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Back in 2005 when Land Rover let loose the most comprehensive upgrade to its long-running mid-level Discovery line since its introduction in 1989, one of the most intriguing new bits of technology was the company's highly lauded Terrain Response system. In fact, so revolutionary was the design of this new 'ute and the technology that made it work so well that Land Rover completely ditched the Discovery name in the United States, giving its pride and joy the LR3 moniker.

Fast forward to 2010. Recall that just last week Ford announced that its next-gen Explorer for the 2011 model year would feature a new technology that it's calling Terrain Management. Sound familiar? It should – Land Rover is keen to point out that Jim Holland, the Chief Engineer, Explorer Platform Program, spent three years working at Land Rover in the UK as chief engineer for Range Rover. Coincidence? Hardly.

Both Ford and Land Rover's systems work on a similar principle, that of allowing computers to take over from the driver in adverse conditions so that the vehicle can remain in control with the most available traction under any and all types of terrain. But – and according to Land Rover (not surprisingly), it's a very big BUT – LR's system has more settings, namely 'General' for everyday on-road driving; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand and Rock Crawl.

Further, Land Rover cites its air suspension, low-range gearing and Gradient Release Control as important features that the 2011 Ford Explorer is expected to lack. Oh, and Land Rover also claims that its 60 years of off-road experience cannot be dismissed. Are these important considerations? Well, naturally that would depend on your desired usage of the vehicle. In any case, Land Rover sums its case up as such:
We naturally wish our friends the best of luck with their new vehicle. We just want everyone to know where the system was invented. And that was right here at Land Rover.
[Source: Land Rover]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Definitely stinks of someone needing attention. Companies acquire other companies for tech all the time. GM swallowed Lotus back in the 80s, and the suspension tech made its way throughout the performance model lines. Saab gave them more experience in turbo engines, Subie some insight on car AWD. Be rather inefficient (and pathetic) if automakers had to publish some genealogy of tech origins.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it s important to know who makes what
      FORD sucks, not even one american ford model is sold overseas.... WHY?
      Europeans make it better, japanese make it better, koreans make it better, even ford european branch makes it better ( oh fiesta, focus, transit connect are the new ford sensations in america, designed engineered in europe)
      AND YES LAND ROVER HAS RELIABILITY ISSUES, but they improved more with bmw then with sluggish american blue oval brand....
      that said
      the greeat f150 raptor has allready a e-locker, that was inspired on the one used on rrs, lr3 and rr.... so it s not like ford made much for land rover, but the other way, ford like bmw used land rover only for R&D purposes
      yes it were the americans with Jeep who created the 4x4 stereotype, but the jeep was not the first 4x4 vehicle, and if we look into 4x4 american makers now, we see old fashioned concepts, leaf springs, torsion bar independent suspension, non permanent 4wd systems and while you keep it simple you could also keep reliable, but no, american 4x4 are as unreliable as land rovers
      as said before land rover lacks reliability, and in North America lacks the work models such as the land rover defender and discovery commercial
      but land rover did thing like :
      1970 range rover permanent 4wd system, coil spring all round
      1983 90/110 models with permanent 4wd system, coil springs all round ( it s workhorse not a luxury model)
      1987 first range rover with ABS system
      1989 lwb/lse had air suspension, and rear axle eletronic traction control
      1998 all models have ETC
      2000 independent pneumatic suspension with the higher wheel articulation for independent suspension
      2005 terrain response
      and to come, aluminium wheelbase
      if you don t like land rover OK
      but instead go for a TOYOTA wich has technology reliability
      u don t see many american 4x4 where conditions are extreme, like africa, australia, south america or asia
      because you americans are that good

        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, it might have been a bit harsh but I do agree with LWPFLDB. Whenever I see someone on African Safari or Australian Outback, all I ever see are Land Rovers, Toyotas, Nissans, Mitsubishis. None of the American companies have a worldwide reputation of being durable/depandable off-road vehicles in critical situations maybe except Hummer. Even Jeeps are not considered tough/reliable. Problem with Land Rover reliability reputation are the service centers (people who spend that much cash on a vehicle expect better service) plus the fact that Land Rovers/Range Rovers are pretty much stocked with all the latest greatest techno gadgetry that's really unproven. Their 4x4 technology is top notch though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tech reliability??? Somoen hasn't been watching tv now have they? Toyota and reliability should never be posted in the same sentence for a LONG time. Oh yeah, and didn't Ford just outsell VW in Europe or was every car site just horribly off? Yeah shut it if all you have to say is BS
        • 5 Years Ago
        As an owner of one, wouldn't consider Toyota as one having "technology reliability." I find Toyota over rated, other than a few good Diesel engines that they produce but don't import into the US.

        Also, as a Land Rover owner I do find they have a bad reputation for reliability that often is a result of bad service centers and not a bad vehicle. The best Land Rovers are their true off road vehicles that are no longer sold in the US. For a luxury brand there are much better options out there starting with the on-road only BMWs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Low range and Center Diff Lock is all you need.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BMW, as a former owner of Land Rover, uses the system in their 4x4...
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only thing this car will ever "explore" is the mall parking lot. It only needs two settings--"Road" and "What the hell do you think you're doing? Put it back on "Road!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Doesn't matter, the arrogant cunts at land rover forget that all their vehicles have almost no reliability and a ignorance markup for the rich who know nothing about what they're buying. And if you're going to offroad, terrain management will only hold you back because you will be modifying the vehicle for your preferred offroad taste.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see Bosch taking credit for ABS and traction control.

      "Good luck world, just remember that we invented the technology that allows the vehicle to stop safer."

      But then again, that's the level of class. Land Rover, on the other hand, has never really had the financial investment to back up their products. That's partly why the quality control goes down the toilet.

      Looks like they carry that attitude into their corporate culture. Pity.
      • 5 Years Ago
      *YAWN* Maybe it's because I live in the NY Metro area, but anything about off-roading is just such a bore to me. I never do it but I would never have a pricey LR or even an Explorer to go off-roading with. I'd get some old, beat up Jeep or something equally fun because the rest of the time I want a vehicle that's made for pavement only. What a waste and of course everyone knows that the owners of these things never take them thru anything more than snow anyway. They'd be better to invest that time and money into other tech. such as safety or fuel economy.

      My 2 cents.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gloria, I'm going to assume you hit the wrong "reply" button, because your response has nothing to do with what I said.....

        And to everyone who voted my comment down, I'm sorry but it's true. It's a been a well-known fact for years that the majority of SUV owners do not actually go off-road hence the pointlessness of such a feature. Particularly, as I said, where I am in the NY metro area. They don't need it any more than a yuppie needs a Hummer H1 with 24" chrome wheels. Off-roaders (and that hobby) are great, but sitting in traffic and their commute, etc., it really would make more sense to put the effort into fuel efficiency.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't talk about what you know nothing about.

        I wheeled with alot of LR owners. While most of them will not do the real heavy rockcrawling, they ran those vehicles hard. The majority of them were very nice folks.

        That said, LR stepped down a notch in my book, with this announcement. Very sour grapes and childish. The technology was co-developed by Ford and LR, and Ford retained intellectual property rights at the "divorce."

        Frankly, the word petty comes to mind.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great job Land Rover.

      Now invent a vehicle that spends more time on the road/trail than it does in the repair shop.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Land Rover also claims that its 60 years of off-road experience cannot be dismissed"

        Nor can their virtual last in class long term reliability.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I was thinking:

        "Land Rover to Ford: Good luck with Terrain Management - Just remember who invented it"

        "Ford to Land Rover: Now watch how a company can implement it correctly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bingo. You nailed my thoughts exactly.

        Honestly, I love the look, feel, and overall character of Land Rovers, but there's no way I'd buy one until they reach at least an above-average level of reliability. With a premium price tag should come premium levels of dependability.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Congrats LR, you're 4x4 system is overly complex, and has more useless settings then Ford. i mean GRASS?! who seriously needs a GRASS mode.

        Land Rover doesnt even produce decent 4x4 trucks... most sit as low as cars, and have street tires.

        Any idiot with half a brain simply needs 4HI and 4LO... But if LR wants to gloat about building their car(and i mean car) for "special" people... then let em.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, well GM was first to the market with Turbo DI engines, but so far, haven't called Ford out for over-marketing the same thing as "EcoBoost"...probably 'cuz they'd have don't exactly the same thing had they had the presence of mind at the time...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Might want to check your history there. Chevy did beat Ford in the DI+Turbo race but Chevy was behind other companies, Audi/VW included.
      • 5 Years Ago
      LR's seriously THAT concerned people will cross shop the LR3 and explorer? Seriously?
        • 5 Years Ago
        considering the explorer is a better built vehicle they should be. ;-p
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, I guess so. I don't get it anyways, it's not like other suvs can't discern terrain types, hell, even the evo can, and it's not even a truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Land Rover was owned by Ford at the time. Ford was paying the bills when this innovation was created.
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