Jaguar Land Rover Classic enjoyed a double victory at the 2017 Octane Awards, held in London this week. The 'Legends Continued' Jaguar XKSS continuation was crowned 2017 Car of the Year and Jaguar Land Rover Classic also received the Manufacturer Heritage Collection of the Year accolade. "It is a huge honour to receive such a prestigious award for the XKSS," said Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations Managing Director, John Edwards. "It's 12 months to the day since the continuation Car Zero made its global debut in Los Angeles, and since then we have launched Range Rover and Jaguar Reborn restoration programmes and shown the inventive fully-electric Jaguar E-type Zero too." The Jaguar Classic team's meticulous attention to detail, for a fiendishly complicated project, saw the XKSS secure the most votes from Octane's magazine readers and website visitors.
There is a raft of new VW Crafter derivatives now available to order in Van Centres across the UK. Panel vans with 4MOTION all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox are now available, along with open body models in single and double cab variants. The all-new Crafter was designed from the bottom up to meet the needs of van operators, and now offers maximum flexibility as well as a comprehensive suite of innovative technologies. The addition of open body models to the range opens the door to conversions via Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' Recognised Converter scheme, meaning customers in the market for a Luton, dropside, tipper or other more unusual adaptation have the perfect base vehicle. Further derivatives will continue to join the line-up in 2018, including a 122 PS engine which will join the current 102, 140 and 177 PS powertrain options.
Oliver Hoffmann took over as Head of Technical Development at Audi Sport GmbH on October 1. He succeeds Stephan Reil in this role, and is now responsible for the upcoming product campaign from the Audi subsidiary brand. Most recently, 40-year-old liver Hoffmann worked on powertrain development at AUDI AG. Previously, his roles included quality management at Automobili Lamborghini and at the Audi factory in Gy?er, Hungary. "With the appointment of Oliver Hoffmann, we have gained a highly qualified manager for the Technical Development division," says Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. "With his experience and skills, Hoffmann will help to realise the expansion of the Audi Sport brand."
The shear pulling power of the 2018 Land Rover Discovery has been demonstrated in the Australian Outback, with the sight of a 110-tonne road train being towed by the renowned SUV. Land Rover took on the ultimate towing test by pulling the massive road train across a closed section of the Lasseter Highway in the remote Northern Territory, Australia. With 600Nm of torque, the Discovery Td6 is well suited to pulling heavy loads. The 258PS 3.0-litre single-turbo engine features low-pressure exhaust recirculation and a two-stage oil pump for improved responses, refinement and efficiency. As a result, the diesel model delivers CO2 emissions of 189g/km and fuel economy of 39.2mpg (7.2l/100 km).
Ford is updating its established Mondeo line-up with new sports and luxury models aimed at both fleet and private buyers, with the former seven series making up the Mondeo range being simplified to five. Owen Gregory, Ford of Britain fleet director, said: "We know Mondeo customers want their cars to stand out. This has propelled Mondeo drivers from core series to distinctly sporty and luxury-looking models. Making this easier and more affordable takes Mondeo into 2018 in style." All five models have navigation, DAB, autonomous braking to mitigate or avoid low-speed collisions at under 31mph, front/rear parking sensors and cruise control with speed limiter as standard. ST-Line series introduce extras including front, rear and side body styling, lowered sports suspension, Ford Power start button and darkened headliner. Privacy glass and 19in rock metallic alloy wheels are added on the ST-Line Edition.
For the fourth year running, Land Rover has teamed up with The Prince's Countryside Fund to award five entrepreneurial young people with a year's loan of a Land Rover Discovery. The winners are selected for their stand-out business plans, passion and dedication to making a difference in their local community. They are: Falmouth-based, Jenny Dunstan, founder of Jenny's Beef Ltd; Lucy and Chris Williams, who are setting up a Scottish tea company, Tulloch Tea; organic dairy farmer, Claire Howlett, from Bromyard; suckler cow farmer James Speers, who is president of the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster; and finally, Lindale-based David Corrie-Close who, with his wife Bekka, has recently established the Horned Beef Company. Scott Dicken, Marketing Director, Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: "We are pleased to be able to once again support five more young farmers through our bursary with The Prince's Countryside Fund. These young people are great advocates of the farming industry and their passion and dedication is a pleasure to see."
As many as 400 Land Rovers and 900 visitors gathered in the grounds of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu last Sunday, for an impressive line-up at Simply Land Rover. An unmissable treat for fans of Britain's legendary off-roader, the display featured the iconic Defender and Series I, II and III models, as well as the hugely successful Range Rover, Discovery and Freelander ranges. Beaulieu's Forest Drive was one of the highlights of the show for participants eager to try out their off-road driving skills. Simply Land Rover is one of eight Simply rallies in the 2017 Beaulieu season. Simply Jaguar is next on July 9th and Simply Smart is on November 12th. Each event celebrates a particular marque or motoring theme, giving enthusiasts and attraction visitors the chance to see some of their favourite machines close up. There's more information on the Beaulieu website - www.beaulieu.co.uk/events.
The Jaguar Range Rover family of easily recognised vehicles include the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque. Between them, they have transformed the fortunes of the UK's largest vehicle manufacturer. Now, a new model as joined the impressive line-up, the Velar. And in a real boost for the under pressure British car industry, the company confirmed that the Velar will be built exclusively at its flagship Solihull plant in the West Midlands. Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, said: "The expansion of our product range and building this British designed and engineered car in the UK is a sign of our confidence in British manufacturing. We are leading the global premium car industry with our commitment to our home market and our heart, soul and headquarters will always be in the UK." Jaguar Land Rover accounts for 85 per cent of all premium cars produced in Britain and contributes £10bn to the UK economy every year. Last year, they sold 583,313 cars - more than one every minute, 44 per cent of which were Range Rovers. Production of the Jaguar Land Rover models in the UK supports more than 40,000 British jobs and there are a further 250,000 jobs working within the supply chain.
Jaguar Land Rover has set a new record in 2016, producing 1,727,471 vehicles. It means that they are the largest automotive manufacturer in Britain, accounting for more than 30% of all domestic car production last year. This underlines the improvement from the car manufacturer since 2009, when their total annual production was 158,000 units. Andy Goss, Jaguar Land Rover Global Sales Director said: "Jaguar Land Rover has once again shown that investment in new models, skills and advanced technology are critically important to ensure Britain has a thriving automotive industry - even in the face of current uncertainty. "To be the UK's largest automotive business once again is a tremendous achievement. We are proud to call ourselves a British company and are committed to ensuring manufacturing remains the backbone of the British economy."
Vauxhall has released the first pictures of its all-new Insignia Grand Sport. Following on from the previous generation, which won the European Car of the Year in 2009, and sold over 30,000 in the UK last year, the Insignia Grand Sport is based on a completely new vehicle architecture. It is also the first Vauxhall with an active aluminium bonnet, improving pedestrian protection considerably. "Vauxhall is raising its game even further with the launch of the new Insignia Grand Sport," said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall's Chairman and Managing Director. "It has all of the virtues of its successful smaller brother the Astra, and takes those to a higher level. The Insignia Grand Sport will set new standards for design, efficiency, technology and connectivity when it debuts next year at the Geneva Motor Show."
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