Range Rover 3.0-litre TDV6 Autobiography28 | 10 | 2012Scotcars rating

    Land Rover unveils fourth generation of Range Rover striving to remain the best ... by far

    We at Scotcars pride ourselves in ensuring we're first with the latest motoring news written by Scots, for Scots. So we hope you enjoy Hugh Hunston's EXCLUSIVE roadtest and our videos of the all-new 2013 Range Rover

    THE ORIGINAL RANGE ROVER’S dramatic debut in 1970 was one of those defining moments when a genuine, mould-shattering automotive icon arrives, placing it on a par with the original VW Beetle and Mini, Jaguar’s E-Type plus Audi’s quattro.

    More than four decades later, the fourth generation of what was originally conceived as the ultimate refined country estate car for erstwhile, refined country folk takes its bow at the rarified peak of an increasingly cluttered SUV market (2013 Range Rover details revealed).

    Zero to 62mph in 7.9 seconds and 130mph maximum speed figures miss the point. This remains a car for all seasons and most reasons. Via the automatic terrain sensing response system and tutored by Scottish off-road guru Ronnie Dale, most mortals can take the newest Range Rover almost anywhere.

    Maintaining an unmistakeable bloodline, from its clamshell bonnet to the now electrically-operated split rear tailgate, Range Rover code-numbered 405 is slightly longer than its immediate predecessor at 196 inches, markedly roomier inside and — most significantly — substantially lighter.

    That weight saving is a colossal 420kgs, or equivalent to five people, and achieved through constructing Range Rover 4’s bodyshell out of aluminium, a proven approach taken by fellow brand Jaguar. Its core structure tips the scales at 29kgs less than BMW’s 3-Series.

    Multiple benefits include lower fuel consumption; reduced CO2 emissions, improved performance and refinement, plus markedly more nimble handling on Tarmac surfaces while not compromising signature Monarch of the Glen cross-country capabilities.

    As a result Range Rover, which arguably lacks direct SUV rivals, is going to be pitched against luxury high-performance saloons, like the Porsche Panamera, Bentley Silver Spur, Mercedes S Class and even Rolls Royce ghost.

    Watch our 2013 Range Rover Video Library:

    2013 Range Rover Driven in Morocco

    2013 Range Rover — Offroad and Handling

    2013 Range Rover Hybrid

    2013 Range Rover — Lightweight Aluminium Body Details

    2013 Range Rover — Rock Crawl

    That would be fanciful if the plutocratic wagon’s cabin had not been elevated. Wood veneer abounds, complemented by plush Bridge of Weir leather, and attention to ergonomic detail involves halving the amount of switchgear, a welcome move.

    The central console shares Jaguar’s Tardis-like rotating gear selector, while ride height and suspension terrain settings are clustered centrally together: the latter though are not well defined in bright sunshine.

    For the launch of Land Rover 'take four' there was plenty of solar glare, as the brand came full circle to launch its £71,295 to £98,395 line-up to the international media in Morocco. That was the setting in 1969 for rigorous rough terrain and high temperature testing of the first Land Rover.

    But a planned Arabian press appraisal at the original launch was cancelled when Lord Stokes advanced its market introduction, moving the venue to a Cornish tin mine, to fit a British Leyland launch schedule including the Triumph Stag’s unveiling.

    No corporate false start this time and the new 255 horsepower V6 turbo diesel variant provided an insight into Land Rover’s pragmatic lightweight engineering and design philosophy.

    The 3.0-litre oilburner has a theoretical combined fuel figure of 37.7mph and a 196g/km CO2 rating. Both are relevant in reducing the melting icebergs to Range Rover ratios, but also important in the targeted chauffeur drive market where tax calculations prevail.

    Roadtest: Range Rover Evoque

    The new Range Rover's 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and 130mph maximum speed figures miss the point. This remains a car for all seasons and most reasons. Via the automatic terrain sensing response system and tutored by Scottish off-road guru Ronnie Dale, most mortals can take the newest Range Rover almost anywhere.

    That included conquering beach dunes — which make Gullane’s finest resemble nursery sand pit specials — boulder-infested ravines and serious babbling brooks where it waded up to its oxsters at up to 900mm.

    But it impressed most on barely six-foot wide rural roads — with jagged edging, when the electronic suspension brain, allegedly processing 500 terrain inputs a minute, kept it on an even keel — and the Moroccan motorway where serene isolation prevailed at deceptively leisurely high speeds courtesy of acoustic glass and requisite air conditioning.

    For those wanting go-faster, if not further, variants there are tree stump extracting V8 diesel and 510hp supercharged V8 petrol models, which with myriad options take this genuinely all-road tour de force well above £100,000.

    Unquestionably and peerlessly, Range Rover continues its seemingly endless trajectory onwards and upwards.

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    Hugh Hunston

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £87,895 / £87,895
    Engine / Power: 2993cc V6 turbo diesel / 255bhp
    How fast?: 7.4secs / Max 130mph
    How big/heavy?: L2922mm W1983mm H1835mm / 2160kgs
    How thirsty/CO2?: 37.7mpg / 196g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: 46 / Band J £250
    Alternatives: Mercedes GL Class; Porsche Panamera; share of luxury yacht

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