Range Rover gets a long-awaited redesign
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With the launch of the redesigned Range Rover early next year, Land Rover begins the process of switching its vehicles to an all-new flexible lightweight aluminum architecture shared with sibling division Jaguar.
The 12-year-old Range Rover currently uses a platform developed by previous owner BMW. The Land Rover LR2 and LR4 use Ford Motor Co. platforms.
The 7-year-old Range Rover Sport will be redesigned in 2013 or early 2014.
The compact Range Rover Evoque SUV, which went on sale last year, may get convertible and long-wheelbase variants.
Land Rover may revive the Defender nameplate for the U.S. market. The rugged Defender was last sold here in 1997.
Land Rover LR2: No changes are expected until the five-passenger SUV is redesigned in 2014.
Land Rover LR4: A redesign is due in 2015 or 2016. The LR4 likely will carry over its optional third row of seats. The redesigned version may use the Defender platform and be renamed LR5, according to reports.
Land Rover Defender: A concept version of the new Defender was shown as the DC100 last year at the Frankfurt auto show. The redesigned Defender goes on sale in overseas markets in 2015. Land Rover is considering bringing it to the United States as an entry-level model without the amenities of the Range Rover Evoque. According to reports, Land Rover may build a smaller variant to compete with the Mini Countryman.
Range Rover: The redesigned five-passenger SUV will have an aluminum body structure similar to the new Jaguar XJ sedan. It will be unveiled at the Paris auto show in September. By shedding its steel body, the Range Rover will be 600 pounds lighter than the current model. It is expected to have a longer wheelbase than the current model, resulting in more interior room. Land Rover isn't fiddling with the SUV's classic styling, and spy photos show the basic shape and grille won't change significantly. But it may add a long-wheelbase model to compete with seven-seat SUVs from Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac. A plug-in hybrid is likely in 2013 or 2014.
Range Rover Sport: A redesign is expected in 2013 or early 2014. The new generation will look sportier to separate the Sport further from the smaller and more expensive Range Rover. The redesigned Range Rover Sport will switch from the LR4 platform to the same architecture underpinning the Range Rover. A hybrid is possible in 2014.
Range Rover Evoque: The new three- and five-door compact that went on sale last year may go topless. A two-door concept with a retractable top appeared at this year's Geneva auto show. The convertible version would compete with the Nissan Murano CrossCarbiolet. A long-wheelbase model has been rumored, but there's no confirmation from Land Rover.
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