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Land Rover unveiled the next-generation Range Rover today, and it’s a study in smooth-edged minimalism. Maybe that’s no surprise; as has been the case in each of its previous four iterations, the new styling is less “breakthrough” and more of a cautious evolution—you might even say it resembles the clay model for the previous generation Range Rover. However, compared to that vehicle, the new one seems to have fewer gaps, protrusions, and harsh angles for a more fluid design overall.
Despite Rover using the slightly hackneyed “as if chiseled from a single block of material” marketing speak, the phrase holds here. The new Range Rover manages the difficult contradiction of looking downright futuristic yet still unmistakably like a Range Rover—all of that while accomplishing the unwritten and more arduous task of looking more monied than the previous one.
So, bravo there. There’s a bit of mass behind the rear wheel well, but that’s picking nits—the long-wheelbase model does a better job of hiding it, simply because of the longer midsection, relatively speaking. The taillights are the most daring bit of design and the most winning; thin vertical crescents that don’t wrap over to the side of the car, evoking early Defenders in their execution but signaling cha-ching to onlookers at the same time.
Inside, the name of the game is spartan luxury. Without the presence of zillions of outward-facing gadgets, you rely on things like high-pile carpeting, speakers in the headrests, and the haptic feedback of the 13-inch curved infotainment display to perceive comfort instead of sterility. In addition, there are new high-end fabric choices on the seats to be had instead of leather, including “textile that combines Ultrafabrics and Kvadrat wool-blend.”
The design is immaculate, and for the most part, devoid of extraneous knobs and controls. For a technologically sophisticated car, though, this means that those traditional knobs and switches are relocated inside the touch-sensitive user interface. Stay tuned to find out how well it all works. Land Rover says its engineers have strived to reduce the “cognitive load” on the driver. Oh—we’ll take the previous steering wheel instead of the new two-spoke design, please.
Under the hood, a 523-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 replaces the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 in the previous Range Rover. In some cases, this translates to a five-horsepower gain; in others, a 34-horsepower loss. Buyers will still be able to opt for a mild-hybrid setup that features a turbocharged inline-6; that powertrain sees a 40-horsepower bump from 355 to 395. The platform will also support future powertrain architectures, including a 434-horsepower mild hybrid in 2023 (versus 395 previously) that supports 62 miles of electric driving and a battery-electric version in 2024.
Despite the deeper drive into svelte design lines and interior luxuries, the new Range Rover shouldn’t be any less capable than the previous model. A fully independent air suspension features twin-valve dampers, and the new SUV sports a Range Rover-first 5-link rear suspension that is said to isolate the cabin better than before. An active electronic roll control system generates more than 1,000 pound-feet of torque to keep body movements under control. In 2022, a standard all-wheel steering system makes its debut, offering 7 degrees of steering angle on the rear axle to allow for a turning circle of just 36 feet and more confidence in lane changes.
Meanwhile, a sea of electronic acronyms translates that capability off the road. The drivetrain continuously varies torque from front to rear as needed, as well as across the rear axle. Also, there’s an active locking rear differential for when the going gets tough. As before, Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system offers multiple driving modes specifically catered to optimize traction in varying conditions.
The plan is to sell the new 2022 Range Rover concurrently with the outgoing 2022 Range Rover already on sale. For 2022 the new Range Rover will be offered in SE, Autobiography and First Edition trims, each of which can be had in either standard-wheelbase (SWB) or long-wheelbase (LWB). First Edition models are based on the Autobiography trim and can be had in a unique “Sunset Gold Satin” finish. Beyond that, four, five, and seven-seat configurations are available (the latter in the LWB). Like before, you probably won’t find yourself wishing for a configuration that doesn’t exist.
SE Models with the mild-hybrid turbocharged inline-six start at $105,350, including the $1350 destination fee; the LWB (long-wheelbase, seven-passenger version) starts at $111,350. Upgrading the SE with the 523-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 will set you back $120,050 and $126,050, respectively.
The Range Rover Autobiography with the twin-turbo V8 starts at $153,350, increasing to $155,350 for the LWB seven-passenger model; the LWB, two-row “executive seating” model is $157,350.
2022 First Edition Land Rovers start at $159,550 and $164,850 for the LWB version.
Top-tier SV models will arrive in 2023 and take the luxury further, with things like 24-way adjustable seats with massage function and a “club table” that rises “theatrically” to provide a workspace. Uniquely, they’ll be offered in a 5-passenger LWB format and offer exclusive materials like plated metals, ceramics, mosaic marquetry and near-aniline leather.
The ordering books are open, and deliveries begin in the spring of next year.