Driven: Range Rover in Iceland
Tom Ford takes the new Range Rover to Iceland... and the edge
Posted: 27 Mar 2013
The genealogical familiarity of the styling is a slight red herring, though. Underneath, the Range Rover has become something altogether more technological than a poshed-up workhorse, and from the very first corner, bump or burst of acceleration, you realise that the changes are deep and thorough. This RR has a spanking new all-aluminium basic structure that will become the basis for all future Range Rover products. Jaguar Land Rover has chucked a billion quid at the development of a monocoque that features sticking and riveting variously pressed, cast, extruded and rolled aluminium bits to create bones 39 per cent lighter (180kg) than the current Rangie's steel basics.
An example? The entire side of the new RR is stamped from a single aluminium panel, reducing the need for joints and welding, and making it stronger as a result. The doors are aluminium, as are the front and rear subframes, final drive units, brake calipers, intrusion beams and various other strategic elements. About the only things that aren't aluminium are the reinforced SMC plastic panels used in the upper portion of the split tailgate. In a lot of ways, the extensive use of ally means that modern Range Rovers are more like a contemporary Jaguar XJ than anything that has gone before in the Land Rover range - and that's not a bad thing.