Instantly recognisable, universally acknowledged, the best. End of. It’s not often that a brand or model can make that kind of outlandish claim in the motoring world. However, in the case of Range Rover, we won’t begrudge them that title. Much like the Bugatti Veyron’s imperious dominance in the super car field over the last six or seven years, Range Rover has established itself at the pinnacle of luxury SUV off-roaders. The only difference is that it has reigned supreme not for a matter of years, but for over four decades!
As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just refresh it. That is just what Land Rover had in mind when conceiving the latest incarnation of its flagship model. The fourth generation Range Rover may, at first sight, get you playing spot the difference. Sure, there hasn’t been a major cosmetic overhaul, but did it really need one? If you want something a bit whacky from your Range Rover, then go for an Evoque. Only subtle changes have been made. A more rounded front end incorporates angrier looking headlights that are tapered back along the side panel and two air intakes have been added below the front grille, whilst the outgoing model’s side intakes beneath the wing mirrors disappear.
Though the shape remains fairly similar, the biggest alteration cannot be spotted with the naked eye. The new Range Rover has been on a crash diet and thanks to a revolutionary lightweight all-aluminium body it is now 39% lighter than its steel predecessor. Land Rover say that this development has ushered in significant enhancements in performance and agility, along with a transformation in fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Naturally, the next generation Range Rover will handle all terrains with the consummate ease and serenity of Roger Federer’s backhand thanks to its newly tweaked Terrain Response system, which analyses driving conditions and automatically selects the most suitable drive settings for the job in hand.
Not forgetting its reputation for luxury and comfort, the 2013 Range Rover will benefit from over 118mm more rear legroom, with the option of a new Executive Class seating package for “the ultimate in rear-seat luxury”, as well as a general interior spruce-up. Under the bonnet, customers will be able to choose from a supercharged V8 petrol engine, or the TDV6 and SDV8 diesels.
We had few quibbles with the previous model, besides its rather unfortunate image as the premier league footballer’s steed of choice. Barring any unforeseen own goals, this latest refresh should prove just as supreme as those that have gone before it. We look forward to the next chapter of one of the most prestigious family lines in motoring history.
Available to order from September, expect to see the first few models hit the showrooms from early 2013.