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.


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

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!


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

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


This post was written by Rupert Astbury.

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.

Continue reading

Range Rover Sport’s Peake Performance

McDonald Land Rover Range Rover Sport Pike's Peak

Range Rover Sport Dominates At Pike’s Peak

So finally, the Range Rover Sport can justify its moniker.

Yes, it can Range. And it can Rove. And it’s horrifically expensive. We knew it was a Range Rover.

What we weren’t sure of was whether it was, in schoolboy terms, one of the kids you fought to pick first or last for your footy team.

And it’s a winner! Not only was the Range Rover Sport chosen as the official Pace Car, it dominated the Production SUV class with a time of 12:35.61 for the 12.42 mile circuit. The 5.0L Supercharged V8 kicked out 510PS and hurled the Range Rover Sport up a mountain so high (4300m) that as it crossed the finishing line there was less than 60% of the oxygen we take for granted at sea level.

American Pikes Peak specialist Paul Dallenbach, who piloted the beast, said:

There’s no margin for error at Pikes Pike – you only need to misjudge one of those 156 turns and you’re into the trees or over the edge of the mountain. To take on this place the way I did today, you need complete confidence in your vehicle, and the Range Rover Sport sure gave me that – it’s fast, responsive and agile. I was able to place the car exactly where I wanted it on the road to keep to the optimum high-speed lines through corners. This is a hugely capable vehicle and I’m proud to have been part of demonstrating that by setting a new Pikes Peak record

Courtesy of the Land Rover website

Sebastian Loeb currently holds the internal combustion record of 8:13.878 in a modified Peugeot 208. No, really he does and it really was. Quite heavily.

Here’s Jaguar Land Rover‘s promotional video to help your daydreaming.

Now go to our webshop and buy something. Ta. or see me on Google+

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

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