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Land Rover working on ‘Road Rover’ model: report

Superstylin: A rumoured Road Rover model from Land Rover is said to borrow its styling cues from the just-launched Range Rover Velar (pictured).

New-gen Jaguar XJ to allegedly share development with new Road Rover model

Land Rover logo27 Sep 2017

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) is reportedly plotting a high-end, electrified luxury passenger model, dubbed Road Rover, to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

According to UK publication Autocar, Land Rover will build its new model line on the same lightweight aluminium platform as the next-generation Jaguar XJ large luxury limo – both expected to launch around the turn of the decade.

Styling is said to borrow heavily from the recently-launched Range Rover Velar and its sleek aesthetic, while initial body styles will likely be a sedan or high-riding wagon.

To set the so-called Road Rover apart from its more off-road-focused Land Rover siblings, the new model is set to be “tuned for impressive on-road dynamic performance, taking advantage of the potential delivered by electric motors”, according to the report.

However, the Road Rover will likely retain at least some off-road capability and ruggedness given its Land Rover heritage.

Speaking to GoAuto at the recent Australian launch of the Range Rover Velar, JLR Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner said all Land Rover models will continue to offer the brand’s signature go-anywhere ability, despite the imminent electrification of the line-up.

“Everything that Land Rover stands for is about capability and this can’t change,” he said. “As (battery) technology continues to improve … based on the degree of development, range should continually improve.”

Although powertrain details for the rumoured model are yet to be revealed, the Road Rover is expected to have a 480km driving range and accelerate from zero to 100km/h in about 5.0 seconds to compete directly with upcoming production electric vehicles (EVs) from Porsche and Audi.

Battery technology could be lifted from the incoming Jaguar i-Pace, which sports a combined output of 294kW/700Nm for a 0-100km/h time of around 4.0s and a driving range in excess of 500km.

Autocar also cites California and China as the primary target market for the JLR’s mooted EV, but the Road Rover would also likely be offered with internal combustion powertrains for markets such as Australia where electrification has yet to hit critical mass.

A new electrified model such as the Road Rover would keep JLR in line with its promise to offer all new models from 2020 with electrified powertrains, either mild-hybrid, full-hybrid or pure-electric systems.

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