People think about very few of SUVs when status and both on road and off road performance are mentioned. Somewhere at the top on this list sits the Range Rover.
Despite the Mercedes G-wagon being a worthy competitor, the design has stubbornly remained blocky. The Rolls Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga have not been put through enough paces for us to position them on the top of this list.
EXTERIOR DESIGN OF THE NEW RANGE ROVER
Let’s get back to the Range Rover. The fifth generation follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in terms of ergonomics.
Land Rover terms the exterior as distinguished. I mean one glance is all it takes for you to identify it. However, it is not all form and no function.
The headlights, for starters have 1.2 million individual mirrors that reflect light from a rear mounted mirror.
Each headlight uses this set up. These smaller mirrors can turn on or off individually. This creates what Land Rover calls “shadow tracking” which stops the beams from blinding oncoming traffic.
At the back, there is a gloss black panel that houses the vertical tail lights. There is also a horizontal bar that houses the indicators. This design is minimalistic and makes the derriere of the new range rover seem wider.
The side profile is now sleeker thanks to pop out door handles. The “gills” and the grille are now sleeker. The result is; the new Range Rover has a drag co-efficient of 0.30 which is 12% better than the previous generation’s.
RANGE ROVER POWERTRAINS
Land Rover will not be offering four cylinder powertrains with the new Range Rover. The options start with three straight six Ingenium engines, coupled to a 48V mild-hybrid assistance unit.
The power outputs will range from 246bhp in the D250 diesel to 395bhp in the P400 petrol. The top model Range Rover, will switch out its supercharged V8 for a twin turbo BMW unit.
This comes as a result of Land Rover and BMW powertrain sharing agreement. However, Land Rover is involved in the development of the powertrains from the very beginning.
They also claim that the twin turbo V8 has its own tune for unique performance. All powertrains are mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox with low range settings for towing and off-roading.
The new Range Rover has had some material and tech upgrades. The first thing you notice when you step into the new Range Rover is the floating 13.1” infotainment screen.
Perhaps the biggest advantage that this system has over the competitors is this; you can operate it without starting the car.
The system runs on Land Rover’s latest PiVi Pro operating system. Updates will happen over the air away from the dealerships.
The home screen has three tabs which give access to about 90% of all functions in as little as two presses. The system also incorporates haptic feedback as standard across the range.
Wireless phone connectivity and Amazon’s Alexa are also available in all the models. The instrument cluster is in a new 13.7” high-def driver display that extends into the heads-up display.
The new Range Rover does not compromise on comfort. It is the first range rover to offer seven seats but this will only be available in the long wheel base version only.
The rest will have five seats or four in the case of the Autobiography optioned with the Executive Class Seating pack.
THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RANGE ROVER
It is a little sad that most of these cars will never don two pairs of Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain+ tyres and explore their limits off-road.
But, regardless of the shoes they wear, the new Range Rovers will turn heads from villages to suburbs and all kinds of settlements in between.