Is this the greatest modified Range Rover in existence? Yes it is, and if you dare to argue, you are a fool. Estimable people of TopGear.com, may we humbly present to you… the Startech Pickup!
Startech - a Brabus Group company, which will explain literally all of the words on this page - is planning on showcasing its simply marvellous creation at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show. And truly it is something to marvel at.
Buried under all that modification and carbon fibre and red paint lies a supercharged, 5.0-litre V8 Range Rover with 526bhp. But Startech has turned the aristocratic Rangey into what it ambitiously describes as “one of the world’s most exclusive pickups following the best coach building tradition that was once common for English luxury cars”.
So, with “harmonious fashion”, Startech has designed and manufactured 100 bodywork components from aluminium, carbon fibre and steel to make the conversion. The wall to the pickup bed - with a loading length of a whopping 110 centimetres - is welded to the shorter roof skin, and there are newly developed C-pillars to accommodate the excellence at the rear. Business in the front, party in the back: it’s the automotive equivalent of a mullet!
It’s a plastic-lined pickup bed - almost square in shape - with a remote operated tailgate opening which gives another 60cm. Perfect, says Startech, for “customers from the Arab region [who] like to use the pickup bed also for transporting a securely fastened cage that holds their falcons for the hunt”. If you’re not squeaking with joy at the mental imagery involved here, you’re dead inside.
And yet, somehow, it gets better. There’s a widebody version available - on either the SWB or LWB RRs - which incorporate new front bumpers, LED lights, a new front spoiler, wider arches (natch), and new air intakes for “a touch of motor racing flair”. Yep, MOTOR RACING. With falcons on the flatbed. What could be better?
It gets modified air suspension to allow a drop of 30mm at the push of a button, a new exhaust system, 23-inch forged wheels, ‘breathable’ black leather and carbon fibre literally everywhere inside.
And because this is officially The Greatest Modified Range Rover In Existence, Startech will even save you money. “The conversion to a pickup means the Startech multi-utility vehicle meets the prerequisites to be registered as a commercial vehicle in many countries, which often eliminates import fees,” it confidently asserts. Yep, they’re marketing this at farmers. Presumably very minted farmers of very small livestock. Premium micropigs?
Top Gear simply cannot imagine how this work of wonder could be improved in any way. No, actually, scrap that. We’ve got it: add some perspex and a pontiff to that rear deck, and you’ve got a kick-ass Popemobile…
It was inevitable, wasn’t it? Given the Range Rover has been the darling of car tuners for years, it was only a matter of time before some of them got their overly creative mitts on the new Range Rover Velar.
This is the first, and it’s the work of Lumma Design. As its Jaguar F-Pace and Bentley Bentayga prove only too well, Lumma loves an SUV. But only when it’s been given the wheels the size of a covered wagon’s and extended arches that would make a short-wheelbase Audi Quattro blush.
And if you thought ‘Range Rover Velar’ was a minor mouthful, then prepare yourself for the Lumma CLR GT Limited Edition. The body kit is best described as ‘strong’, with wildly swelled wheel arches, side sills you can almost step on and an actual carbon rear spoiler. Oh, and a rear diffuser that looks like a grumpy mouth.
In fact, nearly all of the new bits are made from carbon. And while the wheel sizes aren’t specified, Lumma’s Range Rover Sport kits offer 22- and 23-inch rims, while its F-Pace has 24s. So expect cushioned ride quality to make way for flamboyant showmanship here, too.
For now, this CLR GT is just a concept, with Lumma promising the finished product by the end of the year. No prices yet, then, but its SUV conversions typically cost around £25,000.
So, add one to a handsomely specced Velar – no Lumma customer will have the entry-level diesel, we’re safe to assume – and you’re looking at a total bill of around £100,000. Perhaps more.
Simple question. Would you?!