It seems unlikely that many improvements could be made to what has been hailed as the most capable off-road vehicle in production, but that didn't seem to dissuade the clever chaps at Land Rover from trying. The new for 2013 Range Rover boasts some significant upgrades to both its on and off road manners as well as a complete exterior overhaul.
The exterior looks decidedly more modern and sleek thanks to small design cues like a more steeply raked windscreen, vertical fins behind the front wheels and a slightly less in-your-face grille. The reworked head and tail lamps add to this effect, and continue to give the Range Rover the presence of a vehicle that would be just as happy crossing a rocky fast-flowing stream as it would sitting outside the local Trader Joe's. There is definitely some of the Evoque in the new body, and we think that's a good thing.
The interior, chassis and mechanics all received a thorough going-over: the body is now 700 lbs lighter than the outgoing model thanks to extensive use of aluminum over steel. The interior is still a fantastic place to watch the world go by as you're swathed in supple leather and sound deadening, and a new less cluttered center stack and digital gauges soften the overall look from the almost industrial feel of the previous model. The air ride suspension is able to raise and lower the vehicle at the touch of a button as well as completely dampen any road imperfections, and an active anti-roll system keeps the 4850 lb Range Rover from leaning in the turns. The Terrain Response system carries over with a few improvements including an Auto setting that lets the onboard computers determine which wheel needs the most torque in a myriad of conditions.
The 2013 models will have the same V8s as last year, a 5.0 liter mill in both naturally aspirated and supercharged form, the latter churning out 510 well-heeled British ponies, but the 2014 model will feature Jaguar/Land Rover's new 3.0 liter supercharged V6, which should offer a 15-20% increase in fuel economy over the n/a V8 with little to no sacrifice in power. This is a version of the engine also being used in the new Jaguar F Type. All models will feature an eight speed slushbox with paddle shifters at the wheel.
Published: April 15th, 2013 at 02:59pm
Image published with permission of Wikimedia Commons