revamped dynamic and interactive site which features up to date information in addition to readily-accessible leaflets, and recommendations on how to best look after tyres. A growing number of people are now turning to the Internet to access the latest news and legislation governing the tyre industry. The TyreSafe website has been designed to accommodate this, with the provision of the latest press releases, and an exclusive area on tyre safety regulations.
Also introduced on the new site is an interactive poll, which gives visitors the unique chance to express their opinion on tyre-related issues which affect motorists on the road every day. On voting, users may see what concerns people the most, in addition to the current results of the poll, whose subject will be revised on a regular basis.
Furthermore, visitors may register to receive a monthly newsletter, a quick reference guide presenting a summary of TyreSafe activities, in addition to issues affecting the tyre industry. There is also a Resources and Media area where visitors are able to gain access to copyright-free tyre safety related images, and download the latest articles on other tyre-related issues highlighted by automotive publications.
Rural communities have the most to lose from road charging, warns the ABD
Our major road system after decades of neglect suffers from severe congestion. Under road charging plans being pushed by the government congested roads will be charged the most. It therefore inevitably follows that drivers will seek to avoid these charges by taking alternative routes along country lanes and through smaller towns and villages.
The ABD warns rural communities and vulnerable road users such as walkers, cyclists and horse riders to speak out now against road charging proposals before these plans are forced through.
ABD policy director Mark McArthur-Christie explained: "Road charging will be levied at its highest on the most congested roads. It will be impossible for drivers to know if a road is congested until they are on it, sitting in a traffic jam with no escape route whilst the black box in their car clocks up pound signs for the chancellor.
Many will not wish to take the risk and will of course seek alternative routes. Unfortunately for villagers and users of quiet country lanes, these will very often be the routes they seek out causing a massive increase in traffic levels."
The ABD urges members of rural communities who may be affected to join the 650,000 who have already signed the petition against road charging at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 2 February 2007 – Leading international environmental figures from government, business and education have signed up to oversee Land Rover's industry leading carbon dioxide offset programme.
An independent Board of Governance, specially formed for this purpose, will include, among others, one of the first people to raise awareness of climate change, the former government adviser and diplomat, Sir Crispin Tickell. He'll be joined by the director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford, Professor Diana Liverman, the director of the Business Programme at the sustainable development charity, Forum For The Future, Dr Sally Uren, and the government adviser and former director of environment policy at B&Q, Alan Knight. Further appointments will be announced in due course.
Land Rover has cut emissions with each successive model in its range and is developing technologies to make further improvements. The CO2 emissions from its main manufacturing plant at Solihull have been cut by 30% over the past 10 years. The offset programme is a key part of an integrated approach to further reducing CO2 emissions and will offset all of the CO2 generated by Land Rover’s manufacturing operations and the first 45,000 miles of vehicle use by its UK customers. It is run by Climate Care, a highly respected offset provider. The ultimate goal is CO2 neutrality with investments being made in renewable energy projects such as wind and solar, technology change and energy efficiency.
Sir Crispin said, “Climate change is a long standing issue and these are important steps towards practical actions to tackle part of that problem.”
Sally Uren said, “Offset schemes are a useful way of engaging the public on the climate change agenda. However, offsetting is a transition mechanism at best, as it will be investment in new technologies that will provide the long-term solutions to climate change. Land Rover recognises this and we look forward to seeing new advances in technology reach the market in the not too distant future.”
Phil Popham, Land Rover’s Managing Director, said, “The Land Rover carbon offset programme is an industry leading initiative and demonstrates our commitment to the environment, which includes investing in new technologies to further reduce the emissions from our vehicles. I am delighted that such distinguished figures, who’ve played leading roles in highlighting the issue of climate change, have agreed to give us their advice and assistance in tackling this issue.”
The board will meet every four months and will use its expertise to ensure due diligence is exercised throughout the offset process to make certain it is accountable, efficient and transparent.
Subaru has announced a new special edition Outback boasting £1,000 worth of extra equipment and limited to just 200 units.
Based on the Outback 2.5 SE automatic, the new model features an ivory leather interior, rear air-conditioning outlets and MOMO leather steering wheel with inset audio controls.
Available in time for the March ’07 number plate change, the special edition Outback costs the same £24,925 on-the-road as the regular SE automatic and is offered in either Diamond Grey Metallic or Dark Green Mica with Urban Grey bumpers and body cladding.
The Outback crossover all-wheel drive estate was facelifted for 2007 with new front and rear styling and a premium-class interior.
Improved standard equipment includes HID headlamps with pop-out washers, electrically-folding door mirrors, front projector foglamps, six-disc in-dash CD autochanger with MP3 facility, dual-zone climate control and curtain airbags.
The Outback 2.5 SE also has heated front seats, door mirrors and windscreen
de-icer, electrically-powered sun-roof, cruise-control and an eight-way electrically-operated driver’s seat.
A small British engineering company has launched a new axle differential locking system and a range of driveline componentry upgrade products, designed to improve the traction, mobility and off-road performance of 4x4 vehicles.
KAM Differentials Limited of Godalming, Surrey, which has already carved a niche market worldwide for its Land Rover upgrade products, was set up in 1991 with a grant of £5000.00 from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust. Now, it has just signed a major contract to supply its latest system as a standard production fit for the PS10 4x4, made by Santana of Spain, one of the world’s leading 4x4 utility vehicle manufacturers. It is also working on systems to fit a further range of top brand 4x4 vehicles. To-date, the company has already sold over 3000 of its current design diff-lockers and over 6000 up-rated half shafts.
At the heart of the new system is a solenoid operated precision locking device, which can be engaged to significantly increase traction in difficult conditions. The design has been developed through KAM’s extensive experience in the off-road competition and motorsport sector, where its extreme-duty upgraded components have earned it a reputation amongst participants in events such as the Paris-Dakar Rally. The company hopes that its track record in such applications will also help its new system appeal to military users. The system can be retrofitted to existing axles as well as incorporated during new-build assembly.
The company also manufactures a range of high performance crown wheel and pinion assemblies, which appear in a number of racecars and specialist vehicles. Its established range of upgrade and off-road performance enhancing products are already sold on the export market through KAM’s network of dealers and agents in 35 countries.
KAM diff-locker system components are available in a range of ratios, depending on application – or low-end or top speed requirement. Typically, a KAM differential locking kit is supplied complete with a heavy-duty carrier and carrier bearings – and strengthened half shafts. Remarkably, costs are modest – and, for example, a standard 110 Series Land Rover can be upgraded with the system for well under £1000.00, excluding fitting.
Founder and Managing Director of KAM Differentials Limited, Kevin Mason says, “We have been working tirelessly to perfect this design for some years – and we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to test and prove the system components at every stage, through our involvement with the extreme conditions of off-road motorsport and competition. Now, we believe that we have a successful British product, fit for world markets – and we can move towards volume production with confidence. Initially, we will offer the system for Land Rover and Santana variants.”
The company has been supported throughout its development programme by sections within the DTI and by the specialist engineering research and development unit at Newcastle University.
Motorists caught using an illegal speed camera detection device will face a fine and penalty points on their licence. One supplier is offering to take back all illegal devices from their customers rather than see them break the law.
Any detector that picks up a signal from a speed camera or police laser gun is Illegal to use or even carry in a vehicle. Speed camera spotters that use sat nav are to remain legal to use.
Mail order specialist, Car Parts Direct is offering a full refund to customers wanting to return banned devices and will upgrade them to a new legal Satellite Navigator and Camera spotter. Customers that bought in the last six months will get the full £199 off the purchase price. Those that bought more than six months ago get 50% off the cost.
Mark Cornwall of Car Parts Direct said, "Customers bought radar detectors in good faith, when they were legal to use. Now the government have banned them, thousands of motorists are out of pocket and with no protection against cameras. Whilst we did warn that radar detectors could be banned, we feel obliged to offer our customers support."
Argos and Halfords have also sold devices that have now been made illegal, they have not offered a return option to their customers. In a bold move to win sat nav customers, Car Parts Direct say they will also accept other brands of radar detectors that they have not supplied and pay a £50 allowance, irrelevant of the brand or where the product was purchased. Motorists can use the £50 allowance against the purchase of their new Rossini Navigator and Speed Camera Spotter.
The offer is expected to run for a few weeks with 500 Rossini Navigator units allocated for the promotion.
The Rossini provides full postcode door-to-door navigation. The supplier claims it is the only satellite navigation device that offers a cast iron guarantee that a motorist will be given advance warning of all types of speed cameras – including all mobile locations. There is no subscription for updates of information. It is fully transferrable between vehicles in seconds and is ready to use. The supplier also pays a £60 cashback guarantee to any driver that receives a speeding ticket where they are not alerted to a speed camera.
The Rossini Navigator costs £399 less the refundable amount for the illegal radar detector to be returned. To upgrade to the Rossini Navigator simply visit www.carparts-direct.co.uk or call 0870 977 9666.