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AutoTrends: Land Rover rolls out 2023 Range Rover Sport



  • Delays EV version

Land Rover has unveiled the 2023 Range Rover Sport, and announced that the Porsche Cayenne rival will get an all-electric variant in 2024, becoming the brand’s first ever EV.

But even without the electric version in its lineup from launch the Sport makes big advances over its predecessor with a new BMW-derived 4.4-litre V8 and a choice of two PHEV powertrains that can take you up to 70 miles (113 km) on electric power.

CarScoops reports that many have become accustomed to Range Rover models’ mostly low-key design updates and the third generation Range Rover Sport sticks to that rule, looking cleaner and more modern than the car it replaces without fundamentally changing the overall design.

The new model borrows styling cues both from its recently introduced 2022 Range Rover big brother, and the older, smaller Evoque, including ultra-slim headlamps and pop-out door handles.

But sheer size differences apart, there is less chance of confusing the three at the back, where the Sport houses its light clusters and “Range Rover” badging in one horizontal strip underneath the rear window, with the license plate mounted some way below the unadorned trunk lid.

More space, more screen, less noise


Inside, passengers are treated to increased legroom, available 22-way adjustable massage seats, an advanced air purification system, optional 1,430 W, 29-speaker Meridian hifi, active noise cancellation and 13.7 in digital instrument cluster. Much of the SUV’s many gadgets are controlled though the 13.1 in curved Pivo Pro touchscreen, though Land Rover’s decision to fit Amazon Alexa means the voice control should actually work better than it does in many cars.


There is a clear connection between the interiors of the Sport and full-size Range Rover, but the Sport’s infotainment screen and the console below it are less upright, creating a reminder that the Sport is meant to be the performance car of the pair.

Even that new rear design and interior treatment doesn’t reflect how much has changed beneath the surface, and we’re not just talking about the 2.1 in (54 mm) of extra wheelbase that pushes the distance between the wheels to 117.2 in (2,977 mm). Like the 2022 Range Rover, the ’23 Sport rides on Land Rover’s MLA-Flex platform, an architecture designed for EV, PHEV and mild-hybrid vehicles, and a key weapon in the company’s plan to roll out six pure electric models in the next four years.

From launch though, the Sport’s mix of gasoline, diesel and plug-in hybrid options highlights a desire to keep customers with more traditional powertrain tastes happy. We’ve concentrated on the motors available in Europe and North America, and the good news for drivers who appreciate mechanical refinement is that the old car’s four-cylinder engines have been junked for inline sixes, with a V8 available for performance gluttons.

Every engine drives all four wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, though the Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is able to decouple the front axle to improve efficiency when it senses there’s enough grip to get by with two-wheel drive.


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Auto finance: CBN, NADDC discuss new options for vehicle buyers



The Director General of the National Auotomotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, says the agency has commenced discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to design workable solutions for auto financing to make vehicle purchase affordable for Nigerians.

He stated this in a presentation made at the 9th Annual Transport Lecture organized by Transport Day Newspapers, with the theme, ‘Nigeria’s Transportation For Development: Sectoral Achievements, Prospects and Challenges’, held in Abuja.

“We had a meeting with the CBN yesterday on auto financing. We want to work out a solution that would enable Nigerians to buy new vehicles and pay over a period of six years,” he said.

The NADDC boss said the move was part of the agency’s efforts geared towards promoting and enhancing value addition in the transport cum automotive sector of the economy by creating a conducive business climate to further enhance investment inflow and industrialization.

Aliyu also said the NADDC was rapidly shifting attention to carbonless transport system in Nigeria in a bid to develop and promote advanced transport technology in the automotive industry.

He said, “This is because, vehicle electrification is inevitable, it is the future of automotive industry worldwide and we are working assiduously towards achieving its comprehensive and sustainable adoption in Nigeria.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that poor maintenance culture of vehicles in the transport sector contributes immensely to environmental pollution. The use of EVs that have advanced technology will not only curb these excesses but will also lead to more productivity in the industry.

“Currently, one of our top focus areas is scaling up production of applicable electric vehicles locally, to enable Nigeria meet its target for the Paris Accord and 2060 net zero commitment, both on reducing harmful gas emissions from vehicles” he said.

He further stated the NADDC recently set up a technical committee on electric vehicle development plan aimed at drawing up a comprehensive development programme for vehicle electrification in Nigeria.

According to the NADDC boss, this plan will also ensure that made-in Nigeria EVs are of world standards and compete favourably in the global market.

“As a pilot scheme project, the NADDC has established 100% Solar Powered EV Charging Stations at Usman Danfodio University Sokoto, University of Lagos and University of Nigeria Nsukka and also discussing with other stakeholders for collaboration in establishing more charging infrastructure all over the country.

“In conclusion, NADDC is committed to establishing and giving support to development programmes that will aid the Nigerian transport sector.

“I therefore urge all stakeholders to begin to think of a paradigm shift from the conventional vehicles to carbonless transportation system and key into the vehicle electrification projects of the Council with a view to achieving cleaner air in Nigeria.”

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AutoTrends: Stop driving your old crossovers, Mercedes warns, recalls ML, others



Mercedes-Benz has asked owners of certain older crossovers to stop driving due a to corroded brake booster that could cause the brakes to fail.

The automaker said the request and corresponding recall applied to 292,287 ML-, GL-, and R-Class crossovers and SUVs from the 2006-2012 model years.

Recalls are common, but urging customers to stop driving is not,  according to

In the affected vehicles, water exposure in the brake booster housing can cause a joint to corrode, leading to a leak in the brake system.

Brake force may also be reduced, forcing drivers to press harder on the brake pedal to decelerate and come to a stop. In rare cases, Mercedes said, it may be impossible to stop if there has been severe corrosion.

The risk of a crash or injury would increase, although Mercedes said it was aware of no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.

According to the premium brand automaker, the emergency brake pedal is not affected, and could be used in case of a regular brake pedal failure. Mercedes will provide complimentary towing of the affected vehicles to service centers.

Dealers are expected to inspect the brake booster housing and replace parts as required. If the part cannot be fixed immediately, Mercedes said it will help “coordinate an individual solution for the customer, including alternate mobility.”


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AutoTrends: Hyundai Sonata models face fuel leak risk



A potential fuel hose leak in 2013 and 2014 models of Hyundai Sonata has again led to the immediate recall of the vehicles globally.

The NHTSA disclosed this, noting that the factory fault could increase the risk of a fire.

The 2013-2014 Sonata and 2013-2014 Kia Optima had previously been recalled for a fuel hose that can crack prematurely and leak fuel.

The tape and zip-tie remedy for those earlier recalls did not stick.

With the new recall, the fuel line will be replaced at no cost to owners, Hyundai states.

Without the proper fix, the leaking fuel could come in contact with a spark or ignition source that could cause a fire in the engine compartment, notes.

The recall encompasses 215,171 Sonatas. Owners may smell fuel on vehicles equipped with either the 2.0-litre turbo-4 or 2.4-litre inline-4 engines. Hyundai reported 138 incidents in the past two years of the defect, but the automaker said there were no known crashes, fires, or injuries.

Hybrid versions of both sedans from those model years were recalled for a separate fire risk.

Hyundai and sister brand Kia have issued a series of recalls for increased fire risk for a variety of reasons, ranging from a faulty electrical socket (2011-2012 vehicles) to a short circuit in the braking system (2006-2011 Elantras).

Owners will be notified by mail as early as July 5, and will be instructed to take their affected Sonata into a dealer to have the fuel feed line replaced at no charge, regardless of warranty status.

Hyundai owners who paid for fuel line repairs to address the leak will be reimbursed.

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