1980 - Land Rover Defender
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1980 - Land Rover Defender
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Auto blogWed, 26 Feb 2014 19:00:00 EST
Of all the tuners this side of AMG, none are as close to Mercedes-Benz as Brabus. After all, when Daimler needed a tuner to spruce up the Smart car, it was Brabus that it turned to. But Brabus tunes vehicles other than Mercedes - it just uses, let's call it, a pen name. It brands them Startech, like the widebody kit it's developed for the new Range Rover Sport and will present at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
The modifications center around the carbon fiber body panels Brabus (excuse us, Startech) has developed for the British sport-ute that give it over two inches of added width. The wider fender flares encompass 23-inch wheels that are forged, ceramic-coated, skinned with low-profile rubber and fitted to a lowered suspension. The front and rear bumpers have been redone in plastic and can be fitted with or without the wider fenders, and there's a three-piece roof spoiler at the back.
Startech is also offering an upgrade for the 3.0-liter twin-turbo-diesel V6 that squeezes out an extra 31 horsepower and 59 pound-feet of torque for a total of 323 hp and 501 lb-ft, dropping the 0-62 time from 7.2 seconds to 6.9. The German tuner also has a wide array of interior modifications on offer, details of which you can read about in the press release below and scope out in the high-resolution image gallery above.
Anyone who's a car fan knows that Jaguar and Land Rover cars and trucks all come from the UK. And while we don't doubt that will remain true for the most part, it won't be an absolute truth for long, as the British automaker has just opened its first factory overseas.
Its new plant in Changshu, China, is the result of a $1.8-billion joint venture between JLR and local automaker Chery. It covers some 4.3-million square feet and will, once at peak capacity, produce 130,000 units specifically for the Chinese market, where JLR sells over 100,000 vehicles each year to make it the company's single largest market worldwide.
Production at what's officially known as the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company will start with the Evoque, of which one in five globally are currently sold in China. Production will eventually encompass three models. We already know that the Discovery Sport will be next, but the third model line has yet to be announced. JLR has confirmed, however, that the Changshu plant will produce unique models and derivatives specifically for the Chinese market, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a long-wheelbase version of the forthcoming XE or next-generation XF assembled there to satisfy local tastes.
Jaguar has moved its Range Rover Evoque-bodied tests of the production C-X17 Concept from icy streets to the legendary Nürburgring, as work continues on the brand's first SUV.
Really, there's not a great deal of new stuff here. Based on the number plates, this is a different vehicle from the one we saw back in March, which we originally identified as the upcoming replacement for the Land Rover Freelander/LR2. The details, though, appear largely the same. The biggest distinction we can see between the March tests and this are the US-spec headlights, which add amber reflectors at their sides. Based on these shots, it does seem as if the C-X17 should be a fairly poised road vehicle, as the engineers hustle it around the 'Ring.
Of course, as soon our spies can capture images of a production-bodied C-X17, we'll be sure to pass those on to you. Until then, take a look up top for images of the Range Rover-bodied Jaguar as it tests at Germany's Nürburgring. You can also scroll down for our March images for the C-X17 mules testing on public roads.