The Star Democrat

ENTERING A NEW ERA

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Perhaps the worldwide financial crisis will turn out to be a good thing for Land Rover. Under Ford’s leadership, Land Rovers gained a reputation for guzzling gas. Ford sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to the up-and-coming Tata Motors of India for $2.3 billion in 2008.

Like all the brands and former brands of the big three automakers, Land Rover stands poised to enter into a new era.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the introducti­on of its iconic highend off-roader, the Range Rover. It’s been completely redesigned from the ground up recently, and by all accounts it raises the bar for what is possible in a rugged, luxurious SUV. It’s as comfortabl­e as it is tough, capable of helping drivers relax on the highway or get to destinatio­ns far from pavement.

The Evoque also is turning heads for all the right reasons.A gorgeous, modern-looking vehicle, it’s also designed to be the most efficient Land Rover ever. As other brands struggled through the recession, just hoping to survive, Jaguar Land Rover reported a jump in its sales recently.

Those are all good signs for this iconic British brand.The reputation it’s built — for constructi­ng comfortabl­e, luxurious off-road vehicles that can travel anywhere with the amenities of home — is just as secure as it ever was.

As it enters a new era, Land Rover is showing how a brand can thrive when it makes great products.

TECHNOLOGY:

Touch-screen infotainme­nt systems; advanced traction control systems; efficient Evoque bucks the energy-inefficien­t Land Rover stereotype.

FAMOUS MODELS:

Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery LR3.

Land Rover began in 1948 in the UK when auto designer Maurice Wilks was inspired by a tough World War II American Jeep.

KNOWN FOR:

Pricey and luxurious but powerful and safe.

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