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Land Rover Barges into Paris with New Discovery Sport

The start of a new family.

by on Oct.01, 2014

The new Land Rover Discovery Sport goes off-roading -- on the River Seine -- for a Paris preview.

Most automakers are content to reveal their new products with the help of a few spotlights, a little music, perhaps even a couple acrobats and entertainers. But Land Rover literally barged in for the 2014 Paris Motor Show, staging a splashy media preview on a Seine riverboat.

One can understand the British maker’s enthusiasm. Land Rover has been gaining significant momentum in recent years with the launch of a series of new products for its Range Rover sub-brand. Now, it’s turning its attention to the Discovery nameplate, and the all-new Discovery Sport model debuting in Paris will become the first in a family of models that will serve as Land Rover’s mid-range line-up.

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“We’re looking to how we can stretch the brand,” explained Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern, stressing that “This is very much a product-led transformation of our business. We’re looking not only to replace existing vehicles but how we can fill the white space” between those older Land Rover models.


Jaguar Downsizes Engine Line-Up

Adds first U.S. 4-cylinder, and a supercharged V-6 for big XJ.

by on Jun.29, 2012

The 2013 Jaguar XJ will swap its 5.0-liter V-8 for a supercharged V-6.

Bigger is better, or so the traditional logic has gone when it comes to the luxury market – and especially powertrain options.  But facing tough new emissions and mileage mandates – and shifting consumer demand – manufacturers like Jaguar are downsizing both their vehicle lines and their engine offerings.

The British marque has revealed plans to offer its first-ever inline-four in the U.S. market for 2013.  And the coming model-year will also see Jaguar replace the 5.0-liter V-8 in its XJ flagship with a new supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.

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Among other powertrain news for 2013, the British luxury marque will introduce a new 8-speed automatic and will add Stop/Start technology.  The latter feature – already being offered by such high-line brands as Porsche and BMW – automatically shuts off the engine when idling, say, at a stop light. The engine instantly fires back up when the driver’s foot lifts off the brake.


Volkswagen Up! Named World Car of the Year

Range Rover, Porsche, Mercedes products also honored.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Lead designer Oliver Stefani olds the World Car of the Year award for the Volkswagen Up!

The pint-sized Volkswagen Up! has nabbed a big honor, winning the sought-after World Car of the Year trophy during a morning session at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

The victory took many observers by surprise, especially considering the minicar was going up for the award against the widely-hailed and more universally available updates of the BMW 3-Series and Porsche 911.

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“Our goal was always to make something small great,” said Olivier Stefani, the lead designer on the Up! program, which has become one of the centerpieces of VW’s push to go green – in many ways serving as the modern-day alternative to the legendary Volkswagen Beetle.