The Vantage Point

The Unusual case of Range Rover in China: part 3

September 24th, 2015 Motoring News

Last week we wrote about historically high retail prices for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models in China as part of a short series of posts about the relationship between the car and the country. This post marks the end of that series and explores the current situation.

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The UK and Ireland’s best motoring attractions

September 4th, 2015 Motoring News

The UK and Ireland are awash with motoring attractions ranging from museums housing vehicles from horse and cart to cutting edge concept cars, to vintage railways offering rides on genuine steam trains, to race tracks hosting live high-octane events.

Some of these are better known than others, but we think everyone working to preserve our impressive cultural heritage deserves to be seen.

This considered, it is our pleasure to welcome you to our map of driving and motoring museums and attractions.

If you need a quick primer on how to use the map, click here!

If not, here’s a key and the map – get exploring! All attractions are open to the general public except where stated.

Car icon– Museums

Train icon – Trains, railways and tramways

Flag icon – Race tracks

Garage icon – Annual events held by clubs (check for dates!)

Bus icon – Private collections (visits must be arranged in advance)

Choose layers

The drop down selection in the top left of the map lets you toggle layers. Untick a layer and all attractions in that layer will be hidden!

Layers

Information boxes

Click an icon on the map to open a box with information about that attraction which you can read, then close it again to continue navigation.

Box

Zoom

Use the + and – icons at the bottom of the map to zoom in and out:

Zoom

Map style

Switch between map and satellite views with the toggle icon in the bottom left.

Map

Who Are We?

Vantage Leasing are a Car Leasing company located in Manchester. We specialise in Range Rover, Jaguar and Evoque leasing.

Victoria Beckham and the Range Rover Evoque

August 30th, 2015 Motoring News

Last week we wrote about James May’s adventurous outing in the Nevada desert, where he put a Range Rover Evoque through its paces. In the segment he complimented the car’s design, then congratulated Victoria Beckham for her involvement:

May commending Becks

BBC, linked to source

The casual mention may not have made much sense to the casual viewer, so we’ve dug deeper to find out more…

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Reasons you should be driving a Range Rover Evoque: Top Gear said so

August 23rd, 2015 Motoring News

The Top Gear lads may no longer be gracing the airwaves, but their established vehicular expertise still stands.

In season 17 episode 3 James May took the Range Rover Evoque for a spin in Nevada’s Death Valley and onto Las Vegas, and the segment is a perfect showcase of the Evoque’s features.

During the 8 action packed minutes May tackles all sorts of terrain, and meets some interesting characters (a bloke that looks like Cher and some “Death Valley rednecks”).

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Driving guides for UK destinations

August 15th, 2015 Driving guides

There’s nothing like taking your car and your partner for a long weekend away.

Our team have given their suggestions for their favourite places to do this in the UK, and we’ve whipped up handy guides for each destination – you can explore them on the map below (or if you prefer to see a list of towns we’ve covered so far, click here).

Each guide includes information about how to get to the place, what to do when you’re there, and other attractions within short driving distance. If there’s a place you’d like to see featured, let us know below and we’ll see what we can do!

The list:

  • Clapham, hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales
  • Margate, seaside jewel of the south-east
  • Scarborough, strong contender for the UK’s favourite seaside resort

The unusual case of the Range Rover Evoque in China

August 6th, 2015 Motoring News

Evoque or Landwind?

A Range Rover Evoque..? (Source)

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, although it’s not always easy to believe them.

When you were a kid and your friends blatantly copied your best Lego model design, for example.

Or when you’re an international brand and your best car model design, the result of years of tinkering and millions of pounds of development, is ripped off by a rival company. The Daily Mail best sums up this feeling:

The Daily Mail says it best

This unusual case is unfolding currently in China where the Landwind X7, the aforementioend ‘brazen copy’, is being launched this month.

Landwind or Evoque?

A Landwind X7..? (Source)

Can you tell which is which?


polls

(The answer will be revealed at the end of the piece!)

Given that Jaguar Land Rover have recently opened a factory in China (shared with Chinese car manufacturer Chery) which manufactures Range Rover Evoques, Landwind’s move is especially controversial; they’re not even hard to come by in the Chinese car market.

Objections and legal proceedings by Jaguar Land Rover have proved futile in stopping the creation and manufacture of the model though, and it seems the process is legal (although exceptionally frustrating).

Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover, was interviewed by Autocar India and gave this diplomatic response to the situation:

“China, from my point of view has enough creativity and engineering power to do something on their own and doesn’t have to fall back to the time when copying was of interest”

Landwind have previously courted controversy when they launched the CV9, which ‘drew inspiration’ from the Vauxhall Frontera. Although this model was removed from sale due to poor Euro NCAP crash test results – we’ll see whether a similar fate awaits the X7.

So, which is which?

Evoque or X7?!

The red car is the Evoque.

Our Top Gear ‘How Hard Can it be’ infographic

January 11th, 2015 Vantage News

We love Top Gear. The boys may sometimes flirt with controversy, but you can’t deny their ability to entertain.

The series has seen many formats and presenters since its launch in 1977 – the current team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May seems to be a sweet spot though, and the popularity of the show has maintained lofty heights for many years.

What better series to do an infographic on. This graphic focusses on the ‘How Hard Can It Be’ challenges, which see the boys take on a series of weird and wonderful challenges – often causing some kind of destruction on the way. If you like the graphic, click here to tweet it!

Top Gear challenges infographic

Next we’ll be looking at the most controversial Top Gear moments. Any other graphic ideas welcomed – drop them in the comments below!

A Long Weekend in… Clapham

December 9th, 2014 Driving guides

You may be wondering why the crowded and manic streets of the London borough of Lambeth riddled with leased Jaguars and leased Range Rovers are being suggested for the first destination of this new blog series?

Just wait one moment.

We’re actually talking about Clapham, Yorkshire. A wonderful village on the border of Dales situated at the foot of Ingleborough, one of Yorkshire’s 3 biggest peaks (more on that later).

Clapham Yorkshire

Clapham, Yorkshire.

This guide uses Clapham as a base of exploration and outlines a few attractions and areas of interest nearby. The village is accessible by road as follows:

  • A65 from Leeds
  • A65 from Kendal / M6 J36 / A65
  • Preston / M6 J31 / A59 / A682 / A65
  • Lancaster / M6 J34 / A683 / B6480

 

Outdoor pursuits

Clapham’s location makes it the perfect getaway for the outdoor pursuiters among us. Hikers, cavers, cyclists, climbers and campers are all catered for. Let’s look at the options in that order.

Hiking:

Ingleborough Mountain is the most obvious candidate for a walk starting in Clapham. This majestic peak is 723 metres high, and dominates the surrounding landscape.

The Walking Englishman blog describes a 9.5 mile walk from the village to the peak and back which passes various points of interest including The Ingleborough Show Cave and Gaping Gill. The walk involves one scrambling section at Trow Gill (“short and easy”), has an overall elevation of 770 metres, and takes somewhere around 4-5 hours.

If this is too long you can follow the walk part way and loop back on yourself or, if it’s not far enough, you can extend it further. The particularly ambitious among you may consider tackling the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, described by the Three Peaks Challenge website as “24.5 miles and three mountains in 12 hours” The traditional starting point is in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, a 9 mile drive from Clapham. The guys over at Three Peaks Challenge run guided walks several times a year – get in touch if you fancy joining in.

If you’re looking for something slightly different to do in the area, a site called Clues To Go offers a range of treasure hunts (both walking and driving) around the Dales. The list of routes in Yorkshire can be found here: check out the one in Skipton!

 

Caving:

We mentioned the Ingleborough Show Cave and Gaping Gill previously: these are two parts of the same cave system that sprawls beneath the ground in the area. The Show Cave is exactly that – a well lit, tour around spectacular cave formations. Having recently celebrated 175 years of being open to the public, this cave promises to be a fine diversion. Inside you’ll see all sorts of rock formations, created by water flowing underground over millions of years. Give yourself a taste of what to expect by checking out the gallery on the cave’s website.

Ingleborough Show Cave prices:

  • Adult £8
  • Child £4
  • Senior citizen £6
  • Family (2 adults, 2 children) £20

Although technically ‘open’ all year, Gaping Gill is best visited in May or August when the Bradford Pothole Club and Craven Pothole Club respectively operate winch meets. The descent into the cave is 365 feet, so the winch apparatus set up by the caving clubs is vital for a safe and supervised descent.

Gaping Gill itself is astounding. At the bottom of the descent you find yourself in a chamber which is similar in volume to St Paul’s Cathedral. A waterfall cascades down from above, and the lighting rigs set up by the caving club (combined with the light on your helmet) illuminate the feature. Guided tours are offered by the Craven Pothole Club, adding to the wonderment. The best part? There are no tight spaces and no crawling is required!

Meet dates:

  • May 23rd to May 29th 2015, Bradford, £15
  • Saturday 22nd August to Monday 31st August, Craven, £15

 

Cycling:

The Tour de Yorkshire, which you’ll only have missed if you spent most of spring under a rock, passes near to Clapham. Keen cyclists will find the scenery and elevation profile of the Yorkshire Dales to be a challenge and a delight, and more casual cyclists can travel between Clapham and nearby villages for mini-excursions.

Click here for a map of the route.

The Way of the Roses also passes through Clapham on its way from Bridlington to Morecombe – a fantastic coast to coast ride. While the whole route may be a bit of a bold undertaking for a weekend, you may want to use the well signposted routes to explore the nearby area.

Click here for a map of the route and more information!

 

Climbing:

Technically this is indoors, but this will definitely appeal to the outdoor pursuit crowd. The Inglesport climbing wall offers climbing and bouldering at competitive prices:

  • Climbing and bouldering £7.50
  • Concession £5.50
  • Just bouldering £5


Culture

This region is home to the Settle-Carlisle Railway, a wonderful piece of railway heritage that was saved from closure in the 1980s. The story is complicated but boils down to competing routes between London and Glasgow, with the Settle-Carlisle becoming a lower priority. The infamous Beeching Report of 1963 recommended the withdrawal of passenger services from the line, and the numbers deteriorated due to lack of promotion. It is only because of efforts by local authorities and rail enthusiasts that the railway is open today: they banded together and requested more publicity for the line, which saw an eventual upsurge in numbers. This convinced the government that the line did not need closure, and British Rail began repairs.

No trip to Clapham would be complete without at least one trip on the historic railway – the nearest station to Clapham is Settle, 6.5mi away. The line passes over a fantastic viaduct (see below), and our next guide will cover things to do in and around Dent, one of the stations on the railway. Check back then!

Ribblehead Viaduct

Image linked to source

While in Settle you can check out The Folly, a 17th Century house that houses the Museum of North Craven Life. The museum houses a rotation of temporary exhibits as well as permanent exhibits showing what life was like in the Craven region through the ages. A detailed history of the Settle-Carlisle railway is also given, if the taster provided in this article wasn’t enough!

The museum reopens on March 31st 2015, exhibit info can be found here

  • Adult £2.70
  • Child free
  • Concession £2.20
  • Season pass £7

 

Where to stay

The final outdoor pursuit mentioned in the introduction to the ‘what to do’ section was camping, and there are some great sites near Clapham. Whether you’re looking to pitch a 2 man tent, stay in a caravan, or even flirting with the idea of a fully serviced cottage, there’ll be something to fit your needs:

Dalesbridge

Woodend

Also highly recommended is the Clapham Bunkhouse: a comfortable night’s sleep in a historic farmhouse from the 1640s! The staff are able to advise on all sorts of activities in the area including cycling tours and the Three Peaks.

Castle Pub+Yorks Dales flyer A5 (proof).inddThe website Visit The Yorkshire Dales has information on other accommodation options in and around Clapham. Check out their site through the image to the left.

Let us know how your trip goes, or if you have any suggestions of things to do in and around Clapham! We’re excited about the prospect of expanding this guide and would love to hear your tips.

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