What does driving a long-wheelbase Range Rover say about you? It says you’re not the person that matters. That honour belongs to whoever is stretched out enjoying the extra 186mm of legroom this model offers over the standard version.
Of course, it’s the same whenever you see a LWB S-Class, but that shows the circles this Range Rover now moves in. Somewhere I suspect there’s an engineer fretting about the reduction in breakover angle because the axles are now 200mm further apart, but any reduction in off-road ability due to the extra length is bound to be slight – and besides what other production limo offers such go-anywhere usability? And no, the Dartz Prombron does not count.
So here’s what you need to know. It’s available with 335bhp diesel or 503bhp petrol V8s, and later this year as a hybrid. It’ll also be available in four trim levels, Vogue to Autobiography Black, although at the moment Autobiography is the only one featured in the price lists. Your extra 186mm of legroom costs £7,400, boosting the price of the SDV8 from £94,740 to £102,140.
Actually it’ll cost £104,690 because you’ll obviously ditch the bench seating in favour of separate executive seating. Which, ironically, is actually handiest for keeping a pair of brawling kids apart. Plus the extra legroom means they can’t kick the seats in front. I know the 186mm legroom gain doesn’t look life-changing when you hold your fingers that far apart, but the front seats now appear so much more distant and legroom is exceptional – a match for Merc. It’s a lovely environment, not least because unlike the S-Class, you’re raised above things – a powerful sensory tool. There are also blinds on the windows, and if you go for the elec exec seating, they now recline 17 degrees instead of nine.
The 0–62mph time has dropped by a tenth of a second, and there’s a similarly marginal change to the dynamics – a hint of chassis tremor has crept in. You can’t stretch a car this big and heavy without some penalty. Enough to put you off? Of course not, it’s a minor point and this remains a massive, secure, stately motor with a lovely interior, huge presence and utterly unflustered road manners.