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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Majorette Range Stormer concept and Matchbox 2005 Range Rover Sport




While the new Range Rover Sport has a more sportier look to the exterior, so far Welly and a few others have been the only diecast models of the second generation for now.  However, in the first-generation there was quite a few diecast replica's of the Sport, and while Matchbox is one of them Majorette went on a different course to showcase the concept that previewed the 2005 production model.







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Majorette Range Stormer concept

In 2003 Land Rover was looking to expand the Range Rover line; at the time there was only one Range Rover and it was a pretty pricey one to own.  So in order for Land Rover to get a better entry into the luxury brand the smaller Range Rover Sport was created.  To gauge public reaction before the vehicle went on sale Land Rover created the Range Stormer concept, a two-door SUV that has a low roof and the looks of a sport SUV.  The styling is similar to the larger Range Rover, but with some differences.  The headlights are projector beam with LED tube lights that surround the lenses (and would be offered on all Land Rover/Range Rover models in 2009), a larger grille in black, and a lower bumper that has large intake grilles.  The hood also has two vents in gray, while the roof has a chopped look with a large panoramic sunroof on top.  On the sides is a very usual Range Rover profile but with flared fenders (the front ones even overlap the hoodline edge), side faux vents in silver, and doors that open up like a butterfly with the lower section that opens down as a running board step.  The rear has clear taillights with round LED brake lights, a black lower diffuser with quad exhaust, and on this Majorette version a tow hitch for towing.








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Majorette did a nice job with this casting, though the trailer hitch looks out-of-place on such a show car, and if you get the thick 5-spoke wheels like on my tester they look pretty accurate on the concept and fit this truck (other wheels used on the Stormer do not look right on this casting).  Despite the performance look it still has four-wheel drive like a typical Range Rover, independent suspension with air springs, and dual exhaust that comes from the 5.0L supercharged V8 motor and six-speed automatic transmission.  The hood opens up as a forward clamshell on the concept.  The interior has a definite show car look with thin seats for four, silver padded surroundings on the dash, door panels, and rear cargo area, and a dashboard with digital touchscreen and gauges.  The overall dash layout and steering wheel are still similar to other Range Rover models.  This is one sleek concept SUV that really brings out the performance mindset for Range Rover and got customers excited for the production version.







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Matchbox Range Rover Sport

When it arrived it was, well, toned down a bit looking more like a smaller Range Rover than the sleek Stormer concept.  The front has projector headlights in sync with the larger Range Rover, a similar grille with Land Rover badge, and a lower bumper that has smaller scoops and foglights over the wild look of the concept.  In this Matchbox version I found the front-end to stick out a bit at an angle than be straight flat like the real SUV.  The first Matchbox release in 2005 was ok, if a bit dull for a Range Rover, but future releases like this yellow with the appropriate large multi-spoke wheels makes up for a few miscues on the exterior.  Here it has detailed headlights, taillights, and Range Rover letters on the hood.  Even the foglights are detailed.







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Back to the SUV the sides now show a four-door look with normal doors, smaller side vents, no hood vents, and the lower rocker panels conceal the integrated running boards.  As for up top the sunroof has reverted to a typical rectangular unit for the front seats.  The rear forgoes the foil taillights for red units with round lamps again in sync with other Land Rover/Range Rover models.  The tailgate has Range Rover and sport badges, while the lower bumper has barely visible dual exhaust tips and a trailer hitch that looks nicely integrated in this Matchbox version.  The chassis has more detail from the exhaust system to the skid plates for the engine and fuel tank area.  The engine offered is a same 5.0L supercharged V8 as in the Stormer concept that makes 390 horsepower and 550 Ib-ft of torque to a 6-speed automatic transmission and to a part-time or full-time four-wheel drive system with Land Rover's Terrain Response control knob.  While the Stormer acts like a sports car in the performance tests, the Range Rover Sport still feels like a typical SUV despite the Sport name.  The interior is a five-passenger Range Rover style with a decent cargo area.  Matchbox did a great job with the details on the seats, 4-spoke steering wheel, and dashboard layout that has dual gauges under a pod, stereo, navigation, and HVAC controls in the center; and shifter and Terrain Response knob in the center console.





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The Range Rover Sport never interested me: despite the name it never looked like a sporty Range Rover, more like a smaller Range Rover SUV.  Especially when the concept has that sporty look the first-generation Sport was a disappointment.  Thanks to help with the smaller Evoque SUV the second-generation (see previous article) looks much more sportier, feels more sportier, and follows the look of the Range Stormer concept vehicle.



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