The Range Rover, progenitor of the luxury SUV, hasn't had many rivals in its first 50 years. Now, with the arrival of six-figure SUVs from Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini, as well as an armada of luxury SUVs from German and Asian brands, the fifth-generation Range Rover coming next year faces a very crowded landscape.
Next-gen Range Rover takes shape for 2022
Jaguar Land Rover has not revealed much about the next Range Rover, except that electrified powertrains will be on the menu. That means there will be a plug-in hybrid model and very likely a battery-electric version. Those major changes, along with some self-driving tech, will influence the appearance of the 2022 Range Rover.
It's a given that the next Range Rover, despite its advanced technologies, will retain some DNA strands from previous models — including the ability to go off-road and into the most inhospitable terrain in any weather without sacrificing safety or comfort, the high driving position and an ultra-luxurious interior.
The only mystery, really, is what the next Range Rover will look like, and that is something Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's chief creative officer, doesn't mind talking about in general terms.
"It will be breathtaking in its modernity," McGovern told Automotive News from his home in Warwickshire, England.
That isn't just a vague boast. It's actually very specific. McGovern is saying two things: First, he's aware that the original 1970-95 Range Rover's classic looks have never gone out of style, but the 2022 Range Rover will not be a retro throwback. McGovern also is saying he recognizes the enthusiasm younger buyers have expressed for such vehicles as the Rivian R1S and the Tesla Cybertruck.
This is the third time McGovern, 64, has been involved in the creation of a new generation of the Range Rover. He had a hand in the 2006-11 model and was solely in charge of the 2012-present Range Rover, which introduced new aerodynamic styling that has spread across the Land Rover lineup.
"For me, I am always mindful of not looking back too much," McGovern said "It's about recognizing that it has to be relevant for a world that has changed quite a bit in a short space of time and that continues to do so."
McGovern said he gave these challenges to the design team shaping the next Range Rover: How do we make it breathtakingly, compellingly modern and still unmistakably a Range Rover? And how do we embrace global legislation and sustainability and maintain the essence of what Range Rover is today?
The 2012 Range Rover was a departure from squared-off previous generations. The 2022 models will make a similar leap, McGovern said.
"The current generation moved the game on significantly and this next one will, too," he said. "This car will communicate a level of emotional connection I don't think we've seen before. It's going to be jaw-dropping in a very, very sophisticated way."
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