A brand new Range Rover is an uncommon occurrence, this being just the fifth generation since the 1970 original changed the world.
This iteration still puts refinement and comfort front-and-centre, but underlays it with more cutting-edge technologies befitting its flagship status.
While the looks are signature it’s new from the ground up, replete with a model-first seven-seat (long-wheelbase) option, new engines including a 4.4-litre V8 and plug-in hybrid with 80km electric range, and a new Range Rover SV spec level.
Range Rover design
Bluff nose, clamshell bonnet, short overhang, strong horizontal belt-line, falling and floating roofline, tapered ‘boat tail’ rear – you won’t mistake it for anything else, even though the roof is 10mm lower and the (optional) 23-inch wheels are bigger than ever before.
“It is quite simply the most desirable Range Rover ever created,” says Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) chief creative officer Gerry McGovern OBE. No pressure, then.
“From the proportions to all the surfaces, from the flush details like the glazing, side vents, the hidden waist finisher, all the way to the hidden until lit technology of the tail lamps. Everything is so pure and free from any superfluous ornament,” reckons JLR design director Massimo Frascella.
Paint options for the new Range Rover include a selection of 12 solid, metallic and premium metallic shades, among them new Lantau Bronze, Belgravia Green, Batumi Gold and Charente Grey. A sample service provides limitless scope for customisation.
Range Rover interior
The seating position is as commanding as ever behind the thin-rimmed wheel, the dash top sits low by contrast to enhance the feeling of height, and the 13.7-inch digital instruments sitting behind a glass panel are suitably sharp and augmented by a head- up display.
The curved 13.1-inch center touchscreen runs the latest JLR Pivi Pro software and offers haptic feedback.
For the first time a Range Rover comes with seven seats as an option in LWB (200mm more wheelbase) models, and rather than piddly stowaways the heated third row pews are designed to cosset adults in similar “stadium seating”, with their own temperature controls and plugs.
There’s still a handy 312L behind the third seats, enough for a few suitcases. When not in use they electrically fold into the floor.
The signature split tailgate with fold-down section has always been a nice place to sit, but in this new Range Rover you also get a piece of floor that lifts up to either partition loads or become a seating backrest, replete with its own cushions and soft backrests.
Platform and dynamics
Land Rover engineers used the Articulation Index – a measure of the ability to hold a conversation – to assess the refinement of the interior, and the new Range Rover is billed as the quietest vehicle of its kind in the world with road, wind and structure noise “all but eliminated”.
One trick new feature is rear wheel steering (opposite direction at slow speeds and same direction at high speeds) to give it a smaller turning circle. There’s also a new five-link rear axle setup and a retained full-size spare wheel.
The always-on all-wheel drive system’s brain monitors tyre grip levels and your inputs 100 times every second and channels torque between the axles and across the rear axle. There’s a 50:50 rear diff locker and it also has the same Terrain Response 2 4×4 system as the Defender.
Combustion ‘MHEV’ engines include a 3.0-litre inline-six petrol with 294kW and 550Nm, and two 3.0-litre inline-six diesels with 221kW and 650Nm (D300) or 258kW and 700Nm (D350). They use a 48V battery, and harvest brake energy to smooth out the stop/start.
The halo is the 390kW and 750Nm 4.4-litre V8 with two twin-scroll turbos, slashing the 0-100km/h dash to only 4.6 seconds.
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