Land Rover

Gallery Feature | Fifty Shades of (automotive) Grey

Over 17% of new car buyers picked grey last year, and it’s now the third most popular tone in the UK. But how many different types of grey can there really be? Quite a lot, actually.

50 Shades of Grey

For reference ESM’s Editor has never actually seen Fifty Shades of Grey, or read any of the books. However, he surmises that the plot revolves around a man who treats his interior designer quite badly, whilst she struggles to pick the right grey tones for his house. Plus, the lead character insists on one room painted red, in a tribute to Changing Rooms from the 1990s. Beyond that, who knows what happens, other than inspiring us to seek out fifty shades of grey paint offered on new cars.

We’ve taken these directly from the configurator websites for the respective manufacturer. As a result, the quality of some images is not the best. In the case of Skoda, it’s truly dreadful; like 8-bit Nintendo retro. We’ve tried to accommodate as many different brands as possible, but other greys are available. We’re also not sure how some of these can even be classed as grey in the first place.

Shades 1 to 10

Tasting Notes: (more…)

Friday Video – Land Rover London Takeover

Thanks, Land Rover. The end of Defender production as we know it had already brought a tear to our eye, and then you go and drop this wonderful film on the world. 

Land Rover Defender 2m

To promote the auction of the special 2,000,000th Defender at Bonhams next week, Land Rover has created this beautiful short video jam-packed with numerous Easter Eggs and knowing winks. The Lode Lane Gazette, “90 Solihull” as the bus number, even the Wilks-Bros. Bakery – established in 1948 – we know what you’re doing, and you’re making us sad! Watch for yourself and see how many Land Rover nods to history you can spot. Five points if you get the Huey reference:

It’s a brilliant celebration of an iconic vehicle, and one that will cause some emotion for anyone who has experienced owning, or just driving, a Defender/Series Land Rover. For ESM’s Editor, a Defender 90 was the car they first learnt to drive in. Despite hating it at first, it’s a car they now treasure. There are countless other stories like that, which shows just how much the Defender and its predecessors have played an important part in so many lives.

If you want to own ‘Defender 2,000,000’ you’ll need to get yourself along to Bonhams, at New Bond Street, on Wednesday 16th December. Just remember it’ll most probably still leak, it’ll undoubtedly rust, and you’ll still smack your elbow on the window when twirling the steering wheel. But that’s all just part of the charm. Plus the proceeds are going to charity, so you can feel good about that as well.

Anyway, we need to go as there’s something in our eye, honest…

News – Special 2,000,000th Edition Land Rover Defender

In case you didn’t know, Land Rover will end production of the iconic Defender model in its existing format this year. With roots stretching back some 67 years, they’re hardly keeping quiet about it in Solihull.

2015 Land Rover Defender 2M Edition 001Since production began back in 1948, Land Rover has managed to knock together some two million examples of the all-conquering Series/Defender vehicle. That covers everything from the primordial Series I, through to the modern-day Defender. Things have changed quite a bit in those several decades, with the Land Rover moving from agricultural farm vehicle to slightly less agricultural urban object.

To commemorate this, Land Rover has decided to auction off this special 2,000,000th Edition Defender, with money raised to go to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the Born Free Foundation. A variety of celebrities, adventurers and charity workers were invited to help build the 2m Defender, including Bear Grylls. He seemingly managed to avoid drinking his own urine for long enough to fit the rather lovely Santorini Black alloy wheels to the Defender.

Friday Photo – Geneva 2015 | Orange is the new … blue?

Earlier in the week, the doors opened at the PalExpo centre for the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. EngageSportMode spent a hugely enjoyable day helping the guys at Motoring Research with their live blog on Tuesday. If you haven’t seen the live blog already, go grab a Toblerone and experience it now. Then come back and see why we spotted a new emerging trend on Tuesday: that everything was orange. 

2015 Geneva Porsche 911 GT3 RSObviously, EngageSportMode wouldn’t want to take credit for manufacturers deciding that orange is the colour to be seen in this season. It’s clearly just a coincidence. No, we’ll just be smug about it and present you with a gallery of the cars on display at Geneva that were carrot-coloured. Art-geek point: on the colour wheel, orange is opposite blue – which was, of course, the colour of everything at Geneva last year. Anyway, here are the pics:

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There you go. Unequivocal proof that orange is the colour for this season. Just note that EngageSportMode takes no liability for horrendous depreciation if you order anything in a satsuma-esque shade. It’s your call!

We’ve had an amazing week with Geneva, and we’ll be bringing more in-depth details of the big show stars soon.

Friday Photo – The Geneva 2015 ‘known knowns’ Gallery

A few years ago, Donald Rumsfeld made an infamous speech talking about things we know, and don’t know about. Ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next week, we’ve got a gallery covering the new cars we already know will be there. That’s mainly because the manufacturers have already spoilt the surprise by showing them to us. 

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of activity from automakers across the world, as they’ve revealed and announced all-new cars to be shown off at the Swiss show. Here’s a few of the ones we’ve already seen:

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Naturally, these are just a few of the highlights – there’ll be much more to see.  Of course, there’s also another category of cars – the ‘known unknowns’ – which includes ones we know will most probably be there, but don’t know the full details on. Like the Honda Civic Type R and the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS ; although so much information on the latter has been leaked, it might as well be a ‘known known’ now. But there are others, such as the expected Lamborghini Aventador SV and a mystery Bentley concept car. (more…)

Friday Photo – End of the Defender

There aren’t many vehicles left in the world that have been in continuous production as long as the Land Rover Defender, and especially not where it’s roots can be traced back over 60 + years. But, come December 2015, the iconic Defender will be no more.

2015 Land Rover Defender 001Iconic is probably a word which gets bandied about far too easily but, in the case of the Defender, is pretty deserved. The fact it can be identified so easily with just a simple line drawing probably shows just how recognisable it’s become. Made at Red Wharf Bay near Anglesey, the 1 km sized sketch was made on the same stretch of beach where the idea for the original Series Land Rover was made.

2015 Land Rover Defender 002To commemorate the end of current Defender production, Land Rover has launched three special edition Defender models, costing from £27,800 to an eye-watering £61,185! The latter being quite far removed from the workhorse idea of the original Land Rover! We’ll cover the three special editions in more detail next week, but for now let’s just celebrate a rather epic drawing. Oh, and it was made with Land Rovers, of course:

Range Rover Sport SVR Drifting

Whilst many people are probably already enjoying the start to the festive holiday season, not everyone is quite so lucky. So, to help you get through the last Monday before Christmas, here’s a video from Land Rover showing the Range Rover Sport SVR drifting in slow motion.

There’s something almost slightly wrong about the idea of a Range Rover demonstrating oversteer ability on a racetrack, yet the above shows the SVR clearly can do sideways. It’s worth noting that a) Rockingham circuit, where this video was filmed, is an immensely slippery track at the best of times, and b) behind the wheel of the SVR is Mike Cross; Chief Vehicle Engineer for Jaguar Land Rover, and rather capable behind the wheel.

This probably shows how Jaguar Land Rover managed to set a lap record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife earlier in the year.  Oh, and that 534 bhp supercharged V8 engine sounds rather good too, doesn’t it?

Research proves footballers to be refreshingly predictable

Oracle Finance; you’ll know them if you’ve ever searched for a high-end car on AutoTrader and found their non-ads clogging up the listings, have published details of the most popular car choices from its footballing clients.


Based on the last five years of data, the numbers represent the most popular cars financed by footballers through Oracle’s services. Predictably, in the same week we’ve covered the new Range Rover Sport SVR and its questionable image, there’s no shocks at the top:

1st – Range Rover
2014 Range Rover
Anybody that surprised? No, didn’t think so.

2nd – Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
Yeah, this survey seems pretty accurate already.


New – Range Rover Sport SVR

The Range Rover Sport often gets a hard time from the automotive press, and general public, due to its image. Does this quickest iteration – and most powerful Land Rover ever –  do anything to change the situation? We say yes.2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 001

Place your prejudices aside for a moment, and take in the engineering detail Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations team has had to go into with the SVR. This is a vehicle that can lap the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 8 minutes 14 seconds, wade through 850 mm deep water and tow 3,000 kg. That’s not an easy brief to fill and still come up with an everyday, usable, vehicle at the other end.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 002

Set to make its global debut at Pebble Beach Automotive Week on Thursday, the Range Rover Sport SVR marks a key point in Jaguar Land Rover’s sporting aspirations across both brands. Being the first car to wear the SVR badge – as other future ‘hot’ Jaguars and Land Rovers will too – the Range Rover Sport is a pretty impressive flagship. Along with the storming Nürburgring lap, comes a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a 162 mph top speed. That’s rather fast for a huge SUV; more than enough to substantially embarrass a VW Golf R away from the traffic lights, for example.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 005 (more…)

Friday Photo – Range Rover Sport SVR sets Nürburgring Record

We’re not sure how many more Nürburgring-Nordschleife records we can take this year. We’ve already seen the SEAT Leon Cupra and Renaultsport Megané battling it out, with the Honda Civic Type-R waiting in the wings. Now Land Rover has claimed the fastest lap for a SUV with the forthcoming hottest Range Rover Sport model.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 01

Land Rover claims that the Range Rover Sport SVR used to set the record lap of 8 minutes 14 seconds was a standard production version. Although in the world of Nürburgring-records, the word “standard” seems to have a fairly loose interpretation – see SEAT’s “performance pack” fitted to the Leon Cupra for example.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 02

But regardless, the Range Rover SVR has been hustled – quite bravely – to a lap time quicker than a wide array of dedicated performance vehicles if the records on Wikipedia are anything to go by. But with a 550 PS (543 bhp) 5.0 litre supercharged V8 and engineering by the Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations team, you’d expect the SVR to be effective.

2015 Range Rover Sport SVR 03

Although it’s meant to be the most performance Range Rover Sport yet, it still retains the high/low ratio gear ratios and 850 mm wading depth of the normal RRS. We would question just how useful track biased tyres would be in the rough stuff though. Still, at least it sounds good:

The SVR isn’t set to arrive in showrooms until 2015, which means we can probably expect Land Rover to spend several more months hammering it around the Nürburgring.