Imperious off-road machine now nature-friendly.
It’s been almost half a century since the original Range Rover came into being, forever changing the way the upper echelons of society travel between their townhouses and country estates. The Range Rover then offered luxury, a wide breadth of ability, and a powerful driving experience, and it appears that with the unveiling of the refreshed 2018 model, the pillars that uphold the brand have only been strengthened further.
The 2018 Range Rover brings the off-road limousine bang up to date against the ever-stiffening competition, something it had to do as more and more contenders try to muscle into a segment that was traditionally the reserve of Solihull’s plushest product. New to the lineup are a plug-in hybrid model and a more powerful SVAutobiography Dynamic, which appeal to customers on either end of the scale.
“Our customers are very clear about what they want from any new Range Rover. ‘Don’t change it, just make it better,’ they tell us, so everything we've done has been about enhancing our flagship SUV.After nearly 50 years the fourth generation Range Rover is the finest so far, ensuring the original luxury SUV remains the choice for discerning customers the world over.” — Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover
An evolutionary approach was taken to the Range Rover’s design, with small revisions around the exterior contributing to a more refined, more poised appearance. The nose of the car sees a mildly redesigned grille flanked by new, sharper headlights featuring ‘Pixel-Laser’ LED headlights, replete with intelligent beam control to avoid dazzling other drivers. There are 3D-esque designs for the taillights, along with revised trim down the sides, resulting in a sleeker and more contemporary execution.
The cabin, most notably, features the very latest infotainment system from the Land Rover family. TouchPro Duo is the most advanced infotainment system developed by Jaguar-Land Rover, and combines two 10-inch touchscreens on the centre console that work together seamlessly and harmoniously, allowing for information to be swiped between the two for unrivalled functionality. The seats have also been redesigned to be wider and softer, and goes a long way to provide the “peerless refinement” that Range Rovers are known to deliver. New seat frames for the front pews allow for as much as 24-way powered movements, and can be optioned to feature 25-massage programmes, replete with a ‘Hot Stone’ massage.
While most of the Range Rover lineup remains as-in, there are two new powertrains making their debut for the model. First up is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which we first saw last week beneath the Range Rover Sport. Providing an impressive 297kW of power and 640Nm of twist, this incredibly capable powertrain marries a 2.0-litre turbo-four Ingenium petrol engine with an electric motor sandwiched between the ICE and the transmission. The Range Rover P400e (as it’s called) can be propelled from rest to 100km/h in a little under 7-seconds, which is impressive considering that it’s about the size of a small moon.
The PHEV comes with two driving modes that work alongside the marque’s proprietary ‘Terrain Response’ system, and allow drivers to choose between Hybrid and EV modes. In Hybrid mode, there are a further two options to choose from: ‘Save’ lets you maintain a certain battery level, perfect if you’re on the motorway and want to retain battery charge for urban driving later, along with a ‘Predictive Energy Optimisation’ option that allows the car to figure out where best to utilise its power in the most efficient fashion.
Of course there is also EV mode, which on a full charge, will allow the aluminium-intensive Range Rover to glide through any situation purely on electric power for up to 50km (claimed). Through a standard 10amp socket the Range Rover P400e can be charged from flat to 100% in 7-hours 30-minutes, though a fast charger can drop this to 2-hours 45-minutes if you opt to have one installed in your home.
“The new Range Rover takes our luxury SUV to new heights, delivering enhanced refinement, luxury and all-terrain capability. The new PHEV powertrain isn’t simply a no-compromise solution – it builds on the traditions of our flagship SUV and delivers heightened refinement and comfort with impressive performance and efficiency.” — Nick Collins, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar-Land Rover
On the other end of the scale there’s the Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic, described as the “tailored Range Rover luxury and performance in its most dynamic form.” With a 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet pushing out an astounding 422kW, the SV Autobiography Dynamic can hurtle itself from rest and hit 100km/h in under 6-seconds, all while providing an absolutely sonorous soundtrack that only a V8 can provide. The SV Autobiography Dynamic, available only in standard-wheelbase guise, comes with a unique ‘Graphite Atlas’ grille with chrome insets as well as a more aggressive rear bumper, allowing it to be identified faster against a range of less potent siblings.
Prices, specifications and details of the Australian-market version have not been detailed, but based on the lineup available in the UK, there aren’t too many variations expected. The SV Autobiography Dynamic will take pride placement as the dearest model on the range, while the P400e PHEV will sit in the middle of both the standard- and long-wheelbase lineups. First deliveries for the UK are slated for Q1 2018, so stay tuned to CarShowroom for more updates as they come.