Range rover 2013


t's been said that if you want to see what an ordinary sedan will be like in 10 or 20 years' time, you should look at an S-Class fromMercedes-Benz. The thought is that as a leader in innovation, safety, and comfort, the executive sedan's features will eventually trickle down to more mundane iron like your average family four door. The same hasn't always been true of its closest off-road equivalent, the Land Rover Range Rover, but this all-new 2013 model might just be the SUV archetype of the future with its major leaps forward in weight, efficiency, capability and luxury.

For starters, as has been previously publicized, the 2013 Range Rover has gone on a massive diet. Thanks largely to its all-aluminum chassis, some 700 pounds has been snipped from the Daddy Rover (some trims save as much as 926 pounds!). Perspective? The vehicle's bodyshell is over 60 pounds lighter than a BMW 3 Series. That's about as sizable a diet as we can remember hearing of a production car from one generation to the next, and this ambitious lightweighting regime shows the way that other SUVs and crossovers will almost certainly have to go in order to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions targets the world over. Despite being much lighter, the bonded and riveted chassis and bodyframe are significantly stiffer than the third generation Landie, which wasn't exactly a creaking hollow. Even the chassis assembly process uses a lot less energy, and with no need for welding stations, the factory is said to be oddly quiet, too.
More detail ahead....

Land Rover confirmed what we've all suspected for some time – a hybrid variant.
Lighter structures will only get automakers part of the way to their goals; powertrains play a big part in meeting efficiency targets, too. To that end, the Range Rover's engines have gone on diets – not just in displacement, but in weight as well. And for the first time at its London launch today, Land Rover confirmed what we've all suspected for some time – a hybrid variant.

The parallel hybrid is actually based on the company's new 3.0-liter diesel V6 powertrain. Like all other 2013 Range Rovers, the diesel-electric relies on a ZF eight-speed automatic, but its transmission integrates an electric motor. Special care has been taken to keep the 1.7-kWh battery pack low in the chassis, but it's protected by a boron steel cradle, so officials say you can high-center the entire vehicle on a rock without fear of gashing its costly lithium-ion cells. Even more impressively, wading depth is also unaffected by the hybrid powertrain. Land Rover claims the system is good for 333 horsepower and 0-60 miles per hour in under seven seconds. More importantly, buyers are advised to expect 45 miles per imperial gallon on the combined European cycle (LR offers no U.S. equivalent guidance).

The force-fed V8 rings up 510 hp and 461 lb-ft – enough motive force for a 5.1-second 0-60 dash.
Sadly, Land Rover says this diesel-electric powertrain isn't coming to the U.S. – at least not for the moment. Instead, we'll get updated versions of the 5.0-liter V8 in both naturally aspirated and supercharged forms. The 32-valve V8 will be routed to the ground through a permanent four-wheel-drive system (a rear differential is optional). For 2013, the standard U.S. Rover V8 produces 375 horsepower and matching pound-feet of torque, good enough for a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. The force-fed V8 rings up 510 hp and 461 lb-ft – enough motive force for a 5.1-second 0-60 dash (0.8 seconds quicker than last year and about 0.2 seconds quicker than a BMW X5 xDrive50i).

That's rapid enough to momentarily forget our disappointment in learning that there's no diesel model yet for the U.S. – a bummer considering rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz are enjoying growing interest in their diesel models. We understand the reluctance to bring over the diesel hybrid to the States (cost and consumer acceptance issues), but we'd like to see the new 3.0-liter V6 diesel on sale (254 hp/442 lb-ft), or even the larger 4.4-liter with 334 hp and 516 lb-ft. When we asked Nick Rogers, Range Rover Vehicle Line Director about such possibilities, he could only wryly say that "there is clearly an opportunity" for an alt-fuel powertrain in North America, suggesting that one may eventually be made available. We wouldn't rule out a 3.0-liter gas V6 or even a gasoline hybrid in this generation, either.

We've just seen the new Range Rover here at its London reveal, and it continues to exude that elusive "Lord and Master of All I Survey" presence that has long been its stock in trade. That said, we're still not sure how we feel about the new design. It definitely looks cutting-edge and more rakish (a faster windscreen angle and a longer wheelbase and lower roofline will do that for a design), but some of the profile detailing strikes us as fussy – namely the trio of 'slats' on the leading edge of the front doors, which echo the vertical fender vents of this vehicle's predecessor without actually being functional. It also doesn't help that the L-shaped taillamps remind us of the Ford Explorer. We'll need to see it on the street (or covered in mud) to properly judge the whole aesthetic.

The 2013's cabin has 50-percent less switchgear.
The outgoing Range Rover had a visually stunning interior with a commanding driving position marred by occasionally befuddling controls and a glitchy navigation system. We'll have to wait until our first drive to see how the new hardware shakes out, but we like what we see – and what we don't see – the 2013's cabin has 50-percent less switchgear, along with new options like the largest panoramic sunroof ever fitted to an SUV and a more sybaritic two-place rear seat with a wood-laden center console. It helps, too, that said rear seat's legroom has been embiggened by over four inches. The new cabin also claims to be much quieter, with less road and wind noise than an Audi A8. Did we mention the availability of a 29-speaker, 1,700-watt Meridian sound system? Twenty Nine.

Land Rover hasn't forgotten about its off-road heritage, and despite having a longer wheelbase that ought to erode capability, a more capable air suspension and a next-generation Terrain Response system (with a new automatic mode) suggests that the Rover should continue to be Camel-Trophy ready. In fact, it ought to be better than ever. The vehicle's wading depth is up 20 percent to over 35 inches thanks to specially conceived "labyrinth" breather vents hidden under the clamshell hood, and the aforementioned suspension system now has even greater range than before with nearly five inches of additional clearance when called for – off-road ride height is now listed at 11.9 inches. And despite offering additional wheel sizes – from 18 to 22 inches – Land Rover has gone against the grain by fitting tires with taller sidewalls, part of an effort to minimize wheel and tire damage when off roading (as well as increase ride comfort).

Most Land Rovers will live out the majority of their days on pavement, of course, and those 700 fewer pounds should help improve handling greatly. Range Rovers have always had a bit more lean in the corners than their more tarmac-oriented rivals, but a new two-channel active lean control system (read: active anti-roll bars) on supercharged models should help flatten corning response. And a new aluminum double-wishbone front and rear multi-link suspension setup backed by adjustable air springs promises to deliver a suppler ride and better wheel control. Direction changes are now affected by electric power steering to help curb fuel consumption, and officials tell Autoblog that the company has worked particularly hard to preserve feedback and on-center feel, though the proof will be in the driving.

Its dramatic weight loss, diesel-hybrid tech and array of electronics point the way for the genre.
On the safety front, the Range Rover gains all of the usual safety anagrams, along with available active cruise control with auto brake and driver warning, blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, self park and a panoply of airbags.

All in, the 2013 Range Rover looks to be loaded to the headliner (available in three different colors, natch) with equipment to help it conquer every conceivable scenario, from the Gobi Desert to Beverly Hills' notoriously fickle valet stands. And while we don't expect every SUV or crossover 20 years hence to boast the Range Rover's fording depth or its semi-aniline leather, its dramatic weight loss, diesel-hybrid tech and array of electronics point the way for the genre.

New Range Rover packed to the grilles with futuristic features
New Range Rover takes luxury off-roading to a new level

Not many cars are truly iconic. But let's have no argument. The Range Rover is one of them, an aristocrat among SUVs.
But is the latest Range Rover an irrelevant relic of a bygone era? Or has Land Rover successfully updated its benchmark luxury SUV for the third millennium? To find out, TechRadar went all the way to Morroco, waded rivers, plugged in iPhones and generally went car-test crazy.

A bit of back story

An all-new model on Land Rover's own terms. It's been an awfully long time since you could say that about any Range Rover. Arguably, you'd have to go right back to the original 1970 model.
Classic Range Rover
The second generation 'P38' Rangie was a bit of a lash up produced on a tight budget. And the outgoing model, known internally as the L322, was born during a tricky transitional period as Land Rover was first acquired by BMW and then Ford.
Now Land Rover is owned by Indian uber-conglomerate Tata and enjoying a period of stability, relative independence and increased investment. The latest Range Rover is therefore a no-excuses car. This is Land Rover's best shot at the ultimate luxury SUV.

A tale of technology

The benefits of all that are immediately obvious. The biggest change is the adoption of all-aluminium construction for the chassis and body. That's enough to shave as much as 420kg from the kerb weight.
OK, we're still talking about a car weighing over two tonnes. But that is a monumental weight reduction by any metric.
New Range Rover
Elsewhere, pretty much every aspect of the Range Rover has been subject to a major overhaul. Cutting edge technology abounds - with one possible exception, the in-car infotainment clobber. But we'll come to that momentarily.

Comfy cabin

Step inside and the new Rangie's immediately socks you with its preposterous cabin opulence. One of the big game changers here is the extended wheelbase. It frees up significant room for rear-seat passengers, a metric by which the old model frankly flunked.
New Range Rover
But now there's genuine luxury-saloon space. And if you tick the individual rear seating option, the latest Range Rover makes a very plausible options for plutocrats looking for luxury transport.
The quality and ambience is up there with the best luxury saloons, too. Every single surface is plastered with leather and the seat faces get extra special and super-soft semi-aniline leather. Factor in the Range Rover's unique character and commanding driving position and you have a very compelling proposition compared to samey saloons like the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series.
New Range Rover

In-car kit

However, if there's an area where the new Range Rover disappoints, if only slightly, it's in-car kit. To be clear, what the new Range Rover has and does is often excellent. It's the missing bits that bother us.
We've gone in depth previously with Land Rover's current infotainment platform with the Range Rover Evoque. Hop on over to our in-depth hands on to find out more, it pretty much all applies to the new Range Rover.
What you get is a pretty conventional system with an 8-inch touchscreen. It does the basics pretty well, including navigation, handsfree telephony, music streaming and the rest. And it has one or two natty extras, including the Dual-View LCD screen that lets the driver view, for instance, mapping while the passenger watches TV.
New Range  Rover
The new Range Rover also comes with the awesome Meridian sound system. Again, we've already covered that in-depth courtesy of the Evoque. But it's a spectacular system.
Another great feature is the LCD instrument panel. It's not exactly unique to the Range Rover, but it does combine a nice up-to-date techniness with the genuine usefulness of a programmable LCD display and a nod to the past via virtual analogue dials.
Range Rover
Then there's the configurable mood lighting. A bit like a gaming PC, you can choose from a range of colours for the ambience lighting, natch.
Range Rover
Oh, and there's an optional rear seat entertainment pack that includes a pair of screens in the head rests and a rechargeable remote control with its own touchscreen. It's yours for £2,450. Yowch.
New Range Rover
What you don't get, however, is anything by way of internet connectivity or smartphone syncing beyond the usual Bluetooth handsfree and address book access. Admittedly, in-car internet is still in its infancy. A long list of killer internet-connected in-car apps has yet to emerge.
But even today, things like HD traffic supplied over the internet are desirable. And they're conspicuously absent here.

Road trippin'

Vehicle dynamics and driver aids are probably the new Rangie's greatest technological strengths. Active roll control, adaptive cruise control, brake and park assist, blind spot monitoring, surround-view cameras, the new Range Rover has got the lot.
The cameras are particularly impressive - and useful on a vehicle so large. Multiple views are available to aid with everything from avoiding damage to those lovely alloys to getting a better look out of junctions.
Range Rover
On regular tarmac, the new Ranger Rover is much more responsive than before. Part of that is the lower weight. But the new Roll Stability Control system also contributes, dynamically controlling body lean and making for flatter cornering without ruining the ride.
The result is a large SUV that handles far better than you would possibly believe. It sounds ridiculous, but you can now have fun chucking a Range Rover through corners.
As ever, Land Rover's Terrain Response system makes an appearance. It's a kind of all-singing traction and stability control system optimised for off-road conditions. It now features an 'auto' mode which uses sensors to analyse driving conditions and chooses the best operating mode.
New Range Rover
However, you can still switch manual between the various Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. You also get a digital display of exactly what the offroad hardware is up to on the new digital driver's instruments.

Mud-plugging masterpiece

Of course, the gadgets will only get you so far. So the new Range Rover has the full compliment of pukka off-road hardware.
That includes locking diffs front and rear and a two-speed transfer box that provides proper low ratios for off roading. The air suspension system also offers multiple modes and can increase ground clearence by up to 75mm.
New Range Rover
Then there's the massive wheel travel (260mm front, 310mm rear), steep approach and departure angles and serious water wading ability of fully 900mm. The latter is enabled courtesy of a new air intake system that sucks air from a protected cavity between the inner and outer bonnet.
Anywho, the upshot of all this is bonafide offroad awesome. The pictures are real, folks. We really did drive a fleet of shiny new Range Rovers down a Morrocan river. And we did it all on standard road tyres.
Whether buyers of this plush new model are ever likely to emulate our launch-event escapades is a legitimate question. But there's no doubting the ability is there if called upon.
New Range Rover

Performance and economy

You a choice of three engines on the new Range Rover. The family kicks off with the 258hp 3.9l V6 diesel model. The 4.4l V8 diesel with 339hp is the middle ranking model. And the 5.0l 510hp supercharged petrol V8 provides the plutocratic option.
Regarding CO2 and fuel consumption, you're looking at 196g/km and 37.7mpg, 229g/km and 32.5mpg and 322g/km and 20.5mpg respectively.
New Range Rover
By any normal measure, either of the diesel models provides more than adequate performance, thanks in no small part to that massive reduction in kerb weight. Even the V6 model is pretty nippy, hitting 60mph in just 7.4 seconds.
But the petrol V8 is positively supernatural. Range Rover quotes 5.1 seconds to 60mph and if anything, it feels quicker than that. The acceleration is relentless.

TechRadar verdict

Depending on how you look at the new Range Rover, it's either beyond reproach or a decadent beyond belief.
For starters, the new model has a quite preposterous breadth of abilities. It's better than ever on road thanks to reduced mass and fancy chassis technology. And it's as unstoppable off road as any of the classic Rangies.
New Range Rover
In terms of comfort and refinement, it's now near enough as dammit as good as the usual German suspects in the luxury saloon game. What's more, the extra rear cabin space has also elevated the new model to genuine luxury car status and made it a plausible proposition for chauffeur-driven duty.
And therein lies the problem. With prices starting at £69,995 for a poverty spec V6 model, the new Range Rover is operating in pretty rarefied territory. Go for the petrol V8 and chuck a few options at it and a six-figure price tag is eminently doable.
New Range Rover
All of which makes the latest Range Rover a far cry from the Spartan original. But here's the thing, even at those prices, it feels like reasonable value. That's how good it is. That's how unique it feels in the market. If it wasn't for the infotainment functionality shortfall, it would be pretty much perfect.


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