Facelifted Rangie is better than ever
To pin the transformation of Jaguar Land Rover from a struggling car manufacturer to a successful one, one need not look further than the Range Rover (RR). Even though the latest generation RR was launched after its small sibling, the Evoque, it was the big success of the flagship vehicle that really cemented the turnaround as sales rose from a dismal 20,000 units onwards the end of the first decade of the 21st century to nearly three times that number, a couple of years back.
However, while the RR has had a comfortable niche at the top of the luxury SUV pile for a long time, the emergence of SUVs as the high growth segment has prompted luxury and super car manufacturers to take a closer look at the segment and push the envelope further to develop and launch their own super luxury SUVs. This has enticed Land Rover to not only give the RR a mid-life facelift, add a long wheelbase version across all variants to take on the rear seat comfort of the luxury sedans and launch a plug-in hybrid electric variant to the range.
The changes on the outside of the facelifted car are minimal with the new car get-
ting narrower headlamps, a revised graphic for the side vent and door sill plates that are larger and look classy. One can now choose a theme for all the outside graphics to reflect the same theme, like satin or Atlas Accent and one of two deign packs. The front grilles are also different and their final design depends on the variant one opts for. One can also choose from four lighting options with the standard featuring 24 LEDs, the Matrix with 52 LEDs, Pixel with 142 LEDs and the Pixel with pixel-laser high beam featuring 144 LEDs and four laser diodes. In the top variant the high beam throws a constant beam 500m ahead to provide best visibility, the company claims. The SUV is available in both long and short wheelbase versions with the LWB version having a wheelbase longer by 198mm and being longer by 200mm. The top of the line versions also get a redesigned rear bumper. There are also six new alloy wheel options as well as two new colours.
It is in the interiors that the story unfolds differently where a majority of the changes have taken place. The entire cabin has been redone but the most noticeable change is on the dashboard that gets a makeover with the classy new Touch Pro Duo infotainment cluster now being carried over from the smaller sibling, the Velar. The seats are all new as well with wider bases, up
to 24-way adjustments, reclining rear seats and an intelligent seat cargo mode. Even the glass used on the new RR is 20 per cent thicker to insulate the occupants even more. Rear executive seats feature 25 massage settings and a 40 degree recline. On the LWB variants, the rear passenger side seat can transform into a diwan at the touch of a button, similar to luxury saloons like the S-class, 7-series and the A8. The cabin gets 17 connection points for a wide variety of devices.
And that is not all. Range Rover has added a slew of new convenience features as well including blinds that are operated by a gesture, an air quality system that cleans incoming air into the cabin by spraying it with nano-sized particles of water and a 10-colour varying intensity ambient lighting system.
Along with the mid-life facelift, JLR has also introduced the first of its Range Rover hybrids as sales of diesel engine cars come under increasing pressure and the British company also starts to feel the pinch as a major part of its portfolio has been traditionally diesel. For the PHEV powertrain the company has mated its 2-litre 4-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine tuned to an astonishing 300bhp of max power to an 85kW electric motor that is powered by a
THE NEW SUV HAS NARROWER HEADLAMPS,
A REVISED GRAPHIC FOR THE SIDE VENT AND DOOR SILL PLATES THAT ARE LARGER AND CLASSY
13.1kWh lithium-ion battery. The petrol engine is in a high state of tune and this gives the system a combined 404bhp of max power and 640Nm of torque, that makes this Range Rover quite exciting to drive on one hand and totally silent on the other with 51km of pure electric range. Of course, there are no plans to launch this version in India given the current government policies.
The new Range Rover is already available in India with engines ranging from 3-litre petrol and diesel engines as well as a 4.4-litre V8 diesel and 5-litre supercharged petrols (in long and short wheelbase options) in a wide range of variants.
As for the drive, the Range Rover only seems to get better. Since the only new powertrain was the hybrid one, that’s the one we chose to drive. Comfort definitely has been taken to the next level in the Range Rover and in the electric mode the vehicle is so quiet that it makes you want to pinch yourself. Of course the engineers have provided for a warning system for the pedestrians.
The company claims that the all-terrain capability of the vehicle has been enhanced and we took it up slushy hillsides and through rivers and despite having tyres for regular road use, it was highly capable to take on the challenge. The executive rear seats are great and the recline functionality is the best we have come across till date, with plenty of space, best in class massage functions and the feel of gliding on air.
Dislikes Connectivity, infotainment, ride quality and all round capability Hand me down features from the Velar. PHEV version not available in India
For the PHEV powertrain the company has mated its 2-litre 4-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine to an 85kW electric motor
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1&2. The 12.3-inch display projects a vast amount of driving information and active safety data including navigation, phone and media 3. The PHEV RR has a 51km of range The dash is cleaner, with crisper lines and fewer dials and flaunts the Touch Pro Duo Touchscreens and Interactive Driver Display
1&2. The rear Executive
Class seats come with a power deployable centre console with premium veneer finish and clever stowage 3&4. Customised seats come with 25 massage settings 5. Rear seats can be reclined up to 40 degrees