Two days ago, I had the good fortune to be invited to the press conference for Jaguar Land Rover’s LA Auto Show presentation. Land Rover presented their totally redesigned fourth generation Range Rover. The first generation Range Rover was released in 1970, and since then the car has set the benchmark for a class of vehicle the Range Rover created, the luxury SUV. The designers of the first generation Rang Rover wanted to create a car that had all the off-road capabilities associated with the Land Rover marque (a reputation made famous by the rugged Land Rover series I) with the comfort and luxury associated with an executive sedan.
The fourth generation Range Rover is 771 lbs. lighter than the previous generation, thanks to the use of all aluminum body panels. This weight loss allows the Range Rover to achieve considerably better gas mileage, while also cutting the SUV’s 0-60 time by .8 seconds, when equipped with the supercharged V-8 engine.
The new Rage Rover features the second generation Terrain Response System, which automatically detects the type of terrain the vehicle is traveling on, and selects the optimal performance settings without the driver having to do a thing. But this isn’t the only off-road upgrade the new Range Rover receives, the car’s air intakes have been raised considerably, allowing for a 35 inch wading depth, in comparison, the Jeep Grand Cherokee can navigate in water only 20 inch deep.
The exterior of the new Range Rover harkens back to Range Rovers of old, while appearing current. Compared to the previous generation, the new Range Rover looks much less bulky than the previous generation. The car’s thinner front headlights, and the addition of air intakes by the fog lights help to break up what was before a boxy front end. The rear of the car appears to be much more angular thanks to lines created by the Evoke inspired rear-sloping roofline. The side louvers that were once very pronounced are now subtler.
The interior of the car includes an 8.5 inch infotainment system, and an all digital dash. The center console is made to look sleeker and more modern by removing the shifter, and replacing it with a series of buttons, including a presumed electric parking break. More leather and veneer combinations are available to consumers than in the previous model, most of which accentuate the SUV’s modern styling, black wooden veneers paired with white leather look particularly striking together.
In response to the SUV’s popularity among the wealthy, an optional executive rear seat layout is available, this eliminates the middle rear seat, and replaces it with a large console with buttons for seat functions and climate control.
California is the largest single market for the Range Rover, and though many of its owners will never discover all this remarkable SUV can do off road, on road, drivers will experience a luxurious car that provides a commanding view of the road and contemporary styling. The fourth generation Range Rover will go on sale in mid-April and will start at $83,500.