Dec. The vehicle that began the 4x4 SUV revolution 35 years ago is set for a major power upgrade. Land Rover today released images of its flagship vehicle, the 2006 Range Rover. In addition to largely cosmetic exterior changes, including front grille and bumper, power vents, lamps and wheels, the 2006 model gains two new powerful engine options, including a supercharged version.
The original SUV was launched in 1970 and has remained the most off-roadable of all SUVs during the subsequent three and a half decades.
Two new engines add to Range Rover's performance upgrade - a normally aspirated 4.4-liter V8 engine producing 305bhp, and a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 producing 400bhp.
Both engines are lightweight and use advanced torque-based engine management systems that, together with drive-by-wire throttle control and variable camshaft phasing (on the normally aspirated), continually adjust the engine to deliver optimum performance, fuel economy and emissions.
While the result is increased performance, the upgraded engines are expected to have better fuel economy than the current V8.
The Range Rover retains its iconic shape, but there are subtle yet distinct changes. All Range Rovers for 2006 get a new front bumper design, new headlamps and taillights, a new front grille and revised power vents. New 19-inch alloy wheels are also offered. The supercharged derivatives are distinguished by additional styling modifications including mesh-design front grille and power vents, unique 20-inch alloy wheels, and special black-on-silver badges.
"We've only changed the design where we can provide subtle enhancements," says Land Rover's director of design Geoff Upex. "The Range Rover is about grace and class, not extravagance."
Additional enhancements for 2006 include: Dynamics: Sharper steering, crisper braking performance, and improved air suspension. Refinement: A quieter interior and additional color combinations. Technology: Adaptive headlights, tire-pressure monitoring, touch-screen control for audio, phone and off-road driving information. Safety: A rear-view camera that projects directly to the front-fascia screen. Entertainment: Available rear seat entertainment package featuring a six-disc DVD changer, twin screens, and headphone pods, all fully integrated with the vehicle's sound system.
The Range Rover for 2006 will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January, and will be available in North America in summer of 2005. It will be joined by Range Rover Sport, providing Land Rover with two premium vehicles at the top of its range.
Pricing and detailed specification will be announced closer to launch date.
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