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  • Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #395 LIVE!

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    Autoblog podcast graphic

    We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #395 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

    Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #395
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    Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #395 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Tata approves plans to codevelop two SUVs with Land Rover

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    Tata Motors

    Over the course of this year, rumors have been building about Jaguar Land Rover and its parent company, Tata Motors, co-developing vehicles, especially SUVs. Up until now, the Indian company has generally left its luxury arm's tech and expertise alone. The latest evidence, though, suggests the two sides won't keep their engineering separate too much longer.

    Tata Motors' board has reportedly given the green light to developing two SUVs with engineering assistance from Land Rover, according to people familiar with the deal, speaking with Indian website Live Mint. The five- and seven-passenger models are meant to lure buyers outside of India to the brand, specifically in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. They should be ready for launch in 2017 with Tata hoping to sell around 80,000 units per year.

    The new rumor fits incredibly closely with what we last heard about this proposed partnership. The new SUVs were reported to ride on a platform shared between Land Rover and Tata and it was even possible that the Indian vehicles could take advantage of JLR's Ingenium engine family. According to Live Mint, the Brit brand will also have input into tuning the SUVs' performance and handling.

    Plans for these two SUVs have been simmering for at least a few months. Inklings about them came up in April when the Economic Times reported on the companies' study into building five- to seven-passenger SUVs based on the Land Rover Freelander platform. According to an unnamed JLR exec at the time, the models would use 50 percent or less of the parts from the current Freelander.

    Tata approves plans to codevelop two SUVs with Land Rover originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • What you missed on 8.22.2014

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    Daily U-Turn

    2015 Corvette Z06 wins on power and price

    We started off this happy Friday by learning that the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 would come to dealers with a starting price of $78,000. That's not an insignificant fund, but when you start to cross-shop other cars with comparable performance, you quickly find (and we do mean quickly) that the Z06 is actually kind of an incredible bargain. Find out which of its pricy competitors comes closest to the new über 'Vette, here.

    Quick Spin: 2014 Range Rover HSE

    No company in the world does a quick, off-road-capable, posh luxury SUV (in sparkling brown paint, no less) quite like Land Rover's epic Range Rover. Having done full tests on the Rangie already, this time around we tackle the HSE model fitted with the supercharged 3.0-liiter V6 engine, to see if it suffers without a V8. Spoiler Alert: aluminum is a wonderful thing.

    Ram to stay steely through 2020

    ...Then again, steel is nice, too. Pickup truck rival Ford may still be grabbing headlines for its intensive use of weight-saving aluminum in its new F-150, but Ram believes that it can stay competitive with the more conventional material. Despite a Ram 1500 refresh due out in 2015, company insiders are saying it'll be another five years before it'll start using the stuff in its pickup line.

    Top Stories

    What you missed on 8.22.2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • 2014 Land Rover Range Rover HSE

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    Land Rover Range Rover

    When this current generation of Range Rover first debuted for the 2013 model year, much was made of its aluminum-intensive superstructure, and the hundreds of pounds of curb weight - some 700 of the suckers - shed as a result. Not having had the opportunity to drive the newly lightened Range until early this past spring (as you can see from the photos), I'd taken the dynamically positive changes on faith before my test.

    Having now sampled the super-lux SUV for myself and being a longstanding fan of the Range Rover brand and most Land Rover products, I'm happy to report that the rumors are true. My Nara Bronze Range Rover HSE not only looked the part of a utility vehicle for the well-heeled set, it performed up to the high standards of the models past, as well.

    That summation is extra impressive, considering that the Range Rover I had was powered by the base, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, too.

    Driving Notes
    • I thought Brandon Turkus was crazy. We published his LR4 review around the time I was driving the Range Rover - both vehicles that make use of this supercharged 3.0-liter V6. Brandon complained that the LR4 - admittedly larger - felt pretty laggy with the V6 as compared with its old 5.0-liter V8. After feeling the sprightly performance of the blown six in the Rangie, I called Turkus, and I called foul. That is until I was gently reminded that the Range Rover's new aluminum architecture made it nearly 750 pounds lighter than the LR4.
    • As you might guess, that relatively light curb weight (4,918 pounds) goes a long way to making the 340-horsepower, 332-pound-feet V6 feel punchy. Land Rover estimates a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds, but the pull feels even stronger than that in the mid-range speeds. Throttle response is sharper than you might expect for a big SUV, too, which helps the Range Rover seem quicker than it is against the clock.
    • The lowered curb weight and smaller engine have improved the fuel economy estimates for the Range Rover as well. The EPA cites 17 miles per gallon in the city, with ratings of 23 highway and 19 combined to round out the window sticker. I saw close to 18 mpg in a week of mixed driving that tilted toward an urban cycle.
    • Even with its adjustable air suspension, cornering hard is not the Range Rover's bread and butter - nor should it be. There's too much vertical motion in the suspension to make you want to push the Range around your favorite driving roads, and I suppose that's exactly why the Range Rover Sport exists.
    • At highway speeds, the cabin is filled with the low rush of buffered wind noise, and not a lot else until you crank up the excellent optional Meridian audio system ($1,850). As a long-range driver and commuter tool, the highway manners, smooth ride, glove-like seats and all-around great visibility place this vehicle at the top of its class.
    • The ride from the rear quarters isn't too shabby, either. One thing that the $5,000 HSE package includes is the massive sliding panoramic roof, which makes the whole of the interior feel airy and light. With the sky as the ceiling and plenty of legroom, I didn't hear a word but praise from the few friends I threw in the back seats.
    • It's truly subjective, but I've never been much of a white-leather-interiors kind of a guy, and even I found this ivory colored hide to be impressively posh. I'm not sure how sensible it would be for the stereotypical family full of muddy wellies and wet Brittany in the boot, but rich people seem to know magic for keeping clean. Anyway, for my money Range Rover is doing some of the best interiors this side of top-trim Mercedes-Benz and Bentley.
    • In a vacuum, this latest Range Rover is really spectacular. But even I must admit that, if your intended use case is softer than the hard-core off-roading this SUV was built to do, there are a couple of very strong competitors in the market today. Both the all-new Cadillac Escalade and the Mercedes-Benz GL450 are larger, more powerful and less expensive to start, with a slight downtick in terms of star power versus the Range Rover. If you love the Land Rover brand, the look and the potential ability, that might be enough; if your future SUV is set to be more of a mall cruiser, it might not.

    2014 Land Rover Range Rover HSE originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Aug 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Land Rover lets us inside LR2-replacing Discovery Sport

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    Land Rover Discovery Sport moonroof

    We're now less than two weeks away from the unveiling of the new Discovery Sport, and Land Rover is continuing the piecemeal reveal of its new small sport-ute, this time giving us a glimpse of its interior space.

    Though the video below seems to focus more on the company's partnership with Virgin Galactic, it does give us a look at the new baby Landie's cabin, complete with its flexible 5+2 seating layout and expansive opening moonroof (which we figure has to either stack two panels of glass or else roll back solid panels).

    Previewed by the Discovery Vision concept in New York, we can now confirm that the Discovery Sport will replace the LR2 in Land Rover's US lineup next year, when it will be sold alongside the LR4 - the only model that will, for now, retain its alphanumeric nameplate in America. Stay tuned for the reveal on September 2 and scope out the footage below in the meantime.

    Continue reading Land Rover lets us inside LR2-replacing Discovery Sport

    Land Rover lets us inside LR2-replacing Discovery Sport originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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