Meet the Range Rover Velar

Range Rover Velar

When Land Rover announced a new vehicle, we were excited. We’d hoped that they’d announced a classic style Defender to combat the upcoming Ineos model. What we have instead is a new, mid-sized, addition to the Range Rover line. The Range Rover Velar.

The new vehicle will make its debut at the Geneva Motorshow and is set to fill the size gap between the existing Evoque and Sport models. The official image shows a sleek and luxurious vehicle. New features seem to include a horizontal tail light, similar to those found on luxury sedans out of Germany. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is the new take on the classic Range Rover floating roof. The pillars seem to be partially given the same finish as the glass roof.

Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern claims the new car will “bring a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand” while claiming that the Velar will indeed “refined for every occasion” and “for every terrain.” As fans of classic off-roaders, we’re a little sceptical. This is no Defender and the stylings and interior make the Velar appear to be in the same vein as other modern Range Rovers. Comfort and luxury over off-road performance.

No information has yet been given regarding fitments, but it’d be a safe bet that the Velar will continue to use the car fitments as other models in the Range Rover line. This is a bit of a blow for those hoping for a return to a true off-road vehicle for Jaguar Land Rover. The vehicle is still very much a crossover SUV. We’ll know more come the cars March 1st unveiling at the Geneva Motorshow. The Range Rover Velar is predicted to go on sale later this year for £45,000.

Donington 4×4 Show 2017

The Road to Donington 4×4 Show 2017

This weekend saw the Tyres Direct crew bundling into trucks and heading up the M1 to the home of British Motorsport (and British Rock music!) for the Donington 4×4 Show 2017. After loading in on Saturday and getting our displays sorted, it was time to hit the town for a curry and a couple of drinks. Big shout out to the lads at Gandhi’s in Castle Donington for putting together a great meal for us and the guys from Rigid Industries and Gforce 4×4. Some of the biggest Naan Bread we’ve ever seen!

Come Sunday there was time for a quick fry up before heading back to Donington Park to get the proverbial show on the road. We had a great time. Surrounded by some awesome trucks and other vehicles it was hard to resist the urge not to leave our stand and take a look around! We met a lot of new friends and also had some familiar faces pop over to say hello. We were glad to be able to show you some of our most popular sizes and patterns from General, Toyo, Malatesta, Maxxis and more, as well as some of our latest alloys courtesy of KMC XD Series and Hawke.

It was a blast meeting all you fine folk and we will certainly be back again. Here’s to 2018, we can’t wait to be back in Donington! Below you can find some snaps from our brief time at the Donington 4×4 Show 2017, including some of our favourite vehicles spotted on site. There was a great selection this year, from classic Land Rovers to Off-Road racing buggies and even a lowrider Ford P100. All of them in great shape and looking fantastic. We were happy to be adding our very own Ford Ranger (complete with Toyo Open Country M/T’s and a set of XD Series Holeshots) to the mix, we think it held up rather well.

Ineos Set to Save The Spirit of the Defender

The Ineos Defender?

Yesterday, the UK chemical giant Ineos revealed plans to release a brand new 4×4. A  vehicle that will preserve the spirit of the classic Land Rover Defender. British billionaire chairman Jim Ratcliffe is spearheading the idea. With rumours of the new vehicle going back as far as last year, when Jaguar Land Rover halted production of the classic design. Maybe they could call it the Ineos Defender?

Ratcliffe called the move ‘fantastically exciting “. Ineos has made it clear that this isn’t a vanity project or a small run, high price venture. A statement from the Ineos website claims the car will ‘not only fill a gap in the market vacated by the Defender, but also provide a step-change improvement in build quality and reliability.’

Ratcliffe and Ineos are looking to not only bring back the Defender’s spirit, but also improve it. Claiming ‘I am a great admirer of the old Land Rover Defender and have enormous respect for its off-road capability. But whilst our off-roader might share its spirit, our new car will be a major improvement on previous models’, Ineos went on to offer a warning to the current SUV and Crossover saturated market. Saying that the new vehicle will offer an alternative to, what they call, ‘the current crop of standardised “jelly-mould” SUVs’.

A Rich Heritage and a British Classic

The history of the Defender goes back to the Land Rover Series I. Built in 1947 for the Amsterdam Motor Show in April the following year. Going through the II, III and Defender designs the vehicles remained incredibly popular until production ended. The last Defender rolling ot of Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull factory in January 2016. This final, two-millionth Defender was created as a one of a kind sendoff for the classic vehicle. With the special vehicle sold at auction for £400,000.

Ineos are a (currently) UK-based chemicals company. With products used in plastics, technology, medicines and a variety of other areas. In recent years Ineos has expanded into the energy sector, while the new vehicle will be led by the newly founded Ineos Automotive. The Ineos CEO, Dirk Heilmann, said: ‘Our job is to create the world’s best 4×4 and we are already moving forward with our plans’. Ineos have begun hiring a team of field experts and looking into manufacturing locations. Their teams cites the North of England as a personal favourite.

The yet un-named model is due to reach the market by 2020. This may prove a little late as JLR plan to have their, admittedly more crossover style Defender, on the market in December 2019.

While the classic Land Rover may be out of a production, at Tyres Direct we still stock a wide range of after market wheels and tyres to keep those classic vehicles running! Why not check them out?

We’re Going to Donnington 4×4 Show 2017!

Donnington 4x4 Show 2017

We’ll be heading up to Donnington Park next weekend for the Donnington 4×4 Show 2017. We’ll have a range of products on sale, from the toughest of off-road tyres to the most stylish of American Alloy Wheels. We’ll even be showing off a couple of awesome vehicles.

Why not come say hello at Stand B21? Doors open at 9:30, Sunday 19th Feburary at Donington Park, the home of British Motorsport!

Off-Roader of the Week: Ripsaw EV2

Ripsaw EV2 in a dust cloud

It’s been a while since our last instalment of “Off-Roader of the Week”. But when we saw the Ripsaw EV2 we knew we had to share it. It made us feel like boys with our Action Men again! The Ripsaw Extreme Vehicle 2 Luxury Super Tank is a work of brutalist art. Its harsh lines and angular windows hide a luxurious and futuristic interior, but make no mistake. Such luxury doesn’t stop it from being one beast when it comes to off-roading.  Its large tank treads make quick work of the muddiest surfaces and rocks and debris hold no fear for this insane vehicle.

The Ripsaw EV2 A “Luxury Tank”

The EV2 is made by Howe and Howe tech, formed by brothers Mike and Geoff Howe, who are best known for their work on the TV Show ‘Black Ops Brothers’ that airs on the Discovery Channel. Together they created a one of kind vehicle, which they originally put forward for military use. Endlessly stylish, this hand crafted vehicle take 6 months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to order. It may be a bit beyond most people’s means, or even desires. But the uniqueness of this toy solider accessory of a vehicle meant we had no choice but to make the Ripsaw EV2 our Off-Roader of the Week.

 

Find out more about the Ripsaw EV2 on the official website.

What Tyres For… The Batmobile?

What Tyres For the Batmobile?

What Tyres For… takes a look at fantastic situations and asks the difficult questions. Like “what tyres would you use for that?” In this inaugural entry, we take a look at Gotham’s own Batman and Batmobile tyres.

With all of the Dark Knights gadgets of justice, it can be all too easy to forget the essentials. Nowhere is this truer than with Mr Wayne’s rides. Since bursting onto TV screens in the 60’s, the Batmobile has been known for black paint and various weapons. But not for its tyres.

Well as a team of tyre fanatics we feel that this simply isn’t good enough. So we thought we’d ask the question, ‘What tyres would Batman put on the Batmobile? What are Batmobile Tyres?’

We’ve taken a look at three of the caped crusader’s most famous vehicles. Choosing the best possible match for both looks and for use. We’re assuming that the tyres were made by the same people who made the cars, but until “Wayne Tyres” start appearing on the market, we’ve made do with what we have on our shelves.

So without further delay, we’ll start with…

1966 – The Adam West Era Batmobile Tyres

The original 60’s Adam West Batmobile was a real car. Or was almost a real car anyway. The futuristic split tail design was originally the 1955 Lincon Futura concept. The Futura was eventually bought by known Hollywood car customizer George Barris. Barris paid just $1.00 for the car before it eventually became Adam West’s Batmobile in 1965.

This Batmobile was rather more sensible in its driving style than its later counterparts. Production stills show a rather standard looking, albeit tough, tyre. Modern images of the original vehicle often show the car running on a set of old school BF-Goodrich Radial T/A’s. A tyre currently not available to us at Tyres Direct. What we do have available, however, is the BF-Goodrich Long Trail T/A. This is a very similar tyre that benefits from extra off-road performance for when Batman finds himself outside of the Gotham streets.

1989 – The Tim Burton Era Batmobile Tyres

The 1989 Tim Burton Batman movies, starring Michael Keaton, offered a far more stylised affair and this change of pace wiggled its way into to the design of the new Batmobile. The rather menacing, and slightly gothic appearance of the new vehicle felt right at home with the rain-soaked streets of the endlessly dark Gotham Burton created.

What didn’t make sense about this new car, however, were the Batmobile tyres!

In a city that sees fewer dry days than a British Autumn, why would you fit motorsport style near treadless tyres!?

This just won’t do, not for Batmobile tyres. So while trying to maintain the look of the original while also adding some actual wet grip to the car, we’ve settled on the General Grabber GT. The Grabber GT’s are premium highway tyres that increase wet grip performance and are perfect for a high powered vehicle like the Batmobile.

2005 – The Christopher Nolan Era Batmobile Tyres

The “Tumbler” was introduced for Batman Begins and differs massively from the sleeker designs from earlier versions. The large and lumbering vehicle had a far more distinctively “off-road” feel to it, with its massive rear tyres with an aggressive tread.

The rear tyres didn’t take much thought before we found a match. With their aggressive tread and thick sidewall protection. The Maxxis Trepador M8060 Comp is a perfect match for those huge rear tyres, especially when they’re available in 40/13.5R17! These tyres offer incredible stability on the road while remaining incredibly manoeuvrable and we couldn’t think of a better fit for those beastly rear tyres.

The front tyres offered us a little more of a challenge. These extra wide, low tread depth tyres are unlike any commercial tyre and we don’t stock anything like it. So the closest we can get is the extra wide Continental Cross Contact UHP, available as 315/30R22 this tyre has both the width and the smaller height that the Tumbler seems to demand. All this while also offering short braking distances and high cornering stability, making it perfect for high-performance vehicles.

So there we have it. Three eras of Batmobile tyres fully fitted and ready to hit those dark streets once again! Would you have gone with something different? What do you want to see us tackle on “What Tyres For…” next? Let us know in the comments below!

Christmas Opening Times

Santa Drives a Landie

Tyres Direct Christmas Opening Times

We know you may be itching to pick up a fresh set of General Grabber AT3’s or Malatesta Koala’s but us tyre elves need some time off too! Though don’t worry, we’re not going to be away for long. Found below are our Christmas and New Year opening times, so why not pop in and say hello over the festive period?

Friday 23rd December: 8:30am – Early Close

Saturday 24th December: Closed

Sunday 25th December: Closed

Monday 26th December: Closed

Tuesday 27th December: Closed

Wednesday 28th December: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Thursday 29th December: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Friday 30th December: 8:30am – Early Close

Saturday 31st December: Closed

Monday 1st January: Closed

Tuesday 2nd January: Closed

 

From Wednesday 3rd it’s a return to business as usual! We hope you all have a wonderful festive period, and we’ll see you in the New Year! If not before!

Introducing the Customer Gallery

Customer Gallery

We love seeing all of the awesome vehicles that you guys bring to us and so we thought we’d start to share them with the world! Introducing the customer gallery! Our new gallery can be found in the top menu bar, or by following this link.

But if you can’t come to our home base, then don’t despair! If you’ve brought tyres from us and had them fitted away from our Luton HQ then send them in! We’d love to see them and we’ll feature the best images on our website too!

We accept submissions via email and facebook, details can be found via our contact us page.

LEGO Land Rover UPDATE!

Lego Land Rover Garage

If you cast your minds back to the warm, heady days of Summer, you may remember our article about the father and son team trying to get their Lego Land Rover design picked up by the “LEGO Ideas” program. Well not only are we pleased to say that the project has no reached the 10,000 signatures required to be reviewed by the folks over at LEGO for possible release, but we have since been able to see the models in person at this year’s Great British Land Rover Show!

Lego Land Rover Engine BayCompletely unaware that we were sharing a show floor, we were approached by the face of Lego Land Rover himself and were invited to come see the model. We couldn’t contain our excitement and rushed over straight away. We were very impressed with the detail of the various types of Land Rover on show, you can even switch between diesel and petrol engines! With no detail left un-realised we can confirm that these models are everything we hoped for and we think LEGO would be foolish not to get these on the shelves as soon as possible.

While you can’t vote for the project anymore you can still take a look at the project over on the LEGO ideas website! A big round of congratulations to Dadandlad!

More images below.

Welcome to the New and Improved Tyres Direct Website

Tyres Direct Website

The New Tyres Direct Website makes buying your Wheels and Tyres even easier!

We’ve been pretty quiet about this one, but we’re finally pleased to announce that the brand new Tyres Direct website is live! We’ve taken a lot of time going through your comments and used them to create, what we think, is the perfect site for us and our customers!

For those who missed our “Wheels by Vehicle” and “Wheel and Tyre Packages” tools, we hope that you will will be pleased to hear that those features have returned! Making it easier than ever to find your perfect vehicle set up!

Please note that has not been possible for us to copy across existing user accounts, but it’s a quick process to set up a brand new account!