Monthly Archives: June 2013

CAMPING – get out there!It is officially summer, so that means it must be time for a camping feature. Good accommodation for your individual needs is very important. With the help of Nene Overland we look at some varied tent options, which include some new options

Words and photography: Hils Everitt

If you are a 4×4 owner and enjoy the outdoors, then camping is a great way to breathe some fresh air and discover those delights that the UK, and the rest of the world for that matter, are offering. Good camping is reliant on good accommodation that suits your specific need, and that is where the tent comes in. There is a variety out there to suit 4×4 owners and their requirements.

Over the last couple of years another form of outdoor accommodation has sprung onto the UK market. Well, we say sprung but this form of tent has been around for centuries, we just have adapted it to the modern world. The Tentipi company is Swedish, but you can get hold of one via UK agents, one of which is Nene Overland.

This particular form of high comfort camping is de rigeur these days, but there are still other options if the larger living/bedroom-in-one isn’t quite what you need. We asked Chris Hill, Nene’s expedition specialist, his views on the various options, which include the ‘new’ Tentipi.

VIRTUAL DESIGN NOW A REALITYWe have seen Jaguar Land Rover’s virtual design facility first hand and were seriously impressed with what it could do. Standing in the ‘cave’ you can appreciate the design of a vehicle in a high quality 3D representation that you can move, or that you can move around in. It’s even possible to sit on a real – not virtual – car seat and position yourself inside the new design to check sight lines, head room etc. Engineers can come down with a design for a new part, slip the details into the computer and see if it will fit in the space designated. It allows for virtual prototypes to be ‘built’ in the computer, without the need for any actual physical vehicle to be constructed. At the time, we did ask whether JLR would be prepared to ‘rent’ out the facility. The question was treated with some disdain at the time, but it seems now that the company has announced a massive five-year programme with four leading UK universities alongside the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The extensive £10m academic research project is aimed to advance the UK’s role in developing virtual simulation technologies and was unveiled earlier this month by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, The Rt.Hon Dr Vince Cable MP. This is apparently the first stage of a 20-year programme that is aimed to put the UK ‘at the leading edge of virtual simulation’. Bob Joyce, Jaguar Land Rover Engineering Director, explained to 4×4 Magazine: “While we already utilise a wide range of sophisticated virtual engineering tools and processes to design, engineer and test our new vehicles, we are keen to enhance the future capability of virtual simulation and tailor them for automotive product development. We want to make advances in the simulated driver and passenger experience, including more realistic imagery, sounds and even smells.  These projects will help us analyse increasingly complex cars at whole vehicle, system and component levels, as well as enhancing the high performance computers that industry will use in the future to mine increasing amounts of more complex data.” If they need some extra finance to fund the project, they could offer public demonstrations. It was truly fascinating to experience and is undoubtedly a major reason why JLR has been producing its recent string of market-leading vehicles over the last few years.

augnewscottBritish polar explorer and Land Rover brand ambassador, Ben Saunders, along with teammate Tarka L’Herpiniere will be retracing Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova Antarctica expedition, some 100 years after it was first attempted, writes Sarah Harrington-James.

This is the latest challenge for Ben who has been leading polar expeditions for more than a decade and skied solo to the North Pole in 2004, where he still holds the record for the longest solo arctic journey by a Briton. He has been a brand ambassador for Land Rover since 2008 and the Scott Expedition, which starts at the end of October, is being sponsored and promoted by the manufacturer along with technology co-partner, Intel.

“There is a common misconception that everything’s been done in Antarctica, but what fascinated me for years is that the reality is very different,” said Ben at the Scott Expedition briefing at The Traveller’s Club, London. “In an age where Antarctica is increasingly in the spotlight and increasingly accessible to tourists, one of the most iconic journeys in polar history remains unfinished. The Scott Expedition will be the first time it’s been attempted, let alone completed, since the Terra Nova expedition more than a century ago. In terms of sheer human endeavour, Captain Scott and his team set the bar so high that their achievement has never been surpassed.”

RANGE ROVER STORMS PIKES PEAKFor motorsport enthusiasts, the news that the new Range Rover Sport has just beaten the record for the production SUV class at the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado, USA, is a cause for celebration. This has to be the world’s most challenging hill climb, a 12.42 mile climb that includes 156 corners and rises some 1440m to the summit, which is at 4300m. It’s not for nothing that it is known as the Race To The Clouds. This was a serious record attempt, and JLR had Pikes Peak expert Paul Dallenback behind the wheel of the Sport. Dallenback has won the event three times, and you should check out the You Tube clips of the open wheel specials that these guys use to compete when the official event is run. Getting into the cossetted confines of a Range Rover Sport must have been very different for him, even if the model had the 5.0-litre supercharged engine delivering over 500bhp – although whether the unit was delivering that amount of power at the rarefied heights towards the end of the course is unlikely! The Range Rover completed the course in 12 minutes 35.61 seconds, which is an average of 59.17mph. Remembering this is a production 4×4, you can compare that with the outright record of 9 minutes 46.16 seconds which is held by Rhys Millen (off-road racing legend Rod Millen’s son) in a specially built Hyundai Genesis Coupe race car with 900bhp and 800lb ft of torque. Coincidentally, Paul Dallenback will be driving the 2013 version of the Hyundai at this year’s event, which is held at the end of June. The production record for the Range Rover will certainly do much to underline the Sport’s abilities to potential American customers.

augprodbikeFor many, camping is the first step and then it’s a case of exploring, often by bike. It’s essential therefore that you get yourself a sturdy and reliable bike carrier for the rear of your vehicle, and for that it’s worth contacting the guys at Pendle Bike Racks. These tow bar mounted racks hold the bikes away from the bodywork, with different arm offsets available depending on your vehicle and the number of bikes you want to carry. It’s worth remembering, although it seems pretty obvious, that with these fitted you cannot use the vehicle for towing. The Pendle Bike Rack range starts from around £114 up to £175, depending on the offset. We would advise that you contact the guys at Pendle for their expert knowledge on exactly what you require. Call them on 01282 699555, or check out their comprehensive website.

Website: www.pendle-bike.co.uk

TRADITIONALISTSLet’s face it, camping does allow you to search out those clever gadgets and products that you just love to own. The 1948 Original Equipment Company is just the sort of place to go to get quality equipment for your camping expedition. The company’s name is based on their own 1948 Land Rover; just like that 4×4, the stuff this company sells is built to last. Check out the website for more details. We were impressed by the Survival Bottle (£29) and the Survival Knife and fire starter (£35). And when the weather gets bad and you are stuck in the tent, check out the Freedom of the Hills deck of cards (£7). The website is packed with top quality stuff – we love it!

Website: www.originalequipmentshop.com 

LIGHT IN THE HEADHaving a decent head torch is a vital accessory for all campers and the range available is vast. Try Devon 4×4 Princeton Tec head torches, the one shown here is the Scout. It’s a lightweight option and the hinged lamp housing allows you to direct light where you need it, or you can detach the light from the strap for use on your cap, backpack strap or belt. It has different mode settings so you can conserve battery power (it’s powered by four 2032 Lithium coin cell batteries). It’s available at a reasonable £24.95 (inc VAT). Call the team at Devon 4×4 to find out more. Call them on 01769 550900.

Website: www.devon4x4.com 

Screen shot 2012-04-05 at 15.17.51Robert Pepper


augstaffpepperI do not like mud on my 4x4s.  In fact, I hate it. Mud damages bodywork and mechanicals so I clean my 4x4s as soon as possible, usually directly after the trip before the mud has a chance to bake in hard. The ‘wash’ is exactly that, a wash, not a wax and polish by any means, more of a rinse.  

To my mind, driving around with a dirty 4×4 is not a badge of pride, it is sign of laziness.  If you’re inclined to show where you’ve been and what you do then you don’t need to leave the car filthy to do that. It is easy enough for the initiated to pick a 4×4 used for off-roading regardless of how clean it is, and I think it a better look to have a tidy vehicle with subtle clues to many past adventures than a wheeled mud bath that’s clearly only had an excursion or two. That said, I do love mud driving, just not the aftermath. I’m past the stage where I feel the need to drive a giant bog hole just because it’s there, but if it’s along the way on a trip then it’ll be conquered.

NigelFryattNigel Fryatt – editor

augstaffhiluxMy original decision to buy the Hilux was really by a process of elimination. Returning to the Editor’s chair of this magazine after (quite) a few years absence, the Alfa GTV on the drive and Lotus Elise in the garage didn’t quite seem suitable! My first thought was that I would get a Jeep, and this was thanks to the excellent bargains available on the second generation Grand Cherokee (something we highlighted in our Buyers’ Guide last month). However, Hils already had one of those on the magazine’s fleet, and with Bob having a Cherokee, we seemed a little ‘Jeeped out’. There was no chance of me getting a Land Rover, I’d have one of the latest models tomorrow if my Lottery numbers came up, but back in the real world the thought of a Discovery or ancient Range Rover filled me with dread… Then it came to me that I should have a pick-up. Once decided, the option as to ‘which one?’ was simple. It had to be Toyota Hilux.

1,000,000th WRANGLERGreat to see a vehicle that was conceived back in 1941 continues to roll off the production line, destined for another 4×4 enthusiast. This month saw the production of the 1,000,000th Jeep Wrangler JK, and as you would expect, it was quite an occasion for the Chrysler Group’s executives and plant employees – especially as only a few years ago they were wondering if anything would be rolling off the line ever again.

All one million Jeep Wranglers have been built at the Toledo, Ohio plant, as Mauro Pino, Chrysler Group’s Vice President of Vehicle Assembly Operations explained at the rollout: “Since this facility opened eight years ago, the Toledo workforce has built every one of those million vehicles with pride, passion and a focus on quality. We all look forward to building the next million.”