During the Jaguar Land Rover Event, I had opportunity to explore the legendary Land Rover Defender. My experience was all about the car, not just driving or off road. For many years, I was trying to get inside one of these cars and I had to wait for quite long time. Defender is not that easy to spot nowadays, they are not placed in every dealer. So, you either run after to see one or wait until to see one. I preferred the second one! Hopefully, I didn’t wait for that long, like a graduate trainee waiting to buy a Louis Vuitton bag! Land Rover PR team provided the Defender during the event and explored this oldie.
Unfortunately, there is no ergonomics inside the Defender. Everything is designed for its purpose and you are supposed to adjust your body for adapting to vehicle. This starts from the entering to Defender, you should be really careful and know how to get inside, otherwise you may hit your head. The gear lever is huge long plastic, the clutch is really heavy, the steering is the same, hand brake is placed really low, the engine sound can be felt inside your stomach, indicator switch is really outdated, windscreen heater’s plug is front of you (You may unplug it by yourself), dials and switches are designed to last forever but with sense of comfort.
In general, Defender is the last car you should buy if you are planning to drive it inside a city. It will be a really headache for you but all of these criticisms I made is there for a reason! This car is designed to cope with the toughest terrains on earth. All of these ugly and outdated switched can run and work under artic cold to desert hot and at same time you can be driving to your destination. This car is really unique piece automotive engineering and it is sad to see that product lifecycle is coming to end!
As I promised, I am writing about the cars from the Jaguar Land Rover event. And I would like to start with Jaguar XKR-S. XKR-S is the lunatic version of the Jaguar XK! The extra two letters R-S may not seem like a big difference but these two words make the difference between day and night.
XK is a very nice GT car, you can drive for long journeys. It will always responses to your demands, everything is nicely packed, good handling and you know the rest. However, the XKR-S does the same things but in a more lunatic way. Because, it has a supercharged 5-lt petrol engine produces 550 PS of power and 680 nm of torque. And it is only 1,7 tonnes! With more basic words, this car accelerates and drives like crazy! Even if you are passenger, you can feel the power of the acceleration momentum in your whole body. Also, this car never shifts up the gears until you wish. In manual mode, gears not shifted automatically and sticks to desired one!
When I first saw this car, I never expected this level of engagement with the driver and exposure of power. It looks a bit over styled by the spoiler and a bit funny looking air intakes. You may be thinking, this car is just an over styled version of normal XK. But this is totally wrong! These entire design bits precisely explain the lunatic character of the car. Nothing is exaggerated, actually what you see is nothing.
And it is not limited with the engine, the gearbox, steering wheel, suspension. Everything is so well design, works with harmony with each other. It may not be as accurate as a Porsche 911, or delivers the Formula 1 technology like Ferrari. But, it is definitely a car that can blow you mind off. The engine is so powerful that you need to train your foot to avoid spinning the wheels even the traction is on. This is the only car that you should drive it in winter mode in daily basis, still winter mode does not make this car a domestic pet; it is still a lion!
The surprising thing with XKR-S is the engagement of the car with the driver. This is a real driver’s car and you would love to drive more and more. It may not look like an Aston Martin but it is way better than an Aston Martin.
In my opinion for this price tag, you cannot get something better! Of course, there are some minor issues with the car. The navigation screen is slow acting and blur, they have to replace the screen with a better resolution one. And the electric windows’ control buttons look cheap for this car. However, you won’t be interested on these thing while you driving.
Last week I have attended the Jaguar Land Rover’s PR event and guess who I met? Kim Lawrence Palmer (Senior Press Office at Land Rover), one of the team members of Journey of Discovery from Birmingham to Beijing, however he attended to stage where they visited Chernobyl!
We talked about the Chernobyl, what he saw, how he felt and details of the journey. Probably I will never have chance to meet with someone who visited the Chernobyl.
And thank you very much Kim to take time for the interview during the tight schedule.
Here is the interview!
Journey of Discovery is a fund raising project and here is the information.
The Journey of Discovery expedition aims to raise £1,000,000 (GBP) for Land Rover’s Global Humanitarian Partner, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The money will be used to support a much needed water sanitation project in Uganda(www.landrover.com/million).
Last week I had chance to attend Jaguar Land Rover’s press event to see their vehicle range. I previously heard about this event but, never had chance to attend. Hopefully, last week I managed it!
It started quite well from beginning, while I was walking down to the event I saw the camouflaged new Range Rover. Unfortunately, I was sleepy and not prepared to take a photo. Anyway, there were 24 different Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles. They provided different engine sizes in the whole range. Some of the engine option may not be seen on the streets! Such as Range Rover Supercharged! People prefer to buy diesel, instead of this petrol burner.
Being in a place with lots of cars is like being a chocolate factory when you are kid! I arrived to event as early as possible to avoid any congestion, like a kid runs to chocolate factory. And hopefully it wasn’t that crowded.
I will be writing more about the event and the car in following posts!
And I would like to thank all Land Rover and Jaguar PR team for their great hospitality.
Here is the list of the vehicles. Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery 4, Land Rover Defender, and Jaguar XF, XK, XKR, XKR-S, XJ, XJ L.
Next time, I will take better videos and more detailed photos.
Yesterday I attended to Jaguar Land Rover’s PR Event. I had the opportunity to experience with various Jaguar and Land Rover models. However, and the most important moment was meeting up with Technical PR Manager of Land Rover, Roger Crathorne (as known as Mr. Land Rover). Roger has been working in Land Rover for 49 years; he started from the junior level and worked in different positions in Land Rover during the years. His nearly half a century of experiences made him the most experienced off-road specialist and engineer in the business. All those years, he worked as engineer for the first generation Range Rover, and developed the four-wheel drive system, transmission and drive train. Later on he was involved with the Discovery project and also took important roles during the development.
He has a well-respected experience and knowledge on four-wheel drive vehicles and currently works at PR department to explain the Land Rover’s technologies to us. You will find more details during the interview. We talked about why Land Rover never introduced front differential lock, the details of the journey from Birmingham to Geneva with the first generation Defender and 1.000.000th Discovery 4, how he perceives the contemporary SUV market and experience at Land Rover. We didn’t skip the Mercedes G-Wagon, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X6!