LAND Rover released full technical details and Australian pricing for its greener new Range Rover flagship overnight ahead its world public debut at the Paris motor show on September 27.
The first all-new Range Rover in more than a decade is a ground-up redesign, featuring a world first all-aluminium SUV platform, an army of new technologies and a new engine line-up headlined by a frugal diesel-electric hybrid with the efficiency of a small car.
But all these advancements will come at a cost when the car hits Australian showrooms from January, with the price of entry a considerable $8900 higher than the previous model.
The company’s Australian arm has announced a starting price of $168,900 plus on-road costs for the TDV6 HSE, which will replace the $160,000 4.4-litre TDV8 at the bottom of the range.
Power for this variant comes from a new 190kW/600Nm 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine – a first for the brand – that pumps out less power than the outgoing V8 oil-burner but consumes a remarkable 22 per cent less fuel.
This drop can be partly attributed to unprecedented weight savings over the old model, along with idle-stop and a revised ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
Land Rover claims the new base V6 variant is 420kg lighter overall than the previous entry-level V8, while the rest of the range is on average 350kg lighter than before.
The mammoth weight saving is partly a result of the all-aluminium body structure that is 39 per cent (or 180kg) that its steel predecessor alone, and lighter than that of a BMW 3 Series.
The entire underside is made from a single piece of pressed aluminium, claimed to be the largest automotive panel in the world.
The V6 powertrain also powers the better-specified TDV6 Vogue ($178,900), with both variants clocking zero to 100km/h times of 7.9 seconds and claimed fuel consumption of just 7.5 litres per 100km.
An 85-litre fuel tank provides a theoretical driving range of 1150km.
Higher-specified variants continue to be powered by 4.4-litre turbo diesel V8 engine, now producing 250kW (up nine per cent) and 700Nm, matched to the same eight-speed automatic as the V6.
The re-worked engine gets a new intake system with twin intercoolers, cast alloy engine mounts (replacing the old iron ones) and a redesigned sump, saving 10kg.
The TDV8 variants open at $195,100 in Vogue trim level and increase to $217,100 for the Vogue SE trim and $232,800 for the flagship Autobiography.
Land Rover claims 0-100km/h times of 6.9 seconds for all three – a full second faster than before – while offering combined fuel consumption of just 8.7L/100km (down from 9.4L/100km).
Combined with a larger 105-litre fuel tank, the TDV8 can in theory travel 1215km before refuelling.
As before, flagship Range Rover variants ($224,400 Vogue SE and $240,100 Autobiography) are powered by a Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine.
This engine produces a beefy 375kW and 625Nm and, thanks to the big weight savings, hustles both variants from 0-100km/h in just 5.1 seconds (down eight-tenths). Fuel consumption is listed as 13.9L/100km – a seven per cent cut.
Joining these three engines by the end of 2013 will be the all-new diesel-electric hybrid powertrain that combines the 3.0-litre V6 engine from the base variants with a 1.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 50kW electric motor.
Land Rover claims the 250kW drivetrain will be capable of returning economy figures of 6.3L/100km and 169 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
All variants get Brembo brakes with six-pot callipers and 380mm front discs, a fuel-saving new electric power steering system and a 3500kg braked towing capacity.
The company claims the new generation model will retain the same levels of off-road ability as its accomplished predecessor, thanks to redesigned air suspension and a revised Terrain Response system with five settings to tackle mud, sand or rock-hopping.
The clean-sheet independent suspension redesign features heavy use of aluminium and offers class-leading wheel travel (260mm front and 310mm rear) and an extra 17mm of ground clearance (up to 303mm) giving the car a wading depth of up to 900mm (up 200mm).
The permanent four-wheel drive system, which splits engine torque 50:50 between the front and rear and offers a low-range setting, carries over from the old model.
The redesigned model measures 4999mm long, making it 27mm longer than the out-going model, while the wheelbase has been stretched by 40mm, freeing up an additional 120mm of rear legroom and 50mm more knee room.
The instrument fascia has been simplified, containing 50 per cent fewer switches than before and features a pair of touchscreen displays (a 12.3-inch unit for the main instruments and an 8.0-inch unit for infotainment).
GoAuto understands at least 25 Australians have already placed orders for the revolutionary new model that is expected to be more popular than its predecessor (which attracts about 15-20 buyers a month, almost all of which are diesels).
As we have reported, the new-generation Range Rover will be one of the stars of the Australian motor show in Sydney this October alongside the JLR Group’s yet-to-be-revealed Jaguar F-Type.