2008 Range Rover Sport review (TDV8)



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“Almost as quick as its supercharged sibling, but with staggeringly low fuel consumption, the Range Rover Sport TDV8 has been graced with one of the finest diesel engines on the planet”


Options fitted: This particular test vehicle was a tad overloaded with options.

  • Sunroof - $3000 (should be standard)
  • Personal telephone Integration System - $2,500 (over the top expensive and available through many portable Sat Nav systems)
  • Premium Navigation System - $6,100 (over the top – buy a MIO C720 portable Sat Nav for less than $700 – it’s a faster processor than most in car systems.
  • Metallic Paint - $1500 (unfortunately a necessity on any Range Rover variant)
  • Active Cruise Control - $5000 (not tested)
  • Rear seat entertainment (DVD, audio etc) - $5,500 (over the top)
  • Front Park distance control - $850 (too expensive and should be standard on an SUV of this calibre
  • Television System - $1,500 (I’d go for this –especially if you spend your life as a taxi for kids)
  • Powerfold mirrors - $850 (should be standard)
  • Console cooler box – $750 (OK but it’s too small)
  • Memory pack for driver’s seat and mirrors - $1,100 (don’t bother)
  • Adaptive headlights - $1,000 (if you drive a lot at night)
  • Premium ICE - $1950 – (I like my music and Range Rover have a history of top shelf sound systems, usually Harmon Kardon
  • Tow bar pack - $500 (yep)
  • Active Rear Diff - $1000 (only if you like to go off road and I don’t mean dirt tracks)
  • 20’ Alloy wheels - $2700 (100% yes – you’ll like it even more)


Where it sits: The Range Rover Sport TDV8 is exactly the same price as the petrol powered V8, but god only knows why you would opt for that variant. It may as well be deleted from the range!

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Entry level into a Range Rover Sport is a fair and reasonable $87,900 for the TDV6, which goes well enough and is kind to your wallet. Above the TDV8 is the V8 Supercharged at $136,900, a favourite of ours. When that Supercharger starts singing, it’s nothing short of intoxicating for us petrol heads, but its thirst for premium fuel, could leave OPEC short of a barrel or two.

How the Land Rover guys are able to extract 200kW of power and a monstrous 640Nm of torque from a diminutive 3.6-litre V8 diesel is a complete mystery to me.

2008 Jaguar XJ6 D Review



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Models tested:

  • 2008 Jaguar XJ6 D - $154,900

Model range: $154,900 to $234,900


When Jaguar released their famous E-Type in 1961 Enzo Ferrari called it “The most beautiful car ever made”.

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Not only was it drop dead gorgeous (still is) but also, the E-Type was a genuine 150mph sports car, which retailed for thousands less than anything from Porsche or Ferrari at the time.

A TV commercial in the United States agreed with Enzo and described the car perfectly:

“This is no ordinary motor car, this is the Jaguar E-Type, a concept so beautiful it has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art.

A concept so strong its forbears won the “24-hour Le Mans Grand Prix of Endurance “five times”.

It is what Bach was to music, what Rodin was to sculpture.

The Jaguar E-Type, the highest expression of automotive art”

But if you’re thinking, well that’s old news and Jags have been out-styled by the competition from Germany these days, then not only would you be part of a minority but you’re most probably a citizen of Germany!

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That’s right. In 2007, the worlds biggest selling car magazine, German title, Auto Motor und Sport and 16,000 of their loyal readers, named the Jaguar XJ as the ‘Most Beautiful Luxury Saloon’ in the world. The victory was all the more sweet, given the competition from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

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Jaguar is a company steeped in eighty years of tradition and a lot of that time, on a racetrack.

2008 Nissan Dualis - Qashqai


Six months ago we covered a new Nissan called Qashqai. Whilst the name was a little to pronounce, the car it self piqued our interest. Back then we no idea if the car would make it to Australia. Then we heard, it was going to come in 2008. But Nissan today revealed the car will make it to Australia towards the end of the year.

2008 Nissan Dualis - Qashqai

However there is one small change, Nissan not being the best with their naming conventions (Tiida anyone?) have decide to scrap the Qashqai (Cash-Kay) name for Australia and instead call the new compact crossover the - Nissan Dualis (same naming convention as Japan).

Dualis? Its hard to say if Dualis will work better than Qashqai, but what ever happened to good names? Ford named their SUV Territory, Subaru went with Tribeca (Tri - b - ca) and Mazda (which arguably have the best SUV) went with CX-7.

Nissan are competing with the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CRV for market share, but why would Nissan Australia decide on Dualis is beyond us - perhaps it was easier for the Nissan factory in charge of production (UK) to ship the same cars going to Japan to Australia.

The Dualis will offer a 2.0-litre engine driven through either a 6-speed manual or Nissan’s Xtronic CVT automatic with M-Mode. It will be the only car in its class driven via a CVT transmission.

The Dualis also has the capability to switch from 2WD to AWD on the fly. But the best news for Nissan so far is the Dualis’ safety rating.

2008 Nissan Dualis - Qashqai

The car recently received the maximum five-star rating for adult occupant protection from the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), being the highest ever recorded score for any vehicle!

The Dualis managed 36.83 points out of a maximum 37 points. The results showed the Dualis achieving a near perfect score in Euro NCAP’s strict front and side impact tests

Foldable City Car by MIT

A team of researchers at the MIT’s media lab are busy developing a prototype of lightweight stackable electric cars that could help overcome the congestion problem. The prototype vehicle dubbed the City Car could be folded and stacked at central sites.

The City Car will be powered by a robotic drive system transformed from the lowly wheel. Each wheel will integrate an electric motor, steering and braking machinery, suspension, and digital controls. All these would be merged into sealed entities that could be snapped on and off.

The City Car will start at the mere press of a button and will boast a handlebar instead of a steering wheel. Lightweight material like Kevlar or carbon fiber will make the body of the car. The notion of the City Car was devised as part of a strategy for plummeting carbon emissions.


Ferrari Pedal Car Looks Fast, Probably Isn't


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Berg Toys will be selling these Ferrari FXX inspired pedal cars starting next month. Standard models will go for $730, and Exclusive models will fetch a whopping $2,200 (more than my real car).


It’s got a seven speed transmission, an on-board computer, disc brakes and even semi-slick racing tires with Enzo inspired hubcaps. The exclusive version even has a racing-style bucket seat with a four point harness, a leather steering wheel and an aero kit...

Cool, but I'm going to hold out for the Super Executive model that I just wrote them and told them they should make. It costs $3,000 and comes with a live hooker in the trunk. Of course this thing doesn't have a trunk so you actually have to tow her behind in a Radio Flyer.

BMW Makes Morphable, Fabric-Covered Car


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Yesterday BMW unveiled their GINA Visionary Model, a fabric-covered vehicle that can change shapes with the push of a button.

Chris Bangle (head of design at BMW) and his team actually built GINA -- which stands for "Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptions" -- six years ago, but BMW kept it under, er, wraps until Tuesday. It's built on the Z8 chassis and has a 4.4-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission. BMW says the fabric skin - polyurethane-coated Lycra - is resilient, durable and water resistant. It's stretched over an aluminum frame controlled by electric and hydraulic actuators that allow the owner to change the body shape. Want a big spoiler on the back? Wider fenders? No problem. "The drastic reinterpretation of familiar functionality and structure means that drivers have a completely new experience when they handle their car," BMW says.

Neat idea BMW, but what's up with the gaudy silver skin? You put all that effort into building a morphable, fabric-covered car and don't even use denim? You got no class.

A TON more MUST SEE pictures and a video, along with links to much longer articles, after the jump.

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BMW Makes Morphable, Fabric-Covered Car


bmw-1.jpg

Yesterday BMW unveiled their GINA Visionary Model, a fabric-covered vehicle that can change shapes with the push of a button.

Chris Bangle (head of design at BMW) and his team actually built GINA -- which stands for "Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptions" -- six years ago, but BMW kept it under, er, wraps until Tuesday. It's built on the Z8 chassis and has a 4.4-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission. BMW says the fabric skin - polyurethane-coated Lycra - is resilient, durable and water resistant. It's stretched over an aluminum frame controlled by electric and hydraulic actuators that allow the owner to change the body shape. Want a big spoiler on the back? Wider fenders? No problem. "The drastic reinterpretation of familiar functionality and structure means that drivers have a completely new experience when they handle their car," BMW says.

Neat idea BMW, but what's up with the gaudy silver skin? You put all that effort into building a morphable, fabric-covered car and don't even use denim? You got no class.

A TON more MUST SEE pictures and a video, along with links to much longer articles, after the jump.

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Oh Hell Yes: The Rinspeed sQuba Car


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Well I was about to go apeshit on the Rinspeed sQuba car until I read they admitted to it being inspired by James Bond's Lotus in The Spy Who Loved Me. So after I calmed down a bit and drank my weight in cough syrup I passed out in the driveway on the way to the mailbox. When a passing street-sweeper finally woke me I pissed myself and fell back asleep.

Anyways, the sQuba car can drive on land and "at the push of a button will autonomously transform into an amphibious vehicle capable of diving to a depth of about 33 feet." Hell yes, now that is what I'm talking about. Well, that and passing out in the driveway.

An electric motor with powerful torque drives the rear wheels. The propulsion on the water is ensured by two propellers in the stern and two powerful jet drives in the bow propel the vehicle under water while diving. With zero emissions, zero pollution in the seven seas of this world. The light weight body with components made of futuristic Carbon Nano Tubes encloses in a streamlined manner the driver and passenger who are supplied with fresh breathing air by the self-contained on-board system.

While the pictures above are clearly not real, the car does (or will) exist, and is going to be on display at the Geneva Motor Show from March 6th to 16th. So check it out if you get the chance. And by "check it out" I mean "steal it for me". You see, I'm a professional treasure hunter, and this is just the thing I need to cruise the seafloor searching for treasure. It's been far too long since I've spotted any booty. Well, except my roommate's -- he's somewhat of an exhibitionist.

Super Cute Electric Zero Emissions THINK car


Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday

If you’re a fan of the Mini Cooper but want something a little greener, the Norwegian THINK car might just be your answer. It’s compact, it’s electric, it’s a zero-emissions zippy little car that’s a feat of design and engineering. Topping out at 100 km/hr and running for 180 km on a single charge, THINK is a lot of power for such a tiny thing. All the other systems are well-thought out too, with 90% of the energy going straight to the engine, compared to traditional combustion engines that lose up to 70% of their energy to heat and friction.


Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday

The vehicles are currently only available in Europe, and are even backed by local and country-wide incentives in some instances. In London the Think City is exempt from the congestion charge, and in Italy access to certain city centers is only open to zero emissions vehicles. In Norway you can drive in special public transport lanes the entire way to work. It’s great to see well-designed electric cars like THINK getting the broader support they need.

If only we could get some THINK cars on the streets of San Francisco or New York!


Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday

Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday

Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday

Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday

Think car, THINK electric car, electric car, zero emissions vehicle, zero emissions car, THINK automotives, THINK vehicle, compact car, green transportation, sustainable cars, transportation tuesday


HOT NEW HYBRID CAR: The Fisker Karma


fisker automotive, hot new electric car, electric vehicle, EV, electric car, green car, green vehicles, hybrid, hybrid car, eco car, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, tesla killer

We love our green sports cars here at Inhabitat, and we have plenty of room on our favorites list for more than one. While we’ve been raving for the last two years about the Tesla Roadster, the Fisker Karma has been doing the one thing Tesla has yet to do: bring a hybrid sports car to market. Created by noted car designer Henrik Fisker, the ultra cool Karma is a sleek, power packed eco-luxury ride.

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The Karma’s performance specs rev out at 0-60 mph in 6 seconds, and a top speed of 125 mph. At $80,000 USD, The car is a plug-in hybrid based on technology of Quantum Technologies. The Q DRIVE consists of a small gasoline engine which in turn charges the lithium battery packs in the car. According to Fisker, if charged properly, the hybrid would need to use no more than a fuel tank per year, quite a claim!

Now before you think that the Fisker is just a concept vehicle, Wired managed to get some pics of the Fisker Karma in action. Here’s hoping that soon we can have two really cool sports cars that show that being green can be done at maximum speed.


fisker automotive, hot new electric car, electric vehicle, EV, electric car, green car, green vehicles, hybrid, hybrid car, eco car, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, tesla killer

fisker automotive, hot new electric car, electric vehicle, EV, electric car, green car, green vehicles, hybrid, hybrid car, eco car, green hybrid, fisker karma, green karma, tesla competitor, tesla killer


TOP 5 SEXIEST SUSTAINABLE SPORTS CARS


TRANSPORTATION TUESDAYS, green cars, fuel efficient, hybrid cars, hybird engines, engines, motors, diesel, sports cars, Tesla, Roadster

It is often said that for green cars to be taken seriously, serious car buffs must realize that they can compete with the big boys. You see, most people think that you just can’t get proper mileage out of electric cars, that they are ugly, and most importantly, that they just can’t go fast. Well, to prove them wrong, and to start out our brand new Transportation Tuesdays series, we’d like to bring to you the top 5 greenest, fastest, and sexiest beauties on wheels that we’ve ever seen. Counting down from 5 to 1, here they are…

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAYS, green cars, fuel efficient, hybrid cars, hybird engines, engines, motors, diesel, sports cars, saab, aero-x

5. Saab Aero-X
It’s encouraging to see car manufacturers look for alternative fuel sources to power their vehicles. This particular concept by Saab comes equipped with an ethanol guzzling 2.8L twin-turbocharged V6 that can get you from 0 to 100kph/60mph in 4.2 seconds. Even cooler, the car has no doors, rather, the entire top canopy section of the car opens up, making it one of the most unique designs out there. Sadly, the car is still on concept stage. But one can still dream.

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAYS, green cars, fuel efficient, hybrid cars, hybird engines, engines, motors, diesel, sports cars, venturi, fetish

4. Venturi Fetish
Looking like something out of a spy movie, the Venturi Fetish is the world’s only in production electric sports car. While its top speed is only 100mph, it’ll give you plenty of power in the initial acceleration as it does a good 0-100kph/60mph in about 5 seconds. sadly, only 25 cars are being produced a year. But this list wouldn’t be complete without it.

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAYS, green cars, fuel efficient, hybrid cars, hybird engines, engines, motors, diesel, sports cars, citroen, c-metisse

3. Citroen C-Metisse Concept
Unveiled at the Paris show last year, the Citroen C-Metisse Concept is another attempt to create a diesel hybrid car. What’s so exciting about that? well this particular vehicle can operate in a Zero Emission mode, an all electric mode perfect for city cruising, while giving you access to the power of the diesel engine when needed in the motorway. While not as fast as the Saab, the fact that it has a mixed mode engine puts it just a bit higher in our list.

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAYS, green cars, fuel efficient, hybrid cars, hybird engines, engines, motors, diesel, sports cars, Toyota, FT-HS

2. Toyota FT-HS
Now when talking about power, you can’t help but wish that you had access to a FT-HS. So far, most of these have been concept cars. Not this one though, as this vehicle is scheduled to go into production in 2009. Soon we can all be salivating at the beauty of its advanced hybrid - gasoline system, capable of moving you from 0 to 100kph/60mph in an astonishing four seconds flat. Now that’s what we call power!

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAYS, green cars, fuel efficient, hybrid cars, hybird engines, engines, motors, diesel, sports cars, Tesla, Roadster

1. The Tesla Roadster

No list would be complete, without what is probably the greenest sports car in the planet. The Tesla Roadster, is the cream of the top. The fully electrically powered sports car can do 0-100kph/60mph in a little over 4 seconds. To give you an idea of how cool this car is, if we were to calculate the fuel efficiency of this vehicle it would be the equivalent of 135 miles PER GALLON! Not bad for a fully electrically powered vehicle. Take that Ferrari!

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: Green Means Go in Frankfurt


FRANKFURT, AUTO, CAR, SHOW, HYBRID, ETHANOL, NISSAN, BMW, MERCEDEZ BENZ, HYUNDAI, VOLKSWAGEN, VOLVO, AUDI, TOYOTA, FIAT

The Frankfurt Motor Show, probably one of the biggest ones in the world, is occurring right now as we speak, and the word from the floor is that green, means go. In a huge reversal from the usual race to be the one with the highest horsepower, this years show attendees are focusing on trying to be the carmaker that shows off the greenest technologies for their products. Here at Inhabitat, as a bit of a public service, we thought we’d bring you a list of those vehicles that are turning heads, by cutting their fuel consumption.

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1. Nissan Mixim
We brought you this one before the Frankfurt motor show was announced, thinking that it might make some car lovers realize that you can drive a nice green vehicle and still look good doing it. And sure enough, this all-electric vehicle is making quite a splash at this years motor show.

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2. GM Flextreme
Probably one of the most talked about cars of the show so far has been Opel’s Flextreme. This concept vehicle is essentially a plug-in electric hybrid with a 1.3 Liter diesel engine a lithium-ion battery pack. What’s remarkable about it is the fact that Opel is a subsidiary of General Motors, who quite famously killed their version of the electric car. To see them embrace hybrids and electric vehicles can only mean one thing: The tide is turning. Expect to see this technology on GM’s vehicles within the next three years. Oh, and did we mention that it comes with two Segways?

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3. Fiat Panda Aria
Not wanting to be left out of all the green chatter, FIAT revealed their Panda Aria concept car. the Panda Aria aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible by reducing its overall weight and by using a new engine designed to take in a mixture of methanol and petrol. This new engine was designed with a stop-start system as well, which means that the engine reduces its fuel consumption by shutting itself off while idling.

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4. Volkswagen Up!
The cute as a button Volkswagen Up! is a four seat, rear engine urban car, and is the only car in this list that actually looks happy to be here. No, we mean it, look at that lovely smile in the front bumper reflected across the design of the vehicle. By shuffling the motor to the back of the car, this vehicle has achieved numerous design efficiencies that allow it to reduce its CO2 emissions significantly, even compared to other mini cars.

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5. Hyundai i-Blue
Developed at the Hyundai Design and Technical Centre in Chiba, Japan, the i-Blue is the latest concept in Hyundai’s platform to use its proprietary fuel cell technology to produce a hydrogen powered, zero-emission crossover utility vehicle that looks as good as any we’ve seen.

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6. Mercedes-Benz F700 DiesOtto
It is not often that one thinks of large sedans a fuel efficient vehicles. But that is precisely what Mercedes-Benz had in mind when developing the F700 DiesOtto. The DiesOtto engine, from where this vehicle gets its name, is capable of achieving just as much power as the typical sedan, and emits half of the emissions, or around the same amount as a typical compact car. If you ask me, this is what luxury vehicles should be aiming for.

FRANKFURT, AUTO, CAR, SHOW, HYBRID, ETHANOL, NISSAN, BMW, MERCEDEZ BENZ, HYUNDAI, VOLKSWAGEN, VOLVO, AUDI, TOYOTA, FIAT

7. Volvo Recharge
Volvo is trying to bring the idea of plug-in hybrids to the masses, and to do that, they have introduced the Recharge. Unlike most hybrids, the Recharge uses the battery power to drive up until a point where the power from battery is not sufficient to keep doing so. It is then when the fuel combustion engine kicks in. According to Volvo, this results in a CO2 reduction of 66% compared, not to standard vehicles, but rather compared to other hybrids!

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8. Audi A4 2.0 e Concept
An extremely fuel efficient modified A4 sedan, it has the coolest technology that we’ve seen on the show so far. One of the features of the vehicles is its use of gel batteries to store kinetic energy into electric energy as it is coasting and accelerating, improving the charged battery life of the vehicle. A pretty cool idea if you ask us.

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9. Toyota iQ
Not much is known about the IQ, and urban car vehicle developed by Toyota, except that it is apparently designed with CO2 emissions in mind. It is known that it has four electric motors, one on each wheel, giving us an idea that it´ll probable be an electric or hybrid vehicle. But it looks good, that, we can definitely see for ourselves.