Range Rover

Facelifted Rangie is bet­ter than ever

Auto Today - - Dashboard - Edi­tor

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.

Likes

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

Mercedes May­bach 650 EN­GINE TORQUE POWER PRICE 6.0-litre 1,000Nm 621bhp

2.70 crore

Bent­ley Ben­tayga W12 EN­GINE TORQUE POWER PRICE 6.0-litre 900Nm 600bhp 3.60 crore

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

Yo­gen­dra Pratap yo­gen­dra.pratap@in­to­day.com @Yo­genPratap

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