All new Range Rover drive in Morocco
The launch of Land Rover’s all-new Range Rover recently took place in Morocco, and we had an opportunity to test what the company calls “the world’s finest luxury SUV”.
Is it truly the world’s finest luxury SUV? Well, it is certainly incredibly impressive – plush, agile, lightning fast and surprisingly competent off road. If you’re looking for one SUV that can do it all, the Range Rover is it.
On the local market
South African buyers will be able to choose between a 4,4-litre V8 diesel derivative and a supercharged five-litre petrol model. The non-supercharged version of the petrol model will not be available on the local market. The oilburner generates 250 kW of power and 700 Nm of torque, while the supercharged petrol version delivers 375 kW of power and 625 Nm of torque.
Range Rovers, however, have always sported burly engines. What makes the latest Rangie so special is how it handles. Thanks to a world-first all-aluminium monocoque construction, as well as various other weight reductions, the SUV is 420kg lighter than its predecessor, which is obviously an important factor when it comes to handling and performance.
But that’s not the only trick that the new vehicle has up its sleeve. By dramatically reducing the amount of body lean during cornering, its Dynamic Response system transforms vehicle handling and occupant comfort. The latest two channel system is capable of controlling the front and rear axles independently, allowing it to be tuned to deliver increased low-speed agility, along with enhanced control and stability at speed.
The Adaptive Dynamics system, featuring continuously variable dampers, is a standard feature on all new Range Rovers, providing the optimum balance of ride and control by offering infinitely variable damper settings between soft and firm extremes.
The Adaptive Dynamics system monitors vehicle movements at least 500 times a second, reacting to driver or road inputs virtually instantaneously to give greater control and minimise body roll, providing a composed, flat ride. The system will even sense off-road conditions, and optimise damping accordingly.
Land Rover’s Terrain Response system is also back. It works pretty much as it always has, though it now has an “auto” setting. While you can still select the terrain you want, you can also let the system do its own thing, adapting as the terrain changes.
Inside, the Range Rover is as plush as ever. Every surface is covered in leather and soft-touch materials and, overall, finishes are top notch. Most noticeably, though, the interior is now simpler and more minimalist. Around 50% of the previous model’s switches have been removed, creating a cabin that is definitely more elegant.
The latest Range Rover is incredibly impressive. It manages to combine elegance and excellent on-road performance with good off-road ability, something that not many vehicles can do. What 4×4, after all, can do 250 km/h, yet still has low-range gearing and around 300mm of ground clearance. Not many.
The Range Rover will be available in South Africa early in 2013. Read more about our trip to Morocco and the Range Rover in the January issue of Leisure Wheels magazine.
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