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Impressive developments in hybrid and diesel drivetrains mean that CO2 outputs are falling year on year, writes Phil Weeden. What do you do, however, if you produce only SUVs and don’t have super-green city cars to offset some of the heavier, thirstier cars in your range? That’s the challenge at Jaguar Land Rover, which has recently revealed more info of its all-new Ingenium family of engines. The new units will be built from 2015 in the company’s new £500 million manufacturing centre near Wolverhampton (pictured above).
Doctor Wolfgang Ziebart, JLR’s Director of Group Engineering (pictured), revealed that by 2020, government legislation around the world will drive average CO2 emissions down to less than 100g/km and fuel economy to 75mpg. This provides tremendous challenges to car manufacturers, none more so than brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, whose products are premium and high performance.
The 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.
It seems that the Honda CR-V is the most reliable 4x4/SUV on the market. So claims the annual Which? Car Survey, which has named the Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC the UK’s most reliable 4x4/SUV up to three-years old. The report actually says the Honda has zero reported breakdowns, average annual repair costs of just £10 and an overall reliability score of 98.5 per cent over a 12 month period. The research was based on an impressive 49,000 owners, reporting on some 58,000 vehicles, so that’s a fair sample. To celebrate this success, Honda has a summer campaign where customers can pick up a Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC Black or White Edition for a monthly payment of just £349, with a £500 deposit contribution. Additionally with the option of a comprehensive care package offering five year’s warranty, servicing and roadside assistance for a one-off payment of £555, it is claimed that owners can assume their running costs are covered for the next five years, and that they stand to make potential savings of up to £1290.
The intriguing new hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has completed some serious testing in different driving conditions, including hot weather in the deserts of the USA and the cold snowy bits of Canada. It has also completed more than 30,000km over eight weeks of evaluation in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Tolyatti, where the test cars experienced temperatures as low as -30°C, with snow covered road surfaces, unknown in other cold climate regions where the Outlander PHEV is already retailed. Impressively the car performed very well and with no concern for the electrical charging system.
For a company that has not much of a heritage in the UK, it may surprise some to discover that SsangYong is now celebrating its 60th Anniversary. Established back in 1954, it is Korea’s oldest manufacturer and the only one making 4x4s and SUVs. The company is now majority owned by Indian manufacturing conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra, and its history even back in the Fifties has always involved collaborations, including Mercedes-Benz, Daewoo and the Chinese SAIC company. The first model to come to the UK was the Musso.
If you want to confirm the company’s 4x4 heritage, take a look at this jeep (right). Looks familiar? It’s hard to understand how companies managed to produce vehicles that shamelessly looked like someone else’s vehicle. This is the Shinjin Jeep of 1974, and yes we think it looks like a Wrangler.