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(Pocket-lint) - Jaguar Land Rover pulled the covers from the new Range Rover in October 2021, revealing the latest take on its luxury SUV.
"Often imitated and never matched," said Massimo Frascella, design director at JLR, "Range Rover is peerless".
The new model builds on 50 years of heritage and while it might look familiar, it's all new, sitting on a new platform.
The new platform is known as MLA-Flex and it's the foundation for the new Range Rover, promising 50 per cent higher stiffness and 24 per cent less structure noise.
It will be available in long wheel base (LBW) and short wheel base (SWB), with the LWB model allowing the Range Rover to offer seven seats for the first time.
From the exterior the Range Rover sticks to a familiar form - with that gently sloping roof, pairing with the almost horizonal shoulder and the upward sloping sill, leaving that glass house in the middle.
There's now a seamless quality to the whole thing, a reduction in some of the exterior fussiness for a sleeker look, helped by the flush door handles. There are still details, like the gills, but these all feel better integrated into the design.
From the front there's not a huge change, it's largely similar to the previous generation of Range Rover with that big face, although there's a division of light and dark areas in the design - the dark areas used to hide all the sensors.
There's light and dark areas around the back too, with the lights invisibly integrated into the dark areas in the design. Up close, when the lights are off, you can't see them, but they shine through the dark finish with brilliance when turned on - it's a great effect.
Turning to the interior and Range Rover wants to present a more responsible spread, pushing alternatives to traditional leather. There's wide use of Kvadrat - widely seen on the Velar too - while Ultrafabrics is an option that claims to have a much lower carbon footprint than leather - it also feels great.
Space is a big feature and one of the defining principles of the Range Rover, with that LWB option meaning the rear seats can really offer expansive legroom, more like the business class cabin on an aircraft - especially on the four seater SV (special vehicles) version, where the centre of the car offers a tray table, controls and of course, a fridge and glasses for the champagne.
If opting for the seven seater, those rear seats benefit from being 41mm higher than those at the front. The stadium seating effect means that those in the back don't feel like they've been shoved in the boot/trunk, because they can still see - and be seen.
There's no need to worry about heads blocking the rear view mirror either - because the digital mirror has a camera set in one of the fins on top of the car, so you can always see what's going on behind.
The rear tailgate opens to an expansive boot (when not filled with seats), offering some 1061 litres on the five seat model. There's still a split tailgate, so you can drop down the lower half to form a platform as per the original Range Rover, ideal for sitting on while you pull on your rugby boots.
An optional floor divider can be raised to separate big and small items in the boot, but has the added benefit that it can also be reclined slightly to become the backrest for a rear bench - with pads and a place to prop your champagne flute.
The interior also benefits from Cabin Air Purification Pro, which will filter the air, removing PM2.5 particles and able to filter out bacteria and viruses from the air.
A technology update
There's now a floating 13.1-inch display in the centre of the car offering haptic feedback for a more positive touch experience, and the foundation for the Pivi Pro system. It also integrates Amazon Alexa and allowing voice control not only for Alexa's normal skills, but for many of the car's systems too.
By integrated, we mean that you don't need a smartphone for Alexa, it runs in the car - you just have to sign into your Amazon account and be connected to the internet for it to all work.
Of course there's the option for additional 11.4-inch entertainment screens - with matching headsets - for the rear passengers, while the driver display is digital too.
There's active noise cancellation in the cabin, with a 35-speaker Meridian sound system, including speakers in the headrests.
Power and engine choices
There's no fully electric version at launch - that's coming in 2024 - but there will be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) that's promising 70 miles of range from the battery. It's a whopping 38.2kWh battery, with a 105kW motor paired with a 3.0 litre Ingenium petrol engine. At the original reveal it was suggested you'd get 62 miles from it, but Land Rover has revised this figure upwards.
It will give you a combined output of 510PS and 700Nm - with speeds up to 87mph supports from the electrical system alone on the top model.
With a big battery in it, supporting 50kW charging will be welcomed too, so you could feasibly do a lot of your driving without the need for the petrol engine.
- P440e, 3.0-litre six-cylinder, 620Nm
- P510e, 510PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder, 700Nm, 0-62 in 5.6s
- P360, 360PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder, MHEV, 500Nm, 0-62 in 5.5s
- P400, 400PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder, MHEV, 550Nm
- P530, 530PS 4.4-litre V8, 750Nm of torque, 0-62 in 4.6s
- D250, 249PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder, MHEV, 600Nm of torque
- D300, 300PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder, MHEV, 650Nm of torque
- D350, 350PS 3.0-litre six-cylinder, MHEV, 700Nm of torque, 0-62 in 6.1s
All models have an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
The Range Rover retains its off-road skills, with an intelligent all-wheel drive system, which can deliver torque on demand or disconnect the rear when it's not needed.
There's rear-wheel steering to sharpen the turning circle, while independent adaptive air suspension can predict what's coming down the road and ensure you have the stability you need, whether that's cornering fast on wet roads or heading into the wild. In the Terrain Response 2 system there's now a Wade mode, which will shut all the vents before you enter the water - with up to 900mm wading supported.
The Range Rover will be on the roads, starting with the UK in spring 2022 and with a not insignificant starting price of £94,400; the plug-in hybrid version will cost from £103,485, with orders now open for all models.
It will be available in SE, HSE, Autobiography trims, with the First Edition also available during the first year of sales.