News : Range Rover L405 spotted testing

Eagle-eyed AROnline reader, Stewart Weller, spotted the 2013 Range Rover out testing recently. Although it’s a quick snap, it’s interesting to see some of the car’s finer details through the monochrome camouflage. Following on from the outgoing L322-generation Range Rover has proven a monumental task for LR engineers – mainly because the 2001 original was so highly developed as a money-no-object under BMW’s stewardship of the company.

There are those within the company who still consider the L322 to be the most thoroughly engineered car yet to emerge from JLR – a legacy of being under the direct control of Wolfgang Reitzle, a noted perfectionist.

The delayed new car based on Jaguar Land Rover’s aluminium, bonded and riveted platform, which will result in a considerably lighter car – down to around 2000kg from 2700. Much effort has also been put into enlarging the passenger compartment as well as the boot area – and as our photo shows, the rear passenger doors are also longer for improved rear access.

Although it’s lighter, the new Range Rover will be longer – expanding in length to over 5m. It will also be considerably more luxurious inside, with much emphasis placed on high quality interior trimming, and lavish materials. As for the styling, it’s going to have a few of the Evoque’s styling touches up-front, as well as a wedgier rising window line, just like its smaller cousin.

As for powertrains, it will be launched with the existing range of V6- and V8-petrols and diesels, but expect the hybrid Range_e drivetrain to be phased-in shortly after launch, followed by the all-new engines that JLR is now feverishly working on in the build-up to Ford’s pull-out in 2014. Expect a launch in the lead-up to the Paris Motor Show in September.

Keith Adams


  1. I so want this car to succeed, but I’ve just been hit with the sudden and horrible realisation that it looks very much like a bigger MINI Countryman! How horrible an outcome would that be?!

    I would love to know more about the new range of engines that they are working on….

  2. Ok, that camo is the best I’ve yet seen.

    The second I saw it the Jeeves and Wooster tune started playing in my head.

  3. lets hope its reliable. the people I know who have had range rovers ANYTIME in the last 15 years have slammed them as being unrelible. One of them now drives a Cayenne (yes many people hate them) but he says its reliable. he also said getting the RR to a point where it was saleable was frustrating. as he fixed things…more thing broke. alex

  4. We spotted two prototype RR’s this weekend whilst on convoy to the Longbridge Pride, I love the speed camera sign in the back ground of the photo!

  5. More things he fixed, more things broke…That reminds me of my 1998 740 E38, the worst piece of crap ever owned. Never buy anything german and specially BMW in my life!

    Wonder if BMW electronics or engines could have an influence in current Ranges reliability?

  6. I always thought the idea of camouflage was to make something less noticeable.

    Driving around in black and white stripes is going to make everyone stare and look at it. If they really wanted to test it without being noticed, wouldn’t they be better to paint it beige?

    JLR are actually hoping sneak photos like this will get out to start people wanting one

  7. @7 KC I think its a bit like streaking… wouldnt really want to do it…but its kinda fun when you do….I think these checker cars are checkily let out and about to create gossip ..with out letting the cat completely out of the bag…alex

  8. If you happen to be travelling on the A46, it links Whitley with Gaydon, you’re almost guaranteed to see one of these and few prtotype Jaguars. I spotted four on Good Friday!

  9. The camo isn’t to hide the car, it there to mask the details of the car’s styling. These patterns make it harder to spot shut lines, creases and panel curvature.

    JLR do alsoput a web address on the side of the cars they want you to notice and look up

  10. I hope the front end isn’t a chintzy as that of the Evoque as the current L322 generation looks so right and is almost like a contemporary version of the original Range Rover’s frontal styling. 2012 Model Year examples of the current model can now also be specified with a satin black finish grille as well rather than just being limited to the bright finish Supercharged grille and that awful honeycomb upper and lower grille affair first seen on the Autobiography Black 40th Anniversary.

  11. @1 Big H.
    A real anorack would have noticed it was an early type 19 Mk2 golf!

    But this was in feb on the M4 heading to swindon between J17 and 16

  12. “I’ve just been hit with the sudden and horrible realisation that it looks very much like a bigger MINI Countryman!”

    Not sure how you came to that conclusion from a camouflaged prototype?

    They don’t just sticker them up, they also add bits of plastic to make the body appear a different shape. Like the fins either side of the rear window for example.

    From what i can make out it seems to follow a similar body shape to the out going model, thankfully they haven’t totally changed the shape.

  13. I believe it is called Dazzle Camouflage

    Developed for war such that it was harder for watching enemies to gauge size, speed, heading etc.
    Made redundant by advances in Radar.

    Perhaps LR is onto something by trying to stop spy photographers / other manufacturers from guessing the size and shape of the new RR?

  14. “Perhaps LR is onto something by trying to stop spy photographers / other manufacturers from guessing the size and shape of the new RR?”

    All manufacturers use variations on the theme for their prototypes. Matt black also works as it doesn’t photograph well. Dazzle type, or random overlapping letters and numbers is usually better, but takes longer to apply. So prototypes are normally done in dazzle, then often as a car gets nearer production they use matt black because by then the basic design is less secret.

  15. Thanks for the info Dennis!

    I’ve seen matt black coverings on near-production prototypes when they’ve wanted to hide details such as the lights, but otherwise the cars shape is clearly visible.

  16. I use the A127 from time to time that goes past Basildon and the Ford place at Dunton. I have seen a few Fords on that road that I have never seen anywhere else – Fiesta estate?, but none disgused.

  17. I’ve seen it a few times, but always on the opposite carriageway of the A46. That particular one would appear to have a 3.0 Diesel, is apparently brown, and first registered on 18th January with £220/year road tax.

  18. Perhaps they ought to livery them to look like police cars – might dissuade photographers, especially if driving and using their mobiles…

    I see an early Range Rover Sport prototype/mule has been photographed unattended in a Tesco car park – suspect somebody is due a b*ll*cking?

  19. A Mini Countryman – Eh? It what way, shape or form? It looks, inevitably very much like the current Range Rover

  20. “I see an early Range Rover Sport prototype/mule has been photographed unattended in a Tesco car park – suspect somebody is due a b*ll*cking?”

    Well on the other hand it’s quite possible manufacturers send out a few red herrings for people to photograph, early mules that might have rejected concepts for interiors and exterior styling, but are used to test out the stuff that can’t be seen (suspension tuning, engines etc). They’re happy for these to be photographed as they know it will throw journalists (and other manufacturers) off the scent.

  21. “I have seen a few Fords on that road that I have never seen anywhere else – Fiesta estate?”

    Don’t forget they also develop models for other markets. GM for example did an estate and 4 door saloon version of the Corsa B for south america. Would still have been developed in Germany but never sold there.
    It’s quite possible the obscure Ford’s you’ve seen are never destined to be sold in the UK.

    It’s much like when you visit the continent and see all sorts of “odd ball” variations on UK models. Mainly Saloon versions of hatches and mini MPV versions of Vans.

  22. IMO, the current RR, L322, isn’t very well engineered, at 2700kg, that’s careless. Doesn’t sound very optimised to me.

  23. @ DeLorean’s Accountant:

    The current L322 was designed back in the late 1990s (1997/8 onwards) and the requirement was on solid engineering and torsional stiffness in a vehicle that, with a monocoque platform, would not flex when driven over rough terrains. Increased crash safety was also an important factor.

    Most other Sports Utility Vehicles of that time were also heavy. Then again, when L322 was being designed, there probably was not the expectation that it would remain in production for almost eleven years.

  24. the other issue when it was designed, emissions and economy were less of an issue. Whereas now even in the US they look for more economical cars.

    One criticism i’ve heard a lot from Defender owners is they’re too light and float about on mud whereas an old heavy Series 3 dig in and get traction. It’s possible LR didn’t want the same criticism leveled at the Range Rover. Unlike other manufacturers LR do still engineer their cars to perform off road, even the Freelander (although perhaps not he Evoque)

  25. Quite often see it and other LR protos playing on the tank training areas at Bovington. More of an attraction than the tank museum for me!

  26. #26 @David 3500
    Yes, that may be the case. It always surprised me when I often saw/see L322 & Jag XJ (X350) side-by-side that the RR is over a tonne (i.e. an MX5!) heavier than the X350 (& now presumably X351) as the XJ itself is a huge car.

  27. @Dennis.. the defender and SIII weigh much the same if anything the defender is heavier (apart from the coil springs they ARE much the same!), so they are taking rubbish. However what the SIII does have is narrower tyres than a new defender which is probbly the real issue

  28. “However what the SIII does have is narrower tyres than a new defender which is probbly the real issue”

    You’re probably right.

    Although the later defenders do use thinner steel in their chassis as well as lighter engines, so i suspect there probably is a weight difference too (so combined with wider tyres)

  29. The defenders also have PAS, and the latest ones a whole host of uneeded extras that the SIII never had such as ABS and Air Con and probbly side impact bars these would easilly keep the weight on even if the chassis is lighter. The current diesel engine definatly weighs more than the 2 1/4 petrol SIII engine

  30. “The defenders also have PAS”

    Probably has something to do with it too, makes them ‘feel’ lighter.

  31. The Prototype i saw at work this morning didn’t look greatly different from the current one. Don’t forget the current one has changed quite a lot since it was launched in 2001.

    It’s easier to see past the camouflage close up with the naked eye.

    I would say we’re probably going to be looking at something like the Disco 2 compared to the Disco 1, they were 98% different but still managed to look very similar.

  32. I saw it today 8 May, took a one minute long HD video from back and both sides only missed the front end on tape. It had much less masking on it then that.

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