It's official: the Land Rover Freelander is now a classic car

It’s official: the Land Rover Freelander is now a classic car

It's official: the Land Rover Freelander is now a classic car

What makes a car a classic? To qualify for heritage status, says Land Rover, it needs to have been ‘out of production for longer than 10 years’ – and that now includes the original Freelander.

Launched in 1997, the first-generation Freelander was produced for nine years, with more than 200,000 being sold worldwide during that time. It was a huge success for Land Rover – becoming Europe’s best-selling four-wheel-drive for five consecutive years following its launch.

Throwback Thursday: a visit to Land Rover

There are still plenty of original Freelanders on the road, despite suffering a poor reputation for reliability. But Land Rover is now catering for it as a ‘heritage vehicle’, with specialist parts and experts on hand to help keep older Freelanders running.

Jaguar Land Rover Heritage’s director, Tim Hannig, said: “With the addition of the Freelander 1 as a Heritage model, Land Rover is reaffirming its support and commitment to its loyal customers by providing exceptional cars, services, parts and experiences for models more than 10 years out of production.

“Genuine Land Rover Heritage Parts for Freelander 1 have been engineered and tested in extreme conditions. As such it gives our customers total peace-of-mind that their vehicles are maintained to the highest possible standards.”

The company says that more than 9,000 individual heritage parts are now available for the original Freelander – as well as a further 33,000 for other Jaguar Land Rover heritage vehicles.

RAC diesel car

Diesel drops below £1 a litre – and experts say it could stay that way

RAC diesel car

The big four supermarkets have axed diesel prices below £1 per litre for the first time in more than six years.

Supermarket chain Morrisons cut diesel to below £1 a litre on Sunday – with Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s following today. It comes after petrol prices dropped below a £1 a litre in the run-up to Christmas.

The RAC has welcome the move – but says that retailers have been slow in passing on savings from lower oil prices.

Spokesman for the RAC’s Fuel Watch scheme, Pete Williams, said: “The UK’s 11 million diesel drivers will clearly welcome this move by the big supermarkets, although it would be fair to say it has been slow in coming.

“The wholesale price of diesel has been around two pence cheaper than the wholesale price of petrol since a couple of weeks before Christmas so we should have seen these cuts earlier and that is what the RAC has been calling for.”

With an average tank of 55 litres, diesel drivers will save more than £10 every time they fill up compared to this time last year, says the RAC. But it’s not just a momentary blip in prices – with fuel prices expected to remain low over the coming months.

Williams added: “Saudi Arabia has reiterated its intention not to cut oil production so the world will continue to be awash with oil as demand is also down suggesting that sustained lower petrol and diesel prices are going to be around for much of 2016.

“This is great news for consumers and motorists generally for whom the cost of motoring is one of their biggest gripes. But it will also benefit UK business which runs on diesel and should be a further stimulus to the economy.”

The motoring organisation points out that around three quarters of the price we pay at the bump goes to the Treasury in fuel duty and VAT. This means there’s a limit to how low fuel prices will go – but it says that ‘a pump price of as low as 90 pence a litre is not that far-fetched’.

Volkswagen Budd-e concept teased ahead of CES 2016 debut

Volkswagen Budd-e concept teased ahead of CES 2016 debut

Volkswagen Budd-e concept teased ahead of CES 2016 debut

Volkswagen has released a video teasing its brand new concept car – set to be unveiled at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The concept has previously been teased through pictures posted by the manufacturer on Twitter, but now a Youtube video gives us a better idea of what to expect.

The concept is likely to be called the ‘Budd-e’ concept and speculation suggests it’ll be a revised, all-electric version of the Bulli concept, revealed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

The company has recently said that it’ll concentrate on electric and alternatively-fuelled vehicles, in the wake of last year’s dieselgate emissions scandal.

Volkswagen’s chairman of passenger cars, Dr Herbert Diess, is set to unveil the new model as part of his keynote speech. The company has hinted that he will focus on the latest developments in electric vehicles, and touch on the next generation of connectivity.

Faraday Future

Faraday Future’s Tesla-rivalling electric car is coming to CES 2016

Faraday FutureFaraday Future, a startup car company backed by Chinese internet billionaire Jia Yueting, will reveal a bold new concept car at CES 2016 this week with which it aims to challenge Tesla and the rest of the ‘traditional’ car industry.

And not only will the secretive new Faraday concept car be revealed in Las Vegas’ tech show extravaganza, it will also be built there – in a new $1 billion factory north of the city eventually creating 4,500 jobs.


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Very little is known about the car at the moment, other than it will be fully electric with “smart and seamless connectivity to the outside world”.

Faraday also revealed a teaser image, suggesting it will be a larger, executive-sized car, rather than a roadster or city car.

So who’s creating it? Currently, a team that includes big names from other car companies, including Nick Sampson, Tesla’s former chassis engineering director, and Richard Kim who was the lead designer for BMW’s i3 and i8 concepts. Faraday claims to have more than 400 employees (it hoped to have hit 500 by the end of 2015).

Unlike traditional car companies, reckons Faraday, its cars will place “equal emphasis on automotive and technology disciplines”. This means the cars will be user-centric and technology first, rather than traditional cars that have had technology added in.

“If we could forget everything we know about cars, would we invent the same car industry we have today?” poses the firm in its trailer video.

“What would happen if we just started clean?” At CES 2016 this week, we’ll find out what indeed may happen.

RAC breakdown: fixing a flat car battery

Check your car battery isn’t flat TODAY warns RAC

RAC breakdown: fixing a flat car batteryMotorists should make sure cars that have been little-used over the festive break don’t have a flat battery ahead of Monday 4 January’s big return to work, warns the RAC.

Traditionally, the first Monday after Christmas is the biggest breakdown day of the year for the organisation: the fact this year’s break has encouraged many to remain on holiday between Christmas and New Year could accentuate the 2016 breakdown risk.

Add in Britain’s recent damp weather and it’s a recipe for ‘battery blues’.


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“But it really doesn’t have to be that way, advised RAC patrol of the year Ben Wilson.

“All people need to do is make sure they take their cars for a good run this weekend. That way they will revive the battery or have time to sort the problem out.

And who’s most at risk from a flat battery? “Experience tells us that it is often families with two or more vehicles that tend to suffer most from the ‘Manic Monday’ flat battery problem.”

The simplest way to avoid a breakdown, says Wilson, is to take your car for a good run this weekend. “Don’t just start the vehicles and then switch it off because that may do more harm than good.”

The best advice of all? “Top it up with fuel before you have to go back to work so you can avoid the queues at the filling stations – if it’s a few miles away, this will also give your battery a bit of a boost too.”

Top 5 tips for taking care of your car battery

  1. Switch everything off at the end of your journey: lights, heater, fan, radio, heated rear windscreen
  2. Pull everything out of the 12v power sockets (such as sat navs, in-car DVDs, smartphone chargers)
  3. Take a look at the battery connections: make sure they’re tight and free from corrosion
  4. Batteries wear out: if it’s more than four years old, get it tested and budget for a new one
  5. Give the battery and easy time on cold mornings: park your car in a garage if possible
RAC breakdown: fixing a flat car battery

Check your car battery isn't flat TODAY warns RAC

RAC breakdown: fixing a flat car batteryMotorists should make sure cars that have been little-used over the festive break don’t have a flat battery ahead of Monday 4 January’s big return to work, warns the RAC.

Traditionally, the first Monday after Christmas is the biggest breakdown day of the year for the organisation: the fact this year’s break has encouraged many to remain on holiday between Christmas and New Year could accentuate the 2016 breakdown risk.

Add in Britain’s recent damp weather and it’s a recipe for ‘battery blues’.


Read more:


“But it really doesn’t have to be that way, advised RAC patrol of the year Ben Wilson.

“All people need to do is make sure they take their cars for a good run this weekend. That way they will revive the battery or have time to sort the problem out.

And who’s most at risk from a flat battery? “Experience tells us that it is often families with two or more vehicles that tend to suffer most from the ‘Manic Monday’ flat battery problem.”

The simplest way to avoid a breakdown, says Wilson, is to take your car for a good run this weekend. “Don’t just start the vehicles and then switch it off because that may do more harm than good.”

The best advice of all? “Top it up with fuel before you have to go back to work so you can avoid the queues at the filling stations – if it’s a few miles away, this will also give your battery a bit of a boost too.”

Top 5 tips for taking care of your car battery

  1. Switch everything off at the end of your journey: lights, heater, fan, radio, heated rear windscreen
  2. Pull everything out of the 12v power sockets (such as sat navs, in-car DVDs, smartphone chargers)
  3. Take a look at the battery connections: make sure they’re tight and free from corrosion
  4. Batteries wear out: if it’s more than four years old, get it tested and budget for a new one
  5. Give the battery and easy time on cold mornings: park your car in a garage if possible