Big Cat Beauty

MCDonald Land Rover

Jaguar’s Title Contender


Jaguar Land Rover are set to put their CX 17 concept car into production!

I’m off to get a lottery ticket.

Auto Express have speculated at a  release date of 2016 and a price of around £35,000 for the Range Rover Sport-sized Blingwagen.

Whilst not everyone is unanimous in their love of the Jaguar XF grill styling, your correspondent is a signed-up member of the fan club, and can’t wait until his Italian Job 2 screenplay delivers the necessary cash to become a Jaguar Owners Club member too. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury


Land Rover Goes Large

McDonald Land Rover

Land Rover‘s New Expansion Tank

Jaguar Land Rover are proving that bigger is better with an expansionist policy likely to see world-wide demand matched by world-wide production:

VEHICLE manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed to sources in India that it is looking at the possibility of setting up a new manufacturing facility in Brazil.

No details of the scheme have been officially released but Phil Popham, JLR’s Director – Group Sales Operations, is quoted in the Indian media as saying the company is already holding talks with the Brazilian authorities.

Such a move would mark a further expansion of the JLR brand on a global stage. The Indian-owned company already assembles UK-made knock-down kits for the Land Rover Freelander and Jaguar XF at a plant in Pune in India, while it is currently developing a new factory in China in a joint venture agreement with domestic manufacturer, Chery.

With the production of over 300,000 vehicles, the Jaguar Land Rover group is undoubtedly a contender on the world stage, but with 80% of sales taking place overseas, they are truly a world brand;

JLR has been self-financing since Tata took the wheel. The red ink has disappeared with pre-tax profits last year almost touching £1.7bn from revenues close to £16bn.

Around 9,000 jobs have been created in the three British plants, including 1,700 announced last week. Another 24,000 jobs could be added to a supply chain now enjoying the fruits of JLR’s success.

Controversially perhaps for purists of this very ‘British’ brand, a joint venture with Chery Automobile will see JLR vehicles assembled in China, the group’s most important market. Saudi Arabia is next on the overseas assembly list while JLR is pumping almost £2.75bn into group research and new products this year.

Not only does Tata have money to spend on the future of JLR, it’s also intent on speculating on the future of engineering;

Jaguar Land Rover is set to invest almost £100m in a National Automotive Innovation Campus at the University of Warwick.

Due to open in 2016, the NAIC will focus on developing tech such as electric vehicles and semi-autonomous cars.

The new facility is a joint project between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, Warwick Manufacturing Group and the UK Government’s Higher Education Funding Council. Construction will begin in September 2014, with the finished centre aiming to bring together around 1,000 academics and engineers.

This comes with a promise of serious money for the development of Hybrid Technology on an Evoque platform;

Jaguar Land Rover has announced a £16.3 million collaborative research project, called Evoque_e, which will see the design, development and production of three new hybrid and electric powertrains based on the Range Rover Evoque platform.

Starting in October, the development of the three powertrains will include mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV), a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and a full Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).

With the current Range Rover Hybrid looking to cost almost £100,000 it may be a while before your correspondent can offer a personal long-term review, but hope springs eternal.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Range Rover Hybrid Smoothes Silk Trail

McDonald Land Rover Silk Trail Expedition

Land Rover Silk Trail Expedition

Jaguar Land Rover’s 2013 Silk Trail 2013 Expedition is now just over half way through.

Demonstrating Land Rover’s legendary capability, its latest model, the Range Rover Hybrid is being put through its final engineering sign-off drive on a gruelling 9,950 mile endurance expedition.

The test, proving the new Range Rover Hybrid as the world’s most capable hybrid, set off from the home of Land Rover in Solihull, UK on August 22 and will travel overland for more than seven weeks through Europe, Russia and Asia to Mumbai, India – arriving on October 15.

Named after the famous trading route, this Silk Trail expedition should prove not only the continuation of Land Rover’s historic build quality and attention to off-road design details, but also show the company’s continued interest in sponsoring off-road challenges.

Perhaps for the new Defender model launch, a rebirth of the famous G4 challenge or even a re-branded Camel Trophy???

With 12 countries having the brand’s eco-credentials stamped on the border passes over 53 days, this tour sounds more hard-top than hard core, but there’s no denying the Range Rover’s ability when (as the trope has it) the going gets tough.

The Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid go on sale across Europe on September 10, with first deliveries in early 2014.

The hybrid powertrain combines Land Rover’s 3-litre SDV6 turbo diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor integrated with the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.  Total output of the powertrain is 340PS and 700Nm torque, resulting in acceleration to 62mph (100km/h) in under seven seconds, a strong mid-range rush and a top speed of 135mph (218km/h).  The powertrain achieves a 26 percent reduction in CO2 emissions to 169g/km and records 44.1mpg (combined cycle).

Click here to visit the Jaguar Land Rover website and get the latest progress report from the team, plus videos and press releases on your favourite Of Road Brand. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Going Bush

Having just seen this African tour company, we are reminded of how versatile and far-reaching is the Land Rover:

Bush Ways Safari

Bush Ways Safari Landrover

Bush Ways Safari Land Rover

All our vehicles are tough reliable Safari Land Rovers

B: All our customised safari vehicles are extra wide allowing for more seating space and have:
1 Folding windscreen,
2 Removable canvas roof,
3 Perspex windows for the cold and rain,
4 Fridge for cold beverages,
5 Folding side door,
6 Comfortable coil spring suspension,
7 120L water tank with tap
8 Open sides for unobstructed views.

Our trailers are also custom-built on Land Rover chassis:
9 Chair box for easy access,
10 Easy modular packing system – saves time,
11 Folding side table complete with full kitchen behind.

In the words of the Beach Boys, wouldn’t it be nice. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

History R Us

A quick post to pass on this gem of a blog. The titular book bears further reading (snikker):

They Found Our Engineer

The British Land Rover 4×4 has grown from 1948 to become one of the world’s leading automotive brands. Exactly how it all came together back in the late 1940s and early 50s has been the topic of interest and debate for many years. This was until two Australian enthusiasts, Michael Bishop and Alex Massey quite literally stumbled across senior member of the original Land Rover development team, Arthur Goddard living in Brisbane, Australia in 2009. The discovery led to many of the myths and tales surrounding the early vehicles to be heard as it happened from Arthur’s point of view. Then to a trip by Arthur to visit his old work place in Solihull and to the vehicle that he helped bring to life back in 1948. The book contains both a technical and human side to this incredible story as well as a great reunion between Arthur and his old colleague Spen King who went on to design the Range Rover in the 1960s. This is truly a unique story from the time of post War World two Britain to modern day Australia and how the iconic 4×4 grew up so quickly in the 1950s to become the world leader that it is today. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

90″ BBQ

Who can’t find a place in their heart for excellently-aimed nostalgia?

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This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Another Jaguar Melts!

Poor old Jaguar, it never rains but it pours. Following the incandescent appearance of Dick Van Dyke‘s Jag, some cock-a-knee geezer’s 24 carat carriage went all wobbly this week!

The BBC’s News Website reports;

Martin Lindsay parked his Jaguar on Eastcheap, in the City of London, on Thursday afternoon.

When he returned about two hours later, he found parts of his car – including the wing mirror and badge – had melted.

Mr Lindsay said he “could not believe” the damage. The developers have apologised and paid for repairs.

The 37-storey skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, which has been nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie” because of its shape, is currently under construction…

McDonald Land Rover: Skyscraper melts Jaguar

Sky scraper melts Jaguar

“On the windscreen, there was a note from the construction company saying ‘your car’s buckled, could you give us a call?'”

In a joint statement, developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf said: “We are aware of concerns regarding the light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street and are looking into the matter.

“As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected while we investigate the situation further.”

Mr Lindsay said the developers had apologised and agreed to sort out the £946 repair costs.

Whilst we’d all like to be in the shoes of Mr Lindsay, perhaps we’d like to stay out of his way when he parks.

News story from the BBC or see me on Google+


This article was written by Rupert Astbury