Same SUV, Different Day?

Kahn’t Resist

McDonald Land Rover Kahn Range Rover Sport

The face of footballers’ cars to come…

Picture courtesy of Autocar

It seems as if Jaguar Land Rover is girding its loins for a revamping of the stock. The image above is apparently the official teaser for Kahn Design’s new carbon fibre body kit for the new Range Rover Sport, which has been shod in brushed aluminium 23 inch rims and painted Bright Orange.

Tasteful.

There are plenty of Range Rover Owner’s Rides to compete, thankfully not often in Bright Orange, but seldom are there any finished to the degree of attention Kahn manage.

Apart from the Brabus one, perhaps…

Brabus A Bargain

McDonald Landrover Brabus Startech Range Rover Sport

Fly me to the moon, let me play among the Startechs…

Picture courtesy of Autoblog

If you have enough money for a Range Rover Sport, why wouldn’t you have enough to give it a boob job?

The company in question ins Brabus, who have a long history of pimping hugely over-weight V8-powered Merceded Benz corporate cruisers, have taken their nom-de-plume, Startech, and applied it to to Gaydon’s fastest Chelsea Tractor.

With the 3 litre V6 win-turbo diesel coaxed to give 323 bhp and 501 lb-ft, you can now hurtle that little bit faster to 62 euro-meddled miles per hour in just under 7 seconds, improved from just over 7 seconds, looking just fabulous.

Putting the Free in Freelander

McDonald LAnd Rover Freelander Face Lift

And whilst you’re at Waitrose, can you get me some strawberries?

Picture courtesy of carguide.com.au

And it’s not just the Range Rover Sport getting kissed by the bling fairy.

Land Rover’s Freelander is due for a makeover too, as it moves from its current home to become part of the Discovery leisure-orientated family. Design hints from the up-coming Brand New Discovery will likely be matched by improved emissions and fuel economy from the mechanicals of the Evoque, and overall it will probably be just as good offroad and on as the current version, but more prettier for shopping in Chelsea, innit?.

Orange or Teracotta?

McDonald Landrover Orange Evoque Autobiography

Evoques now available in Bright Orange Autobiography trim

Picture courtesy of Autoblog

Talking of Evoque, the baby Rangey is also to benefit from the Autobiography limited edition signature, with a list of interior and exterior upgrades to add refinement and luxury.

For those who like a little bang with their bling, there will also be the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Dynamique. Lifting the output from 245 to 285 bhp, engineers have also breathed on the suspension and gearbox making things firmer, tauter and more responsive.

Heroes A Plenty!

McDonald Land Rover Land Rover Discovery Challenge

Mad as a hatter, and wouldn’t you love to buy him a pint?

The demise of the Land Rover G-series challenges has been covered here before, but there’s good news!

(Yay!)

A list of worthies are to pit themselves against each other, the weather, the climate and Land Rover’s finest ever Discovery.

Jaguar Land Rover News Room:

  • Land Rover Discovery celebrates 25 years with first of its kind adventure challenge
  • The world’s most acclaimed explorers, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Hannah White, Kenton Cool and Eric Loizeau compete against each other for the first time ever
  • The experienced explorers team with up-and-coming adventurers in their bid to be crowned Land Rover’s ‘Next Generation Explorer’

On Sunday 2nd March, Land Rover will bring together four of the world’s greatest explorers for an epic mountain adventure. For the first time ever, they will compete against each other as they take part in the search for Land Rover’s Next Generation Explorer in the Discovery Adventure Challenge. Marking 25years of the Land Rover Discovery, the celebrated explorers will mentor four promising, young adventurers as they compete in the grueling six-part challenge.

Against a backdrop of snow and mountains in Megève France, The Discovery Adventure Challenge will push competitors to the limit over 24 hours of tense, testing tasks. Ben Saunders, who, with partner Tarka L’Herpiniere, recently became the first man ever to complete Scott’s notorious Terra Nova Expedition, will compere the competition, whilst Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Hannah White, Kenton Cool and Eric Loizeau will get fiercely competitive as they go head to head in the challenges.

The seasoned explorers will be paired with rising adventurer stars from the British Exploring Society, who they will mentor through the physically and mentally demanding tasks. Hannah Wright (aged 21), Cameron Mackay (aged 18), Alex Woodford (aged 22) and Tim Davies (aged 22) will rotate amongst the Ambassadors as they battle it out for the title of ‘Next Generation Explorer’. The decision lies with the Global Ambassadors who will cast votes for whom they think deserves the title. The winner will be announced Monday 3rd March.

The challenges:

  1. Two Land Rover Discovery XXVs compete side-by-side through a slalom course down the slope. Two tense heats, one final.
  2. Precision and speed will be tested in the vehicle Biathlon: one team member will drive a Land Rover Discovery XXV around a purpose built course, whilst the other plays marksman, shooting a laser gun at a variety of challenging targets.
  3. Physical stamina will be put to the test in this grueling task: pulling one of Ben Saunders’s sleds in a race against time.
  4. As night falls the contestants will be tasked with creating a fire from scratch and digging their own snow holes to sleep in. Points will be awarded for fastest build and warmest hole.
  5. The grand finale will be an all-out boat race across Lake Geneva.

Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director Mark Cameron said, “The Land Rover Discovery has been supporting and inspiring adventurers and adventures since 1989, therefore it’s very fitting to celebrate our 25th anniversary with the Discovery Adventure Challenge and a search for the Next Generation Explorer. We are delighted to be partnering with the British Exploring Society for this search and look forward to supporting the winner in their pursuit of becoming an established explorer.”

If you need anything serviced before crossing the Apennines, or if you really, really want something also painted Bright Orange, check us out online at http://www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Land Rover Pics And Flicks

McDonald Land Rover Land Rover Video

Driving skills from the 1970s

Capturing Landies On Film

One of the foremost influences on modern media is the attraction of nostalgia.

You don’t have to create new material, just find black and white footage of Lowry-like figues moving jerkily through faintly familiar tasks, unencumbered by mobile phones, tablets, pads, pods or (most notably) traffic.

So what are your favourite nostalgia sites and sounds for the world’s best off-road brand?

This is what we’ve found:

McDonald Land Rover Dunsfold Collection Forrest Rover

The Dunsfold Collection’s Forrest Rover

Picture courtesy of The Dunsfold Collection

The Dunsfold Collection.

The Collection started life in 1993, as a progression of a private collection started in 1968 by Brian Bashall and continued today by one of his sons, Philip. The vehicle that started it all was a 1962 ex-military 109-inch APGP wader, after that the collection gradually grew larger.

The Dunsfold Collection’s website is a tour de force of simple, effective website design. It’s all there for you, and it’s easy to get to, too!.

Possibly the best collection of photos of Land Rovers in one place, the breadth of collected models is as impressive as the open access to them. From the mechanically beautiful Forrest Rover above to the bling-tastic ‘goldbrick’ Defender, there’s something for everyone.

As the collection was opened to the public to provide the necessary support, their Bi-Annual shows are a great opportunity to view the toys. And if you’ve got a toy of your own, you can join in the fun on their testing off-road circuit.

Don’t miss out on the Freelander test mule built into an Austin Maestro van body. Talk about falling from the ugly tree!

McDonald Land Rover Dunsfold Freelander Test Mule

Dunsfold Collection Freelander Test Mule

 

 

Driving Skills

Land Rover produced, like many manufacturers, copious quantities of promotional material which never acquired a significant audience. Some of these gems have been, copyright issues aside, freed by online video sites.

Here’s one, Land Rover’s own Driving Technique, produced by the Rover Triumph Film Unit!

 

Many videos offer advice, hints and tricks but there’s a difference between user-generated content and expert advice.

It’s the difference between BBC and You’ve Been Framed

Here’s Land Rover Owner’s video on mud-plugging

And a video which looks like Land Rover’s own Camel Trophy training program

Readers Rides

There are also plenty of home-produced videos with hints and tips, but treat most of these with caution. Perhaps they are best used as a guide to how owners have used their video camera, but often they are fun to watch. And we always appreciate the community involvement; respect to anyone who not only spends their hard-earned on a Landy, but who is then brave enough to show the results of their proving session.

Here’s a Series 2 with a 5l V8 and an Australian in it;

 

Mechanical Murals

Time-lapse builds can be a visual feast, and you may even see something which helps!

Changing a chassis

Ground-up Build

 

Documentaries and History

There are plenty of videos of dubious legality, though the ability to find such fascinating material is perhaps what makes video sites so popular.

Here’s on on the history of The Camel Trophy

And one on a Trans-Africa adventure trip (just one lottery jackpot win, just the one..)

Then there are the usual TV Testimonials, when they either run out of things to do or money to pay for the Ferraris they’ve ‘re-styled’

 

So we’ve showed you ours, now it’s your turn.

If you need anything un-built then re-built, and we’ve done everything from Series 101’s (see our previous blogs) to Range Rover Sports, or serviced or repaired or inspected or modified, visit our website to get our contact details www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

 

This post was written by Rupert Astbury.

Wading In Washout Weather

Series 1 WadingPicture courtesy of Dove Publishing

With the worst of the winter’s weather hanging on for dear life, it seems appropriate to discuss the wading prowess of the Land Rover, and the importance of kitting your Land Rover out properly.

How To Wade

You’ve got two feet of ground clearance, and chunky tyres, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you are invincible. On the road, you’ll need to use your noggin as well as your knobblies.

mcdonald landrover Range Rover Wading

L405 Gets To Work

Picture courtesy of Clanging Bell.

The best advice for car owners is to move to the middle of the road, go slow whilst keeping the engine revs high and don’t stop but try not to go too fast.

Be aware that the bow wave you generate may affect other road users, but may also affect local homeowners, as the ripple tops doorsteps or walls of sandbags. It’s always nice to push the rugged boundaries, but it’s always a good idea to gather as much good-will as you can.

mcdonald landrover range rover wading

Range Rover Coming Home From Work

Picture courtesy of Business Car Manager.co.uk

With the added ruggedness mixed into the LR DNA, you don’t have to worry about the roads too much until you get to serious flowing water. Be advised that even a 4X4 can be affected by flowing water only 2 feet deep.

As the maximum wading depth of most Land Rovers is 500mm, or 20 inches, you can see that knee-high water is more dangerous than you may think;

Land Rover Series 1 500mm (20″)

Series 2    500mm (20″)

Series 3    500mm (20″)

Defender      500mm (20″)

Discovery 1     500mm

Discovery 2      500mm

Discovery 3      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Discovery 4      420 – 540mm (Using air suspension to increase ride height)

Freelander 1     400mm

Freelander 2    500mm

Range Rover Classic  500mm (20″)

Range Rover P38   500mm

Range Rover L322    500mm

Range Rover L405    500mm

mcdonaldlandrover Discovery wading

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable

Picture courtesy of Landyzone forumite MBURTON2

Dangers of Wading

To the ordinary car driver, the major problem is the air intake. If this is low enough, or the water high enough, then the puddle may make it into the air box and from there to the combustion chamber. In that case, there’s a good chance you’ll stall and won’t be able to restart because your con-rods have been bent. The piston is supposed to compress fuel and air, not water which will not compress at all. You’ll need to be recovered and will have quite a large bill generated at the garage of your choice…

At best, you’ll have covered the electrics with water and shorted something cheap and easy to replace. You’ll still be puddle-jumping to get to dry land, but it won’t mean you remortgaging the house.

To the 4X4 driver, the greater danger lies with all the breathing the vehicle does; you probably don’t even know the half of it.

The air filter is a problem, but the air intake on a 4X4 is obviously higher as the engine itself is higher. There are plenty of snorkel kits available to solve the issue, and they’re not hard to fit.

The axles, gearbox and transfer box all have breather points fitted, as the cavities inside heat and cool and so need to inhale and exhale air.

If you plough head-first into a puddle, there’s a good chance that the axle/gearbox/transfer box cools rapidly and the air inside cools and contracts. The breather then sucks in not air but water, and the lubricant becomes a soupy mess poorly-capable of doing its job.

Consider however the electrickery which goes into modern cars though; do you know where the lowest electrical connector is on your car?

The manufacturers make these vehicles so that they can take on the world, but in a world of school runs and shopping trips, wading kits to take care of any deluge dampness are optional extras.

Gearbox and axle breathers and pipes, flywheel plugs and snorkels helping to raise the wading depth are available for all models, and are certainly necessary if you’re staring the Limpopo in the face or “Doing Dartmoor”. If you’re just headed for Marks and Spencers, though, it’s best to be circumspect about the heroic driving and go slow through the puddles.

For snorkels and wading kits, or if you’re past that point and need piston/con rod assemblies and a a shoulder to cry on, check out our website http://www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

mcdonald landrover Discovery 3 wading

Discovery 3 Going Over The Top

Picture courtesy of Landroversonly forumite BBYER

Check out Expedition Land Rover for expert preparation guides and the Land Rover Driving Guides for tips on driving in muddy conditions

If It Ain’t Broke…

McDonald Landrover Milner 4X4 Evoque

From Posh Spice to Jalapeno, this Evoque is seriously hot.

Picture courtesy of Milner 4X4

Matlock’s KITT Car

Matlock’s own Milner 4X4 have decided that what the Range Rover Evoque really needs is a 5.0l Supercharged V8 pumping out a reliable 550bhp.

And we commend them for this. We’d love to have a go, and are wondering what kind of Ponzi scheme it takes to pay for the petrol…

According to Milner:

New for 2013, the Milner LRM-1 is the latest thoroughbred to emerge from our stables. It draws from the knowledge gained over 30 years of cross country racing.

Using parts and technologies from some of the best brands in motorsport, the Milner LRM-1 is capable of competing at the highest level from the outset as all of the development has been carried out over the last 2 years in our own ‘works’ test car.

The LRM-1 has a full space frame chassis with double wishbone, fully independent suspension, clad in a composite body shell scaled to 4/5 the size of a road going Evoque.
It is still instantly recognisable as one of the most exciting looking cars to be launched in the UK for a long time.

The first production car benefits from the latest Land Rover 5.0 V8 supercharged engine producing in excess of 550BHP and 680Nm of torque. The transmission is a 6spd sequential gear box driving a Milner transfer box and Milner differentials with Quaife centres throughout.

The Milner LRM-1 is available to customers as a turn-key car or as a rolling kit with a choice of power plants and transmission packages.

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Happy New Year

McDonald Land Rover Series Facebook Tab

Hue 166 and cry; Click the image to go to JLR’s Facebook video The Land Rover Story

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Media Centre

Happy new year to all loyal listeners, we’ve been busy supplying the wonderful Land Rover owners all the parts their hearts requested.

Not only have we seen a strong demand for Land Rover parts and accessories at McDonald Land Rover, Jaguar Land Rover have seen a record year of sales.

Boosted by the stunning F Type and supported by the Lottery Dreamers’ favourite, the Range Rover Sport, a near-20% increase on the previous year’s figures saw the company wave ta-ta (hur hur) to  425,000 happy customers.

And it’s reasonable to assume that they are happy customers, as Jaguar topped the 2013 JD Power customer survey for the second year in a row.

Judged to be the best performing brand when taking into account dealer servicing and parts prices as well as the ‘owner’ experience, a Jag should be a car you want to get India garage (india garage, get it?)

In terms of individual car performance, the Jaguar XF came third, a mere 0.3% off the winner’s satisfaction score. 82.7% of XF owners placed their car above all others.

On the Four By Four front, Land Rover came 6th overall, the first time it’s entered the top ten of the JD Power Survey and a sign of things to come.

Seeing Land Rover tying in 5th place with  arch off-road rivals Toyota is a real indicator of how much the brand values customers, placing not only their comfort but also the technicians’ performance at the top of their priorities.

The highest Land Rover was the Freelander 2 a join 39th. The Discovery 4 tied at 61, beating amongst other notable adversaries the Audi RS6, Q5, Q7, BMW X3, Volvo XC90.

Hot competition smited, the Chelsea Tractor brand of choice did well considering the compromise necessary when looking at just the vehicle alone. Though you’d love the bling-mobiles on your driveway, the fuel and insurance costs would worry Rupert Murdoch, so perhaps the Skoda Yeti is safe for now.

Watch What Car’s video op-ed on the results here

What Car’s JD Power Survey Video

To see Jaguar Land Rover’s Facebook video The Land Rover Story, click the image above.

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Workshop Tales

McDonald LR

Range Rover Cream Interior Kills BECMs. ish…

Workshop chatter is cut to a bare minimum as it’s inefficient and wasteful…

…although it does have its uses.

Over a boiling kettle the issue of Range Rover Beckhams was discussed.

Then the workshop-ingenue was slapped down viciously corrected; the Body Electrical Control Module or BECM is the all-important brain of the vehicle, and must be functioning correctly for the vehicle to run at all.

IT is responsible for:

  • Instrument pack
  • SRS (Airbag) Diagnostic Control Unit (DCU)
  • Selector lever display panel (Automatic transmission
  • vehicles only)
  • Engine compartment fusebox
  • Fuse 1 – Power supply
  • Fuse 4 – Power supply
  • Fuse 5 – Power supply
  • Cruise control ECU
  • Transfer box ECU
  •  Engine Control Module (ECM)
  • Electronic Automatic Transmission (EAT) ECU
  • ABS ECU
  • Electronic Air Suspension (EAS) ECU
  • HEVAC ECU
  • Center console switch pack
  • RH door outstation
  • LH door outstation
  • RH seat outstation
  • LH seat outstation
  • ICE (Radio) unit
  • Diagnostic Socket

Of course, if it should fail, you’ll see all kinds of problems, including but not limited to:

  • mis-operation of headlights
  • door locks
  • electric windows
  • fuel filler flap
  • indicators
  • sun roof
  • rear washers/wiper
  • fuse failure codes
  • engine won’t turn over

These faults may be intermittent.

For a fantastic article on the workings of the BECM, try Rangerovers.net’s Demistifying the BECM

There’s nothing a home mechanic can do to fix a BECM, but you can try to avoid trouble by buying dark-carpetted P38s.

I know, it sounded strange to me too, but it’s a little-discussed fact.

The lighter carpets featured on the Range Rover options list encouraged dirt and stains to hitch a ride, necessitating a motivated schedule of interior cleaning. As the BECM is under the seat, next to where your feet are, it’s right in the firing line.

The more carpet Cleaner you use, the more moisture there is around the box, the greater the chance of degradation in the circuit boards.

So buy a P38 with dark carpets and you’ll have a much-reduced chance of BECM woes.

If you’ve got a P38 (brave little old you, well done) and you need anything at all for it, from the smallest washer to a brand new 4.6 V8 engine, give us a call or go to www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk

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Land Rover Goes Green

Cornwall’s Living Linnaean Library Loves Land Rover’s Lithium Land-train.

McDonald Land Rover Eden Project Electric Land Rover Defender

I think I can I know I can…

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

The Land Rover Defender has been adapted by Land Rover to explore the uses of modern technology at The Eden Project;

The Defender 110 Pick Up badged ‘All terrain Electric Research Vehicle’ effortlessly tows the four-carriage 12 tonne road train carrying up to 60 passengers on a 6 per cent incline to and from the iconic hexagonal-panelled domes. The vehicle has been designed to perform its duties throughout each day before being recharged over night for the approximate cost of £2.00.

The Electric Defender has all the qualities and performance which have become associated with the Land Rover brand during the past 65 years. It has full all-terrain capability, permanent 4WD and a top speed of 70mph.

With a standard charge time of only 10 hours, this marsh mile muncher is hardly mercurial. A 4 hour charge is possible though, showing the way for the next generation of Chelsea Tractors.

Who Elsa To Turn To

McDonald Landrover Born Free Foundation Sponsored By Land Rover

Yeah, it’s funny Bowler should call theirs the ‘wild cat’…

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

So you run a charity designed to promote conservation and wild-life care, but you’re doing it in Africa and India.

A Prius just isn’t going to do the job, is it?

That’s why Land Rover has signed a 5 year deal to help make the world a better place;

  • Land Rover agrees new sponsorship support for the Born Free Foundation to continue a successful Global Conservation Partnership first established in 2002

  • The provision of Land Rover vehicles will help the international charity deliver compassionate conservation and care for wildlife in need around the world for the next five years

  • Born Free Foundation’s Land Rover vehicles will continue to provide vital support for projects in Africa, and India, equipped and modified to bring help to the most remote regions

  • Land Rover’s Global Conservation Partnership with the Born Free Foundation reflects its integrated approach to securing global sustainability

Started by actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers in 1984, and now led by their son Will Travers OBE, the Born Free Foundation sponsors conservation and wildlife-awareness programs in Africa and India.

And for the next five years, as it always has, it will do so from behind a green oval.

Pets Mean Prizes

McDonald Landrover World Equestrian Games Sponsored By Land Rover

Four By Four By Eighteen Hands

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Your correspondent is not paid enough to frequent gaming halls and the kind of dens of iniquity where games of chance abound, and yet he is willing to stake next week’s dentist’s bill on the fact that you won’t find a Gymkhana that doesn’t have a Range Rover at every corner.

From the Vogue’s handy tailgate bench debenture to the Defender’s roof rack grandstand, Land Rovers and horse sports have gone hand in hand for decades.

And so it is only fitting that Jaguar Land Rover should once again pony-up as Official Sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 and provide 50 vehicles to support the games in Normandy, France, from August the 23rd to September the 7th;

  • Land Rover is an Official Sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France 23th  August to 7th September 2014
  • Land Rover will provide a 55 strong fleet of all-terrain vehicles to support games officials including FEI representatives, Protocol, technical delegates, jury and VIP chauffeuring
  • Land Rover has a long history of involvement in the world of  Equestrian sport including partnerships with the Burghley Horse Trials, the US Equestrian Federation and the Gucci Paris Masters

An official Land Rover Spokesperson did not say ‘Hay, we all get saddled with something but we’ll find some Burghley men to get it done’.

For parts and service considerably better than the jokes, go to www.mcdonaldlandrover.co.uk or see me on Google+

This post was written by Rupert Astbury.