September 6th will be etched as the most important date in a decade of Range Rover history. The new Range Rover, only the fourth all-new model in its 42 years, was revealed at an event attended by the rich and the famous at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park, London. Five years in development, the Range Rover 2013 promises to fulfill what designer McGovern dreamt of giving its owner “the feeling that there is no better place to be”.
Range Rover 2013: Design
Given that every Range Rover till date has taken cues from the Range Rover Classic – I would say the 1970 design never needed an exit plan – the tradition lives on in the new L 405, but gains a more contemporary finesse. The sleeker front end bears a semblance to the last year’s addition to the range, the Evoque. The telltale feature of side wing gills have been moved back to the front doors which meets a bold graphic line below that stretches all the way to the rear. This lower line as well as the roof comes in three contrast finishes.
Lighter, with more legroom
At nearly two metres wide and over 1.8 m tall, the Range Rover 2013 is as big as the current model but has shed an unbelievable 420 kg thanks to the use of a different metal without affecting its mettle in any way. Built in a low-energy facility at Land Rover Solihull plant that cost 1 billion pound sterling, the new Rangie weighs just 2160 kg upwards and marks the advent of the “world’s first all-aluminium SUV”.
The “look down upon the world” driving position continues while visibility, we are told, is even better to see traffic lights at junctions with a truly panoramic forward view. Bridge of Weir leather adorns “virtually every surface” including the seats, dashboard, doors and roof lining. Real wood veneer, available in 3 choices, is handmade and come from sustainable sources. There are 50% fewer buttons, so there!
Intending to take the place of the S500s and A8Ls in this future redefined by the L405, the new Range Rover offers 118mm more legroom – that nips a grumble in the bud. Access is made easier by making the door openings larger and the seats lower; as expected the air suspension also lowers making it easier for the genteel to climb in and out.
The new Techno-Range
The Range Rover has always had its share of gadgets like the unique dual view screen. The new cabin gets three grades of Meridian stereo, including a 1,700w system with 29 speakers and a subwoofer built into the aluminium chassis! Four-zone climate control, twin eight-inch rear DVD screens, 20-way adjustable front seats, and even the possibility of traveling with a fridge at the rear define the new level of comfort. And oh, the new soft-close doors and the electronic split tailgate that opens “scissor-style”!
The new Range Rover 2013 can park itself, detect Reverse Traffic, monitor speeds with Active cruise control, warn you of emergencies and even stop with the radar-based Intelligent Emergency Braking.
Fastest and most fuel-efficient engines
Diesel engines: The first ever V6 diesel in a Range Rover. Thanks to the newly achieved lightness of being, this 258hp 3.0-litre motor is as fast as the current naturally aspirated V8, hitting 0-100 in 7.4 seconds. Much greener too. It averages 37.7mpg and emits 196g/km CO2. The revised 4.4-litre SDV8 produces 339hp and reaches 100 km/h from rest in 6.5 seconds. It averages 32.5mpg and emits 229g/km. A diesel hybrid is planned for next year. Land Rover says it is targeting CO2 emissions of under 170g/km and average fuel economy of 45mpg.
Petrol engine: Coming to what interests the UAE and the GCC on the whole. Land Rover’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8, has become superfast thanks to the huge chop-off. Now it claims a 0-100 kmph in just 5.1 seconds and can touch a limited 250kmph. The new 20.5mpg (7.9km/L: even this is 10% better) Read the review of Range Rover 2012
The Improved Dynamics, and Drive
The new benchmark is 10% more aerodynamic than before, with a coefficient drag factor of just 0.34. The underbody is completely flat and active vanes in the grille can automatically adjust to blank it off, reducing drag even further. On-road handling is much more agile, says Land Rover. The two top-range engines have a new two-channel Dynamic Response air suspension feature, which can modify anti-roll rates independently front and rear.
As for its legendary off-road prowess, a rather clever air intake system breathes through the gap between the wing and hood – raising the car’s wading depth 200 mm higher to a weather-beating 900mm. New Terrain Response 2 monitors the running surface hundreds of times a second to automatically choose the drive mode. It seems the new Range Rover also has 50% more wheel travel than a BMW X5.
A decade of wait and half a decade of trials haven’t been in vain. The all-new Range Rover 2013 is a more comfortable car, an even more capable SUV and a bolder style statement – one that favours the green planet.
Prices for the new Range Rover start at £71,295 (AED 417,000) for a 3.0 TDV6 HSE. Rumoured to anchor by our shores by year-end; will keep you posted on dates and prices.