The London Taxi Company was a taxi design and manufacturing company based in Coventry, England. It traded as London Taxis International and Carbodies, it operated a coachbuilding business on Coventry. After half a century making short runs of limited demand bodies for major manufacturers it was obliged to replace these now moribund activities and in 1971 took from its former customer and supplier of taxi chassis, the manufacture of complete London taxicabs. Two years was bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings. Rebranded as The London Taxi Company in October 2010, it was placed in administration in October 2012, with certain assets purchased by Geely to form what is now the London EV Company; the origins of The London Taxi Company can be traced to 1919, when Robert'Bobby' Jones, a former general manager at coachbuilder Hollick & Pratt took over the coachbuilding operations of his employer, timber merchants Gooderhams and set up in business in premises acquired from Thomas Pass in West Orchard, Coventry.
Rather than make bespoke bodies to individual designs, Carbodies set out to produce coachwork to a number of standardised designs for car companies that did not have their own coachbuilding facilities. Their first major customers during the 1920s were Alvis Cars; the scale of a new contract to build bodies for the MG M-Type Midget meant that they needed larger premises and in 1928, they moved to a larger site on Holyhead Road, where they remain to this day. In the 1930s, they supplied bodies for Rover and Railton, but by far their biggest and most important customer in that decade was the Rootes Group. During World War II the company made bodies for military vehicles, they acquired press tools through the Lend-Lease scheme, which enabled them to make aircraft components. In 1943, Carbodies became a limited company at this time, with Bobby Jones as governing director and his son, Ernest Jones managing director. After the war, Carbodies negotiated with London taxi dealer Mann & Overton and Austin to make bodies for the Austin FX3 taxi, introduced in 1948, as well as finishing and delivering the complete vehicles.
More than 7,000 FX3s destined for London, were produced over 10 years. They developed a system for turning modern all-steel saloon cars into convertibles; this work was carried out on the early unit construction Hillman Minx, the Austin Somerset and Hereford, the Ford Mk1 Consul and Zephyr and the Mk2 Ford Consul and Zodiac. In 1954, Bobby Jones sold Carbodies to the BSA Group, who put it under the control of its prestige car company, Daimler. Although it was intended for Carbodies to become the manufacturing plant for Daimler steel bodies, this was never fulfilled, it did, however convert the Conquest saloon into a drophead, using the same methods they used on Fords and Austin and made a drophead coupe body for the Daimler Conquest Roadster and made bodies for the Daimler Majestic and Majestic Major saloons. Under BSA, manufacturing facilities were extended and more plant installed. In 1958, Carbodies began manufacturing the body and carrying out the assembly and delivery of the most important vehicle in their history, the Austin FX4 taxi.
Carbodies supplied prototype bodies and tooling, projects including the Jaguar E-type bonnet and panels for Triumph, Ariel and BSA motorcycles and scooters. Further contracts undertaken during the 1960s and early 1970s were the conversion of Humber Hawk and Super Snipe, Singer Vogue and Triumph 2000 saloons into estate cars, but as contract work on private cars and commercial vehicles fell away, the FX4 taxi would become more important for the company. In 1971 Carbodies bought the FX4 chassis assembly line from British Leyland's Adderley Park, Birmingham factory and moved it to Coventry, making them complete manufacturers of the FX4, in actuality if not in name. In 1973, Carbodies was included in the sale of BSA to Manganese Bronze Holdings. In the 1970s, Carbodies tried to make a new taxi of their own, the FX5, but it was abandoned in 1979 because the development costs were too high. In 1982 Carbodies take responsibility for the complete manufacture of the FX4 taxicab, after British Leyland lost interest in it.
By this time, the FX4 was the company's only product, despite attempts to introduce new lines, such as a Ford Cortina MkV convertible and the Range Rover Unitruck. A new model of taxi, the CR6, based on a Range Rover bodyshell was abandoned after five years of development. In 1984, the London taxicab dealer Mann & Overton was bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings. Pending the development of a new model, the FX4 became the LTI Fairway. In 1992 the company was rebranded London Taxis International with three divisions: LTI Carbodies, LTI Mann & Overton and London Taxi Finance. In 1997, a new model of taxicab, the TX1 was introduced as a successor to the FX4. Further development resulted in the launch in 2002 of the TXII, powered by a Ford Dura Torq 2.4-litre diesel engine and featuring an integral fold-down ramp for wheelchair users. It has an intermediate step and swivel-out seat for passengers with moderate walking difficulties. For people with hearing problems it has an induction loop incorporated in the intercom system.
In 2007 the TXII was replaced by the TX4. This series established LTI Vehicles as a worldwide supplier of London-type taxis. In October 2010 the London Taxis International was rebranded as The London Taxi Company. A joint venture with Chinese car maker Geely, who held a 20% interest in the company through its Manganese Bronze shareholding, was formed to build a factory in Shanghai to manufacture London taxis for the export market and to supply components to the home factory in Coventry. In 2010 the Mann & Overton trading name was dropped. In October 2
Smith Electric Vehicles
Smith Electric Vehicles was a manufacturer of electric trucks. The company, founded in 1920 in the north of England, moved its headquarters to Kansas City, Missouri in 2011. In 2015, Smith idled its manufacturing and it ceased all operations in 2017. Smith was a manufacturer of the world's largest range of zero-emission commercial electric vehicles, with gross vehicle weights from 3,500 to 12,000 kilograms. From 2010 to 2015, the company produced over 800 commercial electric fleet vehicles. Based in Washington and Wear, it manufactured vehicles for the European, Southeast Asian and US markets. Smith was part of the Tanfield Group, which trades on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market. Tanfield established a Delaware corporation, Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp, in 2009 to penetrate the North American market; the company headquarters is in Missouri. In March 2010, the US company indicated. After a poor multi-year trading history, Smith's UK branches were shut down; this included Smith Electric Vehicles, put into administration, Smith Technologies.
The company was founded in 1920 as Northern Coachbuilders in Newcastle upon Tyne. After making a name as a producer of electric trams and trolleybuses, it moved into electric delivery vehicles; the company's electric vehicle and bus production were separated in 1949, with buses continuing to carry the Northern Coachbuilders brand. All NCB electric vehicles were manufactured by Smith Electric Vehicles, based in Gateshead. Overall ownership of the company remained unchanged; the Smith family founded the business, ran it until 2004. In North East England, the family owns Ringtons Tea. Smith Electric Vehicles' business in the 1950s and 60s focused on the milk float, a vehicle designed for the doorstep delivery of milk and other dairy products; as dairies phased out horse-and-cart delivery, they opted for near-silent electric vehicles for early-morning deliveries instead of noisier internal-combustion vans and trucks. Smith launched the Smith Cabac, the first delivery float with a rear-entry cab, during the mid-1960s.
The company produced four Cabac series: the 65, 75, Jubilee 77 and 85. Smith acquired competitor Wales & Edwards, which manufactured three-wheeled milk floats, in 1989; the company took its first steps into North America in 1962. Smith Delivery Vehicles, based in Gateshead, signed a partnership with coachbuilder Boyertown and the Exide Division of the Electric Storage Battery of Philadelphia to produce an electric-powered delivery truck; the Boyertown-Smith connection was forged in the late 1950s, when Smith's managing director was in the United States to explore a partnership with William and James Conway. Smith obtained the United Kingdom rights to the Mister Softee brand from the Conways, began producing Mister Softee electric ice-cream floats in 1959 in partnership with J. Lyons & Co. subsidiary Glacier Foods. The Smith family approached the firm with the Battronic proposal in 1962. At that time, there were more than 14,000 Smith Electrics in service across the United Kingdom and western Europe.
The new company was organised as the Battronic Truck Corporation. Exide’s parent company was a producer of electric-vehicle batteries, Smith was a producer of electric delivery vehicles. Boyertown's contribution was its lightweight alloy body. Early Battronics had a top speed of 25 miles per hour, could carry a 2,500 pounds load up to 62 miles on a single charge; the Potomac Edison Company of Hagerstown, took delivery of the first production Battronic in March 1964. Smith withdrew from the partnership in 1966, Battronic produced and sold fewer than 200 vehicles over its 20-year corporate lifespan. In the UK, Smith diversified into niche vehicles; the Smith ST range of 7.5-ton low-speed electric trucks were marketed for municipal operations and interior applications requiring heavy-duty, emissionless vehicles. Smith ST vehicles are used in nuclear power plants, large factories, salt mines which have been converted into records-storage facilities; the company re-branded itself as SEV Group and diversified into fleet management, mobile vehicle repair and the sale and maintenance of forklifts and other material-handling equipment.
The Tanfield Group, an engineering company based in North East England, acquired the SEV Group in October 2004 for £2.2 million and one million new ordinary shares. Tanfield restored the Smith Electric Vehicles brand name and began research and development of new electric delivery vehicles; the Faraday, a proof of concept vehicle, with a top speed of 50 miles per hour, a range of up to 60 miles in urban operations and a capacity of up to 2,000 kilograms, was introduced in October 2005. Built on a Smith steel chassis, the Faraday had a gross vehicle weight of over 5,000 kilograms. Early adopters, such as TNT N. V. and Sainsbury's, wanted an electric vehicle which better matched UK driving-licence restrictions. In the UK, a person with a valid license can drive a light commercial vehicle with a GVW of up to 3,500 kilograms. Smith introduced the Newton 7.5-ton truck, which housed electric drivetrain technology in a chassis by Avia in the Czech Republic, in 2006. Express
Modec was an electric vehicle manufacturer in Coventry, in the United Kingdom, specialising in Commercial vehicles in the N2 category. It unveiled its first model in April 2006 and announced its intention to commence series production in March 2007, with the first production vehicles destined for Tesco. Following a long-term decline in sales, it entered administration in March 2011, with all remaining assets and intellectual property sold to Navistar International. 2002 eMercury project commenced within London Taxis International. The project was led by designer of the TX1London Taxi; some development funding received from the Energy Savings Trust, part of the Department of Trade and Industry.2004 Three eMercury prototypes demonstrated - one conventional lead-acid battery powered, one hybrid vehicle utilising a nickel metal hydride battery and one utilising a high energy molten salt battery mounted in a removable cassette between the chassis rails. Manganese Bronze Holdings announces its decision to focus on its taxi business.
The eMercury project bought by Jamie Borwick, former CEO & Chairman of Manganese Bronze, who creates Modec Limited as part of Borwick Group. Splits with drivetrain supplier Azure Dynamics, in favour of Zytek, commences development of production vehicles2006 Announces partnerships with Lex Logistics for customer service, GE Commercial Finance for vehicle finance and battery rental and Axeon Power for battery cassette assemblies containing Zebra battery technology. Unveils next generation of production intent vehicles at SMMT Commercial Vehicle Show. Fitted with an 85 kWh battery pack, they have a 2-2.5 tonne payload, a governed top speed of 50 mph and a range in excess of 100 miles on a typical urban duty cycle. Maximum torque of 300 Newton metres is delivered from rest. Zebra batteries are used.2007 Coventry production facility opened by the Rt Hon David Cameron MP. Announcement of that the first vehicles built will be delivered to Tesco for home grocery deliveries. Other deliveries included Center Parcs at their Elveden Forest park for servicing use, Amey, Speedy Hire, Hildon Water, London Borough of Islington and others.2008 100th Modec vehicle produced, production at the Coventry plant ramping up according to plan.
London dealer network expands to six sites. Energy costs are play a huge part in the potential profitability of package delivery companies like UPS, DHL and FedEx.2009 Modec is the first electric vehicle in the N2 class to attain European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. Modec has entered into a joint venture with Navistar International for South America; the Joint venture is named Navistar-Modec EV Alliance.2010 Navistar began deliveries of its eStar electric van manufactured in Wakarusa, under licensed technology from Modec's zero-emissions delivery van. Following a long-term decline in sales with a total production of around 400 vehicles, following the failure of a rescue deal with Navistar, Modec entered administration in March 2011 with debts of over £40m. Navistar subsequently bought the intellectual property rights from administrators Zolfo Cooper. Following the closure of the business and sale of the assets, Liberty Electric Cars hired the entire Modec engineering team and set up a new subsidiary "Liberty E-Tech".
After failing in January 2011 to agree a deal with Navistar to buy the brand, in July 2011 Liberty launched a service called "e-Care" to service and maintain Modec vehicles, which presently covers the UK, France and Dubai. The only product of the Modec company was the Modec EV commercial vehicle, it was produced in three versions. All three shared a common wheelbase of 141.7 in and a steel ladder frame chassis. The Modec has a max gross capacity of 6.05 tonnes. The vehicles use an 102 bhp motor with 221 lb⋅ft of torque and an exchangeable lead-acid battery, charged from an external charger than requires a 32amp 3-phase supply to charge the vehicle for 6 hours, it has options for Lithium-Ion Phosphate or Sodium Nickel chloride batteries, it has a 50 mph top speed. Battery electric vehicle Electric vehicle Liberty Electric Cars Smith Electric Vehicles Modec Limited Interview with Lord Jamie Borwick with Financial Times Interview with Lord Jamie Borwick at REAL BUSINESS about Modec Video of Robert Llewellyn driving the van from Brighton to London as part of an eco-rally
Wrightbus is a Northern Irish coachbuilder and pioneer of the low-floor bus based in Northern Ireland. Wrightbus was founded in 1946 as Robert Son Coachbuilders. In its early years it rebodied lorries. In 1978, the company released its first aluminium-structured bus bodywork. Wright's breakthrough into the mainstream bus bodybuilding sector came in the early 1990s; the Handybus was a midibus body offered on a variety of chassis but was more successful than the emerging Dennis Dart in attracting reasonably-sized orders from a variety of operators including London Buses, Go Ahead Northern and Citybus. This was followed by a move into the full size single deck market with the Endeavour, fitted to Dennis Javelin, Leyland Tiger and Scania K93 chassis, enabled Wright to develop its successful Endurance body which competed with the Alexander Strider and Northern Counties Paladin for orders on Volvo B10B and Scania N113CRB chassis. Other Wright products introduced in this period included two Mercedes-Benz-based products, the O405 based Cityranger and the OH1416 based Urbanranger.
This was launched around the time. As a consequence the Urbanranger only attracted a handful of orders; however Wright had become well established in the bus bodybuilding sector by and was more than able to exploit the opportunities the low-floor revolution would offer it from the mid-1990s onwards. In 1993, the Pathfinder on low floor Dennis Lance SLF and Scania N113CRL chassis was unveiled; the Axcess-Ultralow was offered on the Scania L113 chassis. At this time it was selling in reasonable numbers to UK bus operators, but unlike other bodybuilders who could only offer the L113 with step-entrance bodies, Wright modified it by removing the middle section of the chassis and thus offered UK bus operators one of the first mainstream low-floor body/chassis combinations. A major customer for the Axcess-Ultralow was FirstGroup taking 240. Next up was the Volvo B10L based Liberator introduced at the end of 1995. Notable came from National Express who ordered 120 in 1997. Next came the Renown body built on the Volvo B10BLE which went on to become the standard bus of the Blazefield Group.
However Renown production was stopped when the B10BLE was replaced by the Volvo B7L on the new Wright Eclipse, which due to its vertical rear engine wasn't popular with many operators. However Wright didn't lose custom and many operators including the likes of Ulsterbus switched to the incline-engined Scania L94UB, on a similar Wright Solar body. Another bodywork, which resembles the current Solar/Eclipse range is the Meridian, bodied on the MAN A22 full low-floor single-deck chassis; the most distinctive product of Wright is the New Routemaster London bus, introduced on 27 February 2012 as an update of the AEC Routemaster. By the end of 2017, 1,000 were in service. Production ended in 2017; the first Wright Eclipse Gemini double-decker was first built on the Volvo B7TL chassis in 2001. A styled bus entered service with Arriva London in August 2001 as the Wright Pulsar Gemini on the VDL DB250 chassis. Large operators of Gemini-bodied buses include Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead Group, Lothian Buses and National Express.
In 2016, the Wright SRM was introduced on the Volvo B5LH. Since May 2013, Wrightbus has built its own chassis, the StreetLite single-decker and StreetDeck double decker. However, they still continue to produce bodywork for the Volvo B5TL, Volvo B5LH and Volvo B8RLE. In 1997, an order for 25 Wright Crusader-bodied Dennis Darts was delivered to Australian operator ACTION. Between 2003 and 2006, Hong Kong operator Kowloon Motor Bus received a total of 164 Wrightbus three-axle double-deckers. In 2009, Kowloon Motor Bus had order a total 291 buses, including one demonstrator with two-axle, all buses were in service in 2012. In 2010, the first of 450 Wright Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B9TLs was delivered to SBS Transit, Singapore till end 2012. In 2011, Wrightbus International was established. A contract was awarded by SBS Transit for 565 Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs and delivered since January 2013 till June 2015. In November 2012, a contract for 50 Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvos was awarded by Kowloon Motor Bus.
These are being sent in knock-down kit form from Ireland and assembled in China and followed by another 85, including two 12.8-metre-long demonstrators. In September 2013, Wrightbus entered into a partnership with Daimler Buses to manufacture buses in Chennai, India. In March 2014, orders were secured from Hong Kong operators Citybus and New World First Bus for 51 Volvo B9TLs; these are being assembled in Malaysia. In July 2014, SBS Transit ordered a further 415 Eclipse Gemini 2-bodied Volvo B9TLs which will be delivered from August 2015 till 2017, increasing the total to 1,430 by 2017. Wright make two classes of bus: the Street series. Axcess-Floline Axcess-Ultralow Cadet Cityranger Commander Consort Contour Crusader Crusader 2 Eclipse Metro/Eclipse Fusion Eclipse Urban/Eclipse 2 Eclipse Commuter Eclipse SchoolRun Endeavour (for Leyland Tiger, Scania
Automotive industry in the United Kingdom
The automotive industry in the United Kingdom is now best known for premium and sports car marques including Aston Martin, Caterham Cars, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lister Cars, Lotus, McLaren, MG, Mini and Rolls-Royce. Volume car manufacturers with a major presence in the UK include Honda, Nissan and Vauxhall Motors. Commercial vehicle manufacturers active in the UK include Alexander Dennis, Ford, IBC Vehicles, Leyland Trucks and London EV Company. In 2008 the UK automotive manufacturing sector had a turnover of £52.5 billion, generated £26.6 billion of exports and produced around 1.45 million passenger vehicles and 203,000 commercial vehicles. In that year around 180,000 people were directly employed in automotive manufacturing in the UK, with a further 640,000 people employed in automotive supply and servicing; this declined to 147,000 including supply industry in 2014 The UK is a major centre for engine manufacturing and in 2008 around 3.16 million engines were produced in the country. The UK has a significant presence in auto racing and the UK motorsport industry employs around 38,500 people, comprises around 4,500 companies and has an annual turnover of around £6 billion.
The origins of the UK automotive industry date back to the final years of the 19th century. By the 1950s the UK was the second-largest manufacturer of cars in the world and the largest exporter. However, in subsequent decades the industry experienced lower growth than competitor nations such as France and Japan and by 2008 the UK was the 12th-largest producer of cars measured by volume. Since the early 1990s many British car marques have been acquired by foreign companies including BMW, SAIC, Tata and Volkswagen Group. Rights to many dormant marques, including Austin, Riley and Triumph, are owned by foreign companies. Famous and iconic British cars include the Aston Martin DB5, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Bentley 4½ Litre, Jaguar E-Type, Land Rover Defender, Lotus Esprit, McLaren F1, MGB, original two-door Mini, Range Rover, Rolls-Royce Phantom III and Rover P5. Notable British car designers include David Bache, Laurence Pomeroy, John Polwhele Blatchley, Ian Callum, Colin Chapman, Alec Issigonis, Charles Spencer King and Gordon Murray.
Motorcars came into use on British roads during the early 1890s, but relied on imported vehicles. The inception of the British motor industry can be traced back to the late 1880s, when Frederick Simms, a London-based consulting engineer, became friends with Gottlieb Daimler, who had, in 1885, patented a successful design for a high-speed petrol engine. Simms acquired the British rights to Daimler's engine and associated patents and from 1891 sold launches using these Cannstatt-made motors from Eel Pie Island in the Thames. In 1893 he formed The Daimler Motor Syndicate Limited for his various Daimler-related enterprises. In June 1895 Simms and his friend Evelyn Ellis promoted motorcars in the United Kingdom by bringing a Daimler-engined Panhard & Levassor to England and in July it completed, without police intervention, the first British long-distance motorcar journey from Southampton to Malvern. Simms' documented plans to manufacture Daimler motors and Daimler Motor Carriages were taken over, together with his company and its Daimler licences, by London company-promoter H J Lawson.
Lawson contracted to buy The Daimler Motor Syndicate Limited and all its rights and on 14 January 1896 formed and in February floated in London The Daimler Motor Company Limited. It purchased from a friend of Lawson a disused cotton mill in Coventry for car engine and chassis manufacture where, it is claimed, the UK's first serial production car was made; the claim for the first all-British motor car is contested, but George Lanchester's first cars of 1895 and 1896 did include French and German components. In 1891 Richard Stephens, a mining engineer from South Wales, returned from a commission in Michigan to establish a bicycle works in Clevedon, Somerset. Whilst in America he had seen the developments in motive power and by 1897 he had produced his first car; this was of his own design and manufacture, including the two-cylinder engine, apart from the wheels which he bought from Starley in Coventry. This was the first all-British car and Stephens set up a production line, manufacturing in all, twelve vehicles, including four- and six-seater cars and hackneys, nine-seater buses.
Early motor vehicle development in the UK had been stopped by a series of Locomotive Acts introduced during the 19th century which restricted the use of mechanically propelled vehicles on the public highways. Following intense advocacy by motor vehicle enthusiasts, including Harry J. Lawson of Daimler, the worst restrictions of these acts, was lifted by the Locomotives on Highways Act 1896. Under this regulation, light locomotives were exempt from the previous restrictions, a higher speed limit – 14 mph was set for them. To celebrate the new freedoms Lawson organised the Emancipation Run held on 14 November 1896, the day the new Act came into force; this occasion has been commemorated since 1927 by the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The early British vehicles of the late 19th century relied upon developments from Germany and France. By 1900 however, the first all-British 4-wheel car had been designed and built by Herb
Range Rover Sport
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a British luxury mid-size SUV made by Land Rover. The first generation started production in 2005, was replaced by the second generation Sport in 2013; the Range Rover Sport was prefigured by the Range Stormer concept car, introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show. This was a low-slung, short wheelbase 3-door coupè, unusually "sporty" in the context of Land Rover's history. Designed by Richard Woolley, the marque's first complete concept car sported split-folding gullwing doors, one-piece skeletal seats, a "clamshell" hood, 22 inch alloys, a 289 km/h top speed, 4WD and a 2,500 kg weight; the Range Rover Sport was comparably of much more conservative design featuring five doors and a wheelbase hardly shorter than that of the Range Rover Vogue. A replica of the Stormer was built by West Coast Customs of Corona, CA for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, on the occasion of opening West Coast Customs Dubai; the Range Stormer is now on display at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, UK.
The chassis has been adapted from the integrated bodyframe, semi-monocoque, independently suspended design which debuted on the Discovery 3 in 2004. This gives the Range Rover Sport the refinement and structural rigidity advantages of a monocoque chassis with the robustness of a separate chassis design for off-road applications, it allows for less expensive manufacturing of the vehicles due to a large number of common components. Although sitting on a modified version of the Discovery 3’s chassis, it is smaller than its more utilitarian sibling in every dimension with a wheelbase shorter by 140 mm, its smaller dimensions and its raked roofline make it impossible to accommodate third-row occupants like the Discovery 3, but as a sports tourer it was never intended to be a seven-seater. Brembo front brakes are standard on all models except the TDV6; the Range Rover Sport is powered by a supercharged 4.2-litre all-aluminium Jaguar engine AJ-V8 producing 390 hp and 550 N⋅m. A aspirated 4.4-litre variant produces 300 hp and 425 N⋅m and has been adapted by Land Rover with a greater capacity and increased torque.
Both petrol engines have been designed with a sump and oil pick-up system to allow for operation at extreme angles. Due to lack of popularity, the aspirated power plant was omitted from the UK market in 2007; the advanced 2.7-litre turbodiesel TDV6 is an adaptation of the PSA/Ford development and produces 190 hp and 440 N⋅m in Land Rover guise. It features a compacted graphite iron block and aluminium cylinder head with fast switching piezo crystal injectors. Debuting in both the Sport and Vogue in 2007 was the 3.6-litre twin turbodiesel TDV8. This engine is a further adaptation of the TDV6 but features a 90 degree block, twin variable geometry turbochargers and inlet valve deactivation. All engine variants are mated to an adaptive six-speed ZF automatic transmission with CommandShift which reacts and adapts to varying driving styles. CommandShift gives the driver the freedom to sequentially manipulate gear changes. Air suspension, as standard, gives the driver the option of three ride height settings including a standard ride height of 172 mm, an off-road height of 227 mm and a lowered access mode.
There is an extra height available, accessed by holding the respective button for when the off-road ride height is not enough. When the vehicle bellies out, its control system will sense weight being lessened on the air springs and the ride height is automatically raised to the suspensions greatest articulation; the cross-link aspect of the suspension system, which debuted on the L322 Range Rover in 2002, results in better off-road performance by electronically operating valves in pneumatic lines which link adjacent air springs. In the event of a wheel on one side being raised when travelling off-road, the pneumatic valves are opened and the adjacent wheel is forced down, simulating the action of a live axle setup. Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response system which debuted on the Discovery 3 is fitted as standard on all models. Terrain Response allows the driver to adjust chassis and transmission settings to suit the terrain being traversed. Five settings are available via a rotary knob on the centre console.
These include general driving. Suspension ride height, engine management, throttle mapping, transfer case ranges, transmission settings, electronic driving aids and electronic e-diffs are all manipulated through the Terrain Response system. All Range Rover Sports are equipped with a standard centre e-diff from Magna Steyr Powertrain which electronically locks and unlocks and apportions torque via means of a multi-plate clutch pack located in the transfer case which offers ‘shift-on-the-move’ dual-range operation. A rear e-diff is optional on all Range Rover Sport models and is able to lock and unlock instantaneously. An in-dash display is available which, among other things, is linked to Terrain Response and displays important off-road information such as the status of the e-diffs, the angle of the steering and wheel articulation, it is able to inform the driver of wheels which do not have contact with the ground. Dynamic Response incorporates electro-hydraulic active anti-roll bars which react to cornering forces and activate and deactivate accordingly resulting in sublime on-road handling.
Dynamic Response aids off-r
Economy of the United Kingdom
The economy of the United Kingdom is developed and market-orientated. It is the fifth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product, ninth-largest by purchasing power parity, twenty second-largest by GDP per capita, comprising 3.5% of world GDP. In 2016, the UK was the tenth-largest goods exporter in the world and the fifth-largest goods importer, it had the second-largest inward foreign direct investment, the third-largest outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the most globalised economies, it is composed of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland; the service sector dominates, contributing around 80% of GDP. Britain's aerospace industry is the second-largest national aerospace industry, its pharmaceutical industry, the tenth-largest in the world, plays an important role in the economy. Of the world's 500 largest companies, 26 are headquartered in the UK; the economy is boosted by North Sea gas production. There are significant regional variations in prosperity, with South East England and North East Scotland being the richest areas per capita.
The size of London's economy makes it the largest city by GDP in Europe. In the 18th century the UK was the first country to industrialise, during the 19th century it had a dominant role in the global economy, accounting for 9.1% of the world's GDP in 1870. The Second Industrial Revolution was taking place in the United States and the German Empire; the costs of fighting World War I and World War II further weakened the UK's relative position. In the 21st century, the UK remains a great power with the ability to project power and influence around the world. Government involvement is exercised by Her Majesty's Treasury, headed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy. Since 1979 management of the economy has followed a broadly laissez-faire approach; the Bank of England is the UK's central bank, since 1997 its Monetary Policy Committee has been responsible for setting interest rates, quantitative easing, forward guidance. The currency of the UK is the pound sterling, the world's fourth-largest reserve currency after the United States Dollar, the Euro and the Japanese Yen, is one of the 10 most-valued currencies in the world.
The UK is a member of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the United Nations. After the Second World War, a new Labour government nationalised the Bank of England, civil aviation, telephone networks, gas and the coal and steel industries, affecting 2.3 million workers. Post-war, the United Kingdom enjoyed a long period without a major recession; the annual rate of growth between 1960 and 1973 averaged 2.9%, although this figure was far behind other European countries such as France, West Germany and Italy. Deindustrialisation meant the closure of operations in mining, heavy industry, manufacturing, resulting in the loss of paid working-class jobs; the UK's share of manufacturing output had risen from 9.5% in 1830 during the Industrial Revolution to 22.9% in the 1870s. It fell to 13.6% by 1913, 10.7% by 1938, 4.9% by 1973.
Overseas competition, lack of innovation, trade unionism, the welfare state, loss of the British Empire, cultural attitudes have all been put forward as explanations. It reached crisis point in the 1970s against the backdrop of a worldwide energy crisis, high inflation, a dramatic influx of low-cost manufactured goods from Asia. During the 1973 oil crisis, the 1973–74 stock market crash, the secondary banking crisis of 1973–75, the British economy fell into the 1973–75 recession and the government of Edward Heath was ousted by the Labour Party under Harold Wilson, which had governed from 1964 to 1970. Wilson formed a minority government in March 1974 after the general election on 28 February ended in a hung parliament. Wilson secured a three-seat overall majority in a second election in October that year; the UK recorded weaker growth than many other European nations in the 1970s. In 1976, the UK was forced to apply for a loan of £2.3 billion from the International Monetary Fund. Denis Healey Chancellor of the Exchequer, was required to implement public spending cuts and other economic reforms in order to secure the loan, for a while the British economy improved, with growth of 4.3% in early 1979.
However, following the Winter of Discontent, when the UK was hit by numerous public sector strikes, the government of James Callaghan lost a vote of no confidence in March 1979. This triggered the general election on 3 May 1979 which resulted in Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party forming a new government. A new period of neo-liberal economics began with this election. During the 1980s, many state-owned industries and utilities were privatised, taxes cut, trade union reforms passed and markets deregulated. GDP fell by 5.9% but growth subsequently returned and rose to an annual rate of 5% at its