Land Rover has made a grand proclamation. It asserts that the new Range Rover is the most luxurious, capable car ever.
Of course, many will then harp on about budgets, reliability, and "capable" being a broad word, but you should care not for their ramblings, because the Range Rover is one of the best cars ever to roll upon this earth. End of story.
You see, at its formal unveiling in London, Gerry McGovern, its designer, made a bold claim: it has to be suitable for the opera or the outback. This means that in theory you can drive your Range from the Royal Albert Hall to the Sahara, and it'll fit in all the way there. While the car's dealing with nasty rutted London streets, smooth continental roads, or, you know, a desert, you'll be sat in perfect luxury.
The new Range Rover is a perfect mix of technology, elegance, style, and engineering.
Its body is made of aluminum, which means it's much, much lighter than the outgoing model. So much lighter that not only does it use less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide, but it also takes advantage of its power much, much better.
The 5.0-litre supercharged car we drove hits 62 mph from rest in just 5.1 seconds, and it'll go on to a limited 140 mph. However, I heard through the grapevine that it's been tested at 180 mph. So not only can it tackle the desert, but it'll also rival sports cars for straight line speed.
It won't take a Cayman on a twisty track, mind you. Caymans, however, are a damn sight more noisy than the new Range. A ride in the Range is a surprisingly sleepy affair for passengers, it's so very quiet. The Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost were its benchmarks, and they're whisper quiet at speed.
So it's fast, quiet, and makes road, desert, and mountains alike a breeze to tackle. What are its downsides?
Well, the supercharged V8 we drove is nearly £100,000 ($152,590 U.S.). That's...lots of money. Also, it's a small one but, I hate where Land Rover's designers have put the window buttons. Why not pop them on the remarkably clutter-free center console? They look unsightly where they are. To me, anyway.
Land Rover has done an incredible job with the new Range. Its capability has been emulated by many manufacturers over, but never successfully copied. There's a reason for that -- the Range Rover sets trends, rather than cherry picks from them. It oozes a style that a Mercedes ML and its ilk simply can't.
It's a Range Rover, the most capable car on the planet.
|Engine||5.0-litre supercharged V8|
|Torque||461 lb. ft.|
|0-62 mph||5.1 seconds|
|Top speed||140 mph (limited)|