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All new Range Rover luxury SUV officially revealed

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August 15, 2012

All new 2013 Range Rover

All new 2013 Range Rover

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Land Rover is one of the few auto manufacturers in the world that is expanding, due to the phenomenal success of the Evoque. This has delivered just the sort of confidence and resources needed to embark on a ground-up re-design of the flagship Range Rover. The parameters were clear: lighter, more efficient, more luxurious, more modern, yet still retaining extraordinary off-road capability and looking unmistakably like a Range Rover. Today the fruits of the company’s efforts were revealed.

The world’s first SUV with a lightweight all-aluminum “monocoque” body structure is 39 percent lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model, enabling total vehicle weight savings of a quite extraordinary 926lbs (420kg). This clearly has enormous knock-on effects for handling, speed, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

To go with the new body are new aluminum front and rear chassis architectures together with independent air suspension for all four wheels. The suggests that the days of the Range Rover “lurch” when going around corners at pace will finally be eliminated.

The exterior design trends of rounded fascia, sloping roofline and steeply raked windshield that were started with Sport and amped-up to the max on the Evoque are present and correct; but in a more smooth and subtle execution. The light-cluster “eyelashes” are pure Evoque. The side panel vents that were at one time fully functional have become stylized “shark gills” morphing in to a strange design “tick” at sill level. Functional engineering becomes mere decoration to evoke the past (I’m looking at you Mercedes).

The exterior design will polarize opinion as these things always do, but five minutes comparing the new body with the existing model soon puts things in perspective. The present incarnation now looks like the farmyard tractor its forebears once were.

Existing 2012 Range Rover exterior
Existing 2012 Range Rover exterior

The new interior offers greater luxury in terms of legroom, greater width in the front and a significant 4.7 inches more length in the rear; noise control, laminated front and side glass; and ride comfort, the aforementioned air suspension plus the option of two rear individually adjustable seats rather than the usual split bench.

Agricultural or not the interior of the existing model, particularly the driver’s station, is one of the finest known to man. A beautiful and coherent mixture of architecture, materials and switchgear. Something may have been lost here with a much simpler control arrangement based on a large touch screen and a full LCD dial cluster. It’s an inevitable modern trend influenced by iPad/iPhone that saves the manufacturer money but there is a tactile pleasure in a well-crafted set of switches and dials that is quickly disappearing.

The on-board sound system is of course top-notch, designed by respected U.K. hi-fi manufacturers Meridian.

All new 2013 Range Rover interior

Drive train specifications (and pricing) will have to wait for a few weeks but engine choices will be updated supercharged V8 petrol, turbocharged V8 and V6 diesels mated to a new 8-speed ZF auto-box that should provide the required smoothness. For when the going gets a little rough a new version of Land Rover’s automatic Terrain Response system will sense the conditions and adjust engine and transmission settings accordingly.

The Range Rover is such an iconic and popular vehicle that all Land Rover really had to do with this update was not screw it up. It has achieved far more than that with an excellent exterior design that moves things forward by just enough. The reduction in weight married to a new suspension set-up suggests that handling should finally match class leaders like the Porsche Cayenne whilst providing a level of luxury and practicality that they can only aspire to.

Full specs and pricing will be released in the lead up to the SUV's debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. Vehicle orders start in September with first deliveries expected in December.

About the Author
Vincent Rice Vincent Rice has been an audio-visual design consultant for almost 30 years including six years with Warner Brothers Cinemas. He has designed several large retail installations in London and a dozen major nightclubs across the world from Belfast to Brno to Beruit. An accomplished musician and 3D computer graphics artist, Vince also writes for AV Magazine in the U.K. and the Loudscreen digital signage blog.   All articles by Vincent Rice
5 Comments

Gotta love the false advertising in the lead picture. Different textures in the sand in the background, directly in front of the Rover and in the foreground, not to mention that there is no tire track in the sand between the front and reat tires.

Thanks but no thanks. If I'm going to spend that kind of money on an SUV with supposed off road capabilities I'll stick with something that can actually perform off road.

Rt1583
15th August, 2012 @ 08:35 pm PDT

Rt1583, I'm talking of a 4WD that has real off-road capabilities, not some soft SUV. The Range Rover has always been at the top of the game when it comes to capabilities off-road. Admittedly, stupid versions like the Sports and the Evoque have been less of a weapon off-road but the real Range Rover is still at the head of the pack when it comes to tractability and suspension articulation.

yawood
16th August, 2012 @ 02:13 am PDT

Rt1583 clearly has absolutely no understanding of just how good even current-model Range Rovers and Discoveries are off-road. The reason they're so popular is that they're great to drive ON the road too.

I've driven the Disco, Rangie and Evoque on seriously testing off-road courses as well as in deep mud and snow. The combination of supreme suspension travel, smart technology and clever engineering keep the vehicles moving where intuition tells you that they should come to a slithering, scrabbling halt or, in the case of their hill-descent mode, sliding and rolling down into a wreck of crushed metal.

And then you drive home in a supremely comfortable high performance limousine.

The Land Rover testing grounds are close to where I live so we often see heavily disguised new models on the local roads doing real-life testing. As the launch of a new model approaches, the disguise is reduced to just an eye-confusing psychedelic black-and-white wrapping over much of the vehicle so we've known for a couple of months broadly what the new model is going to look like. The weight reduction is astonishing though - I can't wait to drive one!

Booleanboy
16th August, 2012 @ 07:11 am PDT

That but looks so damn ugly i wouldnt buy this car in a million years

TheStig
17th August, 2012 @ 02:01 am PDT

@ Booleanboy - So I'm supposed to get my understand of just how outstanding Rovers are based on a press kit with obviously photoshopped images?

And by the way, I do know how well Rovers as well as many other models of off road vehicles handle since I have had a variety of them myself and have witnessed first hand how well those that I have not owned handled off road.

Still stand by my original post and wouldn't take the vehicle in question over my current Wrangler and I would definately buy a Defender before I would put money into this particular Rover.

Rt1583
17th August, 2012 @ 06:00 am PDT
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