Steve’s Land Rover LR4: A car fit for a prince

Name: Steve Baker
Nationality: British
Occupation:Technical and Projects Manager at Reflections Technologies FZCO
Ride: 2012 Land Rover LR4 V8 SE in Baltic Blue

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There’s an interesting story behind Steve Baker’s LR4, which has well and truly become a part of the family. Used as a daily driver and for a way to explore the terrain of the UAE, Steve’s vehicle is the perfect accompaniment to life in the Emirates. Below, Steve tells us all about the history of the car, and the slight modifications he has made.

Tell us a little background story about the car…
I bought the car at fourteen months old from a Saudi prince who had tired of it. I drove it for 18 months in Saudi Arabia before I relocated to Dubai. It would have cost too much to replace it here, and I loved and knew it intimately anyway, so I exported it from Saudi and imported it into UAE. I’ve not regretted that decision at all.
The car is my daily driver, and it has covered almost 170,000 to date, so it’s just about ‘run in’. It has reliably and dependably taken me, and the family, all across Arabia on numerous occasions in air cushioned comfort.

Could you tell us all about the modifications that were made, performance and cosmetic-wise?
The car is totally stock from a mechanical point of view, with the exception of 3-way adjustable suspension rods from Green Oval Experience in Australia. I’ve recently had a full suite of underbody protection plates fitted from the same company as well – front bash plate, transmission plate, air compressor plate and rock sliders.

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Do you have something that you would consider to be a “special feature” of your car?
Land Rover’s Terrain Response System. It makes off-roading almost embarrassingly easy. I have a good knowledge of off-roading techniques and hacks, which were learnt the hard way over the years, or at the hand of select mentors . This does come in handy such as when I am ‘advised’ to take my feet completely off the pedals when descending a 1 in 2 gradient on a slippery surface! I know what the car is doing and why, but I still have to ‘believe’ that everything is under control, and that I can manually control the speed of descent using the cruise control adjusters.

What were your other options before you bought this car?
Well, I had an LR3 for 7 years before this car, so realistically there was no other option (unless money was no object).

How do you spend time with the car, and how often do you use it?
At weekends and during holidays, I love to hit the mountains, wadis and utility trails that litter Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. I’m not opposed to sand, but physics comes into play in a significant way with a vehicle
nudging 3 tonnes, so dune bashing is out. It’s a very rare day when I don’t use the car at all. Commuting, shopping, exploring – it’s my go to choice for them all!

Are you planning any modifications in the future?
I’d like a set of 18 ”rims for it, so that I can get some sidewall height and more suitable off-road rubber to play with. I currently have the 20” rims that the car came with, but that hasn’t really stopped play; I just have to be constantly mindful of punctures – which is not a bad thing – and let the electronics compensate for the higher tyre pressures at times when my sidewalls should be showing chubby cheeks.

What 4×4 do you dream of owning?
For a pure off-roading vehicle, I’d love to have a Mercedes Unimog. For an overland expeditioning vehicle, it would have to be a Mercedes Zetros.

Expensive? Yes, but then I am dreaming…

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