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New Range Rover lands in New York

Wed, 08 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0700

Land Rover shows the New Range Rover at the New York Motor Show

The Range Rover is a special beast. The Daddy of SUVs, it started the whole trend for big, luxurious 4x4s. But it does polarise opinion. The ‘Eco-mentalists’ deride it as a planet-killer, but for many it is a much-loved, hugely capable, almost classless motoring icon.

I love Range Rovers, and they have improved beyond all recognition in recent years. For one thing, they’re now properly built, which is in itself a huge improvement. Not huge fun to drive quickly on the twisty stuff, but they do do everything else incredibly well. And now, with this updated version, they do more even better.

Visually, you know its different, but it’s hard to pin down just what has changed. But it looks better; fresher. The front end is different, with new grill and changes to the bumper and lights (three-line LEDs). The inside gets more techy, with a TFT screen to display the instrumentation and new switchgear. You also get a much needed update to the SatNav with a new, hard-drive system.

But the big changes come under the bonnet, where Land Rover have given the new Range Rover the latest 5.0 litre Jaguar lump. Available as either a normally aspirated unit (375bhp) or in supercharged form (510bhp), the improvement in performance is significant. The non-blown unit has almost the same performance as the outgoing supercharged one, but the 5.0 litre supercharged version manages the 0-60 sprint in just 5.9 seconds (down from 7.1 seconds in the old model). But this hasn’t been achieved at the expense of economy or emissions. The new engine is 7.3% more economical than the old one, and emissions are 7.4% lower. My favourite combination – more power for less fuel!

The Range Rover is an icon, and Land Rover needs to keep its loyal customers happy. These changes will do that. With Range Rover sales proving to be the most resilient of Land Rover’s models in the current climate, it is good to see Land Rover making the best even better.

By Cars UK