Land Rover For 1997
By Carey Russ
Land Rover is one of the pioneers in the sport-utility field. Since the company's first vehicle was made in 1948, over one million have seen use throughout both civilized and uncivilized parts of the world. The original Range Rover created the luxury sport-utility segment when it made its debut in 1970. Land Rover is celebrating its tenth year selling its products in this country, which is now the company's largest export market. Land Rover has a complete line of sport-utility vehicles for a variety of budgets.
The most basic offering from Land Rover is less basic than its ancestors, but no less capable. It is the only motor vehicle that some people in remote parts of the world have ever seen, yet it is fully civilized, with options including air conditioning and a CD changer. A new interior console even has cupholders. The Defender has a new, larger version of the venerable Land Rover aluminum V8 engine this year. For the first time, the limited-production Defender has an automatic transmission. Permanent 4-wheel drive, a long-travel suspension, an external Safari cage, and element-repellent twill-effect vinyl interiors are standard equipment. A limited number of individually-numbered Defenders will be offered this year, available in soft top or hardtop form.
Land Rover's core model is the Discovery. It has a number of refinements this year, including burled walnut interior trim and standard power seats on upscale models. Even with the luxury features, the Discovery is outfitted to cope with the most severe conditions on or off the road. Land Rover long-travel suspension with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, dual air bags, and side-impact protection beams are standard safety features on all Discovery models.
The descendent of the first luxury sport-utility vehicle is still the only SUV to combine British elegance with off-road toughness. Two models are offered: the 4.0 SE and high-performance 4.6 HSE. Both have refinements including the HomeLink remote transmitter that uses one control to operate multiple devices, including garage doors and security gates.
Every Range Rover has a sophisticated security system, permanent 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel disc brakes, and an electronically- controlled air suspension system with adjustable ride height.