All-alloy construction; Bentley levels of cabin quality; up to 40mpg

A new, lightweight Range Rover featuring a roomier, super-luxury interior and 40mpg fuel economy is due in autumn 2012.

The all-alloy Range Rover will also form the basis of a new Range Rover Sport which, for the first time, will also be offered with a seven-seat interior; that variant will become the successor to the current Discovery.

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Both of the new Range Rover models are in the final stages of their engineering definition and the styling of the Range Rover (project L405) will be signed off in the middle of this year.

The new Range Rover will have a similar footprint to today’s car — it grows by around 25mm to a shade under five metres long — so the main change is a lower roofline. That will reduce the Range Rover’s perceived bulk and also cut aerodynamic drag.

Styling and construction

Land Rover’s styling team, led by chief Gerry McGovern, is working with a similar palette of design details to today’s car. So expect an imposing upright nose and horizontal, multi-bar grille, oblong headlights, together with a flat beltline and airy glasshouse, topped by the characteristic floating roof.

The all-new, pressed-alloy platform has given engineers the freedom to create a more spacious interior package. The wheels have been pushed closer to the front and rear corners, extending the wheelbase by around 25mm. Thanks to this gain, the extra 25mm in overall length and internal packaging improvements, the new car will feature much improved rear legroom, up by 125mm.

“The feedback from existing customers was [that they wanted] more rear legroom, so that’s what we’re going to give them,” said one insider. Although the roofline is lower, packaging improvements will ensure similar headroom to today’s Range Rover.

Land Rover’s design team is working on Bentley levels of cabin quality with a harmonious mix of leather, wood and metallic finishes. “The level of workmanship in the interior will really knock out the opposition,” said another well placed insider.

Under the skin, the new alloy bodyshell of riveted pressings has some commonality with Jaguar’s new XJ, although JLR counts the two structures as separate platforms. Similarly, the electrical system is shared between the two.

Alloy construction will bring huge weight benefits. Land Rover is understood to be targeting a kerb weight saving of 450kg, which will cut the new Range Rover down to 2150kg.

Around half that loss is understood to come from the alloy bodyshell, while the other half comes from detailed engineering improvements, lighter components and advanced materials.

Some of the body panels are understood to be made of composite materials, including the front wings and possibly the rear tailgate.

Engines

The new lightweight Range Rover will record some spectacular improvements in economy, C02 and performance.

Two diesel engines will be offered at launch: a 300bhp TDV8 and a 260bhp TDV6, mated to eight-speed ZF gearboxes with stop-start. Petrol V8s will be available soon after. The extra power and lower kerb weight means that the V8 diesel will offer a 0-60mph time of less than 8.0sec and close to 30mpg.

The TDV6 is likely to take over from the V8 as the best-seller thanks to its blend of fuel economy and performance. The target is get the TDV6 under 200g/km of C02, a spectacular figure given that today’s Range Rover is a 300g/km car. Performance should match the outgoing TDV8.

Also due a couple of years after launch is a super-frugal diesel hybrid. After experimenting with capacitors in place of batteries, Land Rover is understood to be taking a more conventional approach. The target is low C02 emissions, possibly of around 170g/km.

Off-road

The new Range Rover will use the world’s first alloy-monocoque 4x4 bodyshell, so much thought has gone into making it rugged enough to survive off road.

With that in mind, Land Rover will mount the front and rear suspensions on tough subframes. They will feed suspension loads into the bodyshell through advanced soft-rubber bushes.

The drivetrain will continue to feature a transfer box and the front and rear axles will be tough enough to survive the worst conditions and abuse that Land Rover’s engineers can chuck at them.

Our Verdict

Range Rover
Range Rover has a maximum wading depth of 900mm

The fourth-generation Range Rover is here to be judged as a luxury car as much as it is a 4x4

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Comments
37

8 April 2010

I'm guessing - and even more so hoping - that this artist's impression is comically wide of the mark.

8 April 2010

I really hope they dont make the roof lower. It should have a large glass area to make it airy & spacious. & getting rid of the Discovery is a bad, bad move. It has a completely different image & appeal than the RR Sport, there are a lot of people who buy Discoveries that wouldnt even look at a RR Sport, they have a chavvy tacky image & are ruining the Range Rover name.

I understand that the LRX is going to be badged Range Rover as well, is the Land Rover name being slowly phased out or something? All Land Rovers should be Land Rovers, with the Range Rover name reserved for the real Range Rover.

I think Land Rover are really losing their way- it started with the RR Sport & its going to get worse & worse with the cramped looking LRX & axing the Discovery. They need a new entry level Freelander with a 3-door option for about £18k, a new Defender & as far as I can see the current Discovery & Range Rover could quite easily sell for another 5/10 years respectively with constant refinements & improvements etc.

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

8 April 2010

land rover and jaguar havnt actually produced a bad car for quite a long time now and i hope this trend continues :)

8 April 2010

[quote roverfan1984]I think Land Rover are really losing their way[/quote]

The plan for JLR is to emulate Porsche by building in relatively low volumes with big profit margins. It's become clear that the Range Rover brand is global gold dust, so the new LRX-RRS-RR line-up is a cert for first-world markets.

And with the LRX coming in three- and five-doors, where does the Freelander fit?

And when I asked Gerry McGovern why the Disco 4 had an interior based on Range Rover design language, he said 'people expect Range Rover standards at this price'.

Trouble is, the Land Rover utility brand has been badly damaged over decades outside of the metropolitan centres. Toyota's grip of reliability absolutely destroyed Land Rover in Australia and Africa.

The logic behind getting back into the huge global utility markets is surely sound. But what products are needed and can the Land Rover brand be revived as a serious rival to the Japanese, especially for commercial use?

8 April 2010

Sounds very promising that it will have a Bentley-esque interior and targeted weight savings of around 450kg.

I never thought about owning a Range Rover. But this sounds very very tempting. As long as the new car is no taller than 183cm (have trouble getting into carparks), I'm sold!

8 April 2010

[quote HiltonH] But what products are needed and can the Land Rover brand be revived as a serious rival to the Japanese, especially for commercial use?[/quote]

I agree there. I think a very rugged, utilitarian product has to be made. An advanced but very simple Defender replacement, that has Govt backed funds to see it through.Solar click-on body panels (to charge battery power so it could still drive when the petrol tanks empty), water recovery systems, very easily maintained robust clean engines- maybe something along those lines.

3rd world markets are potentially huge and what would be better than an indestructable Land Rover- Perhaps shown to the world through some BBC TV mini series of a Doctor travelling through Africa-roadtesting the capabalities and endurance of the Land Rover getting them there, while they offer care to remote villages. Product placement, yes, but we have to sell ourselves with something worth selling & doing some good in the process

8 April 2010

Looks Nice, and I'm sure it will be.

The artists impression sure looks like its riding on Chrysler Startech alloy wheels. Although they do look good.

8 April 2010

[quote fuzzybear]I think a very rugged, utilitarian product has to be made[/quote]

Like this, perhaps?

http://www.citroenet.org.uk/foreign/africar/africar.html

It was run from Artic circle to the Equator for a C4 documentry. Really caught my imagination as I had just started a product design degree at the time of the programme.

8 April 2010

450Kg weight saving is certainly dramatic. If they can do that without compromising quality, ability and reliability then that will be a real achievement.

Range Rover are slowly regaining their high quality/reliabilty reputation after a few falls. Hope they can maintain it.

8 April 2010

In principle I dislike 4x4s for being too large, heavy, thirsty and for most owners unnecessary (excluding farmers, who uses the off-road ability?) Despite that I do have a secret hankering for a RR or RR Sport......so this new model with a drastic cut in weight and improvement in CO2 and fuel economy might be difficult to resist...

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