For 2013 the flagship Range Rover has received a full overhaul. Not only has the bodywork been revised and the interior tweaked, the entire Range Rover has dropped 700lbs of dead weight. The Range Rover remains close to its original dimensions and hasn’t been stripped down to bare metal either. So how was this weight loss achieved? The latest Range Rover’s unibody is entirely sculpted from aluminum that equals weight savings of about 4 average Americans. Compared to the current Range Rover, the latest model feels more nimble and commanding on and off the road. Whether it be governmentally influenced or public opinion that swayed the decision to produce the Range Rover in aluminum, we’re not complaining. The driving characteristics are improved with the diet, but the shape of the body doesn’t command the same respect the previous generation did. The body lines are clean but the Rover seems to have lost some of its rugged, brawny appeal. The basic shape of the body is reminiscent of the latest Ford Explorer that once featured boxy brawn and now looks like an imperceptibly lifted mini-van. The Range Rover still looks aggressive but has softened some of the body lines that once defined it in the past.
On the inside the Rover touts a redesigned interior that borrows cues from the Evoque and other modern Land Rover models that results in a cohesive layout that is appealing to the eye and to the touch. The interior is well executed and adds space in the rear seat leg room to appeal to chauffeur-driven clients primarily in China and other prosperous growth countries. There are few, if any, complaints about the interior construction of the 2013 Range Rover. It seems Land Rover listened to their customer base and corrected any issues with the previous generation.
Under the hood the Range Rover features a 510hp 5.0-liter V8 that produces 461ft-lbs of torque. Although the SUV is made entirely of aluminum, it still weighs 5250lbs that is easily shifted with a toggle of the gas pedal. Despite its weight the Rover accelerates aggressively and races to 60 in just 4.4 seconds. This is much quicker than the previous generation while obtaining a 9% mileage gain over its predecessor. The suspension is an air-ride unit similar to previous generations that allows for on-road handling, off-road durability and adjustability, and a supple ride quality. Ground clearance is up 8 inches from 2012 providing three feet of clearance in addition to steeper approach and departure angles. Land Rover has definitely not fallen short when it comes to the latest Range Rovers off-road ability. The looks may have softened but Land Rover pedigree has kept the Rover a true off-roading rig.
Over the years Range Rover has defined the panache off-roader niche and continues to bolster that notion with its 2013 derivation. More and more luxury car producers enter this market everyday and Land Rover still makes up the majority of this segment for good reason. Porsche, Lamborghini, Maserati, Bentley and more all compete for a piece of Land Rovers heavily guarded low-calorie, low curb weight pie…and for now, its looks like they won’t be getting any of it unless they take a few notes from Land Rover.
Base Price: $83,500-$99,950
Engine: Supercharged 5.0 liter V8
0-60mph: 4.4 seconds
Standing ¼ Mile: 11.9 seconds
Top Speed: 140mph
Fuel Economy: 13/20 mpg
Credits: Emmett Vick, Ben Oliver, and CarandDriver.com