The all-new Range Rover 4 has been re-engineered to become more competitive as a genuine luxury car on-road as well as becoming more capable off-road. The new model is lighter, more frugal, more spacious and significantly more refined, according to Land Rover.
The company says the 2013 Range Rover 4 the world’s first SUV with an aluminium monocoque construction. Made up of 270 aluminium pressings, 14 castings, nine extrusions, ten steel pressings and magnesium castings, the structure is assembled by riveting and bonding. 3722 rivets are used along with 161m of adhesive.
The bodyside is pressed in one piece and said to be the ‘largest automotive panel in the world’. The use of high-strength AC300 T61 aluminium in the crash structure is also said to first automotive volume use. It is 180kg lighter than the steel shell of the previous model. The Range Rover’s bare shell is also 23kg lighter than a BMW 3-series shell and a remarkable 85kg lighter than that of the Audi Q5. Indeed, Land Rover claims it is only 12kg heavier than a bare Mini Countryman shell.
At a millimetre under 5m long, the new car benefits from much improved rear cabin space. The wheelbase is 40mm longer and the rear door aperture wider for easier access. Legroom is claimed to have increased by 118mm. It has been benchmarked against luxury cars such as the Bentley Flying Spur and Mercedes S-Class for ride quality and tyre and wind noise.
Under the skin, the new car gets a ‘5th generation’ air-suspension system. A clean-sheet design, its uses aluminium subframes and aluminium double-wishbones at the front and a multi-link design at the back. The subframes are hollow aluminium castings, weighing just 15kg and 14kg and the subframe mounting points are machined with an accuracy of 1/1000mm. A new air-compressor increases performance allowing better control of the pressure in the air springs.