2 December 2004

These are the best pictures yet of the facelifted Range Rover. Codenamed L322, the new car will appear at the Detroit show in January. The main change is to the nose of the car, which gets new headlamps and a modified bumper and grille.

The new car’s lights are narrower than the current model’s and the distinctive ‘projector’ style lamps made more prominent, with the inner pair cutting into the grille. The bumper has been modified to accommodate the smaller headlights. The grille stays the same depth, but has been redesigned with three bars stretching across it instead of four.

Inside, the last traces of the car’s BMW’s heritage will also be swept away. Much of the BMW-sourced switchgear, including the sat-nav system, has been replaced by Land Rover and Jaguar-sourced items.

But the biggest news is under the skin. The BMW engines have been dropped – much to the relief of parent company Ford because it’s said they were very expensive. In their place come the Jaguar-derived V8s first seen in the Discovery and Range Rover Sport. The BMW straight-six diesel is expected to be replaced by the single-turbo 2.7-litre V6, although one source told us that the Range Rover would get a more powerful 3.0-litre derivative.

Sales are expected to begin in May next year.

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