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Range Rover Astronaut Edition celebrates Virgin Galactic, Land Rover partnership

The Land Rover Range Rover Astronaut Edition is exclusively offered to future space tourists.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Virgin Galactic and Land Rover have extended their global partnership for another three years. Land Rover will continue to be part of the world's first commercial spaceline's day-to-day operations as Virgin Galactic competes test flights with SpaceShipTwo and begins regular commercial service.

Land Rover vehicles tow space vehicles, carry equipment, and clear runways before takeoff. The Land Rovers assisted with Virgin Galactic's move from test families in Mojave, California to Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

Land Rover says that the vehicles also "played key roles during the company's first two spaceflights which saw Virgin Galactic become the first private company to fly humans to space on a spaceship designed for commercial service".

Land Rover Range Rover Astronaut Edition 

Land Rover Range Rover Astronaut Edition
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Virgin Galactic has already signed-up around 600 Future Astronaut customers, who will be transported to their flights from Spaceport America, in Land Rover vehicles.

"Land Rover vehicles provide invaluable support on the ground in Mojave and at Spaceport America in New Mexico," said Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Galactic. "It is also fabulous to see our Future Astronauts around the world enjoying the unique Range Rover Astronaut Edition. We are delighted to be able to extend this strong partnership. With a shared pioneering spirit, pursuit of adventure and vision to push the boundaries of travel, this is a natural collaboration between our two companies and one that will take exploration to new heights.''

The Land Rover Range Rover Astronaut Edition debuted in 2019. It was revealed by Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and Jaguar Land Rover Chief Creative Officer Prof Gerry McGovern OBE. The SUV has been created by Land Rover SV Bespoke and offered exclusively to Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts.

Virgin Galactic has a team of eight highly experienced pilots and is preparing for its next rocket-powered flight in New Mexico. Founder Sir Richard Branson is planning to fly to space later in 2021.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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The majority of new car buyers paid a markup in January 2022.

VW

It's no secret that new car prices are climbing every year, as new technology and features make their way into even the most basic models. The issue is compounded by massive supply chain issues that have caused vehicle shortages for nearly every major automaker. Some dealers are taking advantage of record low inventory levels by marking up prices, and unfortunately, the problem isn't limited to a handful of bad apples. In analyzing recent sale price data, automotive publication Edmunds found that buyers paid a markup in a whopping 82.2 percent of all new vehicle purchases in January 2022, compared to just 2.8 percent a year before. Overall, the average transaction price rose to $728 above MSRP for new car purchases.


Tesla factoryTesla is looking to expand production in the U.S. beyond the confines of its Fremont factory. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Cadillac buyers saw the largest markups, to the tune of $4,048 on average in January. Land Rover and Kia weren't much better, with average markups of $2,565 and $2,289, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Alfa Romeo buyers got discounts that averaged $3,421, while people who bought Volvo or Lincoln vehicles got smaller discounts of $869 and $510, respectively.

Some automakers have taken a stand against dealer markups and the general lack of transparency seen in pricing across the board. Ford and General Motors have been vocal in recent months, threatening to withhold inventory from dealers found to be slapping markups on new vehicles. As Edmunds notes, both automakers have important vehicle launches on the horizon that neither can afford to flub, and inconsistent pricing or markups is a good way to alienate new customers out of the gate.


Cadillac EscaladeCadillac buyers paid the largest markups of any brand. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

If you're thinking of shopping for a new car, the best way to avoid paying a markup is to wait. The pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues have thrown kinks into every automaker's operations that will take time to iron out. That said, it's clear that some brands are committed to having no funny business when it comes to dealerships' pricing and communication. It's possible to get a vehicle at MSRP, or even below in some cases, so if you're in a position that requires you to buy a new car, shop around to get the best deal.

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