Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Land Rover Heaven in One Hell of a Vehicle. ; Smart Special Edition Marks 65th Anniversary First Test Drive of the New Range Rover Sport

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Land Rover Heaven in One Hell of a Vehicle. ; Smart Special Edition Marks 65th Anniversary First Test Drive of the New Range Rover Sport

Article excerpt

I'VE died and gone to Land Rover heaven.

In the grounds of a stunning stately home are over 130 historic Land Rovers sitting on the grass and gravel before me ... and I can take my pick to go for a spin around the grounds of the Packington Estate near Solihull. As a Land Rover owner and fan it does not get any better than this ... although some of the vehicles are far too historic and valuable to let your average hack loose in - such as the very first Land Rover, 'HUE 166', or those which used to belong to The Queen!

I am here to celebrate this week's anniversary of 65 years since HUE 166 trundled out of the factory in 1947.

There are Land Rovers in camouflage with guns on them, Land Rovers with tank tracks where the wheels should be, a Land Rover ice cream van... even a Land Rover that can swim.

And I am also here to try out the very latest offering from this iconic British car maker - the 2013 special edition LXV Defender - of which only 65 will be made for sale in the UK.

Packington is where the first Land Rovers were tested, so it was chosen for an event billed as the biggest gathering of 'heritage' and prototype Land Rovers of all kinds ever staged - from the basic Series Ones to top-of-the-range 2013 Range Rovers.

The LXV is the latest in a line of Defenders which have now sold in excess of two million worldwide.

It is only available in 90" hard top form, equipped with the standard 2.2-litre diesel engine and 6-speed manual transmission - but this striking special edition sports 16-inch 'Sawtooth' alloy wheels and comes in Santorini Black with contrasting Corris Grey roof, grille, headlight surrounds and fascia.

The interior boasts exclusive full leather seats with orange contrast stitching and exterior LXV decals. Pricing in the UK will start from Pounds 28,765. A test drive over moderately challenging terrain shows the LXV to be as unstoppably competent off road as we have come to expect from Land Rover Defender. …

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