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Car reviews - Land Rover - Range Rover - Vogue/Sport wagons

Launch Story

Land Rover logo15 May 2007

By MARTON PETTENDY

LAND ROVER has slammed down its Range Rover trumpcard: a bristling new twin-turbo diesel V8 with which it hopes to mix it with the most exclusive oil-burners in luxury SUV land.

Launched in Australia last week as part of a model year 2007 upgrade for both its five-year-old Range Rover Vogue flagship and the more recent Discovery3-based Range Rover Sport, the TDV8 variants pack a new 3.6-litre 32-valve twin-turbocharged diesel V8 that dispenses no less than 200kW at 4000rpm and a bullocking 640Nm of torque from 2000rpm.

It will power the new entry-level variant in the Range Rover Vogue range, priced under $141,000, while the same engine costs significantly less in the Rangie Sport, in which it carries the same sub-$108,000 pricetag as the petrol V8.

Other than its graphite/iron cylinder-block material and its diet of distillate, the all-new 90-degree compression-ignition eight shares nothing with the (60-degree) 140kW/440Nm 2.7-litre single-turbo diesel V6 that was co-developed by Jaguar and PSA Peugeot-Citroen, and which powers the Discovery and the body-on-chassis Range Rover Sport.

In what it describes as a demonstration of the faith parent company Ford has in its SUV subsidiary, Land Rover insists the TDV8 was designed in-house for exclusive use in its two misleadingly titled Range Rover models.

Expected to attract 55 per cent of Vogue sales and smaller in capacity than the (240kW/760Nm) 4.1-litre diesel V8 that powers Audi’s upcoming Q7 4.2 TDI (which is expected to cost $123,990), Land Rover’s TDV8 nonetheless features twin electronically variable turbochargers and an oil circulation system that ensures top-end lubrication whatever the vehicle’s angle.

In the BMW-developed, monocoque-framed Range Rover Vogue, which receives the lion’s share of MY2007 updates, the TDV8 replaces the underperforming (both on the road and in showrooms) BMW-sourced 130kW/390Nm 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel, known as the TD6, which has powered the third-generation Rangie since its local launch in August 2002.

It’s mated to a six-speed ZF adaptive automatic transmission with manual-shift mode and a 12 per cent-lower first gear ratio.

Priced at $140,900, and $165,900 in more highly specified "Luxury" guise, the TDV8 twins join the popular "Supercharged" flagship, which remains powered by a 291kW/560Nm 4.2-litre blown V8) in an abbreviated 2007 Range Rover Vogue line-up.

While the latter’s price rises a substantial $12,000 to $185,900, the superseded entry-level Vogue TD6 ($131,900) and mod-range Vogue V8 ($141,900), which was upgraded only last year with a Jaguar-based 4.4-litre V8 to replace the similar-capacity BMW V8, have been discontinued.

"We took the decision to walk away from the naturally aspirated V8," said Land Rover Australia general manager Roger Jory.

In what it hopes will "reinforce Range Rover’s position as the world’s most complete SUV", Land Rover says that compared to the TD6 it replaces, the Vogue produces 54 per cent more power and 64 per cent more torque (with more torque on tap from 1250rpm), making it the most powerful diesel Rangie ever.

The 2717kg Vogue TDV8 sprints to 100km/h in 9.2 seconds – 32 per cent or almost four seconds quicker than the TD6 – but returns the same frugal 11.3L/100km combined average fuel consumption figure, produces 299g/km of CO2 emissions and now boasts a 200km/h top speed.

All MY2007 Vogues also score a subtly revised grille ("satin chrome" on TDV8 variants), a cabin that’s said to be 75 per cent quieter thanks in part to an acoustic laminated windscreen and, in what Land Rover says improves their ability both on road and off, revised-specification suspension and brakes and the addition of the widely acclaimed five-mode Terrain Response system (and its electronic centre differential) from Discovery and Rangie Sport.

Borrowed from the top-shelf Range Rover Vogue Supercharged, four-piston Brembo front brake callipers are standard on the Vogue TDV8.

Same goes for suspension, which features stiffer anti-roll bars and air springs to reduce bodyroll by a claimed 50 per cent.

Inside, all Vogues also gain an electric parking brake, silver highlights, better integrated door skins, door "uplighters", heated front seats, upper and lower gloveboxes offering total storage space of six litres, quieter and 26 per cent more powerful rear air-vents, a digital and analogue-capable TV, upgraded airbags including (seat-mounted) front side airbags and a driver’s knee airbag, bringing its total to nine. All Vogues also offer a standard rear view camera and a unique deployable side steps are now a $2349 option.

The Vogue TDV8 Luxury adds, as standard: a heated multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel, Oxford leather trim, heated rear seats, ventilated/cooled front seats, a ski bag, the novel Land Rover Venture Cam, an auto-dimming door mirror, adaptive bi-Xenon headlights, a 14-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system and a rear seat entertainment system.

The Supercharged adds a diamond mesh grille and side vents and an electronic rear differential. It continues to sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 210km/h, while consuming an average of 16.0L/100km and producing 376g/km of CO2.

The same new TDV8 engine is additional to the smaller and more popular Range Rover Sport model’s line-up, which opens with the $87,900 TDV6. Compared with the entry-level Sport, the 2675kg TDV8 ($107,900) offers 42 per cent more power and 45 per cent more torque.

It sprints to 100km/h in a claimed 9.2 seconds (versus 12.7 for the TDV6), while the identically priced (220kW/425Nm) Sport V8 completes the dash in 8.9 seconds and the Sport V8 Supercharged does it in 7.6 seconds. It delivers the same 209km/h top speed as the petrol V8 (compared with 193 for the TDV6 and 225 for the Supercharged).

The Range Rover Sport TDV8 returns combined average fuel consumption of 11.1L/100km (versus 10.0 for the TDV6, 14.9 for the petrol V8 and 15.9 for the Supercharged), as well as 295g/100km of CO2 emissions (versus 265 for the TDV6, 352 for the V8 and 374 for the SV8).

Land Rover says the Sport TDV8 comes with specific Terrain Response tuning, specific throttle pedal mapping and standard Brembo front brakes like the Supercharged.

While the TDV6 accounts for 60 per cent of the 100 or so Sport sales per month, the TDV8 variant is forecast to attract up to half of all V8 Sport buyers, who currently favour the premium Supercharged variant.

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