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 Sept. 23, 2014
Sunday morning, we headed to Mequon to pick apples, although not to Barthel's. On a friend's tip, we visit R-Apples (Roesch Farm), right next door at 12422 Farmdale Road. What a wonderful, low-key experience. Not only was it peaceful and quiet, we picked apples and pears of many different varieties. Then we headed to their vegetable garden, and picked peppers and raspberries.
Published Sept. 20, 2014
I've had a full day now to play with the brand new iPhone 6. Like most pieces of new technology, it's a mixed bag. iPhones aren't new to me - I've owned every one but the first model, and I use mine nonstop as both a work and personal device. This model is different in many ways, but as usual, the biggest story here is the software, not the hardware.
Published Sept. 16, 2014
Entering play tonight, the Brewers are 1.5 games out of the playoff picture. Right now, all of Milwaukee should be very excited about the Brewers, starting with me. Yet, for some reason, we're not.
Published Sept. 1, 2014
If OnMilwaukee.com was a child - and it many ways it feels like one to me - Milwaukee's Daily Magazine would be getting its driver's license today. It would be a junior in high school. Hopefully listening to the Violent Femmes and not Justin Bieber.
Published Aug. 27, 2014
Back in June, I wrote about the five summer kids trips I couldn't wait to take. Well, summer got busy, and despite my best intentions, I only made it to one of my top five suggestions. But that's not to say I was a deadbeat dad this season. My almost-6-year-old and I had lots of fun this summer, and in fact, we found a few other places to visit as the calendar inched closer to the return of school. All three were just within an hour from home.
Published Aug. 19, 2014
I recently interviewed a former boss, a courageous woman who once hired me as an intern. She's now affiliated with the Milwaukee Masterpiece, a high-end car show. Meet Bev Jurkowski, my mentor, and the woman crazy enough to ask me to be a "celebrity judge" this weekend at the show.
Published Aug. 19, 2014
Chicago native Molly Fay didn't expect to host a talk show. But the former investigative journalist, mother of three and self-described introvert, found herself doing just that eight years ago when WTMJ-4 launched "The Morning Blend," and she hasn't looked back. We caught up with Fay over coffee last week to discuss where she's been and where she's going. And why every person, even if their job seems mundane, has a story to tell.
Published Aug. 13, 2014
I quite enjoyed the "Garlicmeister" last time, but I'm pretty sure I'm now partial to their $9 "Baconmeister" meal. With 1/3 pound of Angus beef, topped with bourbon bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato and cheese (I opted for cheddar), it's the brioche bun that makes the difference to me. It comes with homemade chips or fries and a drink.
Published Aug. 12, 2014
I could pretty much eat falafel every day of my life and never get tired of it. The fried chickpea dish is close to the perfect vegetarian dish, and whether you claim it's Israeli or Arabic, it's one meal that everyone in the Middle East can agree is great.
Published Aug. 6, 2014
Last weekend, I talked my wife into joining me on my adventure - we hadn't visited Door County together since we first started dating in 2002. It turns out that showing off old favorites, discovering new memories and cultivating another Door County fan is a wonderful, relaxing way to experience this magical place. After all, even as a entirely different kind of trip, Door County remains my "happy place." Scoring points with the wife makes it even happier.