There’s no shortage of swanky SUVs available these days, but if you want to do things properly, it’s worth sticking with the originator - the Range Rover. Land Rover has just revealed an all-new one, and it’s posher and smarter than ever before.
The big news for petrolheads? The wonderful but ageing supercharged V8 fitted to the old one is for the chop, replaced with a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 borrowed from BMW. It’s good for 523bhp, providing a suitably brisk 4.6-second 0-62mph time.
There are plenty of more sensible options in the line-up. The starting point is a D300 diesel using a 296bhp inline-six Ingenium oil-burner, with a 345bhp D350 sitting just above. The P400 petrol makes a respectable 395bhp and cracks 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds thanks to a straight-six engine you can also combine with a battery and an electric motor.
If you’re tempted, there are two plug-in hybrid options - the P440e and the P510e. The latter is nearly as powerful as the V8, but the extra weight of the hybrid system means it’s a fair bit slower, cracking 62mph in 5.3 seconds. Both PHEVs use sizeable 31.8kWh battery packs, making for an electric-only range of up to 62 miles. In 2024, a fully electric version will join the line-up.
All these powertrains sit in Land Rover’s new MLA-Flex platform, which puts the battery packs of the PHEVs and the eventual RR BEV beneath the floor between the wheels rather than the usual location under the boot. So, the luggage space is the same no matter what kind of propulsion you choose, and you can even lug around a full-size spare wheel in the hybrid.
Since it’s imperative that a Range Rover can tackle the rough stuff (even though few owners will ever truly tax one of these off-road), the battery casing is made from Boron steel, making this the stiffest vehicle Land Rover has ever made.
For when you venture away from tarmac, there’s an electronically-controlled locking rear differential that works together with LR’s Terrain Response 2 system. You get a 295mm ground clearance, a wading depth of 900mm, and approach, breakover and departure angles of 34.7, 27.7 and 29 degrees in the short-wheelbase version. The long-wheelbase has a marginally less impressive breakover angle, but otherwise matches the off-road stats of the SWB. The numbers are also very similar to what the old Rangie managed.
For the first time ever in one of these, there’s a seven-seat option, with a third row of seats that gasps can actually house fully grown adults taller than 5’ 1”. Land Rover has even thought about the comfort of anyone sitting on the famous Range Rover split-folding tailgate, with an optional (standard on First Edition cars) ‘Tailgate Event Suite’ offered. This includes extra lighting, unspecified “audio features” and special cushions “to create the perfect vantage point for outdoor relaxation”. It’s a whole new level of fanciness we never realised we wanted.
Life’s pretty good at the other end of the car, too. The driver gets a “semi-floating” 13.7-inch digital cockpit sitting by a 13.1-inch curved infotainment display using Land Rover’s Pivi Pro system. You can spec the interior with traditional leather, but there’s also a posh textile trim on offer made with a blend of two materials called Ultrafabrics and Kvadrat. It’s more sustainable than leather, and won’t absolutely suck when the weather gets really cold or really hot.
As you’d expect, the new Range Rover is not exactly cheap. Once options are taken into account, it’s going to be difficult to get one for under £100,000, with the entry-level D300 SE short wheelbase starting at £94,400. At the opposite end of the scale is a P530 long-wheelbase First Edition coming in at £137,800, although you can have the SWB V8 in Autobiography trim for ‘just’ £129,300. The mid-tier trim level is HSE, which isn’t available on the V8 nor some of the LWB models.
Pricing for the plug-in hybrid versions is to be confirmed. Most derivatives are available to order now, although for some you’ll have to wait until 2022.