LAND ROVER TO RETURN TO U.S. MARKET
LAND ROVER TO RETURN TO U.S. MARKET DETROIT, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Range Rover of North America, Inc.
announced it will import the Land Rover Defender in early fall as the first phase of a plan to expand its product range in the U.S.
Charles R. Hughes, president, told a news conference at the North American International Automobile Show, "The legend created by Land Rovers over the years was earned in the toughest conditions imaginable. We will develop the Land Rover marque here by offering products that have a unique heritage." The Land Rover Defender for the U.S. will be equipped with a 3.9-liter, 180bhp V-8 engine, making it the most powerful production Land Rover. The vehicle shown was on a one-day stopover in Detroit before continuing on to northern Ontario where it will undergo cold weather testing in temperatures reaching 40 degrees below zero. Although the Land Rover was last sold in the U.S. in 1974, many examples are still running and commanding premium resale prices. The U.S. model is a highly refined generation of the One Ten Series that debuted in 1983. A limited production run of 500 of the aluminum-bodied Land Rover Defenders will be imported. They will have Land Rover construction hallmarks featuring high ground clearance, a rigid boxed steel ladder chassis and permanent four-wheel drive. The U.S. Land Rover Defender will be a five-door model with front bucket seats, a rear bench and four folding jump seats in the cargo area for a total passenger capacity of nine. The vehicle will be fitted with 16-inch Michelin X mud and snow tires, heavy duty roof rack and exterior rollcage originally developed for use on the Paris-Moscow-Beijing rally. An 8,000-pound capacity winch will be optional. The fuel-injected aluminum V-8 engine is mated to a two-speed transfer case with manually locking center differential. A five-speed manual gearbox will be the only transmission offered. Front and rear live axles use long travel coil springs and telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. Power brakes use discs in front and drums in the rear. The vehicle meets all applicable federal safety and emission standards for light trucks and multi-purpose vehicles. The Land Rover Defender will be available primarily through those existing Range Rover dealers who meet the company's stringent franchise requirements. Some dealers have already started taking orders. While final pricing is yet to be determined, Hughes said the target is under $40,000. Sharing the British Automobile Manufacturers Association display at the show are three versions of the 1992 Range Rover which Hughes noted "represent one of the best European luxury vehicle values available today." The 1992 Range Rover has a manufacturer's suggested retail price ranging from $38,900 to $44,500 for the Range Rover County. More than 18,000 Range Rovers have been sold here since 1987. While pointing out Rover Group restrictions in discussing future product plans, Hughes noted that the company is also doing research on the Land Rover Discovery model which has been a smash hit in the U.K. and Europe since its introduction in 1989. The Discovery is a five- door, four-wheel-drive wagon renowned for its roominess and recreational suitability. No timetable was given for its possible U.S. availability. Range Rover of North America, Inc. is a member of the Rover Group Ltd., Bickenhill, England. -0- 1/8/92 /CONTACT: Bill Baker or Carolyn Reimann of Range Rover, 301-731-9041, or at the auto show exhibit, 313-393-4366 or 313-393-4367/ CO: Range Rover of North America, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT
JG-KK -- DE025 -- 7909 01/08/92 15:34 EST
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Jan 8, 1992|
|Previous Article:||CBOE ELECTS WILLIAM C. FLOERSCH TO SECOND TERM AS VICE CHAIRMAN; TWO PUBLIC DIRECTORS REAPPOINTED|
|Next Article:||AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY ANNOUNCES 1991 RADIOLOGY NEWS AWARDS COMPETITION|