Despite a comprehensive upgrade late last year (including a full suite of new digital technologies) Land Rover has radical plans for the design of its next generation Range Rover flagship, due for release in 2012.
Next Rangey to get chopped roof
This fifth generation Range Rover, in its role as the definitive SUV, will pander to environmental concerns by trimming both mass and vehicle height.
Land Rover knows it needs to get its top-end SUV under the 200g/km carbon emissions threshold before the Rangey is simply emission taxed out of the market.
Gerry McGovern - Landy's design boss. He needs to keep the Range Rover's aristocratic DNA, yet make it environmentally friendly too. Tough job.
With the company already having access to a range of outstanding direct-injection engines, there’s precious little left to be gained from powertrain development. Land Rover has been left with no option but to trim down the Rangey’s mass in an attempt to improve efficiency and lower emissions.
Although detailing changes aren’t expected to render something starkly different from the current car’s classic styling, designers are dead keen to chop the roof. Land Rover’s debonair design boss Gerry McGovern will probably cue the low-roof LRX concept car as a clue as to what the new roof dimensions could represent.
The decrease in height should depreciate the luxury-liner cabin feel, yet reduce drag and improve efficiency too - which is the whole point.
The LRX concept car. Sleek. New Rangey could borrow roof architecture form this.
Getting closer to 2t reality
The other issue is cutting down the Range Rover’s mass – the current models weight 2.7t, as much as two family sedans.
Land Rover engineers are hoping to trim the big SUV by 450kg, thanks to composite body panels and a news riveted aluminium chassis, which mirrors construction techniques sister company Jaguar’s used on the new XJ.
Powering the next-generation Range Rover will be a 3l V6 turbodiesel sourced from the current XF/XJ range which should enable 7l/100km fuel economy. This six-cylinder engine will in all probability replace the V8 diesel option currently on offer.