“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Those are the all-too familiar words which spring to mind as I look at the all-new, but very familiar 2013 Range Rover, which arrives in the UK from early 2013.
You might think in a world of hybrid powerplants and skinny CO2 figures, that Land Rover’s most Luxurious SUV would be starting to lose its appeal. Well that’s exactly what Land Rover predicted and even though it still lacks a hybrid/EV variant (for city dwellers), they’ve slashed 420kg from the outgoing model transforming the top model’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
The secret weapon in this fight against flab is Land Rover’s new state-of-the-art aluminium manufacturing facility in Solihull, UK. This is where the new Range Rover’s revolutionary lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body structure is produced, weighing in at 39% lighter than the steel body used in the outgoing model.
The resulting 2,160kg kerb weight may not trouble the waif-like supermodels of the sector (are there any?), but that puts it 300kg lighter than the equivalent Mercedes GL-Class and should bode well for the new car’s ride and handling as well as its performance and fuel efficiency.
The similarities between the all-new Range Rover and its newest sibling will not have escaped your notice. Land Rover has applied the swept-back headlight style of the Evoque to soften the big SUV’s traditional two-box layout and make for a more elegant stance on the road.
“Designing the next generation Range Rover, following over forty years of success, came with a huge responsibility to protect the DNA of such an icon,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer.
“Our design team worked incredibly hard to capture the elegant proportions and pure surfaces which have been a feature of the best Range Rover designs.”
Amongst a spate of new innovations is the next-generation version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response system (Terrain Response 2 Auto®), which analyses the current driving conditions and automatically selects the most suitable vehicle settings for the terrain. This will be joined by advancements made to the Range Rover’s chassis and driver assistance technologies.
To combat the introduction of new high-end models to the sector, such as Bentley’s EXP 9 F and Lamborghini’s Urus, Land Rover has pulled out all the stops in keeping its iconic model as the SUV to be seen in. The all-new Range Rover features a more spacious and luxurious interior, with a new more composed driving experience.
The new body structure and acoustic lamination of the windscreen and side door glass have significantly reduced noise levels, while the new suspension architecture has enabled engineers to achieve even higher levels of ride comfort and refinement.
The Range Rover’s sumptuous interior incorporates a more contemporary treatment, with clean elegant surfaces presented using the finest leathers and veneers. There is over 118mm more legroom – the rear occupants benefitting vastly from the increased space and comfort – with the option of a new two-seat Plutocrat-special seating package for the ultimate in rear-seat luxury.
As before, the Range Rover comes with the choice of a 503bhp supercharged V8 petrol engine, 309bhp TDV8 diesel engine and for the first time the 256bhp TDV6 engine from the Range Rover Sport. But as I said, there’s no sign yet of a hybrid or electric powered variant.
Designed and engineered at the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Solihull in the UK, the new Range Rover will be available to order from September 2012 with customer deliveries scheduled to start from early 2013. Full specs and prices will be released in early September, ahead of the Paris Motor Show later in the month.