Redesigned 2013 Range Rover revealed

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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If there's anything Land Rover's range-topping full-size Range Rover needs is to lose weight. While that may be an unkind thing to say about the old girl of royal decent (she is over 40 after all), the truth is the truth. She's a gas-guzzler. Fortunately, the powers that be at Solihull put the Range Rover on the ultimate low carb diet, shedding some 318 kilos (700 lbs) with the introduction of the entirely redesigned 2013 model.

The biggest weight-saving improvement is an all-aluminum unibody structure that's "39 percent lighter than the steel body in the outgoing model," says Land Rover. The front and rear chassis structures are also made from the lightweight alloy. Additionally, Range Rover explains that its new manufacturing facility in Solihull, UK is greener than the old factory, as it "employs the latest low-energy aluminum body construction technologies."

Range Rover also informs that the 2013 Range Rover will get a redesigned adaptive dynamics air suspension for better ride and handling, while still maintaining the brand's legendary off-road capability.

"The new Range Rover preserves the essential, unique character of the vehicle – that special blend of luxury, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability," said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director. "However, its clean sheet design and revolutionary lightweight construction have enabled us to transform the experience for luxury vehicle customers, with a step change in comfort, refinement and handling."

Land Rover's Terrain Response System will be included, of course, but it's the brand's next-generation system dubbed "Terrain Response 2 Auto." According to Range Rover it can automatically read and respond to road conditions by selecting the best possible setting for a given situation, whether dry pavement, slippery conditions like snow, dirt, or sand, or for that matter rocky crags.

The new Range Rover improves interior accommodations too. The tauter body reduces noise and vibration, allowing for a quieter cabin, or what Land Rover calls "serene isolation." Measures taken include a "rigorously optimized body structure" and "acoustic lamination of the windshield and side door glass." What's more, the interior is roomier overall, with 119-mm (4.7-inches) of additional rear legroom for Jaguar XJ levels of comfort. Land Rover will step up the level of luxury with a new rear bucket seat package that includes a richly detailed centre console for "the ultimate in personalized rear-seat luxury;" good thing now that Maybach has been mothballed.

Of course, the driver and front passenger haven't been forgotten in the makeover, with a completely redesigned instrument panel and centre stack featuring a more contemporary look. Land Rover promises a flawless presentation "using the finest leathers and veneers." Standard sound will come from British audio experts Meridian, while on a more practical note, "a thoughtfully designed split power folding upper and lower tailgate setup offers ease of access and versatility."

Land Rover hasn't released any information about the new 2013 Range Rover's powertrain lineup except to say that the North American markets will get a range of V8 engines, which we can surmise will once again include a top-line supercharged variant, while its diesel will likely remain in non-North American markets despite the need for more fuel-efficient options here. A standard 8-speed ZF automatic will put the power down to all four wheels.

As for the styling, those who like the current Range Rover's look should be pleased with the updated design. While some newer brand design details are present, especially in the narrow wraparound headlights, the SUV maintains classic Range Rover proportions for an SUV that should be immediately recognizable as a Range Rover.

"Designing the next generation Range Rover, following over forty years of success, came with a huge responsibility to protect the DNA of such an icon," said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer. "Our design team worked incredibly hard to capture the elegant proportions and pure surfaces which have been a feature of the best Range Rover designs."

The 2013 Range Rover will likely show up in Paris next month, with North American delivers starting in December of this year. The iconic 4x4 will be sold in more than 160 markets worldwide.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: SUV, Land Rover, Range Rover, 2013, Range Rover, $75,000 - $99,999, $99,999+,

Organizations: Land Rover

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