A lighter, roomier Range Rover
Company touts SUV's handling
The first new Range Rover in 12 years will debut in December with a much lighter body, improved handling and increased rear legroom -- but styling that is unmistakably Range Rover.
Land Rover released the first official photos of the redesigned 2013 model last week, along with some details.
The company says the all-aluminum unibody structure is 39 percent lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model. That makes for a total weight savings of up to 926 pounds, depending on market and specifications. The U.S. version with a 5-liter V-8 will be about 700 pounds lighter than the current model.
Land Rover said performance and fuel economy will improve but did not provide figures.
While the exterior design is not radically different, the lines are sleeker, the tailgate has been modified, and the headlights are similar to those on the new Range Rover Evoque.
"The new Range Rover preserves the essential, unique character of the vehicle," said John Edwards, Land Rover's global brand director.
The SUV gets a new four-corner air suspension that improves cornering and steering feel, the company said.
Land Rover won't release specifications until next month but said rear legroom has increased by 4.7 inches. Rear bucket seats that transform the Range Rover into a four-seater are optional.
The new version also has an adaptive suspension and a new generation of Land Rover's Terrain Response system. The system uses sensors to determine the road surface and make adjustments to traction control, the transmission, electronic differential, transfer box and air suspension.
The V-8 engine is carried over from the existing model but mated to a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The fourth-generation Range Rover will be built in Land Rover's Solihull, England, factory. Pricing will be announced next month.
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