New model goes on sale in April with JLR's new supercharged V8 topping the range
21 January 2009

A refreshed Range Rover, powered by JLR’s new supercharged 5.0-litre V8, has been confirmed for an April on-sale date.

This lightly disguised prototype doesn’t hide the mild exterior revisions that Land Rover has made to the Range Rover.

Behind the perforated ‘bumper-bra’ are a new grille, headlamps and bumper moulding, while tape over the tail lamps hides new LED lights.

A mildly revised interior includes a new steering wheel, chrome trim around the centre console and revised sat-nav system.

The biggest change is the new supercharged V8, with more performance yet better fuel economy and lower emissions.

Land Rover is also understood to have revised the chassis and steering for the more powerful Range Rover V8, improvements that also carry over to the Range Rover TDV8.

These revisions will attempt to arrest a slide in Range Rover sales, which slipped to around 5000 in the UK and 7000 in the US last year.

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The revised Range Rover will be revealed at the New York show in April, since the US is the biggest market for Range Rover.

The Range Rover’s TDV8 engine – by far the best-seller in the UK, with around 95 per cent of sales – will continue in the freshened RR without revision.

Land Rover has chosen to ignore Jag’s new twin-turbo 3.0 V6 for the RR, even though it has identical 272bhp peak power as the TDV8.

The superior torque of the TDV8 – 472lb ft against the V6’s 420lb ft – is one reason. The prestige of a V8 badge in Land Rover’s flagship is another.

Land Rover has engineered its own version of the 3.0 V6 turbodiesel, which produces 242bhp and 442lb ft of torque and will replace the 2.7-litre V6 diesel in the Discovery and Range Rover Sport and is due on sale in September.

Julian Rendell

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