So, the boffins over in Coventry have been busy creating a brand-new, modern yet old-school, never seen before item for the inventory of their Classics department. Doesn’t sound right, does it?
The product in question is infotainment for classic vehicles that use a single DIN sized fitting and run on negative earth electrics. And we’re absolutely into it.
The retro styled black or brushed silver aluminium units looks super smart and period but offer a wealth of the functions only available in cars born later – and with twice the DINage.
Sitting centrally on the unit is a 3.5-inch touchscreen betwixt two rotary controls and more traditional buttons line the edges. Navigation is offered in up to 32 languages, and the route can be visually relayed in 2D, 3D or as turn arrow instructions. The unit also picks up travel alerts.
Being as it is 2018 and everyone is addicted to their mobile phones, whether they’ll admit it or not, there is Bluetooth connectivity and a microphone – if you want to use to phone connection to make one of those phone call things rather than blast beats.
The whole idea is a bit jarring, and the words classic and infotainment don’t feel like they should share a sentence for another half century or so at least, but we can’t help feeling there’s a degree of merit here that will certainly win people over.
Purists may turn their noses up at the idea, but Land Rover are proving that they are still aware of their foundations in Classics.
A new Defender has been announced as part of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary celebrations – and it’s the most powerful one they’ve ever made.
The Works V8 – available as both a 90 and 110 – gets a 5.0-litre, naturally aspirated V8 that puts out 405bhp and 379lbf.ft. That’s enough to warrant quoting the 0-60 time – an impressive 5.6 seconds. It also ups the top speed to a lofty 106mph.
To help you convey that power, they’ve given the V8 an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, and the brakes have been upgraded to increase stopping power.
Other specs include LED headlights and a handling kit made up of uprated springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. The 18” Sawtooth alloys get all-terrain tyres and inside, the interior is lavishly wrapped in Windsor Leather– including the Recaro seats.
The production run is limited to 150 units, and just as no expense has been spared in celebrating both Land Rover and the Defender, it will have to be in purchasing a Works V8, too. Prices for a 90 start at £150,000, but the project has inspired a series of performance enhancements such as power upgrades, braking kits and road suspension, which will follow suit.
To kick off a year of jubilee celebrations, Land Rover are beginning an in-house restoration of one of the first pre-production vehicles. The location of the vehicle was unknown for the last 63 years, but Jaguar Land Rover Classics are sympathetically restoring this early test car.
‘There is something charming about the fact that exactly 70 years ago this vehicle would have been undergoing final adjustments before being prepared for the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show,’ says Tim Hanning – Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director.
Since its discovery, the Classics team at JLR have checked its lineage and confirmed it as one of three prototypes taken to the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948. The car was last known on the road in the ’60s and spent twenty years sat in a field in Wales.
The team behind the Series I Reborn programme will preserve the history of the car, which like all pre-production Land Rovers has a thicker aluminium body and a galvanised chassis.
‘Beginning its sympathetic restoration here at Classic Works, where we can ensure it’s put back together and as precisely as it’s meant to be, is a fitting way to start Land Rover’s 70th anniversary year,’ adds Hanning.
A great start to Land Rover’s anniversary year, and certainly story to keep an eye on.