The New Range Rover
The Range Rover has a reputation for breaking boundaries and redefining limits. It’s against this background of innovation, style, prestige and sheer ability that the latest vehicle to wear the famous Range Rover badge has been launched. True to its roots, the new Range Rover – only the third evolution of the breed in more than 30 years – scales new heights in terms of luxury and of capability both on- and off-road.
Directly comparable with the world’s finest luxury cars, its qualities have already been recognised in the UK where it has been named as ‘Car of the Year’ by the BBC’s Top Gear programme and magazine and as ‘Best 4 x 4 Off Roader of the Year’ by Auto Express.
Providing an unrivalled level of on-road performance and off-road ability, the new Range Rover has an all-new monocoque body offering impressive levels of torsional stiffness coupled with independent front and rear suspension with interconnected air springs that allow for spring rates that provide smooth on-road performance alongside outstanding off-road ability.
The new Range Rover is available with two power units – a V8, 4.4-litre 210 kW (282 PS) petrol and a common rail, six-cylinder 3.0-litre 130 kW (174 PS) diesel engine with a variable nozzle turbo charger. These new petrol and diesel engines mean better performance, lower emissions, improved fuel economy and greater refinement, while state-of-the-art five-speed fully electronic automatic transmissions – standard in both petrol and diesel versions – provide both fully automated and CommandShift™ manual shifts. CommandShift™ is also available in low range for greater control when driving cross-country.
The two-speed transfer box is fitted with a torque-sensing centre differential that automatically changes the torque bias between front and rear axles depending on available traction. A refinement for the new model means that it is now possible to shift from high to low ranges (and vice versa) on the move while advanced ‘drive-by-wire’ electronics include the provision of a dual mode throttle with on and off-road control maps for greater driver control in all conditions.
Bold New Shape Styling
The shape of the new Range Rover combines modern lines with familiar styling cues, such as the clamshell bonnet with castellations, horizontally split tailgate and upright front end. Distinctive features such as the high-tech jewelled headlamps and tail lamps – and the dramatic front wing power vents add a futuristic slant to the evolutionary shape. Despite its instant recognition factor, it has no body panels in common with its predecessor.
Presence and Refinement
The new Range Rover offers more interior space and even stronger on-road presence than previous generations of the model. Greater ground clearance helps provide even higher off-road limits than its hugely capable forebear, while the vast increase in torsional stiffness offered by the monocoque body translates into superb on-road refinement and composure.
The air suspension system, a Range Rover hallmark since the days of the Range Rover ‘Classic’, has been greatly refined and now features cross-link valves which automatically allow softer wheel rates for enhanced comfort and capability off road. The system still allows the entire car to be gently lowered to ease entry and egress, but a further sophistication means the ‘Access’ setting can be pre-selected so the body is at the correct height as the car rolls to a stop.
The chassis also features a number of electronic traction control systems including Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and the Land Rover-pioneered Hill Descent Control (HDC). The standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) are supplemented by Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Emergency Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
Ground Breaking Interior Design
In keeping with its position in the luxury sector, the interior of the new Range Rover has been completely redesigned. Three handsome facia finishes – burr walnut, cherry and Foundry – combine with four elegant colourways and a variety of seat colours to offer customers a choice of bespoke interiors. The contour seat option offers the ultimate in comfort for front and rear seat passengers. Finished in high grade Oxford leather, the contour seat features electrical adjustment for both front seats and two levels of heating for all seats. At the same time, however, the inherent simplicity found in the original Range Rover remains – the key to the new car’s cockpit layout is a minimalist approach with straightforward and easy to use controls. To complete the picture a choice of 12 exterior colours is available.Published 26 September 2002