Land Rover has revealed the 2013 Range Rover (probably the 2014 Range Rover in the US) with a big drop in weight, new engine option and adaptive dynamics.
We’ve had endless photos of the 2013 Range Rover out testing recently, and even the first undisguised photo. But this is the real deal: The 2013 Range Rover is official.
Where to start?
Land Rover has taken a leaf out of the Porsche 911 school of car design (and Jaguar’s old XJ design book too) with a new interpretation of the existing Range Rover rather than a move to a more modern shape. Did Land Rover have any choice? Probably not.
Unlike the old XJ, the Range Rover has continued to sell well and its shape is as much its USP as its ability, so moving to a more modern shape – like a Cayenne or X5 – would simply, in the eyes of many, pitch the new Range Rover in as just another big, luxury SUV.
The problem with going the evolutionary rather than revolutionary re-design is that almost everyone will say the new shape is just not what Land Rover should have done. But that’s what Land Rover has done, so let’s deal with it.
2013 Range Rover – The Exterior
There’s no question that the new Range Rover is very much the old Range Rover but with the sharp edges taken away. There’s a touch of the Evoque appearing in its DNA, with a slimmer front and a more sloping roofline. But this still looks very much the Range Rover we know.
Up front, the grill is the same but slimmer and more raked, the lights are the same but sleeker, the front apron is smoother with grill-like air intakes and inset fogs and it all looks a bit like someone took a surform to take the sharp edges away.
The front doors get the side fins rather than the trailing edge of the front wings, there’s sharp lines down the side – a much longer side as the Rangie has grown – and the back end, still with a split tailgate, is also more rounded with swept-back lights and a roof spoiler.
2013 Range Rover – The Interior
New, sleek Range Rover interior
The interior of the new Range Rover still looks good, but is far sleeker than the current car. Gone is the button-fest to be replaced with a dash almost Scandinavian in its simplicity, and a much airier cabin is promised by a panoramic roof like the Evoque’s.
Gone too are the mass of buttons and knobs from the centre console – which still rises on pillars to the dash – replaced by a big Infotainment screen and much simpler HVAC controls.
Even the steering wheel buttons have been simplified and look designed to control the Infotainment screen rather than having a mass of individual functions.
The Terrain Response controls are now automatic (more of that later) and the gear knob is now Land Rover and Jaguar’s familiar rising knob (on the V8 S/C as well, we assume).
The much simpler design certainly works, and Land Rover has gone to great lengths to make the interior more inviting, not just with very high quality leathers and veneers but also with stuff like acoustic lamination of the windscreen to reduce noise and an extra 118mm more legroom in the back (that’s 4.6 inches in old money), and even a a new two-seat Executive Class seating package for the ultimate rear-seat Range Rover experience.
2013 Range Rover – Under the skin
All the modest styling changes to the new Range Rover – which are arguably more appealing on the inside than the outside – pale in to insignificance compared to what’s gone on under the skin.
New aluminium suspension and monocoque & Adaptive Dynamics
The new Range Rover is the world’s first SUV with a lightweight all aluminium monocoque body structure which conspires to trim a massive 420kg off the Rangie’s weight.
And it’s not just the body that’s gone all aluminium, the all new front and rear chassis architecture is aluminium too, with new four corner air suspension and adaptive dynamics delivering a dynamic SUV that should match anything the competition can offer.
New Terrain Response 2
The wonderful Terrain Response has been updated too and is now a completely automatic feature. No more do you need to decide exactly which setting best suits the terrain you’re on, Terrain Response II will judge it for you. But from what we see it does look like you can over-ride the auto setting if its gets it wrong.
All this should add up to a new Range Rover that’s much better to drive on-road, hopefully without having sacrificed any of its legendary off-road abilities.
Range Rover 3.0 litre TDV6 Diesel – no supercharged V6 petrol option
The surprise under the skin is perhaps that Land Rover aren’t, at least for now, going to offer the new supercharged V6 engine the Jaguar XJ now gets. The only petrol engine on offer is going to be the 5.0 litre V8 Supercharged, but that should be very swift now with such a big drop in weight.
The 4.4 litre V8 diesel carries over from the current Range Rover too, but much to our surprise Land Rover are going back to a 3.0 litre TDV6 offering too.
We don’t yet know if the new 2013 Range Rover will keep the familiar model designations – Range Rover Voque, Vogue SE and Autobiography – but it seems likely there will still be the same spread of equipment across a range of three trim options – and maybe room for a new Range Rover Ultimate at the top.
Land Rover want to keep some powder dry for Paris (or perhaps Moscow this month), so we have no details on the aforementioned models designations, performance or economy – or even the new Range Rover price.
But performance will be much improved thanks to the drop in weight (which is what is allowing the arrival of the 3.0 litre diesel option) and economy will be markedly better too. As for price, we’re expecting a starting point of around £100k when the new Range Rover goes on sale after the Paris Motor Show, with the first customer cars now due to arrive in early 2013.
We’ll update as soon as Land Rover decides to give us some proper performance and economy facts and figures, more photos or a look at the price list.