Range Rover Autobiography, Signature Protection For A Luxury SUV
Jaguar Land Rover is known for producing luxurious cars with a build quality that is second to none. The SUV category is unrivalled in its off-road capability and yet retains all the refinement JLR customers have come to expect.
The Sport Autobiography features an all-aluminium body, taking some of the load off the previous chassis. It’s perfectly balanced, handles extremely well particularly for an SUV of this size, giving the driver plenty of thrills through twisty roads. The 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel engine produces 302 bhp at 4000 rpm, delivering 0-60mph in 6.8 seconds. Torque is an impressive 516 lb ft at 1500 rpm, which believe it or not matches the LaFerrari V12. Not bad for a motor weighing in at somewhere over 2 tonnes!
On the inside, the cabin is as well spec’d as enthusiasts of the JLR badge have come to expect. Sound-proofing is excellent, so there’s very little disturbance from road or wind noise – all the better to appreciate the infotainment system! The full leather seats envelop the occupants in comfort and there are some classy, understated touches including turned aluminium trims on the dash and doors, and a luxury suede headlining.
This particular Range Rover Sport had been purchased pre-owned. The new owner appreciates the value that detailing can add to a vehicle, both in terms of enhancing the aesthetics and preserving resale values. In fact, previously the customer had brought his Porsche 911 Carrera Targa Sport to UF’s Brands Hatch Detailing Studio for extensive cosmetic restoration.
This Range Rover Sport didn’t have many miles on the clock, however, as the paintwork had not been protected, it had already sustained damage. Following a vehicle appraisal, the Range Rover Sport was booked in for a Gloss Enhancement Treatment. Passionate about his cars, the owner elected to upgrade to a Platinum service which uses Kamikaze Collection ENREI Coat, a state-of-the-art two-step system offering incredible protection and longevity. As well as the exterior, the interior also required a deep clean as the previous owner had been a smoker and there was a strong residual smell, as well as a general mild discolouration from the nicotine. Protection treatments were also requested for the glass and wheels.
Using Bilt-Hamber Korrosol, the bodywork and wheels were treated for iron contamination. Brake pads shred when the brakes are applied, causing small, hot particles to become aerosolised. These particles bond with the first substrate they come into contact with. Typically, wheels and sills collect the largest proportion of contamination. The easiest and safest way to remove these sharp particles is to use a spray-on product such as Korrosol, which contains an active ingredient designed to shrink the particles, causing them to break their bond with the substrate and allowing them to be rinsed away. This non-contact method helps prevent additional swirls being put into the clearcoat.
The Range Rover Sport was then treated for road grime and oily splatters using Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD, a water-based degreaser that breaks down organic and inorganic deposits and residues, allowing them to be easily rinsed away. The SUV was then pre-cleaned using Ultimate Snow Foam applied through a foam lance attached to a Kranzle K-1152 TST pressure washer.
The thick lather lifts larger particles of dirt and grit away from the surface of the paintwork and encapsulates them within the foam. After being allowed to dwell for several minutes, the foam with the contamination was then rinsed away.
The Range Rover Sport was washed using the Two Bucket Method: keeping wash and rinse water in separate buckets, both with Grit Guards in the bottom, helps preserve the integrity of the paintwork. Particles removed from the vehicle are released into the Rinse Bucket and the wash mitt is reloaded with wash solution from the clean soapy water from the Wash Bucket. In this way, a clean mitt is always presented to the vehicle’s panels. Once completely clean, the Range Rover Sport was rinsed before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was attached in-line with a hose to deliver a final, pure water rinse. The car was then dried using soft microfibre towels and brought into the studio for inspection under SCANGRIP high-intensity lighting. The areas of damage were noted and recorded on a Vehicle Appraisal Sheet (VAS) for reference during the machine polishing stages.
To protect the trim from discolouration and to prevent polish from becoming embedded around badges, the Range Rover Sport was masked with Kamikaze Collection Kabuki Detailing Tape. This adheres well to surfaces, yet peels away easily without leaving a residue.
To correct the damaged paintwork, a RUPES LHR 12E Duetto Dual Action polisher was used with a Kamikaze Collection Red Banzai Dynamics Polishing Pad and Koch-Chemie H7 Schleifpaste. Banzai Dynamics Polishing Pads feature Dot Point Polishing (DPP) technology, where the nippled surface increases the working area of the pad whilst allowing for better air circulation. This means compounds can be worked for longer, increasing their effectiveness whilst minimising the chances of incurring micro scratches. H7 Schleifpaste contains abrasives to eliminate heavy scratches and severe swirling ready for the refining stage.
To tackle the door pillars, along with the sills and other smaller areas, a RUPES BigFoot LHR 75E Mini Dual Action polisher was used. The smaller head uses a smaller pad and concentrates the polishing action over the smaller areas for better results. In this instance, a RUPES 4 Inch Fine Polishing Pad was used to provide the right amount of cut for the softer substrate.
With the paintwork defects removed, the refining stage was carried out using a FLEX PE14-2-150 rotary polisher, a Flexipads Soft-Buff Black Finishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800. The soft foam and the super fine quality of the polish together with the burnishing action of the FLEX polisher lifts the paintwork to a glorious shine.
The Kabuki Detailing Tape was stripped off and the nooks and crannies around the window trims and pillars were cleaned to ensure any polish residues were removed.
The paintwork and trim were wiped with Gtechniq Panel Wipe to remove any silicone residues and prepare the surface for the protective coating, in this instance, Kamikaze Collection ENREI.
Kamikaze Collection is a boutique Japanese designer and manufacturer of car care products. Set up in 2013, Managing Director Kai Morita and his team were among the first to develop coatings free from volatile organic compounds (VOC), the long-term exposure to which can cause health problems. As they are solvent-free, Kamikaze Collection coatings can be applied in thicker layers to offer additional protection. For the coating to be effective without a solvent, the raw ingredients must be extensively refined and the result produces coatings which are more easily applied than others manufactured in the traditional way. Together with a partner laboratory, Kamikaze Collection developed ‘organic polysilazanes’. Incorporated into a ceramic coating, this technology produces a film that is more impervious to highs and lows of pH as well as applying in an ultra-smooth layer. ENREI Coat is Kamikaze Collection’s newest, flagship coating that utilises these innovations in nanotechnology to provide superior protection for all modern automotive clearcoats.
Many ceramic coatings use solvents to penetrate the clearcoat and act as an anchor for the coating. ENREI Coat works differently by using a two-step system that has been designed specifically to work in harmony. The No.1 Base Primer Coat uses organic polysilazanes and a chemical reaction to lock onto the clearcoat, providing an anchor for the No.2 top coat. It takes around three hours for the primer to harden and, once cured, it leaves a smooth organic/inorganic hybrid layer. ENREI Top Surface Coat uses fine alkoxysilanes and fluorine compounds. Because it has an ultra-low solvent content, curing takes around twenty-four hours. Once cured it produces a water contact angle of 110 degrees and it also repels the inorganic elements that cause water spot marks.
ENREI provides amazing levels of protection and the gloss enhancing properties are second to none. However, in order to ensure maximum performance, there are strict controls placed on not only the temperature and humidity levels in the studio but also in the method of application. Kamikaze Collection has established a precise application technique to ensure both layers are applied correctly to get the maximum performance. Rather than using a cross-hatching technique, ENREI must be applied using an ‘up and down’ motion to ensure the layer is uniformly thick. There is also a time factor – each stroke of application has to last a designated amount of time; this is integral to the stability of the coating. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
For the coating to perform to its maximum, it must be applied under tightly controlled environmental conditions using the aforementioned application techniques. As a result, ENREI is only available as a service by Kamikaze Collection trained studios.
As the interior was in need of deep cleaning, a Tornador Black was used. This innovative tool connects to an airline and draws a cleaning solution out of its reservoir, applying it in a fine, cyclonic mist to the area in need of cleaning. Once the area has been cleaned, the flow is reversed, with the Tornador sucking the solution up from the fabric and removing dirt quickly and efficiently.
By using the Tornador Black on the fabrics within the car we were able to draw out the residues of cigarette smoke from the fibres. It was impressive to see how, although the fabrics really didn’t look dirty, once the cleaning process began it become evident the quantity of hidden dirt was there! – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Once the fabrics were clean and completely dry, they were protected from stains and UV fading using Gtechniq I1 AB Smart Fabric which provides a water repelling, anti-bacterial barrier. The suede headlining was protected with Colourlock Waterproofing Spray. The leather upholstery was deep cleaned using Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner, the foam applicator working to remove dirt residues from the leather grain. Leather areas were then protected from UV damage and abrasion using Colourlock Leather Protector. The interior glass was cleaned using Gtechniq G6 Perfect Glass to ensure any nicotine residues were removed. The final stage of the interior deep cleaning process was to sanitise the air conditioning system. For this, Meguiar’s Air Re-Fresher was used. The air conditioning unit is set to low and ‘recirculate’ and, ensuring doors and windows are closed, the Air Re-Fresher started. After ten minutes, the doors were opened to allow fresh air to circulate and the interior was completely devoid of the stale scent of cigarette smoke.
The exterior windows were sealed using Kamikaze Collection Intenso Window Coat, a nanotechnology-based hydrophobic coating that repels rainwater and waterborne contamination. The slick formulation eliminates the frustrating wiper judder associated with some hydrophobic window coatings. To protect the external black trim from UV fade and discolouration, Solution Finish Black Trim Restorer was applied.
Finally, the 21-inch alloy wheels and brake callipers were sprayed with Panel Wipe before being coated with Kamikaze Collection Stance Rim Coat. This hydrophobic, oleophobic nano-coating helps to prevent brake dust adhering, is resistant to extremes of temperature, as well as being virtually impervious to strongly acidic or alkaline chemicals. Treated surfaces are easier to maintain and do not require harsh wash chemicals to loosen contamination.
With the paintwork’s clarity restored and each surface fully protected with Kamikaze Collection ceramic coatings, this Range Rover Sport Autobiography looked as good as new!
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements.