With apologies to BMW, I think there's a more ultimate driving machine being made in Europe right now. Many of us will never be able to afford it, and even if we could, what would we do with it?
This "more ultimate driving machine" is the 2013 Range Rover, and it's no soccer mom SUV – unless you're playing soccer atop a mountain.
It's an insane example of British engineering (by way of its new owner, India's Tata Motors), and it's unlike anything I've ever been in.
Of course, it should be unlike anything I've ever been in, as the demo I previewed last week will sell for more than $100,000.
Fields Land Rover of Waukesha invited me to their dealership to get a preview of the new Range Rover, the first U.S. model in 15 years. It's the first one in Wisconsin, and actually, one of the first ones in the country.
Sales rep Jason Green took me on two test drives in this incredibly bespoke and gigantic SUV, which, with aluminum throughout, weighs less than a Mini Clubman. The first spin through the dealer's obstacle course reflected terrain that you might see in, oh, I don't know, Afghanistan.
The Range Rover navigated impossible angles easily, at times with only one wheel perched on the ground. No scrapes or thuds. This is a vehicle designed for serious around-the-world duty. While it looks the part of a truck you'd want to take to the grocery stores, it's probably more suited toward ambassadors and sheiks and seriously wealthy outdoorsmen who can appreciate an SUV with the capabilities of a HUMMER and the refinement of, well, a Range Rover.
For the on-road portion of our demo, Green floored it, and the 510 supercharged horses threw me back into my seat. This is an absurdly powerful vehicle, that somehow manages 20 miles per gallon the highway. It's hard to comprehend how this SUV can do it all.
Says Green, "When you take one of the most capable vehicles in the world, increase fuel economy, add over five inches of rear passenger room and make it weigh less than a Mini Clubman, you have done something truly great."
Indeed. Truly great ... and truly expensive. The base model (if you can call it that) will start at $83,500.
According to Land Rover, the company expects to sell about 15,000 Range Rovers this year. I don't imagine I'll be buying one. But a guy can dream, right?
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published April 6, 2015
Something weird happened to me around the beginning August last year: I started wanting the Brewers season to be over.
Published April 3, 2015
Here are seven recent Brewers pitchers that I would love to get back. Even if these weren't necessarily the best players, they each brought something special to the crew.
Published April 2, 2015
In a time when Zappos and Amazon and brick-and-mortar sporting good chains have cemented their spot as go-to places for running shoes and apparel, you might not think that starting a local running store would be a sound business idea. Don't tell that to Jessica and Trae Hoepner, the owners of Performance Running Outfitters, a business that started with one humble store and expanded to three, with a fourth in the works.
Published March 19, 2015
My 18th annual Brewers Spring Training trip is now complete, and I'm back in chilly Milwaukee, which actually feels a little better after a few days under the beating hot sun of the desert. This trip was a good one. A really good one. New experiences, old friends and lots and lots of baseball. But you probably know about all that if you read my blog entries this week.
Published March 18, 2015
When I left off yesterday, I was feeling tan, rested and ready for baseball, and we made the 30-minute drive from Talking Stick Resort to Peoria Stadium a little before noon. Brewers fans were out in force for the game against the Padres. St. Patty's Day revelry was in full effect.
Published March 17, 2015
I've said this before, but sometimes Spring Training feels a lot like the movie "Groundhog Day." Events, games and trips tend to run together, because with only a few variations, you're basically doing the same thing every day (and of course, that's a very good thing). But yesterday, we did something that we've only done one other time in 18 years: we didn't go to a Brewers game.
Published March 16, 2015
When you've been awake for 24 consecutive hours, due to an early flight, a time change and the excitement of an 18th consecutive Spring Training trip to Arizona, it's understandable to make a few bad decisions. Fortunately, the only one I regret is that humungous carne asada burrito from Filiberto's at 2 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, before collapsing into a few hours of sleep at the Talking Stick Resort here in Scottsdale.
Published March 10, 2015
Every year - since 1998 - I've made the trip to Arizona to watch the Brewers get ready for a long, long season of baseball. It's my favorite work/fun trip (edging out even Las Vegas) that I get to take, but with all the fun and sun in the desert, it's surprisingly easy to forget to pay attention to the baseball on the field.
Published March 9, 2015
Mequon native Tom Wachs knew he wanted to be a meteorologist a young age. After working in several smaller markets, he returned to his home last year, and even in a tough, demanding job, he's loving every minute of it. We caught up with Wachs to talk tornados, technology, and what it was like to dress up as a clown at his last job.
Published March 4, 2015
When Brewers fans talk to me about Spring Training, I always see the same look in their eyes. "I've always wanted to do that," they say wistfully, like Arizona exists in some far-away land, where you sit right next to the field and talk to the players in between in innings. Well, actually, most of that's true. Except for the far-away land part.