Range Rover debuts long-wheelbase version at LA Auto ShowWed, 27 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Look out 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-class and BMW 7 series. And you too, Lexus LS There's a new limo in town, and it's the long-wheelbase Range Rover. In previous years we've noticed that Range Rovers have become a popular alternative to traditional plutobarges, and lately Land Rover has noticed this as well. And at the 2013 LA Auto Show the company has debuted a long-wheelbase version of their popular SUV (feels wrong to call it a truck, doesn't it?) It may be a little late to the party, but in some ways it's right on time, as a number of automakers are suddenly fielding full-size luxury cars, and automakers that have been fielding full-size luxury cars are planning even grander luxury cars.
The new model of the Range Rover had its wheelbase stretched by 7.8 inches, with 7.3 of those inches benefiting rear passenger legroom. The concept of a long-wheelbase Range Rover is actually nothing new, as a long-wheelbase model existed for a time in the 1990s, and also added a few extra inches to the rear doors for the benefit of rear passenger legroom. Though that was in the days before Range Rovers forced their way into the segment of chauffeured personal luxury cars.
On offer in the long-wheelbase Range Rover will be the executive seating package, an alternative to the bench seats which will be offered as standard. As most long-wheelbase Range Rovers will be chauffeured, we'd imagine that this this box will be ticked in a good percentage of long-wheelbase orders.
The stretched wheelbase is solely for the benefit of rear seat passengers, though cargo space grows a bit too.
Land Rover has also simultaneously rolled out the Autobiography Black trim for the Range Rover, which on this side of the pond will be available only in the long-wheelbase Range Rover.
"The Range Rover Autobiography Black is our most luxurious specification yet. It epitomises sophisticated design with immaculate attention to detail. The subtle, elegant and luxurious finishing touches combine with a first class experience for both driver and passengers to deliver new levels of exclusivity to our customers," said Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director.
Autobiography Black trim level will be coupled exclusively with the long-wheelbase bodystyle in the U.S. market 2014 Range Rover.
The Autobiography Black will be set apart by unique grille and side vents, along with different tail lights and auxiliary vents. Two special seven-spoke 21-inch and 22-inch wheel designs will be offered, featuring a high gloss polished finish. Executive Class seats will come standard in Autobiography Black, and will include a redesigned center console along with 10.2 inch rear screens fitted to the rear of the front seats, along with a Meridian Audio system. Autobiography Black will feature a center console with USB charging ports and electrically folding leather-covered tray tables, as well as swank new massage seats which will be able to recline up to 17 degrees. A chiller compartment will also come standard in Autobiography Black trim.
The long-wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography Black is expected to start at $185,000 -- out of range of the standard Mercedes-Benz S-class and BMW 7-series, but just in the neighborhood of where the upcoming extra-long-wheelbase S-class is expected to retail. Call it a preemptive strike.
About the LA Auto Show
The Los Angeles Auto Show has long served as a spotlight for "green" cars, and a popular place to unveil new hybrid and electric vehicles. We'll have photos, video and complete coverage of all the manufacturer reveals and top news from this year's LA Auto Show right here, so check back often.
By Jay Ramey