Land Rover had an outstanding evening at the 2011 What Car? Awards, walking away with two special accolades. Firstly, the Land Rover Discovery 4 scooped the model's seventh consecutive What Car? win when it was once more named 4x4 of the year. But the celebrations didn't end there, as Land Rover's newest and most anticipated model, the Range Rover Evoque, won its first major title with the Reader Award for the most exciting car of 2011.
The Solihull-built Discovery 4 was pitched against tough competition including the BMW X3 and the Hyundai Santa Fe, but again emerged victorious with What Car? describing it as "an iconic car". This is the latest in a long list of accolades for Land Rover's most capable all round vehicle and brings the total medal haul to almost 150 awards since the Discovery 2 was launched in 2004.
What Car? Editor-in-Chief, Steve Fowler said: "We've loved the Land Rover Discovery ever since we made it Car of the Year in 2005 and this is its seventh What Car? Award – an amazing feat. Nothing can beat its 4x4 abilities combined with executive car quality and family friendly features – it’s a real iconic car."
Land Rover's Global Operations Director, John Edwards, echoed the What Car? view, commenting: "The Discovery 4 offers an exceptional breadth of capability and has become one the of the world's most decorated vehicles. We are thrilled that it has once again been named 4x4 of the Year. Seven What Car? awards is an amazing achievement and validates the Discovery's status as the world's most capable SUV."
2011 sees the Discovery 4 benefit from a host of new features including a new version of the super-efficient 3.0 LR-TDV6 as the new entry level engine choice for UK customers. The acclaimed parallel sequential turbocharged diesel engine replaces the 2.7 LR-TDV6 and matches the low CO2 emissions and impressive fuel economy of its more powerful 3.0-litre stable mate.
Further new 2011 Model Year enhancements include improvements to Land Rover's award winning Terrain Response system with the introduction of Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control.
The What Car? 4x4 of the year award coincides with the launch of the Discovery 4 'Landmark' Limited Edition, which goes on sale this month. This new variant features a unique black and white colour scheme and brings a fresh, contemporary sense of design to the latest Discovery 4 line-up. High-end interiors are blended with bold contemporary colour schemes for an upmarket look. This Limited Edition offers on-road refinement to match most executive saloons, the versatility of a people carrier and of course, unrivalled off-road capability.
The Reader Award for the most exciting car of 2011, as voted for by users of whatcar.com is the first major award for Range Rover Evoque and is a sure sign of the momentum that is building around the ground breaking new Range Rover.
The Evoque goes on sale later this year and brings the acclaimed Land Rover LRX concept car into production reality, faithfully capturing the original design of the landmark cross coupe concept. The vehicle, which is being built at Land Rover's award winning Halewood manufacturing facility, was the hands down winner of the coveted Reader Award.
As Steve Fowler, Editor-in-chief, What Car? commented: "The Evoque was the runaway winner of this year's Reader Award and it's easy to see why. It really impressed us when we first saw it last summer with its combination of style, quality and eco credentials. If the drive lives up to those sensational looks, it'll be a surefire hit."
The new Range Rover Evoque will be available in coupé and 5-door body styles, with both versions offering bold design coupled with premium levels of craftsmanship, luxury and performance. The Evoque is the lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever, delivering fuel economy of 58mpg and CO2 emissions sub 130g/km in a strong demonstration of the brand's commitment to environmental sustainability.
The Award was collected by Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern, who said: "We are delighted that the Range Rover Evoque has been chosen by users of whatcar.com as their most exciting car of 2011. The sense of anticipation around Evoque has been building rapidly and this award underlines the fantastic reaction that we have already had in response to its dramatic design, meticulous engineering and class leading levels of luxury."
The all-new Range Rover Sport will make its global premiere in a ground breaking live drive through Manhattan, New York, on 26 March.
Range Rover achieves one of the highest ever scores for pedestrian protection within the "Large Off-Roader" vehicle category
Land Rover's Design Director and Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern has won the British Luxury Design Talent award at the prestigious Walpole Awards for Excellence 2012.
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