IS A WINNER FOR FORD
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ November 25th 2001 ]
Range Rover, on sale from February, is the best
car BMW never built. Ford Motor Company bought
Land Rover from the German group 18 months ago,
and claims their new model is "the most capable
vehicle in the world."
in the model, only the third new version of Range
Rover in 31 years, is said to have been around
pounds 1billion. At first glance, not a great
deal appears to have changed on the outside. Land
Rover wanted to keep the basic conservative design
as a contrast to the funky styling of small 4x4s
like the Toyota RAV4. Every body panel is new,
but the Range Rover stays true to its heritage
in its extended exterior lines.
model is longer, wider and taller, and the more
you look at the newcomer, the more you realise
the contrasts with the older versions. Lines are
smoother and less square. The headlights have
the jewelled effect now popular among manufacturers
of luxury and sporting cars.
viewed from the side, it looks much more appealing
than the existing model. Inside, the contrasting
finish is dramatic, with leather and wood creating
the look and feel of a luxury saloon. With the
Range Rover and top Jaguars, Ford wants to take
on Mercedes-Benz and BMW which, following the
recent takeovers of those British motoring institutions,
are respectively preparing all-new Rolls-Royce
and Bentley models.
has the X5 4x4 to compete against the Range Rover
and Mercedes contests the sector with the ML.
Beneath the surface of the Range Rover, all is
different, with new electronic aids linked to
the permanent all-wheel drive, designed to improve
safety and increase comfort. Independent suspension
front and rear, and a new chassis, transform the
ride, say Land Rover insiders.
Range Rover, to debut at January's Detroit motor
show, will scale hills and wade through rivers
with even greater ease, says Land Rover. The firm's
boss Bob Dover said: "It's supremely capable off-road
and one of the world's finest luxury cars." BMW,
which had to sell Land Rover to cushion the effects
of huge losses during its ownership of what is
now MG Rover, builds the engines to be used in
the new model. These are a 3-litre, six-cylinder
turbo diesel and a 4.4-litre V8 petrol unit. Prices
are expected to range from pounds 50,000 to pounds
Rover launched the Range Rover in 1970 to appeal
to "country gents" who wanted comfortable transport
around their estates. The idea was they could
use the car for work during the day, then hose
it down before going out for dinner in the evening.
At the time, the only other Land Rover was the
Defender which, by astute product placement, was
Lara Croft's transport in the Tomb Raider film.
By 2005, Land Rover is likely to have a new Defender
which will look more sci-fi than agricultural.
less expensive and with a younger image than Range
Rover, should be replaced in about three years,
and Land Rover plan a "mini Range Rover" in around
the company launched a range of special editions
at last week's Scottish Motor Show aimed at putting
the fun into back seat travel. Defender, Freelander,
Discovery and Range Rover versions of the Braemar
all have Playstation games consoles for rear seat
passengers. Available in Blenheim silver paint,
they come with additional picnic tables, safari
lamps, a rear access ladder and 18-inch sport
for the Discovery Braemar special edition start
at pounds 28,995 on the road.