First DriveA first glimpse at the new Range Rover PHEV highlights its rough edges, but with some polishing it will add a much needed string to Land Rover's bow
First DriveLand Rover's flagship SUV gains new semi-autonomous safety technology and an even plusher interior
Land Rover is changing, and there is a dead giveaway on the Range Rover Supercharged: it has a black badge. All supercharged Land Rovers now have black badges, replacing the green one that has been there for, well, for ever.
Other signs include a thick mesh grille and frosted rear lights. These styling changes are aimed at the US market, and this car will look fabulous in California. It looks a bit brash in Blighty, but it has massive presence.
More important than the looks is the 400bhp 4.2-litre V8 – the engine the Range Rover has always deserved. Fire it up and the mighty whoosh suggests it has just sucked in all the available air from a 200-yard radius. This is a big three-carat diamond of a motor, and it’s surgingly powerful. Floor it when you need to overtake and the supercharger’s on-demand boost punts the car up the road without fuss. The noise is addictive, too: an intense metallic chattering that makes you keep the windows down. It’s far better suited to the Range Rover’s character than the 4.4 BMW V8. On British roads there’s more than enough power.
The revised suspension doesn’t tame the Range Rover’s wallow through corners, but it never feels uncomfortable and it smothers any patchwork urban roads with ease. But this is a very big car, and you have to recalibrate your sense of scale.
Should you venture off-road, the 420lb ft of torque will do the job, and you can put Venture Cam – a wireless camera – anywhere on the outside of the car and watch for hidden obstacles on the dash-mounted display.
The car costs nearly £73k, and we got 12.7mpg as an urban average. But there’s no doubt this is the most complete Range Rover yet.