News : Range Rover details revealed

Keith Adams

So, the darling of the UK motor industry, Land Rover, has finally revealed full details of its flagship, the fourth generation Range Rover. As expected, the latest Rangie majors on luxury, now being thought of in terms as a credible all-round rival to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8. As well as, of course, the Jaguar XJ. The 2013 car may look similar to the brilliant 2001 L322, but it’s a revolution on the road – without compromising off it.

The biggest news is that the 2013 Range Rover benefits from its all-aluminium chassis, to lose 420kg. Despite being lighter, the bonded and riveted chassis and bodyframe are significantly stiffer than before, with all the benefits that come from improved torsional rigidity. Efficiency from the drivetrains adds to the mix, too – the Range Rover’s engines are smaller, but the biggest news is that Land Rover has confirmed that a hybrid variant is definitely on the way.

The parallel hybrid is based on the new 3.0-litre diesel V6, and the diesel-electric relies on a ZF eight-speed automatic (as does the rest of the range), but its transmission integrates an electric motor. The 1.7-kWh battery pack low is mounted low in the chassis, but it’s protected by a boron steel cradle, so no damage to lithium-ion cells when green-laning. Wading depth is also unaffected by the hybrid powertrain. Land Rover claims the system is good for 333bhp and the 0-60mph is under seven seconds.

The 5.0-litre V8 will be available in both naturally aspirated and supercharged forms – the standard car produces 375bhp, with the supercharged car upping that to 510bhp – enough for a 5.1-second 0-60mph dash. But in the UK and Europe, it’s the diesels that will sell in the majority. The new 3.0-litre V6 diesel pushes out 254bhp and 442lb ft, while the 4.4-litre develops 334bhp and 516lb ft.

The 2013’s cabin is cleanly-styled and is claimed to have 50% less switchgear, along with a new panoramic sunroof for an airier interior. It’s roomier too with 4in of more rear legroom, as well as much lower levels of noise when driving at speed. Still, if you want to drown out all that silence, you can enjoy the 29-speaker, 1700-watt Meridian sound system.

The Range Rover can still off-road with the best of them – even if most owners will choose not to take advantage of this. Its wading depth is up 20 percent to over 35in thanks to specially conceived ‘labyrinth’ air intake vents hidden under the clamshell bonnet, and the suspension system has an off-road ride height of 11.9in.

But it’s still the weight loss that is the biggest news – and it’s through this that so much new ability is brought to the Range Rover. Is it the best all-rounder produced by the British car industry? As a money-no-object purchase, we don’t doubt it. Now it’s up to Jaguar to build an even more desirable luxury all-rounder…


Keith Adams
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  1. Looks fantastic, and will no doubt do desrvedly well.
    With regard to Jaguar, and them now needing a world beater… it just me or do those daft rear windows seriosly ruin an otherwise gorgeous car?
    They really would pit me off buying one – they are plain stupid!!!
    Whoever signed those off must have been at Ford.

  2. The thing that ruins the XJ for me is the ugly interior ruined by the air vents.

    I think they’ve got it pretty much spot on…well done JLR and thank you TATA.

  3. Cream leather is really impractical in an off-roader, but then this car isn’t likely ever to leave tarmac. Nice interior, JLR under Tata is really thriving, design-wise (who’d have thought it?).

    And I’d be very surprised if the Meridian stereo was anything less than superb.

  4. The weight loss is very impressive, but not so important for the RR, especially when China and Russia are lapping up the gas guzzler variants.

    It’s the RR Sport and Disco that will really benefit from this weight loss.

    35 inch wading depth, that sounds seriously impressive!

  5. Cream leather might be impractical in an off-roader, but for me, there is no other interior colourway I would want in a British luxury car. Black interiors do nothing for me and grey is rather neutral.

    I would imagine that inline with the outgoing L322 generation model, there will be a number of interior colourways for the four generation Range Rover. Apart from the extended silverware along the sides of the black example in the press photo, it does look rather handsome.

    All it needs are Vogue and Vogue SE variants.

  6. I think that Tata himself once described Land Rover as the ride of the Raj’s. So it’s more likely going to be a toy of the Arabian customer base that needs something more practical then a normal cruiser.

    In any case JLR’s future looks rosy although I still feel that Jaguar is the brand that still requires more attention to increase its customer base.

  7. What is it with those stupid wings on the lights – they look like the designer was sneezing when he drew them? And what is that wood in the interior – it looks like a naf plastic from a 1970’s MFI furniture. Loose that wood for a decent wood or carbon fibre and it would be good.

    @ 1 – They said that the XJ40 had a drooping tail as it was mentioned that the clay mould sagged when they sent it to be measured up for production. Well I think the current XJ looks like they designed a swoopy car and left it under the lights which it turned into a melted blob and did not have enough time to re-model it!

  8. @10, Daveh,

    I suspect that is a high-grade veneer, and its about time that more interestingly patterned wood made a comeback. I’m getting a bit bored with 90’s blonde wood, and burr walnut has been done to death in top-end British cars.

    Wood and leather is one area where we Brits generally excel- and this is not exception (caveats about the cream leather notwithstanding).

  9. @ Chris

    I agree that cars should be different but that finish looks cheap. My nan had a coctail unit just like that.

  10. Cream or beige leather is extremely practical in an off roader. My Freelander 2 has it and it is used off road. The biggest benefit is that when mud dries, it hardly shows on shades of beige.

    On the other hand, black is a complete nightmare and shows every spec of dirt and mud!

  11. Sniffpetrol are leading with an amusing take on the new Range Rover:

    I think it is a pity that vehicle lighting is being used as a styling differentiator. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
    How long until a car has a cock’n’balls as it’s LED lighting pattern?


  12. I’m going to be outspoken, I suspect, but isn’t it about time we had a bit of a change of direction? Maybe next time?

  13. Hope that this time they get the reliability right, previous versions seem to suffer lots of (expensive) electronics problems.
    But it would be good if we get another British success story out of it!
    Cheers, David

  14. At least the wood looks like wood, unlike the photo-wood in my brother’s S80, which was: a) slightly out of focus; and b) featured a little bear’s face repeated every 6 inches along the “veneer”. Not quite as fake as the Jeep “wood” with the letters “Airbag” moulded in, but still clearly fake.
    If you don’t like that wood, I’m sure there will be other options – even Rover 25s ould be bought with aluminium trim instead of veneer towards the end.

  15. @ 11 Chris… Looks very much like a rosewood veneer to me and in keeping with the new ‘greener’ manufacturing perhaps a technical veneer as well. Personally I like it and so will those who pay the big bucks because Rosewood is de rigueur.

  16. @21, Ken Strachan,

    The ‘wood’ in my old Ford Focus Mk1 Ghia was particularly peculiar, in that it had a strange green tint to it (it was a green car). The fake wood was the only thing I really didn’t like about that car, and I did consider swapping it out for a plain black plastic panel from a non-Ghia, but as the car wasn’t very old, I was advised that it might reduce the car’s value if I did.

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