2011 Range Rover hands-on: 360-degree views from onboard cameras

The new Range Rover is epically pimped with onboard tech, including 360-degree external cameras, backseat entertainment system and dual screens up front

The Car Tech massive jetted off to Portugal this morning, not to taunt a disconsolate Cristiano Ronaldo for being dumped out of the World Cup (don't worry, we'll jeer if we see him), but to witness the launch of the brand-new 2011 Range Rover from Land Rover.

It doesn't look all that different to the previous model. A new grille, vents and wheels are the only major cosmetic enhancements, but it's a different story inside. That's putting it mildly -- some of the tech inside this thing damn near gave us a nerdgasm. Twice.

The coolest things we've played with so far are the onboard cameras, which provide 360-degree views of everything around the vehicle. It's like the reverse parking systems you get on most luxury cars, except they let you see and zoom in on absolutely everything -- the front, the sides, the blonde in the Mini behind you.

This new model also includes a rear-seat entertainment system, consisting of two TFT screens, two pairs of wireless headphones, and seats that recline electrically like those up front. Speaking of the front, there's plenty of fun to be had there too. The 2011 Range Rover packs the same dual-view screen as the Jaguar XJ , which shows two images simultaneously -- the sat-nav if you're sat in the driver's seat, and a DVD if you're in the passenger pew. It has to be seen to be believed.

Petrol-heads will be pleased to hear the car also has a brand-new diesel engine, which is both more powerful and more eco-friendly than the previous models. The 4.4-litre V8 produces 311bhp -- a 15 per cent improvement -- and 253g/km of co2, which isn't bad for such a brute of a car. Most impressive of all, perhaps, is the fact it's the first Range Rover to achieve 30mpg in the combined cycle. Prius , are you watching?

Right, that's enough from us for the moment, we're sat in our test car typing this at a set of traffic lights and the Portuguese cops are starting to look at us funny. We're off to rove a few ranges, but rest assured we'll follow this up with a full review in a matter of days.

Update: Our full review of the 2011 Range Rover is now live.
 

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