Land Rover – The evolution

65 years on

Land Rover is a brand that evokes different emotions from many people in nearly every corner of the globe. From the ‘Chelsea tractor‘ to ‘old faithful’. What started as a vision to fill a gap in the automotive industry back in 1947, with a sketch in the sand on a Welsh beach has now become one of the market leaders in the Sports Utility Vehicle sector.

The brand has diversified its portfolio since its inception, now with over six models for all sorts of lifestyles and terrains.

The fact that cars are getting bigger, parking spaces are staying the same and, according to the Vehicle Licensing Statistics office, road usage has increased by 24.7 million cars since 1950 in the UK means that new gadgets have to come into play to stop drivers from dinging their pride and joy. This can be seen with the multitude of gadgets available in the new Land Rover and Range Rover models including cost options such as a surround camera system available on the Evoque, with cameras strategically placed on each corner of the front bumper, each mirror and a rear facing camera, allowing the driver to see what traffic there is on the road at a junction without having to creep away from the stop sign.

Range Rover Evoque Surround Camera System

Not only that, but included on your Range Rover is a great driving aid known as Terrain Response 2. In the past, anyone going off-roading needed some basic knowledge on locking differentials and gearing ratios. Nowadays, any Tom, Dick or Harry can jump in their Land Rover and go for a cruise through a muddy track without making a fuss, allowing the vehicle to analyse the terrain and alter the response needed from the engine, gearbox, central differential and chassis.

With stricter policies from governments to be green and sustainable and the introduction of VED rates on CO2 in 2001, Range Rover have created the first Hybrid diesel and their own sub-135 g/km off road vehicle. The smaller Range Rover known as the Evoque was built to compete with other small SUVs which have seated themselves in the market from the likes of Audi and BMW. The Evoque promises a sub 135 g/km so you can do your bit for the environment but not lose out on the technology and capability of a Range Rover. This, for a person on the lookout for a new car means there is a yearly road tax of £125 with no extra first year charge.

If the Evoque isn’t quite your style and you want more space and slightly more presence on the road but still do your bit for the environment; Range Rover have released their new hybrid models in both the standard and Sport guises.  Both models will be equipped with a 3.0L SDV6 engine coupled with a 35KW electric motor enabling it rival the power of the bigger SDV8 but being kinder to the ozone layer and your wallet. It emits 169g/km of CO2 emissions meaning as a new owner it will cost £104 a year with a first year charge of £190 under the (TC59) alternative fuel car tax rate and will return an average of 44.1mpg on combined cycle.

The brand may have changed hands over the years and most recently owned by Indian giants Tata. As a testament to how withstanding the brand is, it is said that two-thirds of all Land Rover vehicles are still in use and the new Hybrid Range Rovers have embarked on a journey across 12 countries from Solihull in the UK to Mumbai following the old ‘Silk Trail’ which you can read about in the related articles section below.

Sales of Land Rover vehicles have increased by 13% year up to date and to help diversify their production, the company are to open a factory in Brazil, jumping on the bandwagon as Mercedes and Audi also announced intention on opening respective factories in the area. No news on which cars are to be produced at the proposed Brazil plant.

Will the Land Rover still be around for another 65 years? we will have to wait and see…

References:

Autocar. 2013. Land Rover to open factory in Brazil. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/land-rover-open-factory-brazil. [Accessed 03 October 13].

GOV.UK. 2013. Calculate Vehicle Tax Rates. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-vehicle-tax-rates. [Accessed 02 October 13].

gov.uk. 2012. Vehicle licensing statistics Q2 2012. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vehicle-licensing-statistics-q2-2012. [Accessed 04 October 13].

Land Rover newsroom. 2013. Range Rover Hybrid Prototypes Become First Foreign-Registered Vehicles Ever To Drive On China’s Demanding Xinjiang-To-Tibet Highway. [ONLINE] Available at:http://newsroom.jaguarlandrover.com/en-in/land-rover/news/2013/10/rr_hybrids_silk_trail_2013_update_6_021013/?from=2&count=8&marketLanguageNodeId=1275&brandId=2827&ContentType=NewsArticles&locus=2. [Accessed 03 October 13].

Land Rover. 2013. Range Rover. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.landrover.com/gb/en/lr/all-new-range-rover/. [Accessed 03 October 13].

Parker’s. 2013. Land Rover Range Rover (13on) Review. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/land-rover/range-rover/estate-2013/costs/. [Accessed 03 October 13].

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About niik1988

Just a Malteser living in London, working for PistonHeads.com and blogging about things I find interesting on the side.

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