Personalised 4x4 Wheel Covers Custom made wheel covers in both semi rigid vinyl and stainless steel wheel covers from The Sign Maker. Single colour, reflective colour or full colour printed. New to 2013 - Full Wraps
ATV specialist Polaris has just celebrated its 60th Anniversary, with the launch of the Ranger 400 Limited Edition and Ranger Diesel Limited Edition. These models are also fitted with gun scabbard mounts for shooting. Fittingly, the models were launched at the Clay Pigeon Shooting World English Sport Championships at West Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire.
With all the excitement around the Discovery’s 25 years, plus the news of the new Concept vehicle (see page 22) pointing the way to the new Discovery ‘range’ in the future, it would be easy to forget the trusty Freelander. Not so it seems, as Jaguar Land Rover has just announced the new Metropolis model, introduced as ‘the most luxurious Freelander yet’. It is based on the HSE LUX model but has (appropriately enough!) Windsor leather, electronically adjustable seats, panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, reversing camera and 19inch alloy wheels. The Metropolis is top of the Freelander range, but there are also new SE and SE Tech models for the 2015 model range; the SE being the entry level model. The SE Tech has the excellent 380W Meridian audio system, touchscreen-controlled navigation, automatic headlights and 19inch alloys. The new 2015 Freelander model range is available from dealers now, with a starting price of £27,765 for the SE manual, up to £35,995 for the Metropolis SD4 automatic. This magazine will be running a Metropolis in our Long Term fleet, starting next month. This is actually the first time that the magazine has had a present day Land Rover in its fleet, so we are looking forward to reporting just how we get on with it. Of course, if we need to get an understanding as to what it’s like to live with a latest Freelander, we could ask Princess Anne, since we spotted her very smart black version at Windsor. If it’s good enough for her, it should be OK for this magazine, don’t you think!
To celebrate the UK debut of the Discovery Concept and the 25 years of Discovery, we were permitted to drive along her Majesty’s front drive at Windsor Park. The three mile long drive is arrow straight. Standing at the start, the grandeur of Windsor Castle is obvious, but it does seem a long way away. OK, so we trundled along at a very slow speed, avoiding the many pedestrians enjoying the spring sunshine but it was something of an honour. While my drive around the park was indeed special, it was increased by the enjoyment of getting behind the wheel of Land Rover Discovery F981 ENV. This is the first production model of what later became known as Series 1 (it’s doubtful at the time that confidence was high enough to consider if there would ever be a Series II, let alone III, IV and now the Concept). This actual vehicle was handed over to the Heritage Collection directly from the production line and it probably looks even better today than it did back in ’89! Climb aboard and it feels like yesterday. The Terrance Conran-inspired interior still looks stylish and modern, the ultimate compliment for any design. Thinner A-pillars help as well, but it is still a great place to sit; the high roof helping, big hats are no problem in a Series 1. Turn on the ignition and the 2.5-litre 200TDi four-cylinder turbocharged diesel rattles to life, the steering wheel vibrates and there’s a hum through the whole body. Having previously been driving the very latest super-smooth Discovery, this comes as something of a shock. It’s not a criticism, however, just a comment that today we forget just how damped and noise-supressed modern new 4x4s are.
It’s not part of any recognised international Challenge Championship, there are limited technical regulations or rules, and team members come from all walks of life, not necessarily dedicated off-roaders. It is also one of the toughest off-road driving events you could imagine, yet it is perhaps less well known than it ought to be. Oh yes, and it also raises significant revenues for African wildlife!
We have always been great fans of the Rhino Charge and so were pleased to hear from stalwart supporter and competitor John Bowden of Gumtree4x4 about this year’s event; and this despite John’s Land Rover coming to an ignominious end on its side this year!
The new Nissan X-Trail will be in UK showrooms from July. The model, which will be available in both two and four-wheel drive and in the familiar Nissan trim levels of Visia, Acenta, n-tec and Tekna. We have commented before on the fact that the new X-Trail is a significant departure in looks from the present version, which has a good following from enthusiasts, including this magazine. The latest version looks like a Qashqai to us, although we have yet to see it in the metal. It is also sad, perhaps, to comment that Nissan expect the biggest selling version to be the 2WD Visia model. Prices for the remaining models start at £24,795 for the Acenta, the n-tec starts at £27,295 and the top of the range Tekna which is a hefty £29,295. The 4x4 models are also available with the XTRONIC CVT transmission, while the other 4WD models have the latest version of the familiar ALL MODE 4x4-I system. Every model in the range is available with the seven-seater option; the extra row of seats adding £700 to the price.