General Manager, Jeremy Freeman, provided a packed house of interested car enthusiasts a unique way to learn more about the fourth generation of the Range Rover line. The vehicles were displayed with a background of the beautiful Gaillardia setting which made for a very comfortable way to enjoy the evening.
Mr. Freeman mentioned that the model will be in his dealership beginning in December but for those interested in purchasing pre-ordering their vehicle will be imperative.
It's been ten years since its last thorough makeover, but for 2013 the Land Rover Range Rover gets what is probably the most radical reinvention of its long and storied life.
With a body structure now formed from aluminum the new Range Rover sheds about 700 pounds while retaining its V-8 drivetrains. Fuel-economy gains are promised to be dramatic--and so are performance gains, with big leaps in on-road handling matched by new off-road technology that predicts the terrain ahead.
It's also the first Range Rover developed entirely by Land Rover under the Tata Group's oversight; prior Range Rovers were engineered while the British SUV brand was controlled first by the BMW Group, and then by Ford Motor Company.
Officially a 2013 model for the U.S. market, the new Range Rover may not strike all comers as a big departure, with its recognizable two-box silhouette and heritage-infused details. The stance reads lower and the roof pillars seem slimmer. The key clues as to the Range Rover's freshness are in the front end: LED headlamps are slimmer, and frame a trimmer mesh grille, over perfectly faired-in fog lamps. The sill line kicks up at the rear end, more like the first Range Rovers that came to America under the brand name, back in the mid-1980s, and less like the blocky BMW-era utes that followed. The cabin stays just as true to long-standing Range Rover cues, with a wide LCD screen taking up center stage on the dash, and a pair of round thumb controls studding the steering wheel. The center console now has a rising rotary shift knob like the one found in the Range Rover Evoque and it's all surrounded by the customary wood and leather that went missing somehow in that smaller SUV.
With a body structure some 39 percent lighter than before, Land Rover is predicting big gains in outright acceleration, ride quality, fuel economy, and both on- and off-road performance for the new Range Rover. The structural changes are comprehensive: the Range Rover goes from a steel frame surrounded by aluminum body panels, to an SUV with a full aluminum frame that's riveted and bonded with aerospace glue. The suspension's also composed of cast- and forged aluminum pieces, while some body panels are twinned to composite liners to save even more weight.
The Range Rover's powertrains for the U.S. market will be 5.0-liter V-8s, paired with eight-speed automatic transmissions. The entry-level engine is normally aspirated and direct injected, with 375 horsepower, and the transmission is fitted with paddle shift controls. Land Rover estimates the Range Rover's 0-60 mph time at 6.5 seconds, about 0.7 seconds faster than in the former base Range Rover. With supercharging, the engine makes 510 horsepower, and accelerates to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, about 0.8 seconds quicker than before. Fuel economy is pegged at a 9-percent improvement.
All Range Rovers are fitted with an air suspension and a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a new generation of Terrain Response Control that uses sensors to predict the surface ahead, and to change traction, stability, and active-differential settings to handle the upcoming situation, choosing between five settings (General; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl). The promise: a luxurious ride, with flat cornering and intuitive steering feel, according to Land Rover.
All Range Rovers will come with dual LCD screens, a wide 12.3-inch display that replaces traditional gauges, and an 8-inch touchscreen that runs infotainment systems on the center stack through a combination of soft and hard keys for functions from navigation to climate, phone, and audio. Leather upholstery will also be standard, while major options will include a panoramic sunroof; a Meridian sound system with 1,700 watts of power; surround-view cameras; cooler boxes; and a choice from among 37 exterior colors, 17 interior colors and 3 veneers. Mr. Freeman mentioned that the model will be in his dealership beginning in December but for those interested in purchasing pre-ordering their vehicle will be imperative.