Category Archives: Jaguar Land Rover

Range Rover’s Himalayan Hybrids


How can you not be proud of the new Range Rover Hybrid?

10,000 miles of continent crossing, averaging 36 miles per gallon and peerless luxury.

Read the full Land Rover account Journey Across The Top Of The World here.

Roads are a simple concept. But they have histories too…

Whether they are mere tracks or sprawling carpets of motorway, roads are laid to enable point B to be reached from point A. Yet over the centuries the reason for wanting to reach B can change. Several thousand years ago, a major reason for people in the West wanting to go East was to buy silk. That demand, and the curious topography of much of the land in between, triggered the development of a network of trails stretching from the Mediterranean to China that became known as the Silk Road. It was a significant spur to civilisation’s advance from the second century BC until the late 14th century.

In a mission to test the new Range Rover Hybrid, Land Rover decided to drive three of them on a journey that will retrace many of those trails, and place a few challenges under the wheels of the most capable hybrid vehicle in the world.

 

If you need a Land Rover or Range Rover in which to ‘cross the hump’, we can help you with vehicles, kit, repairs or advice on the best way to cook goat on a camp fire or purify water, so give us a call or visit our website www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

McDonald Automotive Land Rover Fire Engines

The Finest Old Ladies, headed back home to the Great Tew Estate

What a lovely pair.  We had the good fortune in April to play host to the two 109 Land Rover Series Fire Brigade vehicles, to fettle their locks and looks, accompanied by the 101 Forward Control troop carrier.

No fairer sound than their uncomplicated twin-carb V8s has graced our ramps for a while.

For as long as their purposeful grace stood between our workshop and the world, our property’s value doubled.

McDonald Automotive 109 Fire Engine

109 Truck Cab Fire Engine

The truck cab 109 is kitted out for carrying the braces of pheasants

McDonald Automotive 101 Troop Carrier

101 Forward Control Troop Carrier

whilst the 101 Troop Carrier now carries the shoot parties headed for the pheasants. Last year, we carried out a conversion of trucks and trailers for carrying the beaters, dogs and guns, hopefully we’ll see those beauties back next year.

McDonald Automotive 109 Fire Tender

109 Fire Tender

The 109 tender is the piece de resistance, though. Converted by Carmichael, they of the original 6 wheel drive Range Rover Classic, the vehicle has had the magic applied in thick layers. Featuring heated shelves and fridges for food and drinks, a radio with digital mixing deck and an espresso machine to the rear, this is the ultimate kitchen wagon.

A childhood of Matchbox toys relived.

 

If you need parts for your Land Rover conversion, or are looking for someone to do the work for you, you can give us a call on 01691 657705 or visit the website at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury

Suck, Squeeze, Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow

Bi Comnpound Charging McDonald 4X4

Bi Compound Charging

 

We’ve read a forum post. It’s crazy.

Take a Series 3 88, with a 2.25l Diesel engine (rice pudding skins; quake ye not in fear) and add a 200Tdi engine.

Fair enough, we thought, seems like a sensible upgrade, reasonable on a cost basis, acceptable on a performance level, a good all-round compromise. Shake and serve in a martini glass. Cushti.

Or there’s ‘Bi Compound Charging’ to add a few horsepower.

Simply add 30 years of engineering experience, superchargers, turbo-chargers, intercoolers and charge coolers, and turn the 2.5l Land Rover engine into something approaching a 7 litre power-house.

We started by asking the question ‘But… why?’

We realised that this was the wrong question.

Failing to find anything more suitable, we settled on the age-old favourite;

‘What’ll it do, Mister?’*

 

If you need anything for your pride and joy, from washers to sprockets to alternator pulleys to Ridley-Scott-Inspired, ‘Last-of-the-V8-Interceptor’ make-overs, contact us directly or go to www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

 

*About 50mph apparently. Remember to tip the hospital porters, not the ambulance crew.

New Vs Old

McDonald 4X4 Discovery G4

Generations of offroaders, picture courtesy of The Telegraph

British offroad veterans have told The Telegraph that they spurn the trappings of modern soft-roaders. Not that they’re rejecting climate control or multi-zone entertainment systems.

What’s at issue here is the very DNA of the vehicle. Pick any modern SUV and you’ll be swamped in a raft of acronyms which let you know that you’re in the best of hands. You don’t have to worry about going fast, or going slow, or going sideways, because #insert name here# is the only manufacturer to keep you and your loved-ones safe.

Except all this techno-wizardry comes at more than a financial cost. It may be a hoary old chestnut, but until turbo-charged engines came along, you could keep your Land Rover going on a shoe-string budget by doing most of the work yourself with the tools you had in your own garage. Even with Tdi engines, the rest of the car was mechanical (and didn’t you just know it if you ever had to push one) so bounced rather well along rutted lanes.

So when you take a Land Rover Discovery 4 for a drive, would you assume it’s natural environment would include mud, or mud packs? Is the intelligent 4 Wheel Drive system going to work this well in 15 years time? Will it do 200,000 miles? How much will it cost to fix when the super-computer in control of everything goes AWOL?

 

McDonald 4X4 JLR Urban Wnindscreen

Technology can show you the way, picture courtesy of Auto Express

And from the sub-slime to the LEDiculous. Jaguar Land Rover has conceived of a time when the computer and the car merge to the driver’s benefit in a Frankensteinian HUD-meets-HAL windscreen, where a series of cameras can be used to replace the view of the car’s internal structure, providing a 360 degree view of the outside world. How likely this is to come to fruition is debatable, as the cost of a TV unit is one thing whereas turning the inside of your car into the outside of your TV is another.

Of greatest interest and use though is the ‘urban windscreen’. Linking a projector to the internet provides a windscreen display with not only a ‘ghost-car’ navigation system but also visual prompts including available parking spaces in car parks or fuel prices at the up-coming service station.

Considering their previous concept of cameras under the body to show the state of the ground under the prodigious bonnets of Range Rovers, we can only wonder when the interior of cars will consist almost exclusively of TV Screen…

If you need parts and accessories for Landrover Defender or indeed any other Land Rover model, from in-car entertainment to air-locking diffs, you can buy Land Rover spare parts and accessories online at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk.

 

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Same SUV, Different Day?

Kahn’t Resist

McDonald 4x4 Kahn Range Rover Sport

The face of footballers’ cars to come…

Picture courtesy of Autocar

It seems as if Jaguar Land Rover is girding its loins for a revamping of the stock. The image above is apparently the official teaser for Kahn Design’s new carbon fibre body kit for the new Range Rover Sport, which has been shod in brushed aluminium 23 inch rims and painted Bright Orange.

Tasteful.

There are plenty of Range Rover Owner’s Rides to compete, thankfully not often in Bright Orange, but seldom are there any finished to the degree of attention Kahn manage.

Apart from the Brabus one, perhaps…

Brabus A Bargain

McDonald 4x4 Brabus Startech Range Rover Sport

Fly me to the moon, let me play among the Startechs…

Picture courtesy of Autoblog

If you have enough money for a Range Rover Sport, why wouldn’t you have enough to give it a boob job?

The company in question ins Brabus, who have a long history of pimping hugely over-weight V8-powered Merceded Benz corporate cruisers, have taken their nom-de-plume, Startech, and applied it to to Gaydon’s fastest Chelsea Tractor.

With the 3 litre V6 win-turbo diesel coaxed to give 323 bhp and 501 lb-ft, you can now hurtle that little bit faster to 62 euro-meddled miles per hour in just under 7 seconds, improved from just over 7 seconds, looking just fabulous.

Putting the Free in Freelander

McDonald LAnd Rover Freelander Face Lift

And whilst you’re at Waitrose, can you get me some strawberries?

Picture courtesy of carguide.com.au

And it’s not just the Range Rover Sport getting kissed by the bling fairy.

Land Rover’s Freelander is due for a makeover too, as it moves from its current home to become part of the Discovery leisure-orientated family. Design hints from the up-coming Brand New Discovery will likely be matched by improved emissions and fuel economy from the mechanicals of the Evoque, and overall it will probably be just as good offroad and on as the current version, but more prettier for shopping in Chelsea, innit?.

Orange or Teracotta?

McDonald 4x4 Orange Evoque Autobiography

Evoques now available in Bright Orange Autobiography trim

Picture courtesy of Autoblog

Talking of Evoque, the baby Rangey is also to benefit from the Autobiography limited edition signature, with a list of interior and exterior upgrades to add refinement and luxury.

For those who like a little bang with their bling, there will also be the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Dynamique. Lifting the output from 245 to 285 bhp, engineers have also breathed on the suspension and gearbox making things firmer, tauter and more responsive.

Heroes A Plenty!

McDonald 4x4 Land Rover Discovery Challenge

Mad as a hatter, and wouldn’t you love to buy him a pint?

The demise of the Land Rover G-series challenges has been covered here before, but there’s good news!

(Yay!)

A list of worthies are to pit themselves against each other, the weather, the climate and Land Rover’s finest ever Discovery.

Jaguar Land Rover News Room:

  • Land Rover Discovery celebrates 25 years with first of its kind adventure challenge
  • The world’s most acclaimed explorers, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Hannah White, Kenton Cool and Eric Loizeau compete against each other for the first time ever
  • The experienced explorers team with up-and-coming adventurers in their bid to be crowned Land Rover’s ‘Next Generation Explorer’

On Sunday 2nd March, Land Rover will bring together four of the world’s greatest explorers for an epic mountain adventure. For the first time ever, they will compete against each other as they take part in the search for Land Rover’s Next Generation Explorer in the Discovery Adventure Challenge. Marking 25years of the Land Rover Discovery, the celebrated explorers will mentor four promising, young adventurers as they compete in the grueling six-part challenge.

Against a backdrop of snow and mountains in Megève France, The Discovery Adventure Challenge will push competitors to the limit over 24 hours of tense, testing tasks. Ben Saunders, who, with partner Tarka L’Herpiniere, recently became the first man ever to complete Scott’s notorious Terra Nova Expedition, will compere the competition, whilst Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Hannah White, Kenton Cool and Eric Loizeau will get fiercely competitive as they go head to head in the challenges.

The seasoned explorers will be paired with rising adventurer stars from the British Exploring Society, who they will mentor through the physically and mentally demanding tasks. Hannah Wright (aged 21), Cameron Mackay (aged 18), Alex Woodford (aged 22) and Tim Davies (aged 22) will rotate amongst the Ambassadors as they battle it out for the title of ‘Next Generation Explorer’. The decision lies with the Global Ambassadors who will cast votes for whom they think deserves the title. The winner will be announced Monday 3rd March.

The challenges:

  1. Two Land Rover Discovery XXVs compete side-by-side through a slalom course down the slope. Two tense heats, one final.
  2. Precision and speed will be tested in the vehicle Biathlon: one team member will drive a Land Rover Discovery XXV around a purpose built course, whilst the other plays marksman, shooting a laser gun at a variety of challenging targets.
  3. Physical stamina will be put to the test in this grueling task: pulling one of Ben Saunders’ sleds in a race against time.
  4. As night falls the contestants will be tasked with creating a fire from scratch and digging their own snow holes to sleep in. Points will be awarded for fastest build and warmest hole.
  5. The grand finale will be an all-out boat race across Lake Geneva.

Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director Mark Cameron said, “The Land Rover Discovery has been supporting and inspiring adventurers and adventures since 1989, therefore it’s very fitting to celebrate our 25th anniversary with the Discovery Adventure Challenge and a search for the Next Generation Explorer. We are delighted to be partnering with the British Exploring Society for this search and look forward to supporting the winner in their pursuit of becoming an established explorer.”

If you need anything serviced before crossing the Apennines, or if you really, really want something also painted Bright Orange, check us out online at www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

This article was written by Rupert Astbury.

Land Rover Pics And Flicks

McDonald 4x4 Land Rover Video

Driving skills from the 1970s

Capturing Landies On Film

One of the foremost influences on modern media is the attraction of nostalgia.

You don’t have to create new material, just find black and white footage of Lowry-like figues moving jerkily through faintly familiar tasks, unencumbered by mobile phones, tablets, pads, pods or (most notably) traffic.

So what are your favourite nostalgia sites and sounds for the world’s best off-road brand?

This is what we’ve found:

McDonald 4x4 Dunsfold Collection Forrest Rover

The Dunsfold Collection’s Forrest Rover

Picture courtesy of The Dunsfold Collection

The Dunsfold Collection.

The Collection started life in 1993, as a progression of a private collection started in 1968 by Brian Bashall and continued today by one of his sons, Philip. The vehicle that started it all was a 1962 ex-military 109-inch APGP wader, after that the collection gradually grew larger.

The Dunsfold Collection’s website is a tour de force of simple, effective website design. It’s all there for you, and it’s easy to get to, too!.

Possibly the best collection of photos of Land Rovers in one place, the breadth of collected models is as impressive as the open access to them. From the mechanically beautiful Forrest Rover above to the bling-tastic ‘goldbrick’ Defender, there’s something for everyone.

As the collection was opened to the public to provide the necessary support, their Bi-Annual shows are a great opportunity to view the toys. And if you’ve got a toy of your own, you can join in the fun on their testing off-road circuit.

Don’t miss out on the Freelander test mule built into an Austin Maestro van body. Talk about falling from the ugly tree!

McDonald 4x4 Dunsfold Freelander Test Mule

Dunsfold Collection Freelander Test Mule

 

 

Driving Skills

Land Rover produced, like many manufacturers, copious quantities of promotional material which never acquired a significant audience. Some of these gems have been, copyright issues aside, freed by online video sites.

Here’s one, Land Rover’s own Driving Technique, produced by the Rover Triumph Film Unit!

 

Many videos offer advice, hints and tricks but there’s a difference between user-generated content and expert advice.

It’s the difference between BBC and You’ve Been Framed

Here’s Land Rover Owner’s video on mud-plugging

And a video which looks like Land Rover’s own Camel Trophy training program

Readers Rides

There are also plenty of home-produced videos with hints and tips, but treat most of these with caution. Perhaps they are best used as a guide to how owners have used their video camera, but often they are fun to watch. And we always appreciate the community involvement; respect to anyone who not only spends their hard-earned on a Landy, but who is then brave enough to show the results of their proving session.

Here’s a Series 2 with a 5l V8 and an Australian in it;

 

Mechanical Murals

Time-lapse builds can be a visual feast, and you may even see something which helps!

Changing a chassis

Ground-up Build

 

Documentaries and History

There are plenty of videos of dubious legality, though the ability to find such fascinating material is perhaps what makes video sites so popular.

Here’s on on the history of The Camel Trophy

And one on a Trans-Africa adventure trip (just one lottery jackpot win, just the one..)

Then there are the usual TV Testimonials, when they either run out of things to do or money to pay for the Ferraris they’ve ‘re-styled’

 

So we’ve showed you ours, now it’s your turn.

If you need anything un-built then re-built, and we’ve done everything from Series 101′s (see our previous blogs) to Range Rover Sports, or serviced or repaired or inspected or modified, visit our website to get our contact details www.mcdonald4x4.co.uk

 

This post was written by Rupert Astbury.

Happy New Year

McDonald 4x4 Series Facebook Tab

Hue 166 and cry; Click the image to go to JLR’s Facebook video The Land Rover Story

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Media Centre

Happy new year to all loyal listeners, we’ve been busy supplying the wonderful Land Rover owners all the parts their hearts requested.

Not only have we seen a strong demand for Land Rover parts and accessories at McDonald 4×4, Jaguar Land Rover have seen a record year of sales.

Boosted by the stunning F Type and supported by the Lottery Dreamers’ favourite, the Range Rover Sport, a near-20% increase on the previous year’s figures saw the company wave ta-ta (hur hur) to  425,000 happy customers.

And it’s reasonable to assume that they are happy customers, as Jaguar topped the 2013 JD Power customer survey for the second year in a row.

Judged to be the best performing brand when taking into account dealer servicing and parts prices as well as the ‘owner’ experience, a Jag should be a car you want to get India garage (india garage, get it?)

In terms of individual car performance, the Jaguar XF came third, a mere 0.3% off the winner’s satisfaction score. 82.7% of XF owners placed their car above all others.

On the Four By Four front, Land Rover came 6th overall, the first time it’s entered the top ten of the JD Power Survey and a sign of things to come.

Seeing Land Rover tying in 5th place with  arch off-road rivals Toyota is a real indicator of how much the brand values customers, placing not only their comfort but also the technicians’ performance at the top of their priorities.

The highest Land Rover was the Freelander 2 a join 39th. The Discovery 4 tied at 61, beating amongst other notable adversaries the Audi RS6, Q5, Q7, BMW X3, Volvo XC90.

Hot competition smited, the Chelsea Tractor brand of choice did well considering the compromise necessary when looking at just the vehicle alone. Though you’d love the bling-mobiles on your driveway, the fuel and insurance costs would worry Rupert Murdoch, so perhaps the Skoda Yeti is safe for now.

Watch What Car’s video op-ed on the results here

What Car’s JD Power Survey Video

To see Jaguar Land Rover’s Facebook video The Land Rover Story, click the image above.

 

McDonald 4x4 Red Bull Desert Wings Dakar 2014
Land Rover Red Bull Desert Wings Dakar 2014 Team

Picture courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Media Centre

Red Bull have announced that Land Rover will produce 5 off-roaders to compete in the 2014 Dakar Rally.

The soldier-staffed Race2Recovery team will share the LR bivouac; their race ended early this year as both cars retired on stage 2, but the T4 racing support truck carries on so far and we wish them all the best for a top finish on the 18th of January in Valparaiso, Chile.

Land Rover have confirmed that they will also sponsor Race2Recovery’s Defender Challenge By Bowler in 2014. Good on ‘em, we say.

Continue reading