The Royal Range Rover

Building a vehicle fit for a queen might seem a daunting and intimidating task, but nonetheless, the geniuses at Jaguar Land Rover were up to the charge.

A new State Review Range Rover hybrid debuted recently in a ceremony in which the Queen of England presented new colors to the Royal Welsh Regiment in Cardiff, Wales.

Based on the long-wheelbase Range Rover, the “topless” State Review Rover has a chrome handle running around the outside, no rear window and a fold-down bench seat for when her majesty needs a rest.  It also features a diesel-hybrid powertrain that allows it to creep along at parade speeds in electric-only mode.

Just as U.S. Secret Service tends to chauffeur presidents in Cadillacs and Lincolns, the Royal Family has a longstanding relationship with Land Rover.  The Range Rover Hybrid is the fourth State Review vehicle built by the company, the first being a 1953 Series I.  The new model replaces one based on a 2002 Range Rover.

Jaguar Land Rover is the only automotive company to hold all three Royal Warrants, from The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales.  JLR also recently received a 2015 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, for reducing the environmental impact of its products and its operations.

The Range Rover hybrid isn’t being sold on this side of the pond just yet, although a non-hybrid diesel model was displayed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and is expected to go on sale here in the near future.

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Roving by Remote Control

Now here is something that is sure to impress our readers, as it surely has all of us here at Land Rover Austin in Austin, Texas.

Jaguar Land Rover is now testing a new smartphone app that will allow the driver to tackle the tough terrain all by remote control!    The Range Rover Sport steers, accelerates, brakes and makes U-turns while the driver walks alongside it to help it negotiate demanding landscapes as well as those arduous parking spots.

“Getting a car out of a tricky parking maneuver can be a stressful experience for any driver,” Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology, said in a statement. Features provided by the app demonstrate “how we could use these new technologies to reduce the tedious parts of driving and improve road safety.”

JLR is still testing the system and looking at installing it as a feature starting in about 2020, said Nick O’Donnell, a spokesman.

The remote-control app is controlled via Bluetooth, only usable when the driver is within 30 feet of the car, and the maximum speed will be 4 miles per hour.   There are reported plans to move the system over to Wi-Fi for greater range, and a tablet version, which would take advantage of the Range Rover Sport’s surround camera system to provide a live video feed from the bumpers and wheels, is also said to be in the works.

“The same sensors and systems that will help an autonomous car make the right decisions will assist the driver and enhance the experience to help prevent accidents,” Epple said. “Autonomous car technologies will not take away the fun of driving.

Discover What You Are Missing

In case you haven’t heard, Land Rover Austin is now serving up the all new, highly anticipated Discovery Sport, and we are here to give you a few reasons why it might just be in your best interest to purchase one of these puppies.

No more boxiness:  The Freelander was a satisfactory car for 90s, but we admit its boxy design was starting to look a tad bit dated.  With its round futuristic exterior, the Discovery Sport promises to deliver its fair share of head turners.

Seven seats:  The Discovery Sport somehow manages to pack an impressive seven seats on the interior.   The third row is sure to come in handy for those family outings and cross-country trips.  Plus the second row slides and reclines, to make life a little bit more comfortable in the rear.

Technology: This sleek and compact SUV is jam packed with the latest technology, including a wifi hotspot, a package of apps called InControl that can be downloaded to your smartphone, 360-degree camera coverage around the vehicle, plus an eight-inch color touchscreen to control the stunning and user friendly infotainment system.

A blast to drive: Packing a 2.0 liter Turbocharged I-4 with 9-speed automatic transmission, this 240 horsepower chariot will get you to 60 mph in just under 8 seconds and handles/corners with ultimate ease while on the road, helping everyone remain nice and comfy inside.

Tackle any terrain.  Like its fellow Land Rover brethren, the Discovery Sport can cope with any topography that most owners will face (including up to two feet of water) – and do so with complete composure, thanks to its tried-and tested four-wheel-drive system and finely-tuned suspension.

Safe and sound – The Discovery Sport has earned itself five stars in EuroNCAP crash tests, thanks to not only its superb four-wheel drive system, but also a pedestrian airbag that deploys within 60 milliseconds, Autonomous Emergency Braking and airbags galore (driver and passenger, driver knee, side curtain and thorax).

Now, if you can think of a reason not to get yourself behind the wheel of this exquisite and remarkable machine, then we are all ears!

Call or stop by Land Rover Austin today to schedule a test climb in the all new 2015 Discovery Sport.  We can assure you that you will be more than happy you did.