back to article Range Rover to fit trendy new SUV with FRIKKIN' LASER HUDs

Yummy Mummies of Chelsea, rejoice. No more getting lost taking the nanny back to the station when you are visiting the country cottage. Keep your eyes on the road Range Rover is to fit frikkin' lasers to its cars. The iconic car company claims its new Heads Up Display to be the first to have used lasers and says it will …

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WTF?

Call me sceptical

But there isn't a UK speed sign that says "70" or "60"; There's just "unrestricted", i.e. the national speed limit for that type of road, i.e. 60 on a single-lane, 70 on dual carriageway or motorway. Presumably there's a "Euro" setting for KM/H?

And it probably doesn't recognise temporary or variable speed overhead signs

And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

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Re: Call me sceptical

And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

Standard nag nowdays I am afraid. You are driving in 4th while I think you should be driving in 5th to be greener.

For some cars it is a necessity by the way. I drove a VW Polo Blue Slumber (anyone calling it motion is out of his mind) two weeks ago and it was equally gutless and incapable of accelerating in any gear from 3rd to 5th. The engine sound was pretty much the same too. So funnily enough I found the nag useful (at times).

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Re: Call me sceptical

Yeah, the sign recognition is a german gimmick - used to be a popular option on the higher end Mercs. There it makes sense as there is no speed limit unless stated. UK - not so much.

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Re: Call me sceptical

"And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?"

Yummy mummies in Chelsea, clearly.

Personally I think LR have lost their way. They're loosing the traditional over land off-road farmers and so on that build the legend of the brand, especially now they are discontinuing the 'old' range to Mitsubishi and Toyota. We have several LR fanatics here who wouldn't be seen dead in a poncy new footballer's wife model.

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Re: And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

On road? Not that useful, but no harm in it.

Off road (this thing does have a Land Rover badge after all), I can see it would perhaps be useful. Its harder to judge from the sound the car is making in a non-standard situtation. Admitedly its going to be a few years before most Evoques see any real mud - they'll go through a few owners first before they reach that part of the second-hand market.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call me sceptical

I saw some 70 signs around Edinburgh. I thought they were great as I'm convinced a lot of people have no idea what the derestricted signs mean. I did wonder if the 70 signs applied to all vehicles, including lorries where the derestricted limit would have been 60.

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Re: Call me sceptical

Actually, I have seen "60" signs - they're no that uncommon. But I'm not sure sign recognition is much of a bonus. Gear selection indicators, however, can be useful - not so much for telling you what gear you are in, but for hinting a more economical choice. Not that it matters with this car, as (a) they won't care too much about economy or green driving and (b) I bet a huge majority of them will be auto transmission.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call me sceptical

Maybe you should visit a motorway sliproad and actually take some notice of the signage?

Signs for 60 and 70 exist - 70 at motorway access points and 60 on some dual carriageways where the councils have decided in their wisdom to impose a reduction from the permitted 70 mph designation for that class of road for example.

For some reason I am not aware of the National speed limit applies sign (NOT unrestricted) is not used on motorways in permanent signage.

If you need a reminder of the gear you are in then maybe you are not concentrating properly, but then most of those driving these Chelsea tractors seem to behave as if their brains are freewheeling.

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Re: Call me sceptical

It would be quite useful here in Belgium, where they manage to put roadsigns with a changed max speed every 100m. Sometimes it feels like driving in PWM mode.

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Re: Call me sceptical

Very much the same in the UK. Coupled with a massive over-proliferation of street signage in towns, one might almost think the authorities were trying to catch drivers out.

@stucs201 no-one has ever seen an Evoque off road.

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Re: Call me sceptical

Lots of 70 signs over the border up here so assume the car was driving on the M74 :)

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Re: Call me sceptical

Agreed. The speed limit on motorways is, in my experience, always shown as 70mph (or whatever). After roadworks, it's not unusual (and seems to be the norm) to get a de-restricted sign (we have plenty of practice with those on the M1 around Sheffield at the moment!)

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Re: Call me sceptical

If you mean 'lost their way' by deploying an innovation strategy which has significantly increased profits, company liquidity, market share and created a significant number of jobs, then I completely agree. Its terrible to see them using a well recognized brand to excellent commercial ends with significant improvement in the company long term perspectives, they should have just stuck to making LWB off-roaders for the agricultural community. Or perhaps not.

Companies need to adapt or die, JLR is a poster child for how to do that right (both nearly dying and then adapting)

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Re: Call me sceptical

"But there isn't a UK speed sign that says "70" or "60""

60s are in several places, particularly in Scotland. They're on the A282 southbound at the Dartford Crossing too.

70s I've seen around too.

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Re: Call me sceptical

The one that really annoys me is the "New Road Layout Ahead" sign a truly pointless waste of time and money.

99% of the people who actually know the road ahead will be intimately acquainted with the new road layout having lived through the carnage caused by its construction.

Drivers who have never driven on the stretch of road before really really don't need to know its "New" which leaves the 1% who should manage to survive just fine without being bothered by another sign to distract them while they drive.

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Re: Call me sceptical

Plenty of 60 and then 70 signs on the M8 through Glasgow. This is because the limit is 50 for much of it, then steps up as you leave heading West.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call me sceptical

Don't care about the Speed sign tech, but I love the idea of a HUD that displays my current speed & Nav data would be nice, I hope this comes to the Discovery 4 & the New Discovery Sport early next year!

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Re: Call me sceptical

"The one that really annoys me is the "New Road Layout Ahead" sign a truly pointless waste of time and money."

is that the one that stays up for several years until a) the lamp post its stuck to gets replaced or it replaced by a new New Road Layout Ahead when they decide the last change was an utterly stupid idea and change it back.

Yes I work in Birmingham where this seems to happen on a regular basis.

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Re: Call me sceptical

Perhaps its showing what the speed limit is, rather than a snapshot of the sign it last read...? I've never seen a speed limit road sign with "mph" on either, yet that is on the HUD.

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Re: And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

I could see this being useful off-road to show some of the bits that various 4x4s have been displaying on their central displays for a while now - front wheel steering position at low speed/hill descent, power distribution to wheels, lighting up parts of a top-down schematic when ABS or the diff locks are working.

Stuff modern vehicles are already showing - but now in HUD format.

LR are definitely losing their way though. Defender gone next year, and nothing to replace it with. The reason they're struggling to work out what Defender owners want to own is that what Defender owners want to own is what LR have just put in the museum.

I don't see why it's so difficult to create a Defender-alike that retains the classic styling and utilitarian interior, but has been structurally redesigned from the ground up to allow the fitting of such mod cons as airbags, instead of being a smartarse and turning an Evoque into a beach buggy and calling it the DC100.

They need a few farmers in their product focus groups rather than art and design graduates simpering over Posh Beckham's idea of what a 4x4 needs. Or we need to accept that LR are now a purveyor of luxury cars, not a 4x4 manufacturer and move on to their competitors. Our local LR Dealer has precisely one Defender on their property - and it's sat on top of a pile of rocks on the forecourt. Want to get in one or go for a test drive? That's going to be a hassle. Would you like to try an Evoque or a Discovery sir?

No.

I'll try one of your competitors instead.

LR obviously don't give a shit about the market sector that (alongside military sales) made them, and customers should return that loyalty with a trip to their competitors. Jeep dealers should be getting in lots of utilitarian-spec Wranglers ready for 2015 with trim appropriate to throwing bales of hay in the back.

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Re: Call me sceptical

"@stucs201 no-one has ever seen an Evoque off road."

My boss has! Took his Defender on a course day. The Evoque lasted about 20 minutes, including one tow out of a (not very deep) mud patch. Owner eventually returned it to the site entrance and spent the rest of the day spotting from the passenger seat of his mate's Discovery. How they laughed.

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Re: Call me sceptical

"If you mean 'lost their way' by deploying an innovation strategy which has significantly increased profits, company liquidity, market share and created a significant number of jobs, then I completely agree. Its terrible to see them using a well recognized brand to excellent commercial ends with significant improvement in the company long term perspectives, they should have just stuck to making LWB off-roaders for the agricultural community. Or perhaps not.

Companies need to adapt or die, JLR is a poster child for how to do that right (both nearly dying and then adapting)"

Yes. And no. The reason Defenders are barely profitable is because they only make about 20k/yr and can't sell them into the USA on account of no airbags and various other features.

However, there is a massive market for them - which is why people are busy buying ex-MoD Wolfs that are pre-1987 or so (old enough to count as classic under US law, therefore not subject to normal airbag requirements, etc) and exporting them.

There is a massive latent market in the US for a utility LR, not just lifestyle/SUV Land Rovers.

I have no problem with the lifestyle end of LR's range, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't also serve the agricultural and utility end (when there is a clear and profitable market for it, both in Europe and in the US if they build something compliant).

The DC100 wasn't just not what farmers wanted, it was a bad joke - here you are farmers, have a stylish beach buggy. That's what you want to throw your tools in the back of. Isn't it? No? Really? But, our arts graduates thought... Oh.

If you want to sell a beach buggy, then go for it - sounds fun! But don't have the cheek to turn around and pitch it as your new utility vehicle and the successor to the Defender that you honestly expect utility users to buy.

If you're not going to serve that market place then then we're very sorry to hear that. But just stop, don't waste your time and effort making these stupid prototypes that clearly don't address the market they are ostensibly designed for.

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Re: Call me sceptical

@Petur : my Skoda has something similar, and it is indeed a nice thing to have in Belgium. Basically it detects road signs and shows me what the maximum speed is. The main problem I have in Belgium with this technology (at least the stuff that VW/Skoda/Audi uses) is that it only "sees" official road signs (red circle, white interior, black letters) and that road works in Belgium tend to get a bit creative with the signs. Always works on highways or Nxx roads, never works in communal areas.

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Headmaster

Re: there isn't a UK speed sign that says "70" or "60";

The M74 and M8 are both littered with 60 and 70 signs.

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Re: Call me sceptical

"The Evoque lasted about 20 minutes, including one tow out of a (not very deep) mud patch."

Wrong tyres fitted & inexperienced driver aren't a good combination.

LR runs Evoques on their courses. Only proviso over Defenders/Discos/Full-size RRs is they don't recommend to do it with 4 passengers.

HUDs are a good idea all round. Current centre touch-displays are not a safe idea on or off road.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Call me sceptical

no-one has ever seen an Evoque off road

I have. On Top Gear :)

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Re: And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

@rh587

I'm sensing a bit of hostility towards the success story of LR.....

Making the same-old stuff, decade-after-decade, is what killed off British ownership of car makers in the first place.

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Re: Call me sceptical

@Chris Miller : I believe you mean "No-one has ever seen an Evoque 'intentionally' off road" You have to remember how many people driving these things think 4WD means better braking (despite the dead weight of the thing) than a 2WD car, last I checked it was a legal requirement for ALL wheels on a car to have brake. This misconception often leads to this type o vehicle ending up off-road . . in a ditch, in a hedge, or in one bend I know of in Scotland, in the ploughed mud the farmer removes the fence from each winter (He got fed up of repairing the wall), right beside the sign with his phone number and prices for coming up with a tractor to pull you out, and NOT call your insurance company.

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Re: Call me sceptical

Can't hear you over that darned engine noise! What was that again?!

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Re: Call me sceptical

Can you imagine the pranks you can pull with the road sign recognition functionality?

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Re: And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

@Dr_N

"Making the same-old stuff, decade-after-decade, is what killed off British ownership of car makers in the first place."

Worked for Porsche... the 911 is beautiful, but it wouldn't kill them to experiment with something radically different once in a while. A sports car. Not the Cayenne *vomits*

I have no objection to the lifestyle end of Land Rover's range. I just find it utterly ludicrous that a company who has built it's history and heritage on go-anywhere utility vehicles will not have a single example of the type in it's range by next year.

There is a market for a modern day version of the Defender. If it was US-legal they would sell them faster than they could make them.

To end up in this situation where there is no Defender and no viable replacement on the cards is utterly bizarre. Their efforts thus far (the DC100) have not fulfilled the requirements of the supposed target market. If they'd said it was a beach buggy lifestyle vehicle then I'd have believed them. Pretending it was a Defender replacement was laughable. Not saying the DC100 was bad, or not a funky product. But it wasn't what they were pitching it as, which is presumably why it's dead.

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Re: Call me sceptical

"ex-MoD Wolfs that are pre-1987"

..or not given that the Wolfs by definition are all post 1996 300Tdi

Titenhous (spelling?) was the project that took all the old knackered early 90s and 110s and made them look like the newer Wolfs so the MoD could keep them in service.

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Happy

Laser display screen

Samantha has to nip out now to spend time with her new gentleman friend. They're going on a driving tour of Wales. She says he's looking forward to showing her Cardiff and Cardigan Bay, before going on to Bangor in the back of his van.

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Re: Laser display screen

Boom-tish wa-wa-wa-waaaaaaa.

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What happens when

Madame heads of into London for brunch with Marie-Joelle Smithers, jumps into the Range and throws her new shiny shiny Apple 6 thingy onto the dashboard.. Driving down a rather bumpy A road, the shiny shiny slides along the dashboard, tilts a little and the aforementioned lasers take a new route directly into Madame's rather sensitive eyes..........

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Re: What happens when

@Khaptain

Totally unlikely. Madame would never drive without her ithingy clamped to her ear.

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Re: What happens when

"..........the aforementioned lasers take a new route directly into Madame's rather sensitive eyes.........."

Will we notice the difference?

We ban TV in sight of the driver for an obvious reason. Constantly flickering speed and other indicators obscuring the exact part of the windscreen through which she is supposed to spot other road users and pedestrians rather worries me.

Many drivers already have the SMIDSY problem without this distraction. Is this going to make it whole lot worse? Has the research been done?

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Joke

Obvious fake!

A Range Rover that is not speeding? Has to be fake!

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Re: Obvious fake!

don't worry, 67 in 5th so it is still accelerating, probably had to slow down a little swerving round someone on the slip road (are the evoques 7 speed boxes?)

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Headmaster

Patriotic?

an especially patriotic version of the Evoque, which inspired by the colours of the Union Flag. It will come in Firenze Red, Fuji White, Loire Blue, Santorini Black and Corris Grey

Sounds very patriotic, with colours named for Italian, Japanese, French and Greek places! OK I give you Corris is Welsh, but the others aren't exactly part of the Union, unless the British Empire has a major resurgence planned...

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Re: Patriotic?

I have to say that's exactly what I thought as I wrote it. But there was enough piss taking without that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Patriotic?

I re-read that colour offering in the article several times looking for the "joke" footnote marker. To me the only true Range Rovers were the Series A and B - and any Land Rover after the 86/107 was pandering to comfort.

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Still not as cool as their transparent bonnet.

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Anonymous Coward

Definitely useful when the nose is pointing high in the air.

Had to drive a Land Rover with its bonnet removed once. Dynamo had seized so the engine was running hot. Interesting seeing the exhaust manifold glowing cherry red in the pitch black African night. Eventually had to jury rig something to allow the fan belt to work. Lying on my back there was a beautiful vista of an unpolluted black velvet sky encrusted with diamonds of stars - while trying not think about what might be crawling in the grass round my shorts.

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Display of selected gear

Potentially useful if you have a semi-automatic/sequential gearbox, as although the rev counter/your ears might well let you know if your gear is appropriate you wouldn't necessarily know which actual gear it is unless you count diligently

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What happens when it goes wrong?

Is that a clusterfuck?

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WTF?

military to commercial - unheard of?

" It borrows from military technology - which, until now, has been unheard of in the automotive industry,” says Murray Dietsch "

Isn't the whole 4x4 utility vehicle concept sort of pinched from the military? Along with SATNAV and a bunch of other stuff that I can't be arsed to research.

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Re: military to commercial - unheard of?

SAAB black panel / night panel

'nuff said by marketing droids who know no history of their industry

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Unhappy

disappointing

Use of "Frikkin' Laser!" in headline but no mention of sharks in the article.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: disappointing

"[...] but no mention of sharks in the article."

That's the new colour scheme for city bankers in various shades of black, grey, and white.

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