Making its world debut at the Paris Auto Show, the all-new 2013 Land Rover Range Rover heralds the beginning of a new era in the history of the world’s most-iconic luxury SUV. Bigger, bolder and stunningly lighter than the vehicle that it replaces, the latest Range Rover was designed to deliver unprecedented levels of luxury and dynamic capability, both on road and off.
While retaining its unmistakable visual DNA, the exterior of the new Range Rover reflects a more sophisticated take on the basic design language. Smoother and sleeker, the completely redone bodywork keeps classic cues intact while putting a cleaner, more contemporary spin on virtually every surface and tossing in a bit of Evoque-style detailing for good measure.
Visuals aside, the real design magic of this new Range Rover lies beneath its new and more aerodynamic envelope. A revolutionary all-aluminum monocoque structure replaces the steel core used previously. Created using technology pioneered by its corporate cousin, Jaguar, it provides an even stronger and more rigid alternative foundation that’s also 39 percent lighter. Matched with all-new, all-aluminum chassis elements, the comprehensive redesign trims up to 20 percent off of the curb weight of this new-gen Range Rover — 926 pounds in the best case scenario — and lightens the load of U.S.-spec versions by some 700 pounds.
Complementing this massive mass-reduction, the new Range Rover is fitted with a new adaptive air-suspension that improves ride comfort and control in all situations while curbing body roll and improving steering feel. Its bounty of vehicle dynamic systems also got an upgrade in the form of a new iteration of Land Rover’s superb Terrain Response system that uses on-board sensors to automatically select the best settings for any road or driving conditions.
Like the rest of the package, the cabin of the 2013 Range Rover benefits from a similar comprehensive remake that endows it with more contemporary flair and even better isolation thanks to the use of laminated glass and enhanced sound attenuation materials throughout. Matching supple leathers and premium wood veneers, this richly appointed inner sanctum maintains the requisite Rover-esque level of elegance but offers even more people space, including 4.7 inches of addition rear-seat legroom.
While the new Range Rover will be offered elsewhere with a choice of turbodiesel and gasoline engines, U.S-spec models will carry over the existing naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter/375-horsepower V8 and its more potent 510-horse supercharged variant. However, like their Euro alternatives, they’ll swap the existing 6-speed automatic transmission for a new, more efficient 8-speed ZF autoshifter. Range Rover has yet to release any projected EPA numbers, but the new gearbox coupled with the huge drop in weight are virtually certain to result in significantly better fuel economy and a commensurate reduction in CO2 emissions.
Production of the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover will start later this year at a new facility near the automaker’s home base in Solihull, England and it will be sold in 160 markets worldwide. While pricing has yet to be released, the first of these new Range Rovers is slated to reach showrooms here in December.