Plastic Mini Countryman at real size

There is a new battle in automotive industry and it is between small sized SUVs. A decade ago small sized SUV was something totally ridiculous and pointless, one decade ago we were not able to able to do no more than talking from our mobile phone and now we can do nearly everything. Nobody would ever predicted this kind of huge change in mobile phone technology. Like SUV market, nowadays nobody wants to buy an SUV for off road, they just want to buy it because you can park on pavement, no problem while snowing, it is easier to get in and bigger boot.
The definition of car totally changed by the SUVs. They are the iPods of automotive industry, once they appeared nothing remained the same. However SUV trend became more complicated and a bit boring. Any company which is able to assemble four wheels and one engine is offering an SUV. And they are becoming smaller every year, BMW X3 was suppose to be the smallest SUV but now it is a kind of mid-sized model.
When the size reaches Mini, Mini will in business! That’s only car which is big and Mini. Honestly, I don’t like Mini that much. The technology underneath the car is excellent, very cleverly made and very well engineered. But there are some problems like spotting too many, ridiculously high priced, people who are driving them is another issue. The iconic Mini turn into I made money and I wanted to buy something expensive thing, and anyone who has enough money to buy Mini immediately bought one. Mini became a symbol of wealth but this erodes its spirit. Instead of Mini, I would definitely go for Alfa Romeo MiTo or Fiat 500. I know they are not as good as Mini but I don’t want to be labelled by Mini!
Anyway, let’s forget my emotions about Mini and discuss about the huge Mini, Countryman. Today in Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham I spotted this new SUV. But it was fake, partial. Tyres were real and the rest was plastic. They placed lcd screen on windows and showing people. Those people are the ones who recorded their face during the event. I really don’t know the details, I am not that kind of person. This new Mini actually looks better than a normal Mini and probably more convenient than the normal one. It is more spacious, easier to get in, bigger boot, optional four wheel drive. That will be line between poor Mini Countryman owners and rich Countryman owners :) In general a good car which has a huge potential to fail.
Fail? Yes! Mini made a huge success when it was first revealed and sustained it for nearly one decade but as the product range extended the success did not extended that well. The Clubman which is a four door hatchback did not manage to achieve the same sales performance because that’s a big weird car and a bit further away from the Mini concept. Does this stop BMW to extend the range? Of course Nein! As the BMW loves to extend everything to its limits, they introduced the Countryman. Of course many snob people will buy this car and they will defend its character and etc. But Countryman has a very big competitor! This competitors boots as big as a Mini! And it is called Range Rover.
Range Rover Evoque, the new small SUV on market which will be available next year with Range Rover brand! As BMW knew this thing they rushed and introduced the Mini Countryman earlier ;) So they could eat the market before Range Rover arrives. However Mini may not compete with Range Rover like it compete with other small cars. Even though the Mini is a premium brand, Range Rover is the king brand! Unfortunately Mini never made the same impression like Range Rover.
Just, try with someone. Say Mini and say Range Rover and observe the facial differences. Unfortunately Range Rover means luxury, status, heritage and expensive! Mini also means similar thing but in a small scope. People bought Mini, because it was something different, interesting and part of popular cultures. But they buy Range Rover because it is comfortable, good off roader, exquisitely designed. And Range Rover brand is associated with these attributes, therefore it will have an absolute advantage over on Mini Countryman and also on BMW X1. X1 is the small, ugly SUV from BMW.
Mini Countryman will not a be huge failure but it won’t be easy to sell customers when there is an alternative called Range Rover! Objectively consider yourself in that position, you probably wish to own a Range Rover instead of a Mini. The team in Bullring was great, I can say better than the Countryman :)
Pictures’ Copyrights
Mine, Mini, Land Rover


The New Ford Explorer: New taste like Olive Oil

Automotive industry is like a soap opera, their relationship is so complicated even the five thousand years old American show Young & Restless looks like a piece of cake. Ford and GM bought every car brand which was left alone and they were very close to be bankrupted. Now hopefully they started to recover and focus on their main brand which they forgot for two decades.
And now we have the new Ford Explorer, one decade ago it was one of the worst SUV was built on planet, may in solar system also. It was less reliable than Kia and I don’t know why one decade ago Ford Explorer had many problems. I guess at those times Ford was focused on buying European brands which were left from GM and forgot that they were making cars!
Let’s go back to new Ford Explorer, in my opinion that’s a very well made and quite nice looking SUV for American market not for Europe! When I read the press documents, I saw that Explorer will have 2,0lt EcoBoost engine which produces 240 horsepower! That’s awful (American expression)! This engine as awful as olive oil in your kitchen.
Olive oil is not very common in US, that’s normal because it is produced quite faraway from US. And people started to prefer olive oil more but still it is something new to Americans. Unfortunately it is a bit expensive also due to transportation costs :(
But don’t worry this new European 2,0lt awful engine is not like that :) Ford Explorer with 2,0lt EcoBoost engine is a like a olive oil bottle in McDonald’s kitchen. For last two thousand years in US market small engines were something really small and it was not something to prefer when you have the huge V8 engines. Hopefully Ford woke up and mated this new European engine with Explorer but this is not whole story.
Ford was the previous owner of Land Rover and in 2004 Land Rover introduced a new technology called Terrain Response. In basic terms, you look at the road in front and select similar icon on the know and car is reacting to this preferred road condition. This made off road driving very easy for normal people. Interestingly while they were selling Land Rover to Tata, some documents left actually some symbols left from Land Rover.
The new terrain management programme in Explorer has a know like Land Rover and it has the same symbols! I don’t criticize Ford, but come on why didn’t you replace the symbols with different ones. They are the same ones which were used in Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover! You have many design people in Ford, just tell them to design something different and that’s all.
The rest of the new Explorer is quite good, it has very European features like collision warning system, radar guided cruise control, inflatable seatbelts (this is new toy), LED lights, blind spot warnings and similar things which you can find in Ford Mondeo.
Ford did a really good job but I still won’t buy an Explorer, sorry the brand image still have some problems. I prefer Mondeo, if I have to have a Ford badge! I really looking forward to hear the feedbacks from European engine in US :)
And Sony is not making climate control systems, don’t be confused ;)
Pictures Copyrights;
Land Rover, Ford and Olive

Running after Range Rovers

Range Rover Evoque, the most sexy mini SUV on planet. Actually the other one is BMW X1 and as usual it is not that sexy! That’s diet version of BMW X3, like Diet Coke which nobody drinks except women. Actually Mini will reveal a mini SUV called Countryman not designed for country sides or people who love country music. Just an obese Mini nothing that special, just pump more air to your too much popular Mini and you will have a Countryman.
The Evoque is offering something totally different. Until now, prototype cars were spotted in middle of nowhere and Nürburgring, Germany. So if you wish to have flash forward for automotive future, you have to go to Germany or to a desert. Both of the options are not the feasible! And this makes practically impossible to see a car which is covered with straps.
But Land Rover turned impossible to possible. If you are living or planning to visit London, New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Sydney, Shanghai and Moscow; you will probably see one of the sexy strapped Range Rover Evoques. In press release document, it was mentioned that these prototypes will be included to testing. Really! In Milan? Sorry what are you going to test there, I can answer to this question. Land Rover will be testing the ability of Evoque’s boot to be filled with shopping bag of fashion designers. As you know that, even if you buy a micro sized item from those stores, they put into a box which is much bigger than your kitchen!
In New York, they would be comparing the ability getting away from American SUVs, average size of American SUVs are twice the size of a proper Range Rover. So you do the maths! In Paris, they will be testing the interior materials resistant to different meals. In Madrid, engineers will be escaping from angry bulls to test the acceleration ability of the vehicle, if they could survive.
London, the capital of finance! Best place to test how cool is Evoque! Probably they will hanging going around Mayfair and City to measure the attention from people among other vehicles. Moscow, the best place for testing cool weather resistance. If you spot a frozen Evoque, consider your decision again! Sao Paulo, probably engineers and Evoques will not return. Why? Have you ever watch Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show! I guess you found the answer. They will not return, will you return? Of course not! A Range Rover and future Victoria’s Secret models; nobody returns.
Berlin, I guess they will be testing velocity of maximum (maximum speed) in unlimited German autobahns. Sydney? I really don’t know what they will do there. It is too far but good area for testing heat and driving on endless roads. Shanghai, I think they should have sent more cars to China. They are the future market of automotive. Even if only one percentage of Chinese decide to buy an Evoque, it will more than whole world demand. And why there is no car designated for Istanbul? We have everything :) Endless traffic, city off road area like extreme steep hills (I don’t know how the normal cars climb there), stop and go traffic for long long long hours, lots of young potential ready to buy iPhone, Louis Vuitton and Range Rover, and engineers can have good time :)
Anyway, there is one important point in here. How we can find these Evoques? Running around London for whole day? In Sao Paulo, nobody will run after Evoque, believe me. These cars should be reporting their position via twitter. There is a website called Foursquare which allows you to post your exact GPS position into your twitter account. Actually I don’t know why I should report my position to people but many people are using this. With the help of this website and twitter, the exact positions of these vehicles can be sent to twitter and people can find these cars more easily. Also Land Rover can measure the attention more accurately. It is very basic stuff, you should use it.
Picture Copyrights;
Land Rover, BMW, Kitkette and Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

The best driving shoes on worst carpets !?!

Shoes, one of the biggest business on earth after iPhone! Both for men and women, it is important for completing your dress and change the way you look. Therefore, every brand is offering many different types of shoes and changing them every season. Except the Prada sneakers for men, they are the same for last two thousand years! And everyone knows that, if it was sold by a company cold Mrada, nobody would ever buy it. Let’s back to shoes.
Recently my favourite magaine GQ UK, announced top nine (I don’t know why nine not ten) driving shoes which you can buy on their website. For men only! Why? If they try to find driving shoes for ladies the list will be like this; ankle boots, ballet flats, boots, clog sandals, closed-toe slip-ons, combat boots, flip flops, high-heeled boots, high-heeled sandals, high-top sneakers, laced shoes, mules, platform pumps, platform sandals, pumps with open toe, sandals, shoe boots, slingbacks, slip-on sneakers, sneakers, wedges, beach sandals, espadrilles, round toe, point toe, peep toe (List is from and As you could see the list is more confusing than a working schema of a hydrogen car! Even the hundreds of fashion magazines cannot solve this problem on their every issue it is a good idea to decide which women shoes are best for driving.
As expected GQ UK focused men driving shoes which is more easier to pick. Actually six months ago they selected best driving shoes from Kurt Geiger with pink colour, this is a totally different issue :) This time nine different shoes are selected placed on nine different car carpets. However there was a small problem. The carpet and the shoes did not match.
If you have lots of money, if you will change your car and then change your shoes !?! I don’t know but for now, I consider it like this. The first shoes is from UK brand Bill Amberg and this is the first I heard this brand. I guess they thought, if you buy a blue Mini Cooper this shoes will match the colour of your car. And from the carpet we can see that clearly. And if you will not buy a blue Mini Cooper, don’t buy these.
The next one is from Kurt Geiger with ridiculous colour on Mercedes AMG carpet. So the GQ suggested that; if you buy a enormously powered Mercedes AMG like SL65 AMG, you have to buy these shoes! Try to buy something else.
Our next shoes is from Giorgio Armani on unknown carpet. My recommendation for these shoes is Lamborghini. As the Armani brand is always highlighted its logo on their every product and it becomes impossible to ignore it by everyone, so you have to be driving something which cannot be ignored by everyone. Buy a Lamborghini :)
Red Hugo Boss shoes on Chevrolet plastic carpet. Oh come on! Where did you find this carpet from the Hummer (Hummer was a brand of Chevrolet) which you rented for your birthday! This is the most combination GQ ever made on man history. From this pictures, I can only recommend one car. Red coloured Mercedes C Class Estate, not a sedan model a proper estate model.
Finally GQ matched the shoes with the car. Tod’s from Italy and carpet from German Porsche, great combination. Porsche 911 Turbo, nothing to say more.
Car Shoe from Italy but with Land Rover !?! From the colour the shoes, they should have tried Range Rover instead. At least it looks more sophisticated, any with this colour nothing looks sophisticated :)
Salvatore Ferragamo, the brand which I adore the most! I cannot even pronounce the brand properly, unless you are Italian you cannot pronounce it properly. And GQ put on Lexus carpet. Great creativity. There is one car for this brand Maserati. It can be Quattroporte or GranTurismo, no problem. But not a Lexus which is advertising its faulty recalls on websites.
Gucci and Jaguar, great coupling. White Gucci shoes with Jaguar. I think there is no problem with this combination until the time white Guccis turn into white gray black Gucci.
And lastly and the worst combination. Paul Smith and Chevrolet !?! Come on, again the Hummer carpet. How did you emerge this emotional relationship with the Hummer !?! Paul Smith is a great brand with excellent and clever creativity on their products, okay this time it is not that good looking with this colour. But it still deserve to be coupled with an Aston Martin, instead of Chevrolet something!
Pictures Copyrights;
GQ Magazine, Aston Martin, Mini, Land Rover, Jaguar, Maserati, Mercedes, Lamborghini and Net-A-Porter


Push-up bra for Range Rover

Range Rover again, nowadays it became the most popular car brand on earth. With the help of Evoque, all media gave a respectful space for Range Rover. However they have missed something. While media was busy with Evoque, Range Rover also announced the revised Range Rover for next year.
They are improvements on interior quality, revised electronic, increased luxury and comfort and etc. Also they replaced their 3,6lt V8 diesel engine with 4,4lt V8 diesel engine! Yes, while everyone is downsizing Land Rover decided to upsizing. I don’t know is there a word existing as upsizing. But Land Rover did something really good!
When I first drove the Range Rover 3,6lt diesel, I felt the lack of second turbo. Firstly turbo is the most important thing for diesel engine. Without turbo, diesel means nothing! And if you have a huge car and huge engine, you should have twin turbo to keep car moving seamlessly. But the previous engine did not have the second turbo and it was a bit annoying. I told this many times, even in here. And I think Land Rover understood my emotions about the second turbo.
And now, Range Rover has its push-up bra, twin turbo powered engine. This new 4,4lt diesel engine has two turbo and this means, it will be moving unbelievably fast for something which is less heavier than the moon. It has 310 horsepower and 700 nm torque. 700 nm torque means, it is too much for any type of passenger vehicle :) Also Range Rover is coupled with new 8 speed auto transmission and rotary gear knob which was made to reduce costs and share parts with Jaguar.
Last time, I drove the Range Rover the traction control was letting too much wheel spin which was not happening with Mercedes M Class. As far as I see from their press release, the revised traction system is more emotional and will not tolerate too much wheel spin. The last thing which annoyed me with Range Rover was the nose diving while braking. This was mentioned by many people due to heavy engine. Unless the chassis is revised, this problem cannot be removed. Anyway who really cares :) Now Range Rover is powered by push-up turbo diesel engine.
I really like everything except the front bumper, as Clarkson mentioned this new face lifted Range Rover is not as good looking as the pre face lifted model. I totally agree with him. This new front is not that good! Anyway, if you have lots of money buy one and try it :)
Pictures are taken from;
Agent Provocateur and Land Rover Websites

The new Range Rover: Evoque

Today we watched the launch of Range Rover Evoque formerly known as LRX. This is the new member of Range Rover family after Range Rover Sport. The launch of the Evoque was really magnificent, I really wish to be in Kensington Palace to see live. It was an excellent event, actually it was one of the best ones. I can say this clearly! Even though I watched the launch from web cast, I can understand that Land Rover paid very high attention. Instead of revealing it in motor shows, they made something totally unforgetabel. I really asked myself why I am not there and watching this from my computer’s screen. This is like watching the fashion show from TV or watching the world cup from TV. The feeling is the same!
Main theme of this event was the Evoque, when I make a reverse engineering to Evoque, I found out that it is evolved from Vogue and added E to represent electricity and g is replaced with q to pronounce it easier :)  Evoque will be the a competitor for BMW X1 and also Mini Countryman. I  don’t know anything about Audi Q1 or Mercedes small SUV model like MLK! Most probably they will introduce those model unless it won’t be rational for German brands.
As far as I understood from the speech, Evoque’s interior will not be made from blocks of plastic. If you ever seen the first Range Rover Sport, you can understand my concerns. It was totally covered with plastic, one step better than Discovery 3 and very far from Range Rover. If Land Rover will use plastic like old days or like they did it in Freelander, they should forget any unbelievable demand from customers. Because, they will immediately jump into Mini Countryman or BMW X1! Land Rover must forget the material plastic from interior. If it is Range Rover labelled, it should be a like a Range Rover. OK, I am not expecting the same luxury but please be reasonable, huge plastic buttons are not cool and you customer target is not polar bears!
Exterior design is beyond any Land Rover or Range Rover vehicle. I really don’t like three door SUVs but this one looks amazing! I would buy a four wheel drive model. I said four wheel drive model, because it will be optional! As the world has changed, Land Rover also changed and four wheel will not be standard on this car. If you want to drive without any problem during winter, you have to four wheel drive model. Actually buying a Land Rover or Range Rover with four wheel drive is like buying boots without their ropes! I am sure many people will buy the front wheel drive model but I won’t and you shouldn’t also. That’s a Range Rover, pay more, save more and buy four wheel drive model! Don’t buy iPhone and iPad and you will save enough money.
Everything was great with the event until Victoria Beckham. Yes, that’s the moment I became totally disappointed. When he was talking about designer, I was expecting to hear Nicole Farhi or Vivienne Westwood! Or Paul Smith or John Galliano or Tom Ford or Alexander McQueen or Thomas Pink! But not Victoria. I don’t have a problem with her but please be reasonable Range Rover is forty years old brand and you hired a popular culture designer !?! Sorry but, this is totally a wrong decision and it is too late. What will you offer next? Range Rover Victoria with animal print interior completed with diamonds? UK has many exquisite fashion designers. They are the best one on their league and also they are very respectful like a Range Rover! Actually I have never seen Nicole Farhi or Paul Smith on The Sun. No Comment!
My advice to Porsche, work with Karl Lagerfeld in your new SUV. Yes, you will have offer a small SUV! Everyone knows this. Karl Lagerfeld will be the best celebrity endorsement for your brand. And Maserati should be with Valentino, Rolls Royce can match beautifully with John Galliano.

Pictures are taken from;
BMW and Land Rover Flickr Websites

Range Rover LRX Live

Land Rover will be making announcement live on internet for their new SUV, Range Rover LRX. Announcement will be live at 8:30 PM (UK Time).


Turn the knob, feel the difference: Range Rover

Range Rover is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Since it was introduced the market, it became a benchmark for luxury off road vehicle. Every new Range Rover offered new technologies to market and also a new page for luxury. Actually Range Rover is popular for its luxury and it design. Even though the current model was introduced in 2002, it is still one of the best looking SUV on market.
However the German competitors did not watch while Range Rover was getting stronger with each new model and they introduced SUVs to compete with it. Of course, they could not create the same impact but Range Rover’s market share was eroded.
Especially with new Touareg, Range Rover became less sophisticated. VW put every kind of technology into Touareg and new Porsche Cayenne. I know that they cannot manage the same performance in off road conditions like Range Rover but they are not bad anymore. However they are not Range Rover! This is one of the key element of Range Rover, its brand. Without that brand, they cannot sustain their market against Germans.
Recently Range Rover made some changes in interior and in engines. Now it will be offering a new 4,4lt V8 diesel engine, I hope this will be lighter than the 3,6lt V8 diesel which was contributing the car to dive every time you brake. And new eight speed auto transmission for better fuel economy
These are the normal news for automotive but the interesting point development is the pointless gear knob. They replaced the gear lever with Jaguar’s gear knob to create a more luxury environment and turn many drivers crazy! Because, when you drive your three tonne Range Rover off road, sometime you have trouble to go forward. That’s normal with this weight, therefore you need to go forward and backward simultaneously to avoid unwanted incidents. In order to do this you need to select reverse and drive quickly. And this is easy with gear lever! However with this new luxury knob, I have no idea what will happen, when you have to go forward and backward in off road. Probably many drivers will complain as they cannot have same feedback like gear lever.
From different perspective; Samsonite replaced its sophisticated locking technology with zipper without any reason! For many years, it was very easy to close your Samsonite luggage. Now they thought that, it was not good enough let’s annoy people and replaced with zippers! Now it is totally disaster to closing a Samsonite luggage through zippers and I never heard anyone who liked this thing. I guess they wanted to create better looking luggage by ruining its practicality.
This is the same with Range Rover, they want create a more luxury atmosphere by destroying the most practice thing!
Pictures are taken from;
Land Rover and Samsonite Websites

Two foreigners in forbidden city, Jaguar & Land Rover

In 2008, Ford started to sell everything under its brand. Land Rover and Jaguar were one of the toughest sales at that time. As the Land Rover was very profitable, Jaguar was losing blood all the time and no body was looking forward to buy Jaguar! However, Ford packages them together as a promotion and whoever buys Land Rover was going to have Jaguar free!
At the same time, Tata was looking for automotive brands to expands its automotive division. However they were reluctant to buy Jaguar as you can imagine the reason! Tata decided to buy Jaguar and Land Rover after they see the potential demand on Jaguar XF model which was introduced  before the deal.
Now, Tata decided to move Land Rover and Jaguar production plants to China. And it will be the second foreign brand to be built in China after Volvo. However, unlike in any other business product of origin play significant role in luxury automotive industry. And mainly Land Rover was using this as an important asset to compete with Germans. After this decision, Land Rover and Jaguar’s reputation might be adversely affected. Also in Chinese market, it may not receive the same demand as the brands are produced in China!
It is a very complicated decision to make. And I can see why Tata is trying to move it production plant outside of UK, but they should focus on East European countries to minimize the damage on product of origin. Producing Land Rover and Jaguar in China and selling to China may not have the same impact as exporting from UK.
Pictures are taken from;
Land Rover, Jaguar Websites

Land Rover Discovery 4 or 3,5 ?

Land Rover Discovery is one of the most iconic off roaders on market. GQ Magazine even placed Discovery 4 as the 83th best thing in the world. Yes, Discovery 4! Like most of the people, you think that Discovery 4 is a new model but no! That’s a facelifted Discovery 3, actually Discovery 3,5 is a better definition.

When Discovery 3 was introduced in 2004 and like other cars, its product life cycle was seven years. In 2011 we expect to see “real” Discovery 4. But they changed their mind and introduced the facelifted Discovery 3 as Discovery 4. This confusing branding tactic definitely confused the customers. Because, a new number means this vehicle is something new and previous is old. However, the case is different with Discovery. Discovery 3 was a very good off road and invaded by heavy plastic interior, despite its off roading ability it does not able to offer any comfort for that price tag and everywhere inside the car is mostly covered with plastic. This is not something good, if you are trying to sell your vehicle as premium off roader! So, Land Rover people revised the vehicle, introduced new engines, new interior and more option and to create more impression they also introduced a new name.
People will perceive this a new Discovery and when they notice the Discovery 3, they will be confused and they will ring the dealers and ask millions of questions. What I am curious about is; what will happen in 2011? Will Land Rover introduce Discovery 5 or Discovery 4,5 or New Discovery Forget the Rest model!
Discovery 3 had to have a heavy facelift but it was not that desperate to have a new name. Facelift the vehicle, focus on marketing and don’t confuse people. In automotive business, renaming a very good product is the last option and most of the manufacturers don’t try to do this, unless it is inevitable. In the end, Land Rover will be confused to new name in 2011!

This is the Discovery 3!

Picture are from;
Land Rover Mediasite