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The original and still the best! 4x4 magazine is the market leader in automotive off-roading. Still with its heart and soul invested in the seasoned off-road enthusiast, 4x4 Magazine aims to cover the latest models, bring you the hot news from around the world, essential buying and practical information on the most popular 4x4s, saving owners time and money in the process, while also inspiring and informing readers about the joys of off-roading. Click to find out what's in the latest issue

 
DISCOVERY SPORT ARRIVES! PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:32

DISCOVERY SPORTThe first Discovery was unveiled some 25 years ago. This new version is a very different beast, and the start of a whole new family of vehicles.

Words: Nigel Fryatt     Photography: Land Rover

To quote English novelist L. P. Hartley, ‘the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ Back in 1989, the Land Rover Discovery was unveiled to critical acclaim both for its exterior looks and its radical Terence Conran designed interior. It was a major new model for the company, starting a whole new model range, and that despite it being something of a ‘bitza’ product, strongly linked to the Range Rover but with other parts from the then British Leyland empire, including the Sherpa commercial van and even the now much maligned Austin Maestro. Remember them? As Hartley said, they certainly did things ‘differently’ back then.

 
OLD MEETS NEW PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 00:00

The concept of a plug-in hybrid 4x4 reflects Mitsubishi’s position among the leaders of modern automotive technology, but in their drive for safer, environmentally friendly motoring have they strayed too far from their 4x4 roots? We take a drive in one of the first Mitsubishi 4x4s to find out…

Words: Bob Cooke Photography: Nigel Fryatt

PHEV meets JEEPThere’s something somewhat ethereal about driving Mitsubishi’s cutting edge Outlander PHEV. It’s not the silence when cruising around town on its electric motors; it’s more the feeling of remoteness from the driving experience, which leaves the driver feeling rather like the captain of a ship relaying instructions for someone else to perform the required manoeuvre. Certainly the unearthly silence as the car pulls away adds to the overall effect, but it’s not the hybrid technology that drains the car of any feeling of excitement, it’s just the growing trend among most mainstream manufacturers to cosset the occupants of their cars against the harsh realities of bustling traffic by engineering the feel and feedback out of controls and switches so driving becomes more like playing a computer game, while packing in worthy but control-sapping technologies such as lane departure warnings, parking sensors and even automatic accident avoidance systems to counter the consequent loss of concentration as the driver fiddles with the multi-media touch-screen display. In the Outlander hybrid, the effect is enhanced by a transmission controlled by a computer-like joystick devoid of the positive action of a proper gear lever, the driver’s attention meanwhile being drawn from the road ahead by the large graphic dashboard display showing whether it’s the electric motors or the petrol engine or both at work, as if the driver a): needed to know, considering that the whole idea of seamless interaction of the various propulsion and battery charging modes is that it requires no input from the driver and b): couldn’t tell when the petrol engine cuts in by the added noise and vibration. There isn’t much of that, but only the most insensitive soul wouldn’t notice it.

 

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