Monthly Archives: February 2012

evqueconvertLand Rover will unveil a Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Evoque Convertible Concept vehicle will explore the potential for the world’s first premium convertible SUV.

The soft-top convertible concept is based on the Range Rover Evoque Coupe and has been developed by Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern and his team. It features a fully retractable premium roof system with a Roll Over Protection System [ROPS]. The vehicle has been developed with Land Rover DNA at its heart, retaining key characteristics including a command driving position and all-terrain capability.

MarProdEvoqueIt hasn’t taken long for there to be some modifying options for the new Range Rover Evoque. The model comes with a vast range of wheel and tyre options but for those who really want to be different, Matzker has produced some light alloy wheel spacers to expand that option list even further. The spacers have been TUV-approved, which is a good start and Matzker claim that they will increase stability and enhance road holding. Hard to see that Land Rover could make such a mistake that they are necessary, far more likely is that the spacers will give the Evoque a wide stance, more aggressive and some might say a more ‘sporty’ look. They are available in widths from 23 – 30mm. For more details check out the website on: www.matzker.de

MarProdMufflerHere’s a new idea from the team at Direct4x4, and one way of upgrading your Range Rover Sport by fitting these new twin exhaust muffler tips. They fit directly onto the end of the straight exhaust pipes and are then simply bolted into place. They fit all Range Rover Sport models from 2in (51mm) to 3in (76mm) diameter. It’s sometimes surprising just how much of an improvement these sort of things can make to a vehicle’s looks. They are available at £99.99 for two mufflers and that includes delivery. Check out the company’s excellent website on www.direct4x4.co.uk or call them on 01332 601016. But be warned, once you are on the website, it’s difficult to leave without buying something!

MarNewsRAVThe latest RAV4 from Toyota now benefits from new alloy wheel designs for the XTR and SR models, with both 17 and 18-inch wheels having a dark anthracite finish.

XTR models also now have a keyless smart entry and stop and start system. As we said in our recent 4×4 Of The Year, this certainly moves the RAV4 ‘up the ladder’ in terms of fixtures and fittings, and up also goes the price. It is moving away from the original concept that has proved such a good seller for the company.

MarNewsASXThe latest crossover 4×4, the ASX, comes from Mitsubishi and is based on the same platform as the Outlander, giving generous passenger space for a vehicle aimed at the family buyer.

It is offered with either petrol of diesel engines; the diesel 1.8-litre has been developed so that it fits in the Band F to E tax band, thus reducing the cost to £115 per annum. Mitsubishi claims that the diesel can now achieve 54.3mpg in the official combined cycle. The petrol version is Mitsubishi’s established 1.6-litre engine. Towing ability is increased for the petrol version, up from 1100kg to 1200kg.

MarProdSawSomething worth carrying in your off-roader’s tool box is a saw, and this is the latest folding version from Devon 4×4. Well produced with Japanese ‘pull cut’ blade (which limits jamming), the handle includes a sensible guard and a tough rubber grim. Good value at £22.95 (inc VAT). If you are looking for this sort of gear, check out the full range at www.devon4x4.com or call 01769 550900.

MarNewsToyotaToyota’s flagship 4×4, the mighty Land Cruiser V8, enters the 61st year of the model range with an even higher level of luxury and claimed improvements to its off-road performance. The most obvious changes will be seen in the new exterior design at the front of the vehicle, with its over-sized bumper and fog lights and new grille.

Toyota comment, however, that the lower section of the front bumper has been sharply trimmed to ensure that the front overhang does not compromise the approach angle when driving off-road. There are new headlamp units, which now include daytime LED running lights. At the rear, the light clusters have been changed to match the new look at the front and the turn indicators on the vehicle are said to be far more evident both front and rear.

MarProdProblemIf you are an enthusiastic DIY mechanic then you’ll need to be able to carry out diagnostic testing, to enable your own problem solving. ESP Automotive’s Scanalyst is a top-selling scanner that is ideal for the amateur mechanic, and should stop you having to get expert advice on what might well turn out to be a very insignificant – and cheap – problem. The Scanalyst is compatible to all 2000-on petrol and 2003-on diesel engine cars sold in the UK (and many pre-2000 models, call to check). It provides real-time information on a vehicle’s performance and ECU status. Engine fault codes can be easily read and faults diagnosed, it’s then up to you to repair or replace and solve that problem! The Scanalyst is compatible to any PC that runs Windows. Each package comes with the necessary interface cable with USB connection, the Scanalyst CD and a full user manual. As this is being written, Scanalyst is available at a special discount price of £139.99, which is a big saving from the RRP of £249.99. To find out more go to the Scanlyst website www.espautomotive.co.uk. Or call the ESP team on 01509 266400.

MarProdGuardOnce you’ve made sure you wheels are properly cleaned from winter’s grime, it makes sense to protect them. Wheel Guard is a tough, clear coating that protects aluminium, chrome and alloy wheels from oxidation and corrosion. There is a one-part, selfAlevelling coating that doesn’t wash off. It is claimed not to have a nasty ‘plastic’ look, but give the look of a newly polished wheel. Touch dry in 5-10 minutes, you need to leave the coating to thoroughly dry and harden over a couple of hours before returning to the roads. The bonus is the claim that once treated, wheels are a lot easier to clean – and you know they are not corroding. The kit includes wipes, gloves, applicators, instructions and is available from www.spautopia.co.uk or by mail order at 01780 721470. Three sizes are available 60ml/£20.40, 120ml/£30.65 and 300ml/£71.50 plus post and packing.

March 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine

MarBlogWhat a lousy month! When something breaks, or you damage your 4×4, at least you can shrug and perhaps blame yourself or come up with the thought that you had got your money’s worth, it’s been good value etc etc. Or even that it is an opportunity to upgrade and improve the vehicle with a new, better, replacement part. Not quite the same for me this month, when turning on my Toyota Hilux’s engine, an awful tank-like noise came from under the bonnet. What the….?

As you can read in Our 4x4s this month, the reason for the ridiculous noise was that some low-life had actually stolen the vehicle’s catalytic convertor! They had rolled under my truck, presumably in the early hours, and hacksawed off the cat. A violation that cost over £1200 to repair and netted the scumball probably £60 or £70 for the precious metals inside.