All articles about 上海楼凤ZW

Diving into a Land Rover adventure

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I reply, staring straight down the slope and looking for an escape route because bailing out the driver’s door isn’t an option now. It’s blocked by a tree trunk. But he’s the teacher, and we’re his students. Off come the brakes. And the Rover creeps down the severe slope, rocking from side to side as I steer through some muddy ruts. It’s possible because a technology called Hill Descent Control tames the Rover’s 300hp Jaguar engine. It automatically restricts downhill speed using the antilock brakes and keeps the vehicle from careening out of control. “That was so cool,” the wife exclaims, her eyes and smile both wide. Then she navigates the slope. And picks a better line than I did. And we do the same sort of thing over and over all day on the 100 acres that make up the West Coast location for the Land Rover Experience Driving School. Of course, there is preparation, which takes place in the morning on a relatively flat section not far from the lodge’s golf course, which is not visible because the trees are so dense. Demayo goes over approach angles – the line from where the tire meets the ground to the lowest point of the vehicle, usually the front and rear bumpers. The rear line is longer. These angles are important because they help the off-road driver avoid undercarriage damage. The longer rear angle means we can’t necessarily exit a trail depression the same way we entered it – to avoid damaging the back of the vehicle. “We don’t want to have to walk out of here, we want to drive out of here,” Demayo says. He also notes that we need to be aware of where the bottom of the Rover is at all times in relation to the ground under it. And while on a paved surface we can usually get away with driving just the front of the vehicle, off-road we need to drive both the front and the rear. That means pointing the side mirrors down to get the best possible view of the rear wheels. “You have to be more aware of the rear end of the vehicle than the front end,” Demayo said. We also get a primer on the array of controls located just behind the shifter. The brain of the Rover The vehicle’s brain is the Terrain Response system, which controls a wide range of functions and driving modes – general; slippery conditions such as grass, gravel and snow; either on-road or off-; mud and ruts; and sand. Switching between the modes also affects throttle response. The Dynamic Stability Control feature manages wheel torque in a variety of situations. Electronic Traction Control and the antilock brakes make sure the Rover’s footing remains as firm as possible. And the descent control works in reverse, too, because some slopes are just too steep to climb, though we won’t find one this day. Demayo also explains the high-range and low-range options, which generally handle on-road and off-road conditions, respectively, and the strange sounds the Rover will sometimes make is this technology at work. After a familiarization spin, he says he’s done driving for the day, turns the vehicle over to us and settles into the passenger seat to guide us about the course. This terrain is ideally suited for this kind of driving. W. Lawson Little, Quail’s president, said the area was once part of Rancho San Carlos, and the trails are 40 to 50 years old. After the company bought the land, it made the trails passable again. “Land Rover was looking for a West Coast site and came to Quail and just fell in love with it,” he said of what would become the off-road school’s classroom. The fact that the lodge is on the same property as the course (the entrance is opposite the golf course’s clubhouse) was also a good selling point, Lawson said. Isabelle Defourny, location manager for the school, said it might take six hours to drive all the trails available to the instructors. They focus on expedition driving. “You are driving off-road to reach a destination. You want to reach your destination … with a vehicle, be prepared to do the right thing off-road and then return safely,” she said. Back to basics While the Land Rover gives the driver a lot of technical assistance off-road, some basic skills need to be developed. I’ve driven on a racetrack and through slalom courses where things basically come at you very fast from one direction. On the school’s course, things usually come very slow, but from all different directions. A driver has to be aware of sharp rocks that can cut a tire, and of things to the side and above the car that can cause damage, such as tree trunks and branches. For example, a right or left turn, simple maneuvers on-road, take time to learn off-road. In most cases, Demayo would have us pull up to a point where we would initiate the turn and then stop. Then we would check the rear clearance, turn the wheel as far as possible, and slowly pull away. After lunch, we head into the heart of the course, and Demayo prompts us to take even more aggressive angles as we become more comfortable with the Rover and its capability. At one point, when the vehicle is leaning sharply to the right, he has me stop to discuss the next maneuver. I’m more worried about falling on top of him or the Rover rolling over. I’ve got a strong urge for forward motion, not chitchat. Later, on a section called the Roller Coaster, Demayo has to get out of the Rover and jam some rocks under the right rear wheel so we can continue on our way. Eventually, after zigzagging over rocks, we make our way to the Quarry, the highest point on the course, and pause briefly in front of what looks to be an impossibly steep slope so we can plot the best route up. The Rover handles it with ease. On the climb back up, the instructor has me pause the vehicle on several instances with either a front or rear wheel well off the ground. By now, I’m rather worn out from hours of total concentration. And my wife states what I’ve sensed since that first plunge downhill. “I want one of these.” greg.wilcox@dailynews.com 818-713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CARMEL The woods on the hillside above Quail Lodge are dark, deep, narrow and steep. And Justin Demayo wants me to take a leap of faith. It’s a strange request, too, because the nose of the new silver Land Rover LR3 HSE is pointing downhill at such a jet-fighter attack angle that we strain against our seat belts. The route down is rutted and tree-lined, sort of a mogul run for four-wheel-drive fanatics. Palms sweat as I realize that my wife, Chris, and I are totally out of our element (off a road instead of on one). Especially when Demayo says, “OK, release the parking brake and take your foot off the brake pedal.” last_img read more