2005 Land Rover LR3

The image “http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2004/09/23/233791.6-lg.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2004/09/23/233791.5-lg.jpg

The all new 2005 Land Rover LR3 (or Discovery 3 as it will be known outside North America) is the first Land Rover to be designed since Land Rover and BMW parted ways in mid-2000 and it represents a re-affirmation of Land Rover’s heritage. At a time when SUV manufacturers are quick to trade off road capability for on road, car-like handling, Land Rover has gone the extra mile and crafted a vehicle that is supremely capable off road and a pleasure to drive on-road. A vehicle that is equally at home in the plains of Africa as on the freeways of LA.

The LR3 is a completely new Land Rover and it introduces more new and cutting edge technology than any SUV ever has. Technology that works to enhance both on road performance and off road capability. Take the suspension for example, front and rear fully independent suspension and air springs give the LR3 a smooth, comfortable ride and precise car-like handling. Yet, when the vehicle detects off road conditions, it cross-links the air springs so that “air displaced by the upward movement of an air spring is transferred to the spring on the opposite side, forcing it down, improving composure and wheel contact with the terrain.” Thus, off road the suspension mimics a traditional beam axle for increased ground clearance, wheel articulation and traction. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too!

Progressive, hydraulically operated, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering gives LR3 precise, solid and responsive steering. Together with the front/rear double wishbone suspension, the LR3 handles like a well mannered sedan and not the 6,000 pound vehicle it is. Driving twisting roads no longer feels like an aerobic exercise, the LR3 tracks precisely and predictably throughout the turns, even at speeds.

And speaking of speeds, this Land Rover goes from 0-60 in 8 seconds, thanks to a Jaguar 4.4 Liter V-8 that cranks out 300 bhp and 315 ft-lb of torque. This powerplant is a modified version of Jaguar’s 4.2 Liter V8. The increase in bore wasn’t the only modification the folks at Solihull performed. The engine’s “mapping” was redesigned to increase torque and to deliver maximum torque at a lower rpms, and because Land Rovers are expected to operate in extreme environments, the Jaguar engine received water-, dust- and mud-proofing. Oil capacity was also increased by nearly 2 liters to insure engine proper engine lubrication even at the extreme angles Land Rovers often find themselves in.

As impressive as LR3’s handling and performance on road are, it is off pavement that this vehicle proves without a doubt that it is pure and true Land Rover. With short front and rear overhangs the LR3 has excellent approach and departure angles, and with all “vitals” tucked-up into the “body-frame”, ground clearance is an amazing 9.5 inches. But it is the way that technological advances have been integrated together that makes the LR3 nearly unstoppable.

The keystone of LR3’s off pavement prowess is Land Rover’s “Terrain Response” system. Land Rover engineers analyzed over 50 different off road terrains and determined the individual engine, transmission, suspension, traction and other vehicle system inputs needed to optimize the vehicle’s performance in each terrain. According to Steve Haywood “we concluded that these [system inputs] can be distilled into just a handful of programs – and those are the settings we offer on Terrain Response”. The driver chooses from among 6 terrains, such as sand, mud & ruts, rock crawling, and the terrain response “black box” configures a number of vehicle systems for optimum performance.

Terrain Response adjusts the air suspension for maximum ground clearance, adjusts the automatic gearbox to optimize gear change points, and alters the throttle map and accelerator pedal response. Traction control and brakeforce distribution are all adjusted to the terrain setting. Land Rover’s patented Hill Descent Control is also adjusted and downhill speed rates vary depending on the terrain, even the center and rear locking differentials use different locking rates depending on terrain.

Sitting behind the wheel felt both familiar and new. The inside is all new, yet is very Land Rover. Large instrumentation, a minimum of switches, and strong vertical lines give the LR3’s fascia a simple and efficient look. There are nonetheless plenty of storage compartments and, yes, drink holders. From the driver’s seat, LR3 feels at once roomy, there’s plenty of elbow room, and compact, all the controls are within easy reach.

LR3 preserves Land Rover’s “Command driving position” and thanks to the stepped roof, the 2nd and 3rd row passengers still enjoy “stadium seating”. The interior is roomy with all seats accommodating “95 percentile” of adults. The cabin is one of the brightest and airiest thanks to the full width glass roof. When not needed, the 2 and 3 rows of seats fold flat into the floor crating an amazingly large and useful flat load space. The passenger doors have grown wider making getting in and out of the vehicle much easier than in previous models.

Mike O’Driscoll, president of Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover North America summed it up best when he said “[LR3] blends innovative technology and refinement with traditional Land Rover strengths to rewrite the definition of a modern, premium SUV”.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

ENGINE


Longitudinal
No. cylinders / valves
V8, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement
4.4 liter (268 cu. in. / 4394 cc)
Bore x Stroke
3.465 x 3.555 in. (88 x 90.3 mm)
Compression Ratio
10:5:1
Max. horsepower @ rpm
300 hp @ 5500 rpm
Max. torque @ rpm
315 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
PERFORMANCE

Performance, 0-60 mph
8.0 sec.
Maximum Speed
121 mph

DRIVETRAIN

Drive System
Permanent four-wheel drive with optional
locking center and rear axle differentials
Traction Control
Four-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC)
Transmission
ZF HP26 six-speed electronically controlled automatic with
Command Shift(tm) manual control. Locking torque converter. Normal,
sport and manual shift
Gear Ratios (High/Low)
First
Second
Third
Fourth
Fifth
Sixth
Reverse
15.558:1 / 45.581:1
8.723:1 / 25.588:1
5.673:1 / 16.636:1
4.263:1 / 12.496:1
3.234:1 / 9.474:1
2.557:1 / 7.535:1
12.693:1 / 37.151:1
Final Drive Ratio (High/Low)
1.00:1 / 2.93:1
Transfer Box Ratio High
1.00:1
Transfer Box Ratio Low
2.93:1

SUSPENSION

Front Suspension
Independent double wishbone
Rear Suspension
Independent double wishbone


STEERING

Type
Rack-and-pinion
Turns, Lock-to-Lock
3.3
Turning Circle, Curb-to-Curb
37.57 ft. (11.45 m)

BRAKES

System
Power-assisted four-wheel disc
Front
13.27 in. (337 mm) ventilated disc
Rear
13.78 in. (350 mm) ventilated disc
Park
8.27 in. (210 mm) duo servo
WHEELS & TIRES

SE Model Wheel
18 x 8-inch aluminum alloy wheels
SE Model Tire
255/60R18 H & V all-terrain
HSE Model Wheel
19 x 8-inch aluminum alloy wheels
HSE Model Tire
255/55R19 H & V all-terrain


EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Overall Length
190.3 in. (4835 mm)
Overall Width (excluding/including mirrors)
75.4 in. (1915 mm / 2190 mm)
Overall Width with mirrors folded
2009 mm
Overall Height (glass/fixed roof)
74.1 in. (1882 mm / 1887 mm)
Overall Height (with sunroof open)
1920 mm
Overall Height with roof side rails
1891 mm
Wheelbase
113.6 in. (2885 mm)
Drag coefficient
0.41 Cd


INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Seating Capacity
Five (seven optional)
Head Room in row two, fixed roof
1043 mm
Head Room in row two, glass roof
1076 mm
Shoulder Room, Front/Rear in row two
1503 mm / 1508 mm
Leg Room in row two
955 mm
Maximum loadspace volume
2558 liters

OFF-ROAD CAPABILITIES

Ground Clearance - Standard Ride Height
7.3 in. (185 mm)
Ground Clearance - Off-Road Height
9.4 in. (240 mm)
Suspension articulation front/rear
255 mm / 330 mm
Angle of Approach
37.2 degrees
Angle of Departure
29.6 degrees
Ramp Breakover Angle
27.9 degrees
Wading Depth
700 mm
WEIGHTS & TOWING CAPACITY

Curb Weight
5,426 lb. (2461 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
7121 lb. (3230 kg)
Trailer Without Brakes
1654 lb. (750 kg)
Trailers With Brakes
7716 lb. (3500 kg)
Front Axle Load
3197 lb. (1450 kg)
Rear Axle Load
4134 lb. (1875 kg)
FUEL

Fuel Tank Capacity
22.8 U.S. gallons (86.3 liters)

In the Autoblog Garage: 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata Retractable Hard Top




Just as it appeared that winter was finally drawing to close here in Michigan, one of the definitive summertime cars turned up on our doorstep -- the Mazda MX-5 Miata . Somewhere back in the middle part of the last century, small, lightweight, roadsters flourished with a variety of models available from mostly British manufacturers. Names like MG, Triumph, Austin-Healey and Lotus defined the genre. Unfortunately, a number of factors such as random intermittent windshield wipers, intermittent headlights, intermittent ignition, persistent oil leaks and predisposition for the bodies to convert to iron oxide soured the reputation of these and other car builders. This was followed by the consolidation of the most of the British car industry into British Leyland and then the onset of safety and emissions regulations. By 1980, the classic British sports car had become all but extinct.

Then a strange thing happened. Mazda, always had a reputation as being slightly offbeat (witness its dedication to the Wankel rotary, which exists to this day) introduced a new model dubbed the MX-5 Miata . This compact, rear-drive two-seat roadster bore a strong resemblance to a '60s vintage Lotus Elan. However, unlike the Elan and its compatriots, the Miata started every time you turned the key, didn't leave you drenched when it rained, and didn't leave puddles of oil on your garage floor. In other words, it was a classic British sports car that worked like a modern Japanese car. Read on after the jump to find out how the latest incarnation fares.

Ferrari California assembly underway at Maranello





Several months ahead of its scheduled debut at this fall's Paris auto salon, production of the new Ferrari California has already begun at the Ferrari factory in Maranello. The news comes after previous speculation suggested that the California might have to be assembled off-site - potentially at sister-company Maserati's nearby facility in Modena - because the existing Ferrari assembly lines were already at full capacity. However, having now unveiled its newly-retooled manufacturing facility under the Formula Uomo program, the company has apparently increased production capacity to accommodate the assembly of the California, thus securing its legitimacy in the eyes of enthusiasts and potential customers alike.


McCain has no plans for Detroit bailout



Back in the late seventies and into early eighties, Chrysler had gotten itself into such horrid financial shape that the U.S. government decided to step in and fix the situation itself. Considering the sorry state of affairs that all three of the Detroit automakers find themselves in today, some may wonder if a government-funded bailout is in the cards. Not so much... at least according to John McCain. "Frankly I just don't see a scenario where the federal government would come in and bail out any industry in America today," says the Republican.

So, what plan does McCain have in store for the Detroit 3? More Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s for one, as the Arizona Senator said the above words after touring the plant in Lordstown, Ohio where the GM compact cars are made and a where third shift has just been added. "I am convinced that what is being done at the Lordstown assembly plant is the future of the American auto industry," added McCain.

In more related good news for the U.S. automakers, McCain says he supports nationwide CO2 standards and would oppose any state's individual plans -- California, we're looking at you. The Presidential hopeful also wants to see more fair-trade standards implemented with the other various auto-building nations and quicker violations for unfair practices. We await a response from the Democratic side.

[

British Army replaces Land Rovers with US-made Ridgback



In response to a ratcheting body-count in Iraq and Afghanistan, the UK Ministry of Defence has ordered a fleet of 157 Ridgback armored vehicles. The Ridgback, made in the United States, was unveiled last week at a military vehicles exhibition in Millbrook, Bedfordshire in the UK.


Pictured in the illustration above, the Ridgback offers increased protection for personnel against mines and roadside bombs and will replace the Land Rover Defenders which the British Army currently has deployed in the field. The order is part of a larger £150 million contract to upgrade the army's motor pool in the Middle East. The vehicles will be equipped with weapons and communications systems as well as beefed-up armor. It is capable of carrying 12 people and is equipped with run-flat tires allowing it to travel at speeds of up to 55 mph on punctured rolling stock.


Alfa Romeo hunts for 169 platform; 149 gets its own


After having being introduced way back in 1998, Alfa Romeo finally stopped production of the 166 last year. Now without a flagship sedan to hold up the top of the range, Alfa is working on the development of its successor. However, the 169 (as the model is expected to be called) has been pushed back at least another three years while the automaker tries to sort out which platform it will be based on.

With an eye towards the American market, Alfa is said to be committed to making the new 169 a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, but the only rear-drive platform the Milanese automaker has in its range belongs to the 8C Competizione, which CEO Luca de Meo recently rejected as a possible donor for the 169. (Rats.) The platform that underpins sister-company Maserati's Quattroporte and GranTurismo was likewise dismissed as too costly, as Alfa Romeo looks to other automakers - chief among them Jaguar, now owned by the Fiat Group's Indian ally Tata - for a suitable rear-drive platform for Alfa's new flagship sedan.


In related news from the other end of the range, the upcoming 149, which - along with the new MiTo - will replace the aging 147, is reportedly getting a brand new platform of its own. The reports contradict earlier suggestions that the five-door hatch would be based on the Fiat Bravo platform when the new 149 is introduced in 2009.


<i>Fast and Furious</i> muscles up





OntarioStreetCar caught sight of a transporter loaded with Detroit Muscle being used in the filming of the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious saga, innovatively titled, Fast and Furious. This is one truck we'd gladly hijack with a crew of accomplices driving tuned Civics, as it's hauling, at minimum, a pair of Chargers, a Chevelle SS, and the wicked Torino GT you see above. Not included in the attached gallery are studio shots of Vin Diesel with a Grand National and yet another Chevelle, both of which you can see at OntarioStreetCar. The F&F films may be light on plot, but they're long on car porn, and we can say without a hint of embarassment that we are totally going to see this movie. Thanks to Jesse for the tip!



'09 Challenger brochure hits the web, retro overload ensues


you'll find the full brochure for the 2009 Dodge Challenger, and yeah, there's some good stuff to be found in there. We're particularly fond of the R/T Classic package (above), which gets a coat of B5 Blue, 20" torq-thrust lookalikes, T/A-style stripes, and the old-school script Challenger badge on the front fender. Unfortunately, while Chrysler was cooking up the retro badging, they neglected to order up some nouveau Fratzogs to really finish off the look, so the Ram-head shield sits on the hood, instead. Too bad. As for the rest of the car? Badass. There are some pretty cool stripe and wheel options to be had regardless of trim level, plus what's sure to be a bevy of aftermarket parts from Mopar and other third parties. Finally, Chrysler's offering a factory R/T Track Pack that, in its most aggressive form, combines the 6-speed Tremec with 20" wheels and a 3.91 rear axle ratio. Bring money for tires. Ford is the king of leveraging its heritage to keep the Mustang interesting. Chrysler has a shot at doing the same thing here with the Challenger. From the looks of things, it's off to a good start. That R/T Classic? Yeah, we could roll like that. Thanks to Challenger64HEMI for the heads-up!


'09 Challenger brochure hits the web, retro overload ensues


you'll find the full brochure for the 2009 Dodge Challenger, and yeah, there's some good stuff to be found in there. We're particularly fond of the R/T Classic package (above), which gets a coat of B5 Blue, 20" torq-thrust lookalikes, T/A-style stripes, and the old-school script Challenger badge on the front fender. Unfortunately, while Chrysler was cooking up the retro badging, they neglected to order up some nouveau Fratzogs to really finish off the look, so the Ram-head shield sits on the hood, instead. Too bad. As for the rest of the car? Badass. There are some pretty cool stripe and wheel options to be had regardless of trim level, plus what's sure to be a bevy of aftermarket parts from Mopar and other third parties. Finally, Chrysler's offering a factory R/T Track Pack that, in its most aggressive form, combines the 6-speed Tremec with 20" wheels and a 3.91 rear axle ratio. Bring money for tires. Ford is the king of leveraging its heritage to keep the Mustang interesting. Chrysler has a shot at doing the same thing here with the Challenger. From the looks of things, it's off to a good start. That R/T Classic? Yeah, we could roll like that. Thanks to Challenger64HEMI for the heads-up!