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Land Rover LR3 Wins Prestigious 2005 Motor Trend SUV of the Year

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 27, 2004 -- Today, the all-new LR3 was named Motor Trend's 2005 Sport/Utility of the Year. Motor Trend editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie, presented this prestigious award to Mike O'Driscoll, president, Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover, at the California International Auto Show in Anaheim, California.

Criteria for the award included a series of comprehensive evaluations and grueling tests-including street, track, and off-road-administered to each of the seven entrants. In addition to LR3, contenders included Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape Hybrid, Ford Freestyle, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Infiniti QX56 and Nissan Pathfinder.

"LR3 significantly changes the rules for today's SUV and Motor Trend is at the leading edge of acknowledging its importance," said O'Driscoll. "LR3 is at the heart of Land Rover's transformation into the 21st century and this award confirms that we achieved the goals we set for it."

Designed and engineered for success, LR3 is new in every way. "This vehicle delivers a premium package that is optimized for North American consumers," added O'Driscoll.

Developed by and for Land Rover, its modern architecture delivers all the comfort, refinement and on-road attributes of a monocoque, while continuing to set new standards in off-road performance.

A specially developed 300hp 4.4-liter version of Jaguar's acclaimed V8 engine, coupled with a six-speed automatic 'intelligent shift' transmission and permanent four-wheel drive, deliver an SUV with outstanding performance.

On-road driving and refinement are further enhanced by a fully independent suspension featuring four-corner air suspension. Like Range Rover, this air suspension is height adjustable, to assist with entry and exit, and to boost ground clearance for off-road performance.

Interiors feature seating for up to seven full-size adults, a fold-flat interior, and an alpine roof which places glass over each seating position.

LR3 continues the brand's tradition of introducing class-leading technologies, the most significant of which is Terrain Response(TM). This patented system optimizes driveability and comfort, as well as maximizing traction. Using a rotary switch on the center console, the driver selects one of five terrain settings:

  -- General driving
  -- Grass/gravel/snow
  -- Mud/ruts
  -- Sand
  -- Rock crawl

Other innovative, user-friendly technologies in LR3 include DVD navigation and optional adaptive headlights that swivel with the direction of travel to illuminate the road ahead.

A well-equipped LR3 is available from $44,995, including free scheduled maintenance for four years/50,000 miles. Vehicles are available at Land Rover's 164 retailers beginning November 1, 2004.