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Budget Direct Renders Six Unique Manufacturer Collaborations

Budget Direct Renders Six Unique Manufacturer Collaborations

There are some great results, and some "close your eyes!" results

One of the great things about car renderings is the ability to let your imagination go crazy. You can use an existing car model and re-imagine it without a roof, or you can get really creative and redesign it in a different body type altogether. There’s something to be said, then, for renderings that take two models from two different automakers and combine them to create an entirely new model. It’s the kind of Transformers-like job that we should be seeing more often in the real world. Or should we? The truth is, BudgetsDirect undertook this very exercise, and the results are all “interesting,” to say the least. As an added bonus, we’re doing our own part and renaming these creations in the best way we can.

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Jaguar Land Rover Plans To Enter Formula E Series

Jaguar Land Rover Plans To Enter Formula E Series

Jaguar Land Rover is set to return to motor racing. A press conference to announce the British car marker’s plans has been scheduled for next week, according to a report from Sky News.

The specific details of the press conference are still unclear at this point, but all signs seem to point to the company announcing its intention to compete in the Formula E World Championship, becoming the latest manufacturer to throw its name into the young series. The other automakers that are already involved in Formula E are Audi, Renault, and Peugeot.

The company’s decision to join Formula E is reportedly tied into its plans to enter the electric car world, especially with the series’ whole revolving around the propagation of electric technology. Apart from the obvious competitive standpoint, JLR believes that being a part of Formula E will give it the proper environment to boost the development of its electric road car program. After all, there’s no other racing series in the world that offers comprehensive live testing for electrification technology.

It’s unlikely that JLR will be able to enter a full racing team this season since it’s already underway. In fact, Jaguar’s pending announcement will happen a few weeks before the third round of the season at Uruguay. A formal accreditation from the FIA is also still in the works. Until JLR secures that, it won’t be able to compete in the series. If the company really is going all-in on its involvement in Formula E, look for it to spend the remainder of the season preparing for its entry next year.

That’s going to give the company, and the team it eventually fields, enough time to get settled in with a functioning racing team and a full driver lineup.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Jaguar Land Rover Considers "SV" Badged Models Placed Under the SVR

Jaguar Land Rover Considers "SV" Badged Models Placed Under the SVR

There has been a pretty good response to Mercedes’ AMG Sport lineup, BMW’s M Performance line, and Audi’s S-Line. What sets these models apart is that they hover between their respective base models and their all-out performance siblings. Jaguar Land Rover has taken note of the interest that these models have drummed up, and is starting to consider its own `tweener performance models.

According to a report from Motoring.com.au, JLR will give its customers who can’t swing a full SVR, a slightly less insane SV model. Like the SVR models, the SV models will still be touched by the folks at SVO, but with a little less power and less of a hit on the old wallet.

To date, the only full-SVR model is the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, but rumor has it that a 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR and a 2016 Jaguar XE SVR will soon follow. Chances are that these three models will also be the first to receive the SV treatment.

There is no timeframe for the release of these SV-badged vehicles, but with the lone SVR model on a six-month waiting list, Jaguar will likely look to cash in on this popularity sooner rather than later. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the first SV-badged vehicle making its debut within the next 12 to 15 months.

Let us know what you think of this possible expansion in the comments below. Is JLR biting off more than it can chew, or is it finally primed to give the German heavy hitters a run for their money?

Continue reading to learn more about this story.

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Jaguar Land Rover Announces Three Cars To Be Featured in Bond Spectre

Jaguar Land Rover Announces Three Cars To Be Featured in Bond Spectre

The 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, set to be called "Spectre," will feature an array of eye candy for car enthusiasts, as Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced that three of its special vehicles will appear in the movie. We already knew that Aston Martin’s DB10 will be the new "Bond car," but the three JLR models are likely to be equally rewarding for car fans. I say this since these will not be stock vehicles, but ones provided by Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, which is kind of like a skunkworks team for the British company.

The breathtaking Jaguar C-X75 concept will feature in a car chase through Rome alongside Bond’s Aston Martin DB10, with Jaguar mentioning that a number of C-X75 models have been built specifically for the film in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering. Unlike the original electric-gas turbine concept car, the C-X75 used in "Spectre" will be powered by a supercharged, 5.0-liter, V-8, so expect some old-school exhaust sounds during the chase sequence.

The other two JLR vehicles to make an appearance are a Range Rover Sport SVR and a heavily modified Land Rover Defender, both of which have already finished filming for "Spectre" in Austria. As some of you know, the Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest and most powerful production Landie ever, but I have a feeling that the Defender will leave a more lasting impression on movie-goers, thanks to its lifted chassis and 37-inch off-road tires.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar-Land Rover’s "Spectre" lineup.

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TopSpeed Podcast Episode 026

TopSpeed Podcast Episode 026

Well that was a wild and exciting Podcast. As always, we want to send a super special thanks to everyone who tuned in live, and to everyone who gave us questions to answer. If you didn’t happen to catch the live show, let me inform you of what you have waiting for you after you click that play button.

We start the show off in the usual manner with the Weekly Wheels segment where Mark talks about how good the Scion FR-S is, even though it had an automatic transmission. I then proceed to tell him he is incorrect, and then we move on to talking about my time with the long wheelbase Range Rover. Spoiler: it’s like driving a house made of $100 bills.

We had a pretty busy news week and so there was a lot to cover. We move from the Range Rover straight into Mark’s choice for the five best off-road machines, talk about a worthless BMW that someone tried to sell for $18k and we even talk about the new pointless Mercedes SUV… sort of.

In other car news, we cover the shiny new Volvo XC90, the upcoming Focus RS rumors and the potential for a Ford Mustang with a 10-speed transmission. You know, like a mountain bike.

We finish the show with a fairly lengthy Q&A followed by our signature Own, Drive, Burn. For the viewer questions we discuss when the new NSX might finally arrive, what our current dream long term test car may be, the potential future of the Mazdaspeed3 and whether it is a good idea to buy a nice used car or a cheaper new one. For Own, Drive, Burn we decide between three legendary classic Hot Hatches.

The show did run a little long, but since it was the six month anniversary of our first podcast, we figured you guys wouldn’t care too much.

A quick parting note to all our US viewers. This is a crazy holiday weekend, and traditionally there are lots of incidents involving motorized things and the use of alcohol. We want you back next week, so don’t do anything stupid like drink and drive.

Don’t forget to drop your questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for next week’s show in the comments below.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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From Pauper to Prince: A Look at Jaguar's Record-Setting Sales

From Pauper to Prince: A Look at Jaguar’s Record-Setting Sales

Lots of companies had a successful 2013, but Jaguar and Land Rover had one of the best. In the U.S. alone Jaguar saw sales jump by 41-percent, making it the fastest growing brand in the States this year. Land Rover also had a great showing this year with a 14.5-percent gain over 2012.

Together, these two brands brought in 66,962 sales in the U.S. Worldwide, the Jaguar Land Rover group was able to move 425,006 vehicles, a 19-percent jump over last year’s performance. The company set new sales records in 38 markets. Worldwide, Jaguar actually beat its U.S. growth at 42-percent, for a total of 76,668 cars sold.

2013 has been a record sales year for almost every major brand, but Jaguar is the only brand among its competitors to see growth above 25-percent. What is Jaguar doing right to make such an amazing leap in the market, and how is this success helping Land Rover?

Click past the jump to read all about how Jaguar made this awesome leap.

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Land Rover Evoque cabrio in the works

Land Rover Evoque cabrio in the works

Have you ever wanted a luxury SUV that would let you soak up the sun? Well, you may just get one that is fully capable. We’re not talking fancy glass sunroofs either; we’re talking about an Evoque convertible. LandRover is reportedly considering a drop top model of their new jewel and when AutoExpress talked to them about this rumor, they did not deny it.

"A convertible Evoque wouldn’t be the maddest brand extension. It isn’t a totally crazy idea," a spokeperson admitted. “All I can say is watch this space. We’ve got lots of ideas for the Evoque."

There’s no word about what will power this Land Rover convertible, but it will most likely be the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine that pumps out 237 horsepower and 250 ft/lbs of torque. As for pricing, expect a base cost north of the premium Evoque Coupe Dynamic ($52,895).

Competition for this cabrio will emerge from Nissan, who premiered a convertible version of their Murano SUV called the Cross Cabriolet. We are supremely excited to see how this new market segment develops because before these vehicles, the only full size SUV that had a drop top was the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. This vehicle was made to pound the dirt trails as opposed to the streets of Dana Point and is about as elegant as a pair of cargo pants. The Land Rover would offer people the convertible experience combined with both luxury amenities and the practicality of a Land Rover. Who can say no to a car that offers you all that?

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Tata considering joint engine development with Jaguar Land Rover

Tata considering joint engine development with Jaguar Land Rover

It’s been about three years since Tata bought Jaguar and Land Roverfrom one of America’s big top three - Ford - and now the company is thinking of taking the last few necessary steps to completely cut ties with the former owner. A new Tata annual report has been released stating that the company is considering a joint engine-development program with its Jaguar Land Rover unit. If pushed through, the new engine could cement the two brands’ independence from Ford.

"To optimize the synergistic strengths between JLR and Tata Motors in India, an examination is also under way on a joint engine development program which would have manufacturing facilities both in the U.K. and India," Ratan Tata said in a recent interview.

These new engines will be a big step for the Indian company, who are beginning to pick up speed with models like the Range Rover Evoque and the new Jaguar XK and XF. Our concern will be for future models which will need adequate engines to obtain proper performance numbers matching that of the Ford-built engines. Whether or not Tata has the ability to pull something like this off is still up in the air.

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2011 Range Rover Evoque

2011 Range Rover Evoque

The release of the Range Rover Evoque makes it clear that land Rover is confident enough in the brand to shift their focus from its core values. The explosion of the most recent Range Rover models, including the sport; into mainstream luxury automotive portfolio’s has shown Land Rover that they can compete with the best on every level. No single vehicle matches the current Range Rover in terms of style, capability, and refinement. The major downside to must urban dwellers owning a Range Rover is that they will never fully experience its capabilities as an off-road machine. This is where Land Rover will attempt to fill a need with the Evoque.

Once upon a time someone would mention Land Rover and an image would flash in my mind of a yellow Defender 110 trudging through some African jungle on a Camel Trophy race. Those days may be gone, but Land Rover hopes to enter the forefront of the consumers mind when thinking about mid-size SUV’s full of luxury appointments. The segment is crowded and includes big players from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. It seems that Land Rover has learned a lot from its Ford and BMW days and is poised to release its 3 different versions of the Evoque.

It will be the smallest, lightest, and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever made. The term, “Range Rover” must be taken with a grain of salt, because yes Land Rover is tagging this new model as a Range Rover Evoque instead of simply a new line. Nonetheless, it seems that prices will fall in the $45,000 range depending on which model you choose. Head to Land Rover’s website to use the Evoque configurator and build your own.

Hit the jump for more details on the Range Rover Evoque

UPDATE 04/04/2011: Land Rover UK has announced that the new Evoque model will go on sale with prices ranging from £27,955 ($44,800) for an eD4 Pure 5-door 6 Speed manual 2WD model to £44,320 ($71,000) for the Si4 Dynamic with LUX Pack 6 Speed Automatic 4WD version. The company has also put up an online cofigurator so customers can configure the Evoque of their dreams.

UPDATE 07/01/2011: Land Rover has announced the US prices for the 2012 Evoque SUV scheduled to go on sale this fall. The Evoque will be offered at a starting price of $43,995 for the five-door, and $44,995 for the coupe. It will deliver a fuel economy of 28 mph on the highway and 19 mpg city.

Press release after the jump.

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Video: The new Range Rover Evoque hits Paris in style

Video: The new Range Rover Evoque hits Paris in style

The newRange Rover Evoque made its world debut at the Paris Auto Show, but its reveal started much earlier than when the show opened its doors. As the upswell of excitement hit the fashion capital of the world, RangeRover enlisted the help of four artists to help the process along. These four artists each created a wire frame model of the Evoque highlighting the car’s strengths. RangeRover then took these models and placed them in front of Paris’ landmarks, including the centre pompidou and palais de tokyo.

The celebration of the unveiling continued as the four pieces were moved to a boat by the Seine where the Evoque’s launch party was being held. This video will give you a sneak peek at which celebrities were on hand at the event, as well as a look at the actual unveiling. Not a superstar video, but worth a few minutes of your time.

As a reminder: the new Evoque will be offered in both three and five door body types with 4WD and 2WD versions available. Under the hood there will be a new 2.0-liter Si4 turbocharged engine that combines direct fuel injection and twin variable valve timing. Both models will go on sale fall of 2011.

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Custom Range Stormer 2-doors on sale for $500,000

Custom Range Stormer 2-doors on sale for $500,000

Most of you folks know the West Coast Customs company especially from TV. The well-known company built a Range Stormer 2-door based on the Range Rover Sport last year for the Royal family of Dubai. It seems that the tuner didn’t stop here and looking at the success of the first vehicle it decided to build some more cars for the wealthy clients there.

The vehicle you see in the photos is owned by a Dubai car dealer and is on sale for $500,000 on AutoTrader Dubai. It looks like West Coast Customs hit the jackpot with this new car due to the fact that many rich people from Dubai will want a car like that. Most interesting thing is that, according to the dealer, only 3 car like this were ever made...

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Land Rover TT - off road coupe

Land Rover TT - off road coupe

Land Rover is planning an off-road coupe as part of a plan to broaden the brand’s appeal to a new generation of buyers.
The TT will come to replace the two-door Freelander and will be launched in 2013. It is suppose to be a smaller LR2 and will add gloss to the family of affordable, light-duty 4x4s that the company has been hinting at over the past few years, and that could also include the more traditional, rugged but affordable ’Landie’ that has been mooted for so (...)

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