New Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrids | Why Oslo shines as a beacon of electric mobility | Uncovering Mia Suki’s unbridled passion | How Project Hero is optimising crisis response for the Austrian Red Cross | A stunning Norwegian drive in the Range Rover Velar
RANGE ROVER VELAR The
RANGE ROVER VELAR The final destination for the day’s drive is to enjoy some traditional nordic hospitality at the impressive Storfjord Hotel. Right: the route took in the stunning hairpins of the Trollstigen “Bak skyene er himmelen alltid blå,” I’m told with a smile as I wait in Molde airport. Informing the speaker that my Norwegian is a little rusty, he ably informs me “behind the clouds the sky is always blue.” At this exact moment in time it’s extremely apt as the heavens are open and the tiny airport is getting a thorough drenching. After a short wait, the car, an R-Dynamic HSE specification, is brought into sight. This particular grey day in Molde is more akin to a scene from a Scandi noir drama, yet the car shines in the flat Norwegian light. I keep spotting new lines, new ways size is hidden or accentuated, and above all, the removal of unnecessary adornments. The day is scheduled to cover 176 miles, and will take in some of the most spectacular sights and roads Norway has to offer. Driving around the seemingly endless sweeping Nordic B roads, my central navigation screen informs me that the first waypoint is off-road at Jordalsgrenda, 40 miles away. The central touchscreens of the Range Rover Velar’s innovative Touch Pro Duo system are not only highly practical, they’re elegant and intuitive. The lower screen is a joy to read and lets you configure the car for off-road programmes, as well as music and climate control. The upper screen displayed navigation and a myriad of other options. As I made good progress to the waypoint, the high resolution optional Head-up Display informed me of the speed limit, as 30 or 50mph are generally the limits on most roads, regardless of straightness or lack of people. As I started to settle into the first hour road section of the drive, it became more and more apparent that this car is supremely comfortable with an ability to devour miles with effortless ease. Crisscrossing bridges and skirting fjords, I really got a sense of the way of things here in Norway. They use a term, ‘hyggelig’. It doesn’t have a direct translation in English but it roughly means cosiness, THE CAR PULLED ITSELF UP THE OFF-ROAD AREA WITH EASE AND COMPOSURE relaxation and the feeling of contentment. Norway is a wonderfully egalitarian country where people value time, nature and conviviality, so why drive quickly when I could experience some prime ‘hyggelig’ on the journey? Arriving at the first off-road section, the helpful Land Rover Experience team gave me a session on how to set the car up for this part. This was a mere matter of selecting ‘Mud and Ruts’ on the lower touch screen, raising the air suspension and engaging optional All Terrain Progress Control (ATPC). Akin to off-road cruise control, ATPC works in both forward and reverse gears and is operational from 1.2mph (1.8km/h) to 18mph (30km/h). It’s particularly beneficial in off-road environments where a constant crawl speed is desirable. Basically, you just steer! With ATPC engaged, the car pulled itself up the off-road area with ease and composure. Loose stones, steep inclines and deep ruts were all traversed with minimal drama. This is no faux off-roader - it still holds its own with its bigger siblings and I wasn’t able to find an area of the off-road section that it couldn’t traverse. After this section, it was another short drive south to the lunch stop at Meringdal. The house chosen for lunch is called Utsyn, which means ‘view in front of you’. I spoke to owner Frode Meringdal, who told me: “I decided to restore the farm five years ago. Progress here is made by challenging people. This is design with a purpose.” 72
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.