Five years from its advent, the Range Rover of the fourth wave looked as fresh and new as it was on my first drive. As I climbed in, the red leather seemed just as inviting; the touch screen quadrant as simple and uncomplicated. After all, this was the model still being displayed in the showrooms. This was still in ‘vogue’, pun intended. The 2018 version had yet to be ‘unboxed’, to borrow from YouTube. The only place to catch a glimpse of it was the Dubai Motor Show. And that is where I was headed, in the 2017 Range Rover 5.0L Supercharged Vogue SE.
THE DIMENSIONS: L x W x H – 4999 x 2220 (mirrors open) x 1835 mm Weight: 2330 kg, Wheelbase: 2922 mm Load space volume 909 L / 2030 L with rear seat down)
THE SPECS: Wading Depth 900mm, Ground clearance 295.5 mm, Turning radius 12.33 m, Lock to lock steering turn 3.03, Adaptive Xenon headlamps with LED signature, All Terrain Progress Control, Terrain response 2.0, Hill Descent Control, Lane Departure Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, Reverse Traffic detection, 19-speaker 825 W Meridien music system
POWERTRAIN: 5.0 L All Aluminium V8, Supercharged, 8 speed automatic transmission with paddle shift, 510 hp and 625 Nm torque
THE PERFORMANCE: 0 – 100 kmph in 5.4 sec, 225 kmph top speed, Towing capacity 3500 kg
THE PRICE: AED 612,900
Driving the 2017 Range Rover
The Range Rover had improved its capabilities but slightly softened its character when the last generation was introduced. While it could wade through 900 mm of water, stay above obstacles 220 mm high, and cut through diverse terrain thanks to all the torque and the torque management, I used to sit unfazed in corners at even higher speeds in the third generation Rangie. Of course this vehicle was much faster, but I guess losing almost half a ton does have its all-round influence.
As I said, the 2017 model was the Range Rover still on the shop floor at the time of publication, still looking fresh and supercharged to feed many egos and rule the road. I have always maintained that Range Rover has one of the most enduring designs. The company revisits it in a decade or so! The tiredness hasn’t started to show until you start comparing it head on with new entrants. For instance the new Porsche Cayenne that was introduced to the region at the Dubai Motor Show. The Infiniti QX80 also had fresh lines to show off. The Lincoln Navigator was being modeled after a luxury yacht. Actually, need for change in 2018 had less to do with the Range Rover’s design growing old, and more to do with fitting into the new technological landscape, and looking the part! So, as the half-way mark came up, Coventry decided to make some vital and more importantly noticeable (unlike some Germans) changes.
What is unchanged is the engine driving the 2017 Range Rover that I drove to the Motor Show. The 5.0 V8 supercharged could do a 0 – 100 kmph stint in 5.4 seconds and still return close to 7 km per litre. Now, if that isn’t impressive, this should be. The Range Rover can perform a 0 – 100 kmph maneuver in almost all the multi-terrain modes (the knob on the console offer five settings from grass, gravel and snow to mud ruts and sand.) and still not stray too far from the 0 – 100 kmph figure on the tarmac!
Unparalleled convenience is another box that the Range Rover ticks. There are few SUVs that make good use of the whole 5-metre length. The boot lid has a foldable lower half and that can be stretched out to make loading easy and supportive.
Viewing the 2018 Range Rover
Even though they call it the Ultimate Range Rover, this is a mid-life refresh; which would for most cars be time for a new generation. That doesn’t mean the changes in the ‘new Range Rover’ aren’t noticeable. There has been a slight boost in the power and speed, and the façade too looks different enough. The grille has a wave-mesh sort of design with larger air vents rather than the usual honeycomb. The lights are Laser-pixel LEDs that can show you the way up to half a kilometer. LED is all around and standard in the new Rangie.
Inside is where the changes were felt most and as the Motor Show displayed an Autobiography, which meant exclusively top of the line till the SVR version showed up with a remarkable boost in output and capability, and a price tag that is a whole one-third higher!
The cabin of the Range Rover 2018 Autobiography model looked… luscious. Yet, that doesn’t take away your attention from the dual screen – both 10.0 inches – that crown the console. Range Rover has named it Touch Pro Duo. The top one is for navigation and multimedia controls as you are used to, and the lower one takes care of comfort options – air-conditioning, seat adjustment and the works. Another thoughtful wow! feature is gesture control for the blind screens. They not only go up to save energy when parked you can even activate them by the swipe of your hand in the air!
Range Rover 2018 Vogue SE specifications
POWERTRAIN OPTIONS: 5.0 V8 Supercharged for 518 hp (Vogue SE), 5.0L TDV6 Turbo diesel 254.4 hp, 3.0L V6 Supercharged Petrol for 335 hp, 3.0L V6 Supercharged Petrol for 375, 8-speed automatic transmission
THE DIMENSIONS: L x W x H – 5000 x 2220 (mirrors open) x 1869 mm Wheelbase: 2922 mm Load space volume: 1943 L
THE SPECS: Wading Depth 900mm, Obstacle clearance (standard ride height front axle) 220 mm, Turning radius 12.33 m, Lock to lock steering turn 3.03, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, 12.3″ Interactive Driver Display, 10″ Touch Pro Duo, Terrain Response 2 & All Terrain Progress Control, 21” wheels, Voice Control and Gesture powered tailgate, driver assistance package
THE PERFORMANCE: 0 – 100 in 5.4 sec, Top speed: 250 kmph, Off-road geometry: Approach angle 34.7º Departure angle 29.6º Ramp angle 26.3º CO2 182 g/km onwards
THE PRICE: AED 615,300