A haven for Spain, between nature and architecture

Spin the roads of Castile, from an exclusive finca in the heart of Madrid, in a comfortable hybrid vehicle that has a few surprising surprises in store for you? This is the adventure that Land Rover has envisioned for the new Ranger Rover Sport, a new version of the leading adventurer SUV since its launch seventeen years ago. A fun off-road car, and which here mixes both the taste of the road and the taste of culture, in a lifestyle spirit that previously fell by the wayside of San Francisco.

But back to Europe, a few dozen kilometers from the Spanish capital. It is in an elegant finca, whose origins date back to the 18th century and now owned by the Dukes of Alburquerque, that the venue is set. Goal: reach the heart of Madrid and a secret destination is entered into the GPS system on a large 13.1-inch floating screen. And on the way, don’t miss out on discovering the landscapes of a sun-drenched landscape that a welcome downpour has turned a little green.

A legend reinvented

If the car seems massive at first glance, the drive is easy and the new Range Rover glides smoothly over the asphalt strip that zigzags between the fields. For fifty years, this model has continued to evolve and is now presented in a version whose refined design, signed by Gerry McGovern, goes hand in hand with uncompromising comfort, be it agility four-wheel drive, noise reduction inside the cabin, and even the air purification system, that helps reduce bacteria and allergens, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus… In keeping with the times, this impressive vehicle with unparalleled handling is offered in mild hybridization or rechargeable hybrid versions (a 100% electric version is expected in 2024), if emission rate is reduced to less than 30 g/km CO2. In terms of comfort, fragile backs will appreciate the almost morphological seat, and a small luxury available, the option of massage chairs…

The new Range Rover, pictured outside the Hotel Epoque, Madrid.

Copyright N Dimbleby 2022info@nickdimbleby.com

Back on the road. All around us, the hills are getting ready for autumn. Only a few tens of kilometers from the city we come across horse farms, a few fields with olive trees, lulled by the clouds crossing the sky. The high seat gives both a perfect view of the road, but also to enjoy the surrounding landscapes. Even the arrival in the city, in the Castellana district, happens without problems, as the vehicle automatically switches to electric mode when approaching the city.

The landscape around Madrid.

photo by david shepherd

But besides, why this meeting in the heart of the city? Because it is the city that another great transport enthusiast has chosen to set up his archive and foundation. He is English, has accumulated hundreds of awards, including Pritzker Prize in 1999, not animate is considered the noble architecture. And it is here, in a mansion in the heart of the city, that Norman Foster has settled down.

A finca near Madrid.

The control screen offers excellent readability thanks to its 13.1 inch diagonal.

Copyright: Nick Dimbleby 2022info@nickdimbleby.com

The taste of travel

The man is not there, but the private tour is extraordinary. At a time when so many questions arise around the theme of transportation, the models of planes, trains, cars presented in the “Pavilion of Inspiration”, all made of glass and carbon fiber, once again open the doors to childlike wonder… and an absolutely astonishing creative trip. The first drawings, the models of the most emblematic creations, whether they are airports, the British Museum, the Carré d’Art in Nîmes, the HSBC building in Hong Kong and even the headquarters – unrealized – of the BBC in London make you dizzy. Unlike an era that dematerialized everything, Norman Foster firmly believes in the real, in matter and in the possibility of movement, even beyond Earth… His module project for the conquest of space speaks volumes on this subject.

In the foreground the room module project designed by Norman Foster.

Nigel Young

The models of the emblematic creations of Norman Forster, in his Madrid fund.

Nigel Young

But why did Range Rover choose this particular experience (a private tour of the Prado was also offered)? No doubt because there are bridges between the world of the architect and that of Gerry McGovern, the British car designer and head of design at parent company Land Rover Jaguar, for whom “the new Rover Sport fully embodies our resolutely modern approach to vehicle design while reinforcing its unmistakably sporty and reliable character”. Namely: clean, go to the essentials, preserve the sense of function – and renew. Proof of this is the next day: leaving the hotel waiting the new Range Rover Sport. A car? No need to be an aficionado to understand that behind the body hides more of an heir to the Transformers of the 1990s than a classic vehicle, even carried on four-wheel drive.

Adventure, in style

You have to be an expert to understand, but The Range Rover Sport does it all. Going down a 60 degree slope? Crossing a bridge like the River Kwai? To cross the narrow and uneven bed of a river? It’s not necessarily important in the city, but lovers of outdoor thrills will be delighted by this vehicle, which ignores all obstacles, or almost, thanks to, among other things, Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2® system, which intelligently applies the settings that most
suitable for the relief. An experience that will delight adventurers who also want to return home afterwards in style.

The new Range Rover.

David Shepherd

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