Earlier today we showed you some leaked images of the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover—it turns out that those actually were correct, and as of less than an hour ago, the new Range Rover has been unveiled. The new model promises to keep the legendary off-road capability while transforming it's on-road handling and agility. It's the first SUV to use a unibody made entirely of aluminum which helps the US market Range Rover achieve a weight savings approximately 700lbs when compared to a similarly equipped outgoing model.
While we feel that the new model might look a little bit too much like a Ford Explorer, or possibly a Flex, the vehicle is still undeniably a Range Rover. Iconic design elements such as the floating roof and the clamshell hood have survived the test of time for over 40 years now and are present in the new model as well. Designers had to battle the realities of rising fuel prices and the ongoing issue of sustainability in their final product, as we all know, prior Range Rover's weren't known for their fuel economy or aerodynamics. "Designing the next generation Range Rover, following over forty years of success, came with a huge responsibility to protect the DNA of such an icon," said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer. "Our design team worked incredibly hard to capture the elegant proportions and pure surfaces which have been a feature of the best Range Rover designs."
The next-generation of Land Rover's Terrain Response System, which optimises the vehicle for off-road driving conditions, is being unveiled on the new model. "Terrain Response 2 Auto" promises enhanced off-road performance while being fully automatic. No word yet on whether the vehicle will come with a low-range transfer case or optional differential locks.
The 5.0L engine borrowed from Jaguar has been retained for the new model, when combined with the new ZF eight-speed transmission significantly improves aerodynamics and with the lighter weight of the new vehicle results in a improvement in fuel economy, as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions. While Range Rover models are no stranger to air-suspension, the new model features a completely re-engineered system at all four courners. Combining air-suspension with adaptive dynamics to optimise the on-road ride is a first for the line.
The completely re-designed interior bears little in resemblance to the outgoing model, and shares a lot in common with it's little brother the Evoque, although slightly more up-market. As you've come to expect from the Range Rover line, there's extensive use of high-quality wood veneers and leather throughout the cabin. The digital dash has been retained from the outgoing model, with Evoque-like drive controls which pop out of the center console. If the navigation system is the same, or similar to that of the Evoque, we can tell you from experience that it works well.
Offering over 4.7 inches of additional legroom in comparison to the outgoing model, and the availability of captains chair seating in the rear, the new Range Rover provides an even higher quality and more comfortable ride for all of its occupants. This is a welcome addition to the model as the back seat always seemed a bit cramped for a relatively large car. This will however come at the cost of reduced breakover angles for off-road use due to the increase in wheelbase.
With a power tailgate being offered on the Evoque, and Sport models prior to the full-sized model, customers have been asking for it fervently and their calls have been answered with a "thoughtfully designed" split power folding upper and lower tailgate setup.
According to Land Rover, the new Range Rover "has been subjected to Land Rover's punishing on-and off road test and development regime." Test drivers and engineers have also covered "millions of miles" over the last 18 months in over 20 countries to ensure that the new model is ready for production.
The vehicle was designed and engineered in Britain at Land Rover's development centers throughout the United Kingdom and will be manufactured in a new aluminum production facility at the iconic Solihull plant.
Full Specifications and Pricing will be released in September—we'll be sure to keep you updated with any new developments.
From Land Rover's Press Release:
- Unmistakably a Range Rover, a modern interpretation of iconic design cues
- Legendary Land Rover off-road capability with transformed
- on-road handling and agility
- Lighter, stronger and more refined. The world's first SUV with an all-aluminum unibody structure
- Weight savings of up to 926lbs (420kg) when compared to the outgoing model delivers improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. A US specification V8 model is approximately 700lbs lighter than similarly equipped outgoing model
- A more spacious and luxurious interior provides a truly composed motoring experience for all occupants. Rear legroom increases 4.7 inches
- Adaptive dynamics suspension system further refines ride quality
- Enhanced all-terrain performance with the introduction of a new fully automatic Land Rover "Terrain Response 2 Auto®" system
- Designed and engineered in Britain at Land Rover's development centers throughout the UK
- Manufactured in a new aluminum production facility at Land Rover's Home in Solihull, United Kingdom
Images: Land Rover UK