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Reviewed: Range Rover LWB
Driven January 2014
While the hype at the recent LA Auto Show revolved around the Jaguar F-Type Coupe, sister company Land Rover showcased the biggest, most exclusive Range Rover that it has ever built. Taking over the flagship title is now a long-wheelbase version of the new Range Rover, which was built simply because “customers asked for it”.
At nearly five metres in length, the standard Range Rover isn’t necessarily short on space. But since a bulk of demand now comes from the Asian markets (read China) where the vehicle mostly tends to be chauffeur-driven, owners have asked for, among other things, more space at the rear. Thankfully, Land Rover engineers had thought about making a long wheelbase version of their flagship when they first sat down to design the new Range Rover. Because of the flexible architecture, adding those extra 200-odd millimetres wasn’t a problem.
Most of this space has gone to the rear. The rear seat now boasts of around 35mm more legroom for its occupants. Along with that extra space, the backrest also now reclines 17 degrees, up from nine in the standard-wheelbase RR. Of course, Land Rover hasn’t just created more space and left it at that.
The vehicle comes with the option of two individual seats with the space in the middle utilised to house a foldable tray table that also sports a slot for something like an iPad or a tablet PC. There is also an individual touchscreen to play music or videos, or to control cabin temperature. You can pretty much control everything except the way the driver drives the car.
Speaking of which, there is very little difference in the way the LWB version drives compared to a ‘regular’ Range Rover. Of course, if you drive the two SUVs back-to-back around a corner, you will feel the additional metal the LWB now lugs in the way it lazily rolls marginally more. But otherwise, it is very difficult to tell the difference, unless your butler runs alongside the car and tells you there is also an ‘L’ badge on the side. There is the usual array of gizmos, including the very effective terrain response system that gives the Range Rover its quintessential off-road capability, and a totally unnecessary in-built seat massager. Inside the cabin, this vehicle feels every bit the luxury limo that it is. It feels plush and sophisticated and every bit a luxury limo that it is.
It won’t be a total surprise if the Range Rover LWB comes to India considering we are not very different from the Chinese when it comes to using luxury off-roaders - mostly on the road than off it and be driven around than drive it ourselves. But mind you, in top spec, it may go as high as Rs 3.5 crore, which is knocking on Rolls-Royce territory. Which should get you thinking harder unless you have built your castle in the middle of nowhere.
V8, 4,999cc, 8A, 503bhp, 625Nm, max speed 235kph, 0-100kph: 5.5sec (estimated), Rs 3.5 crore (on-road, estimated)
A proper luxury limo with more space and gizmos to play with. Perfect if the authorities won’t build a road leading up to your mansion.