Captivating Fusion: The Bold SUV That Blends Defender and Range Rover Influences

In the world of automotive design, inspiration can come from unexpected sources, and the BAIC Stone 01 is a perfect example of this creative evolution. Set to make its debut on the Chinese market later this year, the Stone 01 is turning heads for its unmistakable blend of Land Rover Defender and Range Rover influences. As we delve into the intriguing details of this electrified SUV, it becomes evident that it’s not just about imitation – it’s about forging a unique identity.

At first glance, the Stone 01 immediately draws comparisons to the iconic Land Rover Defender. The dimensions of the SUV place it squarely between the Defender 110 and 130, emphasizing its commanding presence on the road. The generous wheelbase of 3,010 mm promises a spacious interior, setting the stage for the comfortable and functional three-row seating configurations that will be available – a nod to practicality that both Land Rover and Range Rover have long championed.

The Stone 01 wears its inspiration proudly, adopting the proportions, design elements, and styling cues that are synonymous with the Defender. From the robust wheel arches to the distinctive side gills, the lineage is undeniable. The straight character line along the body reinforces the Defender’s rugged aesthetic, while the strategic use of black pillars and roof adds an air of sophistication, harkening back to the luxury lineage of the Range Rover brand.

While the exterior is a harmonious blend of Land Rover design DNA, the front end introduces an intriguing twist with Y-shaped headlights reminiscent of the Range Rover lineup. This dynamic fusion of styling cues from two distinct British marques results in a unique and captivating face that sets the Stone 01 apart from mere imitation.

Under the hood, innovation continues to be the driving force. The Stone 01 boasts a plug-in hybrid powertrain that marries a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine with dual electric motors. This synergistic setup not only prioritizes efficiency but also delivers a satisfying power output. The petrol engine, acting as a generator, teams up with the front and rear electric motors, generating 201 hp and 268 hp respectively. This combination ensures not only capable off-road performance but also a smooth and responsive on-road driving experience.

While exterior and performance details are captivating, the interior of the Stone 01 remains a tantalizing secret. Even without visuals, the promise of six-seater and seven-seater configurations implies versatility, ideal for families or adventure enthusiasts. The presence of lidar sensors further hints at the inclusion of advanced driver-assistance systems, cementing the Stone 01’s commitment to safety and modern driving technologies.

Behind the scenes, the story of the Stone 01’s inception adds depth to its narrative. Originating as a project by Rox Motor under the name Luo Ke, financial hurdles led to a partnership with BAIC, resulting in the creation of the Stone brand. This collaborative effort adds an element of resilience and determination to the SUV’s story, reflecting the commitment of both parties to bring a remarkable vehicle to market.

As anticipation mounts for its impending release, the Stone 01 exemplifies the convergence of automotive heritage and innovation. While it pays homage to iconic British designs, it refuses to be a mere imitation. Instead, it asserts itself as a unique contender in the SUV landscape, offering a blend of style, performance, and modern technology that’s sure to capture the imagination of both enthusiasts and everyday drivers. As the year draws to a close, all eyes will be on China as BAIC’s Stone 01 emerges, fusing the spirit of the past with the promise of the future.


Range Rover Fights Land Rover Defender, Are Six Off-Road Challenges Enough?

Carwow’s Mat Watson and his colleague Nick have an L460 Range Rover and L663 Defender at their disposal, so what else could they do than contest each other over the harshest terrain they can find?

Mat and the carwow team are well known for their entertaining videos that not only handle the latest automotive apparitions but also race them in head-to-head drags, track battles, and impromptu off-road competitions. The newest YT feature is of the latter variety, and they are again using the safe environment of that dusty proving grounds to try and find out who is better – Mat or Nick.

Actually, they are there to put the latest and (arguably) greatest L460 fifth-generation Range Rover flagship through its paces against the reinvented L663 land Rover Defender. There are six off-road challenges, but first, let us talk a little bit about the specifications. So, Mat is rooting for and driving the posh Range Rover equipped with BMW’s twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8.

The mill is good for 523 horsepower (530 ps) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of twisting torque, but the comfy SUV is also a heavy and expensive beast. As it turns out, it is not as burdensome as the Defender packing the JLR-born 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which is also a tad less powerful (525 ps/518 hp and 625 Nm/461 lb-ft), but then also ‘cheaper.’

By the way, I am not going to spoil the fun of watching all the six off-road challenges (which include about everything, from up and downhill ‘drags’ to maneuverability trials) but I am going to say that – just like Mat and Nick, one needs to choose sides and select a favorite, in the end. Also, never mind the surprise brought by the tallied results, we can all agree that the Land Rover expert judge might have been a little (more than) biased…

Article Credits: Aurel Niculescu
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