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Land Rover Launches Partnership with Virgin Galactic

British maker is first “global partner” of manned space company.

by on Apr.15, 2014

A mock-up of the Virgin Galactic Enterprise makes its NY debut alongside the new Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept.

Land Rover has lined up a new partnership that might be described as out-of-this-world, pairing the British SUV manufacturer with fledgling manned space company Virgin Galactic.

Part of British mega-entrepreneur Richard Branson’s empire – which runs from music to airlines – Virgin Galactic plans to launch a test flight of its manned spacecraft, dubbed the Enterprise, later this year and launch commercial flights soon after.  The “long-term” partnership will begin with Land Rover providing vehicles for use at the new Spaceport America in New Mexico.

High Flying!

“This is a huge, momentous occasion,” proclaimed Phil Popham, Land Rover’s Global Operations Director, during a ceremony aboard the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier that is anchored off Manhattan – and where a replica of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft was positioned next to the Discovery Vision Concept vehicle the British maker will officially unveil at the New York Auto Show this week.


Is New Range Rover the Last of Another Era?

Is a downsized version in the works?

by on Sep.27, 2012

The 2013 Range Rover makes a splashy entrance at the Paris Motor Show.

The world is rapidly changing for automakers and nowhere is that more obvious than in the once-huge SUV segment.  Sales peaked at more than 3 million in the U.S. a decade or so back and have been sliding ever since.  Only a handful of models continue to exist in the classic, truck-based SUV segment.  But don’t think utes are going away.

Certainly not the range-topping Range Rover which is making its formal public debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show.  The flagship of the British Land Rover, the fourth-generation Range Rover nonetheless has adapted to rapidly changing market realities.  Among other things, it’s nearly a half-ton lighter than the outgoing model and by next year buyers in many markets will be able to order one with an all-new plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

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Nonetheless, Land Rover is eyeing big changes – especially in the wake of the successful launch of its Range Rover Evoque last year.  The maker’s first crossover-based model is now its biggest seller, outperforming even the most optimistic expectations for the downsized CUV.


Range Rover Spices it Up with Evoque Victoria Beckham Edition

"I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want."

by on Apr.23, 2012

Spice Girls need wheels, too, it seems.

“Tell me what you want, what you really, really want,” sang former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham before she signed on as a spokes-celebrity for Land Rover.  And now, apparently, she’s ready to answer her own question.

Or, more accurately, Land Rover is, the maker revealing the new Evoque Victoria Beckham Edition during a preview ahead of the opening of the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.

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The Land Rover Evoque has been a home run for the British maker.  And it credits the range of customizable options offered on its first-over crossover-utility vehicle.  That carries over to the model formally being dubbed the Range Rover Evoque Special Edition with Victoria Beckham.  We’ll call it the Spice Girl edition, if you’ll allow us to save digital “ink.”


Land Rover Bringing all-New Defender Concept to Frankfurt Motor Show

“A vision” of the British brand for the 21st Century.

by on Aug.11, 2011

The reveal of the new Land Rover Defender follows the launch of the British maker's all-new Range Rover Evoque.

(c) 2011

Land Rover will pull the wraps off a concept version of its big Defender model at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, with the maker’s top designer telling that it will provide not just “a vision” of what the next-generation SUV will look like but where Land Rover itself is going in the years ahead.

Aiming to navigate rapidly shifting global trends – and increasingly stringent mileage, emissions and safety regulations – Land Rover is trying to reinvent itself.  The first sign of where the brand is going came with the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque, the production version of the LRX concept first seen at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2008.

One place the next-generation Defender is set to go is the United States.  The model, which has been unavailable in the States since 1999, should stage a return in the next few years, Land Rover officials promised.  What remains to be seen is whether it will also make its return with the new U.S.-certified diesel the British maker confirms it is developing.

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The Evoque, just now rolling off the assembly line, is a downsized, more fuel-efficient version of the classic Ranger Rover, and the first-ever crossover from the brand that, for many, defines SUV.  The Defender concept coming to Frankfurt aims to blend some of the Evoque’s new styling cues while emphasizing that Land Rover isn’t abandoning the classic sport-ute.

It will be “a vision of what the Defender of the 21st Century would be,” said Gerry McGovern, the oft-outspoken former Ford designer who now heads styling operations at Land Rover.