The latest version of Britain’s world-beating SUV, the fourth-generation Land Rover Range Rover, is revealed here: sleeker, more sophisticated and a little longer and lower than before.
For the first time in 42 years, however, styling and dynamic ability are not the most important parts of the new Range Rover story. The bombshell news — perhaps the most significant change in the model’s 42-year history — is the adoption of a new all-aluminium monocoque body/chassis that carves up to 420kg off the current Range Rover’s kerb weight. This will bring unprecedented benefits in fuel economy, CO2 output, performance and agility.
The new model becomes the world’s first aluminium monocoque SUV, utilising techniques already developed for the aluminium XK and XJ of sister brand Jaguar. In future, almost all of Jaguar Land Rover’s higher-value models are likely to be made this way.
According to Land Rover, the new model’s performance improvement is much more than merely incremental. Global brand director John Edwards says that while it preserves the Range Rover’s “essential, unique character”, the new car’s clean-sheet design and lightweight construction will “transform the experience for luxury vehicle customers, with a step change in comfort, refinement and handling”.
Edwards says the new Range Rover bodyshell is not only 39 per cent lighter than the outgoing steel structure but also stiffer in both torsion and bending, with new aluminium subframes front and rear that support newly designed, all-independent air suspension systems. The chassis has the latest generation of electronic ride and stability control equipment, and there’s a new, more responsive Terrain Response 2 Auto system that reads on-road and off-road conditions more quickly and configures the car better for the prevailing conditions.