The Range Rover

Friday - - Leisure -

The Range Rover is prob­a­bly the only other car that af­fords the same sense of supremacy, but it’s a dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent of­fer­ing com­pared to the G-Wa­gen’s lad­der frame and solid axle chas­sis. It is a rad­i­cal de­par­ture from its own pre­de­ces­sors. Land Rover was able to shed hun­dreds of kilo­grams from its fourth-gen­er­a­tion Range Rover, which is the world’s first SUV with an all-alu­minium uni­body. Apart from bet­ter fuel econ­omy, a lighter car should mean sharper han­dling and a quicker 0-100kph sprint.

Hop­ping into the new Rangey, one can ab­so­lutely feel the dif­fer­ence. It isn’t just lighter, but stiffer too, which adds to the joy of blast­ing the boxy icon around any sur­face. And when it’s not dis­patch­ing chal­leng­ing ter­rain, it’s dis­patch­ing those too im­por­tant to travel by reg­u­lar means, at a swanky part of town. No won­der the Mid­dle East loves the Range Rover and has adopted it as its own. The three things you see when you step off the plane in the re­gion are sun, sand and white Range Rovers.

Al­though not to the ex­tent of the G-Wa­gen, the Range Rover has also re­tained all the el­e­ments that made it a leg­end; the com­mand­ing driv­ing po­si­tion, squared-off front cor­ners, clamshell bon­net and the fetch­ing side gills. How­ever, Gerry McGovern – de­sign di­rec­tor and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer – ob­vi­ously didn’t sharpen his pen­cil when he went to work on re­design­ing it be­cause in­stead of the hard edges we’ve grown to love, the new model is a touch softer. It doesn’t quite have the same im­pact as the pre­vi­ous model or the Merc; this looks a lot gen­tler.

But it’s still a beast – of that there is no doubt. Push the start but­ton and the largely un­changed su­per­charged 5.0-litre V8 wakes with a men­ac­ing growl. Floor the throt­tle and the re­ac­tion is in­cred­i­ble; the big Rangey pulls off the line with sheer vi­o­lence, its nose points up at the sky, the rear hun­kers down and 5.4 sec­onds later, you’re do­ing 100kph. It has torque to burn, or more specif­i­cally, 625Nm and from as low down as 2,500rpm. Keep your foot buried in the plush car­pet and you’ll hit a metaphor­i­cal 225kph wall.

The en­gine is shared with Jaguar, which ex­plains why it ex­plodes down the road like a sports sa­loon while the eight-speed au­to­matic shifts as smooth as silk. Nope, it won’t carve

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.