What is it?
The latest version of Land Rover’s full-size Range Rover, this time equipped with a new aluminium monocoque that cost the company a billion quid to develop. It’s bigger but lighter than the old car (up to 430kg less in the case of the new-to-Range Rover 3.0-litre V6 diesel), faster but more efficient and tangibly better to drive.
It might look very much like an evolution of the old model, and the styling is very much of the ‘if it ain’t broke’ school of car design, but the car is completely new underneath, and features so much pared-back lightweight aluminium it’s a wonder it doesn’t just float away.
For once, a car manufacturer’s claims stack up across the board. New Range Rover steers with more fluidity, controls its body better via standard air suspension and ‘active lean’ software and rides with the competence of a limousine. It’s not a sports car, but it encourages relaxed driving and feels built to take care of everything with the minimum of fuss.
It is also faintly startling to drive off-road for what is still a relatively large and heavy car; this thing will get to places you wouldn’t believe. It’s easy, too. Just leave the new Terrain Response II off-road software in auto, and you can cross rivers (up to 900mm), climb mountains and traverse the most treacherous surfaces, all while listening to Radio 4 and wondering what all the fuss is about.
On the inside
Do you really need an S-Class or BMW 7-Series? Not anymore. In fact, you might not even need that Flying Spur. Land Rover has noted how many Range Rovers are now used as transport for the chauffeured rich and famous, and designed this new one to suit.
It has an excellent specification, bigger rear door openings and 118mm more rear legroom, various multimedia options (including a 28-speaker Meridian stereo), top-quality materials and impeccable fit’n’finish. There are 50 per cent fewer buttons in the cabin, lending a clean and stylish air, and everything just feels right. There’s even an ‘Executive class’ seating option, with just two big, plush chairs in the rear.
It’s far too early to say much about reliability – that was always one of the big concerns about previous RRs, but we’re promised big improvements here. The model range consists of a 3.0 TDV6 (255bhp, 442lb ft, 37.7mpg) for around £72k, a TDV8 with 335bhp and 516lb ft in the middle and a 500-odd bhp supercharged V8 petrol for a smidge under £100k. The diesels are the cars to go for. Residuals, based on the granite efforts of the previous generation, should be golden.