Category: Land Rover

Launch Drive: Range Rover Velar

Range Rover Velar

Our first drive of the Range Rover Velar

2017 has been a funny year, time has seemed to disappear and in the past 10 months we have seen some great cars announced and launched, which now seems like an age ago. As the year draws to a close there has been much hype around one particular car – The Range Rover Velar.

Dubbed the most customizable Range Rover yet, the Velar has been referred to as a piece of art just as much as a vehicle and because of this, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture garden hidden deep in the Stellenbosch mountains made sense as a suitable location to begin the South African media launch.

Before we ate Velarish type food prepared by one of South African’s best chefs, Neil Anthony, we enjoyed a tour and explanation of the unique sculpture found here, followed by an unveiling of the car itself. Having seen the Velar in the flesh before this event, I knew what to expect. Still, the Range Rover Velar makes you stop and stare, a big emphasis has been placed on simplicity with it’s design and this can be clearly seen in the concept styled front end and streamlined edges that flow past door handles which pop out and become visible only when you need them. It is without doubt the most beautiful car ever produced by JLR.

Range Rover Velar

It not just the visual appearance that has been hyped up either, the technology within has also received much attention. The Velar uses over 10 km’s worth of cable and we were interested to see what this results in, but first, a good night’s rest at the beautiful L’Ermitage hotel located nearby.

After waking up to beautiful views, it was now time to experience a beautiful car. It’s worth noting that the Velar is the fourth model in the Range Rover line up, and doesn’t serve as a replacement for the Evoque or the Sport but rather slots in between the two.

Our morning started in the Velar R Dynamic D300 – D for diesel, and 300 for the amount of Horsepower it produces – this new naming system will be rolled out among all models eventually. The 300 hp or 221 kW is aided by 700 N.m of torque, all produced by 3.0 V6 turbodiesel. The power and response from this drivetrain was impressive with plenty of low down torque fixing one’s body firmly into the Velar’s seats, which aided the massage function even further – something that was definitely not minded.

For me the beauty of the D300 was simple, it provides a wonderfully smooth and quiet driving experience when needed, with in gear acceleration which makes me dream of Durban to Cape Town road trips in December. Before I got carried away, my driving partner took control and I began to play with the tech.

As you may or may not know, the Velar features JLR’s new Infotainment system called Touch Duo Pro. This system features two high-definition 10” screens which operates many of the car’s electronic systems such as comfort seating options, Navigation, Climate Control and even driving modes and off-road systems such as wade control and low traction launch.  First things first, this system is beautiful. It takes center stage in the Velars cabin and really emphasizes the whole interior experience. With the ignition off, the lower screen simply looks like luxurious interior trim, when the ignition is engaged however, magic happens and the lower screen comes to life, while the top screen tilts upwards towards the cabin.

Range Rover Velar

There is a third screen under the driver’s control, this being a digital display which replaces the classic dashboard dials and can display varied information such as speed, navigation, media etc. Steering wheel controls are not the usual type either, with the increase and decrease in volume done by simply sliding your finger in a circular fashion around the dial.

Range Rover Velar

Amongst all of the touch and digital tech, you won’t find any gimmicky gesture control and JLR have left a volume knob on the center console, this makes me immensely happy. There is no easier way to control sound volume when driving, if you choose not to use the on-wheel system, or you have one of those passengers that mess. After the ooo’s and ahh’s that come with fiddling with the industry leading tech, we exchanged vehicles for the other diesel variant on launch, the HSE D240.

The 177 kW AND 500 N.m produced are very enticing figures but as I drove this variant, I instantly regretted driving the more powerful 3.0 Diesel first. Obviously, the difference in performance was instantly noticeable but when this is overlooked, the D240 is a fantastic option for those looking for a diesel variant where performance isn’t high on the priority list but comfort and efficiency perhaps are and 500 N.m is still a plenty bunch to have on your side. I feel this variant is not the option you choose just because your budget is limited and it’s a cheaper variant, it’s the option you choose if it fits your purpose.

After a spot of lunch at the beautiful (…) river, we enjoyed uninterrupted views of the gardens surrounding us, unique architecture and a chance to reflect on the morning so far while enjoying a selection of lunch platters. For me, the most exciting variant was yet to come, being the P380.

The 3.0 V6 Petrol variant is the most powerful engine currently available with 280 kW and 400 N.m of torque. For me, this drivetrain suits the Velar very well, not just because it’s fast, but for a host of reasons. The P380 produces a beautiful performance note on hard acceleration, a note that isn’t too loud doesn’t attract too much attention but provides the driver with the sporty experience. Don’t expect breakneck force but rather enjoyable acceleration, as the car climbs higher into the RPM range, the engine comes to life. At this point I found myself constantly chasing the red line and sweet note that comes with it, changing gear and thus starting the cycle over. Velar P380 provides a great balance of sport and comfort, it is definitely no SVR but who knows, maybe that will come in the future – a 5.0 V8 would be wild in a car like the velar and the name had quite a ring “ Velar SVR”

With over 17 Wheel options, …. interior trims and … paint colors, one can really create a Velar in line with their personality, there are a multitude of options that can be specced depending on your personal preference and this makes the Velar the most customizable Range Rover to date. In a world where customers want uniqueness, Velar makes this possible.

So where does the Velar fit in?

The premium SUV market is a competitive place to be but when compared to its German competitors, the Velar really offers something different, a bold product which possesses more character and substance – from a brand whose SUV variants are all priced very closely, this is of utmost importance. The Velar has a starting price of R940 000 but in all honesty, don’t walk into a JLR dealership expecting to only spend R1 million. Yes, your Velar will still be very nice, but for me, that’s not what the experience of buying a Velar should be about.

Just like an artist takes time, effort and precision in his work, purchasing your Velar, which has been compared to art many times over, should be a similar experience. One that is unrushed, personal, crafted and time consuming. You should be comfortable speccing all of the options if you so wish, or just the 5 or 6 you want your Velar to have. Many people may disagree, but skimping on a car like the Velar is just not worth it in the long run. If you want the full experience, go the full mile.

Range Rover Velar

In overview, Land Rover have developed a car which really stands out in terms of design and technology. Would I buy one? That is a question that I still need to answer, I’d rather see myself in a Range Rover Sport. For my wife on the other hand, the Range Rover Velar would be perfect. At the end of the day, the Velar is car which will not disappoint, it offers something I feel is unique in its segment, and I would rather purchase a Velar over any of its German rivals, but then again,  I am an Englishman.

Electric this, hybrid that – Meet the new Range Rover.

New Range Rover Goes Electric

Just weeks after the release of the 2018 Range Rover Sport, JLR have surprised us with another release, and this time it’s the oldest sibling in the family receiving the updates, the Range Rover.

With 50 years behind its belt, the Range Rover has continually developed and is know one of the most luxurious vehicles on the road. With the latest model, this is taken a step further with increased comfort, better technology and the introduction of a hybrid electric powertrain.

So whats changed? Well a newly designed cabin hosts a wide range of comfort adding features. In the front, for example, new seat frames allow 24 way movement, along with this comes added comfort thanks to the use of wider and deeper foam and the the introduction of heated armrests – for those that like sweaty palms.

Jumping into the back, one will notice an abundance of legroom, 1206 mm to be exact. The rear seats, also benefiting from wider and softer foam, recline by up to 40 degrees and can be heated or cooled, depending on your preference, while the arm, foot and calf rests can only be heated.

Connectivity isn’t an issue either, the new Range Rover has a total 17 connection points, including domestic plug sockets, USB, HDMI and 12-volt power. On top of this, the Range Rover features a G4 WI-FI hotspot which can connect with up to 8 devices.

The centre console is where the technological magic happens, the new Touch Pro Duo system features two high-definition 10” screens with the ability to swipe information between them for personal preference or ease of use. The system is dubbed “blade” and is JLR’s most advanced infotainment system yet, and the coolest we have seen!

This is not all on the technology front as the new Range Rover introduces Gesture Sunblind, which is operated by an advanced gesture control system. Air Cabin Ionisation is also available, this system used charged water particles to cleanse and purify the cabin air. My favorite piece of technology though has to be the Pixel-laser LED headlights, on full beam they provide lighting for a distance of 500m and intelligently blank sections of LEDs when oncoming traffic is detected as not to blind other drivers.

Range Rover P400e

First mentioned in our Range Rover Sport article, the P400e is a hybrid electric powertrain which makes use of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 221 kW, and an electric motor producing 85 kW.  This provides a total power output of 297 kW and  640 N.m of torque, delivered to wheels by a permanent four-wheel drive system.

Two driving modes are available with this powertrain. The first being a Parallel Hybrid mode, which makes use of both the petrol engine and electric motor to balance fuel economy and battery level-which will never drop past a predetermined level.

The second mode, dubbed EV Mode, enables pure electric and emission free driving with a maximum range of 51 km. This kind of mode is perfect for town driving, the school run and even bumper to bumper traffic.

As with everything electric, the Range Rover P400e will need to be charged. There are two options available here, the standard system goes from zero to full charge in 7 hours 30 minutes, but make use of a 30 amp Rapid Charging system and this time drops to an impressive 2 hours 45 minutes.

So how will this hybrid electric powertrain fair offroad? Well JLR have introduced the Terrain Response 2 system into the 2018 Range Rover. It has been designed to work in conjunction with electric power and can offer 100% of torque to all four wheels at zero rpm. We can imagine this capability will offer fantastic control in unusual and difficult terrain.


Range Rover SVAutobiography

For those not yet ready to give up V8 power, the SVAutobiography which was originally released in 2016 will also be an available variant. The Supercharged 5.0 V8 now benefits from an 11 kW power increase over the previous model, bringing the total power to 416 kW and allowing for a 0-100 km/h time of just 5.4 seconds. Not quite SVR level, but still very fast.

The SVAutobiography will also benefit from some slight visual adjustments, mainly in two areas. The first being a new exclusive Graphite Atlas mesh grille, and the second being a redesigned bumper featuring integrated chrome tailpipes. We imagine these features will help the SVautobiography stand out amongst the other variants, but we are pretty sure the sweet sounds from the 5.0 V8 would manage that task just fine.

We are yet to know pricing and availability in South Africa, so stay tuned!

The Updated Range Rover Sport now comes in hybrid.

Range Rover Sport P400e

Land Rover introduces a plug-in hybrid option: Range Rover Sport P400e

Good news! If you wanted the nobility and the imperialism that only a Range Rover could exude, but have grown conflicted given the recent fuel price increase, then Land Rover may be able to reduce the number of litres you need at R14 each. The answer lies in their new P400e Plug-in-hybrid model. The new model is in line with JLR’s ethos of electrification for their new models by 2020 and is the firm’s first attempt at a PHEV.

The Range Rover Sport P400e will ditch the larger displacement V6 and V8 Engines in favour for the 2.0-litre four-pot Ingenium petrol engine. This may initially be a scary thought, but thanks to an 85 kW electric motor mated to a 221 kW combustion engine, the P400e has a total output of 297 kW and an impressive amount of torque, at 640 N.m.

These figures are good for a 6.7 second 0-100 sprint time and a 220 km/h top speed. Enemies of progress will scream blasphemy, still grumpy that the V8 burble is gone, but should understand that this PHEV will match the previous generation Range Rover Sport in terms of sprint and top speed. Fuel consumption figures are impressive and, well, rather unlikely at 2.8 l/100km, but the JLR engineers have made adjustments to the Terrain Response 2 system that allow for seamless integration between the electric motor and the system.

Drivers can select from two driving modes:

The first is Parallel Hybrid mode, which allows for the petrol and electric drive motors to work together and to better fuel economy and offers a Predictive Energy Optimisation (PEO) that finds the most efficient routes to destinations. The second mode is a fully electric mode that allows for the Range Rover to function fully electrically for up to 51 km, on or off-road.  Charging times from home are a lengthy 7 hours 30 minutes unless one makes use of the Rapid Charging 32 Amp Outlet, reducing that time to a mere 2 Hours 45 Minutes.

The new Range Rover Sport

The most significant changes to the new range of Sports is the design, with the changes to the front end now incorporating the Pixel-laser LED headlamps and the new grille, which falls into a newer and more aggressive bumper. The interior will feature the new “Blade” Touch Pro Duo infotainment system which comprises of two High-definition 10-inch touchscreens that make up a single centrepiece. Key new features include a new gesture operated sunblind and advanced tow assist trailer control systems.

SVR performance SUV

The adrenalin junkies seeking more potency and fans of ridiculous levels of speed will be glad to know that the new Range Rover SVR will deliver 423 kW from the 5.0L JLR V8, and will be good for 4.5 seconds to 100km/h. More carbon fibre will help keep the weight down and enhancements to the oily bits will help vehicle dynamics and keep the SUV as agile as possible.  

 

 

Discovery SVX – The most off-road focused Discovery yet!

Discovery SVX

Discovery SVX

Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations unit has created what they have dubbed the most capable Discovery ever. Making use of JLR’s famed 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 boasting 386 kW & 625 N.m, the All New Discovery takes on some important modifications in the interest of go-anywhere characteristics. The major changes include an increase in ground clearance, a suspension lift, increased wheel articulation and larger walled all-terrain focused tyres. Further adjustments include the use of an enhanced version of the Terrain Response 2 System with Active Roll control, through the Hydraulic Active Roll Control system.

Launched at the Frankfurt Motor show, it will fall into the current Special Vehicle Operations range in amongst the SVAutobiography and the Range Rover Sport SVR and will be built at the SVO technical centre in the UK as from early 2018.

The list of 4×4 goodies is long and comprehensive and will include the usual in premium off-roading in the form of active and electronic centre and rear locking differentials, Hill descent control, Electronic Traction Control, Adaptive Dynamics, All-Terrain Progress Control and variable ratio electric power-assisted steering. The familiar ZF eight speed auto with variable speed transfer box has also undergone minor revisions to allow for the software to work best with the new changes The SVX will sit on a set of beefy 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres on forged aluminium alloy wheels.

Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director John Edwards had this to say about the SVX;

“SVO designers are embedded within the Land Rover team and have worked with our engineers to unleash their own passion for adventure to create another truly desirable and versatile vehicle in the Land Rover line-up.”

SVO Director Mark Stanton Added;

“The SVX product line gives us a fantastic opportunity to deliver the ultimate Land Rover all-terrain capability in a dynamic and distinctive manner, creating a rugged and versatile SUV that the whole family will love: effortless, unstoppable and connected, whatever the terrain.

“Discovery SVX is designed to reward off-road driving enthusiasts with the next level of all-terrain capability, without compromising comfort and practicality.”

 

Land Rover Discovery SVX Pricing and Availability in South Africa

With the Current Disco range starting at R980 000 for the base S and climbing all the way to the R1 314 000 HSE LUXURY, expect the price to be between R1.5 million and R2 million. Expect models to arrive bright and early in 2018.

 

Range Rover Velar Pricing & Spec in South Africa

Range Rover Velar Pricing

Range Rover Velar

The new Range Rover Velar is now available to order and spec in South Africa, with the vehicle launching in the Q4 of 2017. The Velar is actually the most customisable Land Rover to date which a choice of 5 petrol engines, 5 diesel engines, 17 alloy wheel options, 13 exterior paint colors and 15 interior materials.

The Range Rover Velar starts at R947 700 and will be mainly available in Velar and Velar R-Dynamic variants with four spec levels: base, S, SE & HSE respectively. There is a third variant, the Velar First Edition. This limited-edition model is only available in a single, hi-spec trim that features every single optional extra. The only choice First Editions customers have to make is what colour they want, what engine they would like and which alloy wheels pick their fancy. The Velar First edition will only be available for the first year and is an order only vehicle.

The only question left is this, How would you spec yours? Head over to the Land Rover Builder Here and Spec your Range Rover Velar! We chose the R-Dynamic HSE Model in Corris Grey with some very nice optional extras; you can view our full spec here. Scroll down for pricing on the Range Rover Velar. 

Range Rover Velar Pricing South Africa

Velar

2.0 diesel 132kW (D180) – R947 700

2.0 diesel 177kW (D240) – R1 010 400

2.0 petrol 184kW (P250) – R947 700

3.0 diesel 221kW (D300) – R1 089 000

3.0 petrol 280kW (P380) – R1 099 400

Velar R-Dynamic

2.0 diesel 132kW (D180) – R980 500

2.0 diesel 177kW (D240) – R1 043 200

2.0 petrol 184kW (P250) – R980 500

3.0 diesel 221kW (D300) – R1 121 800

3.0 petrol 280kW (P380) – R1 132 200

Velar First Edition

3.0 diesel 221kW (D300) – R1 529 300

3.0 petrol 280kW (P380) – R1 539 800

 

New Look and More Tech – All New Discovery Driven

All new Discovery

All New Discovery Driven

All new Land Rover Discovery

The saying “don’t fix what’s not broken” went completely out the window with Land Rover’s design team when they were constructing the All New Discovery. We’re so used to the car’s iconic tall and boxy shape, it was a huge surprise when the new one launched and looked like the lovechild of a Range Rover Sport and a Discovery 4. So much so, there has been a huge outcry of differing opinions on social media. Some say that the car isn’t appealing, whilst others have embraced the new design language. I am on the fence at the moment as there are some elements which I like and others that puzzle me. Take, for instance, the front end, personally I think it looks great. Modern and quite pretty are the words I would use. The rear was nearly there for me but it’s the silliest thing that irks me, the number plate. The previous Discovery’s made use of a square number plate, placed to the side of the car. This looked fine but now they’ve substituted it with a standard size number plate, but still placed to the side of the car and it now looks skew to me. My eyes simply can’t adjust.

Another thing all consumers will have to adjust to, is the pricing of modern large SUV’s in general. This new Discovery starts at R992 540 for a 3.0 TDV6 S. If you want more kit, be prepared to be spending around R1.1 – R1.3 million. As expensive as this seems, this is on par with the German competition, some of which only offer five seats instead of seven.   

Going back to the new Discovery’s looks, overall the design is really not bad, but it’s a massive departure from the old car. The interior is a lovely place in which to be, roomy, of high quality and did I mention roomy? Yes the new Discovery is not short on space, but has the Discovery ever been? Not really. Besides the finishes, the infotainment system is similar to that found in modern JLR products, only better. The All New Discovery also comes loaded with technology, ranging from a seat folding app to a waterproof bracelet that acts as the vehicle’s key, so you can engage in sports and lock the main key in the car. The list goes on but an article on all the tech the car has will give you the full breakdown. What’s most important is the question you’ve been wondering since the car was first revealed with softer looks. Can it still hold its own in the rough stuff? Judging by our drive, we can confirm that the car’s Hyde Park aesthetics don’t mean it’s not afraid to get dirty.

Our launch drive route included a variety of activities including standard highway driving and rough gravel roads, as well a semi intense off-road course. The latter included going off-road whilst towing a trailer and treading some deep water. With a ground clearance of 283 mm and a wading depth of 900 mm, the large vehicle can get into some interesting angles and basically swim too. Towing can be a pain for most, but the new Discovery makes it an easier task with Tow Assist which integrates the rear view camera for easy latching. Thereafter, the vehicles air suspension is able to raise and drop onto the hitch, making the job capable for a single person to do.   

All new Land Rover Discovery

What this means is that the versatility of the car remains and is further amplified in the model. You would have no problem taking your new Discovery into remote areas. Off road systems like Hill descent control and All Terrain Progress Control basically do all the work for you, taking the nervousness of going off-road away. The ladder frame has also be done away with and replaced by a Monocoque construction, meaning that the car is lighter on its feet. This can be felt on the road as there is no sluggishness in its power delivery in both the petrol and diesel variants. The former is a sweet sounding 3.0 Supercharged V6 which produces 250 kW, whilst the 3.0 diesel is all about torque of which it produces 600 N.m. An 8-Speed Auto gearbox supplies drive to all four wheels in a seamless manner.  The way the car feels on gravel is very impressive, even at speed, you don’t feel like a visit to the chiropractor will be necessary afterwards. Instead, the optional massaging seats in the 3.0 TDV6 HSE Luxury we drove made this experience more comfortable.

All new Land Rover Discovery

Our experience of the all new Discovery has made us realise the need for manufacturers to please two parties in this segment. On the one hand, you have die hard Land Rover fans that have trusted this brand to take them to various places around the world. This camp may be sceptical of the design but impressed by the car’s capabilities. As an off road vehicle, it does what you would need it to do, and then some. On the other hand, you have the city SUV owners who want aesthetics and creature comforts. The peculiar design will resonate with this market as Evoque owners and even Range Rover owners may look at the new Discovery as their next car. In the higher spec variants such as the HSE Lux or the First Edition, you can have a great number of features in the car. The downside is pricing as a First Edition will set you back just under R1.5 million. Our pick would be the 3.0 TDV6 HSE, at approximately R1.25 mil, it’s is in the middle in terms of pricing and comes with some good features too. In conclusion, the new Discovery has managed to blend two worlds successfully, giving us an adventure ready package with quirky aesthetics. Who knows, maybe we’ll get over the rear in the end.

All New Discovery Pricing in South Africa

All New Discovery  S – R980,000

All New Discovery SE –  R1,109,250

All New Discovery HSE – R1,223,000

All New Discovery HSE Luxury – R1,314,000

All New Discovery  First Edition – R1,440,000

Spec your Land Rover Discovery Here