LR Range Rover: Steer Starboard
The car lurches as I nudge the pedal, trying to ration out that steering input. It feels as if the four wheels have magically attached themselves to the boulders, using up every bit of torque from the 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engine, easing the car out of the mini valley. The Range Rover sways from side to side as it conquers the boulders, never losing grip at any time. You can almost feel the four-wheel drive system transferring power between the wheels in microseconds, making sure that all I need to do is keep it straight.
What works here more than the ground clearance is the effective approach and departure angles. Yes, there is active suspension too, which means the Rangie can lift itself higher, which adds to its run-over-everything ability.
After what seems like an eternity but is only around 10 minutes, we reach the actual ‘end’ of the road – a well-laid stretch of tarmac. “Follow the GPS to the hotel,” says one of the LR guys. Which is when we come face to face with another surprise from the RR – it’s on-road capability.
Despite the focus on off-road capability, the Range Rover continues to be a super refined ride. There is no unnecessary pitching or rolling and it stays planted on the road. The major change from all its predecessors is in the construction of that brilliant chassis, which now uses generous helpings of lightweight aluminium. In the smaller-engined 3.0-litre diesel V6 variant, that has resulted in almost half a tonne in weight savings. Even otherwise, the Range Rover has lost substantial weight even when strapped with either the 4.4-litre diesel V8 or this 5.0-litre supercharged petrol. The petrol is also available in non-supercharged version but we won’t get that in India.