Photos: Courtesy Jaguar Land Rover
Riley’s Automotive Editor (and long-time Range Rover fan), TMA Howe, shares the latest about the very latest model in the company’s luxury SUV line-up: the aptly named the, uh, “New Range Rover”
Car design always follows trends. Currently the roads around me are filled with a plethora of SUVs, many of which are like clones of each other, identifiable simply by different badges.
Whilst the concept of the SUV is relatively new, one could argue that the vehicle that in effect started this trend was first developed nearly 60 years ago. In the mid-sixties, Charles Spencer King – known as Spen King – and a team started to develop the idea of a new model for Land Rover, aimed at reasonably well-off people that wanted a comfortable, yet practical car that could also drive off-road.
Many intended owners would probably already have a ‘traditional’ Land Rover but wanted the same practicality with on-road comfort. Between 1969 and 1970, 26 ‘Velar’ badged vehicles were tested before the new ‘Range Rover’ was launched to the world in 1970.
Evolution of the Iconic Range Rover
The first generation evolved over the years from 1970 until the second generation was launched in 1994. Whilst the original still looks good today, the second generation hasn’t aged well.
Then, in 200,1 the third generation was launched and moved the marque up market. In 2012, the fourth generation took a step further up the luxury ladder with prices of some models now over £100,000.
Now, over 50 years after the launch of the original, Range Rover has taken the meaning of luxury even further, providing more refinement, customer choice, and scope for personalisation than ever before. With efficient mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains – and with a pure-electric Range Rover set to join the line-up in 2024 – plus a choice of four, five or seven-seat interiors available across Standard and Long Wheelbase body designs, the New Range Rover should meet everybody’s needs.
Luxury’s Next Chapter
“The New Range Rover is a superb manifestation of our vision to create the world’s most desirable luxury vehicles, for the most discerning of customers,” says Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover. “It writes the next chapter in the unique story of pioneering innovation that has been a Range Rover hallmark for more than 50 years.”
Whilst this is a new model from the ground up, there is no mistaking the Range Rover family history. The DNA is defined by the falling roofline, the strong waistline, and a rising sill line. These trademark features combine with a short front overhang and a distinctive new boat tail rear – complete with the trademark split tailgate – to create a profile that expresses Range Rover’s unequalled presence.
It’s a look that Professor Gerry McGovern, OBE, the company’s Chief Creative Officer, is particularly proud of.
“The New Range Rover is a vehicle with a peerless character, from the impeccable restraint of its exterior to the flawless tranquil sanctuary of its cabin,” says an obviously proud McGovern. “Informed by creative intellect and a desire for perfection, it doesn’t follow fashion or trend, but by a modernist design philosophy, combined with over 50 years of evolution, it is quite simply the most desirable Range Rover ever created.”
Luxurious Inside and Out
The luxurious interior, crafted with the finest of materials, is bolstered by modern, intuitive technologies. The 1600W Meridian Signature Sound System creates one of the quietest vehicle interiors on the road, with additional 20W speakers in the four main headrests for the most immersive sound experience.
The Active Noise Cancellation system monitors wheel vibrations, tyre noise and engine sounds transmitted into the cabin and generates a cancelling signal, which is played through the system’s 35 speakers. These include a pair of 60mm diameter speakers in the headrests for each of the four main cabin occupants, which create personal quiet zones similar to the effect when using high-end headphones.
The Range Rover was the first luxury SUV to feature Electronic Air Suspension, in 1992, and the New Range Rover continues this with Dynamic Response Pro and pre-emptive suspension that uses eHorizon Navigation data to read the road ahead and prime the suspension to provide perfect responses. The intelligent technology also works in conjunction with the Adaptive Cruise Control and Steering Assist to smooth out body movements resulting from sudden changes in speed.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road with Voice Commands
The New Range Rover transforms the in-car experience with integrated Amazon Alexa, with voice command assist touchscreen (or button) interfaces. Alexa allows customers to manage everything from favourite infotainment features and music track selection to navigation or phone contacts – all the while keeping their hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road. The system can even turn on your lights at home and connect to other Alexa-enabled devices.
Rear passengers are not forgotten as they can now enjoy a new Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system, which provides adjustable 11.4-inch HD touchscreens mounted on the rear of the front seatbacks. Rear-seat passengers can enjoy smart TV entertainment on the move independently from the rest of the car.
In addition to the ‘standard’ model, this stunning luxury SUV will provide an exquisite interpretation of Range Rover luxury and personalization, giving customers even more scope to create a truly individual vehicle with a choice of exclusive design themes, details and material choices from Special Vehicle Operations.
Proudly Built… in Solihull
“Special Vehicle Operations exists to amplify the core characteristics of Land Rover vehicles, obsessing over every detail with a passion for quality,” adds Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Special Vehicle Operations.
“In the case of Range Rover, that means injecting even more luxury into every part of the car. With more choice than ever before, our customers will be able to create a new Range Rover SV that truly reflects their personality, their dreams, their desires. That is how we interpret modern luxury.”
This luxury vehicle will be produced exclusively at the Solihull Manufacturing Facility in the UK, using a state-of-the-art production line housed in the building used to produce early Series Land Rovers. The historic building is the spiritual home of Land Rover and its reimagining as a new, ultra-modern centre for Range Rover production showcases the way the company protects its heritage.
TMA Howe is Riley Media’s amazing Automotive Editor.