Recession may be all around us but for some, the good times still roll. Last year 32 buyers paid over €100,000 for Range Rover models with one retired gent forking out over €150,000 for a top-of-the-range Autobiography version.
Land Rover/Range Rover sold 243 units in January, up 23 per cent on the same month last year and February is on track for 140 sales. Range Rovers sell in small numbers but due to the level of interest in the all-new arrival, the expectation of 40 sales has now been revised to 60 for the year. The new fourth generation has created a lot of interest because of the all new aluminium body, the new styling and luxurious interior.
Impressive is the weight loss – it is now lighter than a 3 series BMW by 23 kg as the new version has shed 420 kg, the equivalent weight of five adults. The result is a 50 per cent saving in road tax and an 8 per cent improvement in fuel economy.
Rich people do look after their money and do not like waste so the 4.4 litre V8 models will be largely shunned in favour of the 3-litre V6 which starts in price at €119,355, rising to €135,075 for the more luxurious Vogue version which will be the best seller. The Autobiography version with this power plant costs €153,335.
This power plant is more than adequate for on and off-road conditions and the road tax has been trimmed down to €1,200 a year. This is a luxury transporter and power comes through an eight-speed automatic transmission with H and L drive. Every conceivable luxury device has been added including an electric retractable step so the smaller-sized driver can climb in and out with dignity. Add about €1,000 for this although with these prices, it should be a standard fixture.
Not lumpy on the tarmac, sensors make it town friendly but when out roughing it, there is a terrain response feature which will pick from five different driving modes automatically to make sure you do not have to get out and get your wellies muddy. Just sit back and enjoy the majestic views from the all-electric driver's seat.
Eddie Kavanagh, general manager of Land Rover Ireland, said that Range Rover was a rival to marques such as Porsche and Aston Martin and was the versatile choice with a strong following worldwide.
The OHM group which handles the Land Rover/ Jaguar franchise here also launched the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake, one of the most stylish luxury estate models to hit our roads for some time. Prices start at €47,220 for the entry level 2.2 D SE with 163 bhp with the Luxury version coming in at €51,600. A premium Luxury version with 200 bhp costs €57,770. All models have an annual road tax of €280. A 3-litre diesel offering costs €60,550.
Jaguar expects to sell 50 of the five-door models and buyers will appreciate the big boot and the fuel saving stop-start technology and the economical eight-speed automatic transmission.