The distinctive ‘gill’ vents that were seen on the original Mk3 are expected to return, although Autocar has seen a full-size model of the Mk4 wearing a smaller, angled vent on the front wing. Both headlights are also partly wrapped onto the body side in an unusual styling flourish, and the rear light clusters have been slimmed down.
The new, lightweight platform has been developed from the pressed-and-riveted technology used by Jaguar for the XJ saloon, and is expected to shave a massive 400kg from the weight of today’s car. Sources suggest that if the Mk4 is fitted with the new V6 petrol engine being developed by JLR, the lightest version of the new Range Rover could weigh less than two tonnes.
There’s no definitive news yet on a likely engine line-up for the new Range Rover. Indeed, in preparation for the new model, today’s version is now only available with V8 petrol and V8 diesel engines, and in two upmarket trims. However, lucrative overseas markets such as China will certainly get the V6 petrol engine for tax reasons.
Land Rover is also developing a hybrid version of the new model, hooking up an electric motor to the new V6 engine. Set for launch late next year, the hybrid will have a CO2 rating of just 150g/km, sources say.
Insiders have also hinted that the V8 diesel version will be the unexpected performance hero of the Mk4 line-up. The combination of significant weight saving and a massive 516lb ft of torque will result in extraordinary in-gear performance. Engineering sources have even said that the V8 diesel’s torque output has been limited to prevent long-term damage to the transmission system.
As far as the interior design is concerned, the leather-covered ‘double-decker’ dashboard theme remains much the same as today’s model, as does the distinctive steering wheel design, column stalks and heater controls.
However, the instruments will be displayed on a deep-set TFT screen, with the centre console dominated by a large iPad-style touchscreen. The interior sees much use of bright aluminium-like bezels and trim. It’s also unlikely that the design team have abandoned the current model’s distinctive upright wooden ‘stanchions’ that support the centre console.
Improving rear cabin space — the current Range Rover is seen as too cramped for a luxury-sector car — has also been a big priority for the Mk4.