Monthly Archives: May 2019

Land Rover have updated their fastest selling model ever, with the reviewed Discovery Sport model featuring a wholesome interior revamp, newfound hybrid power and sitting on the latest Green Oval platform.

Inside, the cabin retains the five-plus-two seating arrangement, with a folding middle row planted on runners and a pop-up third row meaning there are 24 different seating combinations offering great flexibility. Small item stowage now has a total tally of 48-litres with a larger than before cubby box and improved door bins. The central storage is flexible, too, with a removable tray, a pair of cupholders plus a net to keep any cables or the like from tangling themselves around anything and everything. It’s base is also a useful wireless charging pad – a first in Land Rover products. There will also be Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available, alongside a 3G Wi-Fi hotspot.

There’s room for 1,179-litres of luggage in the boot as a five-seater and folding the second row flat affords you an extra 307.5 bottles of carbonated drink in the back (615-litres). Standard fitment includes a cargo net to stop items rolling about when the boot isn’t full.

There is a quartet of Ingenium powertrains on offer from launch, with three petrol options and a diesel. The 150bhp diesel is the most economic, capable of up to 51.4mpg whilst driving the front axle through a manual six-speed, whilst the 250bhp petrol unit with 269lbf.ft paired with four-wheel drive is the zestiest, shooting to sixty in just 7.1 seconds. The 48-volt hybrid option available at launch harvests energy usually lost under braking and stores it in the underfloor battery, until needed to assist the engine in pulling away and acceleration. At speeds below 11mph the engine will also shut off to minimise emissions, with the unit able to reach 40.9mpg. Before the year is out there will be a plug-in hybrid option, using a new three-cylinder Ingenium engine, on the market, too. The other options are the D180 unit, producing 180bhp, 317lbf.ft and the 240bhp, 369lbf.ft D240 powertrain. The updated ZF nine-speed automatic gearbox has been tweaked to offer a two percent increase in economy.

A true Land Rover, the new Discovery Sport has a towing capacity of 2.5-tonnes and has superior off-road ability in its class thanks to 212mm ground clearance and approach, departure and breakover angles of 25,30 and 20 degrees respectively. Four-wheel drive models get Terrain Response 2 off-road system, offering Comfort, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud and Ruts modes to keep the Discovery Sport surefooted on all surfaces. It also features Hill Descent Control, All-Terrain Progress Control on four-wheel drive models and it can also be fitted with the ClearSight Ground View technology debuted in the all-new Evoque, which effectively makes the bonnet transparent.

For a safer time on the road, equipment includes Adaptive Cruise Control and Steering Assist, whilst there are three ISOFIX fittings. Other standard safety features include front and rear parking sensors, a rear camera, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitor.

There will be twelve exterior paint options for the newly sculpted bodywork, whilst the interior features fully redesigned seating and the dash now incorporates a 10.25-inch Touch Pro Infotainment touchscreen. There’s a mix of rotary dials and buttons, too, set into the gloss black interface. The three-spoke steering wheel features capacitive switches that integrate with the multimedia system and the driver has a clean and crisp digital instrument cluster. There are many responsible material options for the revolutionised interior, such as non-leather Luxtec – made from recycled polyester microfibre.

The extensively revised Discovery Sport is available to order now, with pricing starting at £31,575 on the road for the two-wheel drive model and rising to £50,000. Delieveries are expected in the late summer.

The second special edition for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class has been released, with the ELEMENT Edition X 250d 4MATIC.

Based on the Progressive model, the posh pick-up comes with an enhanced equipment list along with custom graphics along the rear quarter.

This means that the truck comes with painted bumpers, a simulated underguard in matte black, aluminium door sills with Mercedes-Benz inscription, a matte silver finish grille, chromed door handles and the useful load securing rail system in the bed and heated side mirrors. The added kit on the ELEMENT Edition includes a black roof-liner, the Comfort Pack that includes Artico leather upholstery, a set of 19″ multi-spoke alloys, LED lights all around which, along with roof rails, privacy glass and running boards come as part of the Style Pack, a bed liner and sports bar along with the aforementioned special edition livery.

Paint options include Chisana White, or a metallic finish in Diamond Silver or Kabara Black. As with all X-Class models, standard equipment includes Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Hill Start Assist, a reversing camera and stop/start function.

You can get your name down for an ELEMENT Edition at your local Mercedes-Benz Vans centre, with business users able to get behind the wheel for just £459 per month.

Hyundai have announced that their Tucson SUV has been spruced up and is the latest model in their lineup to get an N Line specification. The transformation sees it take styling cues from the marque’s high-performance N sub-brand models, plus receive chassis tweaks and will be available with two powertrain options – one fo which is brand new.

Hyundai have announced that their Tucson SUV has been spruced up and is the latest model in their lineup to get an N Line specification. The transformation sees it take styling cues from the marque’s high-performance N sub-brand models, plus receive chassis tweaks and will be available with two powertrain options – one fo which is brand new.

But, the changes to the Tucson haven’t been purely cosmetic – the chassis has seen some tweaks that will improve handling. The rear suspension has been tweaked so it is now 5% stiffer, whilst the front is firmer by 8%. Drivers will also reap the benefits of sharper steering, with the motor driven power steering software now giving more direct output.

From the Tucson range of engines, the 1.6-litre T-GDi model, with 177bhp driving the front wheels is the entry model, whilst the N Line sees the introduction of the 1.6-litre CRDi 48 Volt Hybrid unit worthy of 136bhp. This replaces the purely fossil fueled version of this powertrain, and combines diesel power with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery, a <ild Hybrid Starter Generator, a low voltage DC/DC converter and an inverter. Both powertrains are on offer with a six-notch manual or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.

The N Line specification includes a vast array of standard equipment, including convenience and safety aids, DAB radio and smartphone mirroring. Safety equipment includes Lane Keeping Assist, an Active Bonnet System, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Downhill Brake Control, Hill Start Assist Control plus Speed Limit Information Function plus individual tyre pressure monitoring. Other standard features on all N Line models consists of heated and electrically adjusted seating, lumbar support for the driver, privacy glass and keyless entry and start. There’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which, along with DAB Radio, is manned through the 8″ touchscreen display.

Pricing for the Tucson N Line kick off at £25,995 for the petrol T-GDi unit, with the hybrid model starting at £27,495.

To celebrate their status as members of the Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut community, Land Rover have let their Special Vehicles department loose on the Range Rover Astronaut Edition. The big caveat is that, to get one, you have to be one of Virgin Galactic’s commercial astronauts. But still, this Range Rover is worth an ogle.

It is finished in a stunning Zero Gravity Blue paint, which is unique and inspired by the deep colour of the night sky. The exterior also features unique badging on the tailgate and the side profile finishers.

Part of the landing skid from the Virgin Spaceship Unity’s space flight in December last year has been repurposed as part of the cup holders, and also houses a Richard Branson quote – ‘See you up there.’ There are also various details inscribed about the trip, and will be updated for each Future Astronaut with part of the wooden skid from the customer’s own space flight.

Based on the Range Rover Autobiography, the Astronaut Edition features a high-specification and is powered by either the P400e hybrid powertrain and the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 P525 unit, too.

Is it odd to want to go to space, purely for the car that comes with it? Asking for a friend…

You know the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, that 710bhp 6.2-litre V8 thing we put up against the Suzuki Jimny in our May Issue? Well, it has now set a record as mad as it is – the fastest SUV driven on ice.

It took place at the Baikal Ice Motor Sports Festival, in Russia (shock) where the Trackhawk was made lighter, and ran only with a certain amount of fuel onboard.

All runs were undertaken within the regulations of the Russian Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, with an average speed measured calculated over 1km from both a rolling and a standing start.

In daylight the frozen lake is covered in a thin layer of surface water, so the work was cut out for the Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel drive setup. But, despite this, the Trackhawk achieved an average of 160mph with a rolling start, and still peaking over 60 from a standing start. To account for the requisite acceleration and deceleration the total length of the course is 12km, whilst the GPS trackers clocked the peak speed at 174mph – just six digits below the Jeep’s top speed on land!

We think the Trackhawk is a brilliant dose of insanity, but pushing this close to the limit on ice really is something else.

The flagship, full fat Range Rover has been updated with the addition of a 3.0-litre straight six.

Rated at 400bhp, the Ingenium petrol unit was recently introduced to the Range Rover Sport family, and thanks to the electric supercharger it produces 406lbf.ft. This is quickly put to use, as up to 6,500rpm the supercharger spools up in half a second, meaning that the full fat Rangey hurls itself to 60mph from stationary in just 5.9-seconds. Well, technically, that’s not just the work of the electric supercharger, but the twin-scroll supercharger it works alongside to remove any lag.

The powertrain is a mild-hybrid setup, and has a stop-start system that works alongside Continuous Variable Valve Lift, helps the engine breathe with maximum efficiency. there is also a 48v battery to retain energy that would be lost under deceleration. These reduce emissions and boost economy, with the 212g/km and 30.4mpg outputs. The latter might seem underwhelming, but remember this is quite a large wagon, with a 400bhp, 3.0-litre petrol heart, so it’s better than it appears on first reading.

There are some new personalisation options on offer, too, with two new paint colours – Eiger Grey and Portofino – plus there is a new, 22″ Gloss Black alloy choice.

Sign Post Dimming and Tourist Mode are now standard features on their respective light setups. The former dims the specific LEDs that will reflect off road signs to limit glare in both Matrix and Pixel LED systems, whilst the latter will help the Pixel system by being adjustable for driving on the right or left side of the road. The Smartphone Pack is also now standard across all models in the range, adding both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Prices for the updated Range Rover, erm, range, start at £83,655 on the road.