The 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Takes a Giant Leap

A strange thing happened several times as we piloted the new Land Rover Range Rover on a fine selection of winding two-lane roads that wind through Northern California’s wine country and along its scenic Pacific Coast . We don’t know why, but when we invariably ran into a slower vehicle, they quickly found a fork and swerved around a few corners. It never happens.

It’s not like we were tailgating or flashing our headlights, and our SUV wasn’t painted black and white with a light bar on top. Sure, the new Range Rover is easy to hustle at a good pace and there was some closing rate involved, but in our experience the usual reaction is to blatantly ignore the wishes of those behind and stay put until they are good and ready. – especially if they retain only one vehicle.

Maybe the new Range Rover looks impressive in a rear-view mirror, and they wanted to take a look. That’s certainly the case when parked, as there’s a simple elegance to the new Range Rover’s flowing form that stands in direct contrast to some of the fanciest new vehicles of recent times. Its proportions and roofline are unmistakably Range Rover, but there’s a precision in the execution that makes it feel like a design study brought to life. Soft lines flow down its sides, barely interrupted by gentle curves and subtle creases.

It’s a design that demands precision construction, so considerable effort has gone into tightening flush tolerances and reducing gaps between panels. Our favorite detail might just be the way the sides of the body roll at 90 degrees to meet the side glass with no bevels, creases or moldings. We also like how the taillights appear to be black accents until they’re illuminated, at which point they reveal themselves for what they are. The overall shape is as pleasing to the eye as it is to look at, with a remarkable drag coefficient (for an SUV) of 0.30.

The standard (SWB) and long-body (LWB) versions saw their wheelbases lengthened by approximately three inches: from 115.0 to 118.0 inches in the case of the first and from 122.9 to 125.9 for the second. The result is a welcome 1.1 inches of rear legroom increase for the SWB (1.2 inches for the LWB) and an additional six cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. Importantly, the stretched LWB now allows Land Rover to offer three-row seating for the first time. The proportions remain familiar, however, as tidier overhangs limit the increase in overall length to just 2.0 inches, and larger 32-inch tires nicely fill out the slightly enlarged fender openings.

Underneath, the rear suspension has changed from a “full-link” multi-link with a complex lower link to a true five-link setup. The benefits are twofold and significant. The setup makes rear-wheel steering possible, and this new feature (which is standard) reduces the turning radius by about five feet despite the extended wheelbases. A new long-body Rover can snag a U-turn in just 37.9 feet, a maneuver that required 42.8 feet in the outgoing LWB machine and 40.5 in the older SWB model. A new Range Rover SWB can do the trick in just 35.9 feet, which is just 1.5 feet from a two-door Jeep Wrangler.

The new multilink configuration also consumes less interior packing space where the links attach, a crucial attribute that allows for the mounting of a transverse electric motor in a fully battery-electric (BEV) version. The longer wheelbase also comes into play along with the all-important underfloor battery size, but those details won’t be revealed until later. We know a bit more about how this affects the soon-to-be-released plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, which features a significantly enlarged 31.8 kWh battery that will deliver an expected EPA range of 48 miles instead of the output . one is almost useless 19 miles.

Until these plug-ins arrive, two gasoline engines are available. The P400 is a supercharged and turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, which carries over from last year. As before, it develops 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The combination moves smart and smooth, even motivating the seven-passenger long-wheelbase SE. Land Rover claims the LWB will hit 60mph in 5.8 seconds, which is faster than the previous SWB model. Additionally, EPA-estimated fuel economy increased from 20 to 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway) thanks to a 3 mpg increase in highway fuel economy that owes a lot to aerodynamics. slippery.

The P530 twin-turbo V-8 is a new offering, designed and built by BMW to Land Rover specifications. It develops 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and delivers its smooth thrust through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Land Rover says it’s good for a 4.4 second 60 mph time and 8200 pounds of towing capacity. The P530 emits a refined growl when you stand on it, then fades appropriately into the background as you reach cruising speed. Range Rover service changes include a taller intake tract that allows for a wading depth of 35.4 inches and a reworked sump that won’t starve the engine of oil at extreme off-road driving angles forward, backward or sideways.

The two winding lanes of Northern California are always reshaped by the movement of the earth, and the Range Rover handled them admirably. In Comfort mode, the short-wheelbase model’s air springs tended to float, but in an intentional, stately Range Rover way that could be firmed up by setting the Bilstein adaptive dampers in Dynamic mode. Either way, body movements are much more controlled than before, especially in body roll, where a new, faster-acting active anti-roll bar system can deliver torque feedback to flatten curves. , then go appropriately on the wavy straights to combat headbutts. Notably, the long-wheelbase seven-seater tended to be a bit less dynamic, perhaps due to differences in rear suspension tuning needed to accommodate seven occupants.

Inside, the accommodations are as stylish as the outward appearance, with simple controls and handsome appointments. The Achilles’ heel may have been the infotainment system, but that may be a case of guilt by association because the menu flow resembles previous versions that we don’t care much about. To be fair, the camera functions and views we access through the touchscreen were done straight away, but it will take some additional interaction and a degree of familiarity to get a better sense of its usability. We tried the third-row seat, and it’s easy to get to with a forward-leaning second row that moves around so you can hold plenty of forward-facing child seats or boosters in place. before. Once inside, headroom is restricted if you’re six feet tall, but you’ll find cupholders, USB-C ports, air vents and heated seats. Land Rover did this part well.

For 2023, the SE is the entry-level model, although it hardly feels naked. A five-seat P400 SE SWB costs $102,350, with the long-wheelbase three-row with the same engine going for $108,350. Upgrading to a P530 V-8 in either costs $17,700. And while we don’t know much about driving the P440e plug-in hybrid, we do know it’ll be a five-seater SE starting at a relatively reasonable $106,250. Meanwhile, the V-8 is standard in all three Autobiography models that span the mid-to-high $150,000 range. Above that, the First Edition executive four-seater fits in, and if you want the ultimate chauffeur-driven limo experience, you peg a barrel of a base price of $212,550 for a four-seater SV at long wheelbase.

But this vehicle is not the one that impresses us the most. The brilliance and style of the new Range Rover is apparent even at SE level with the base P400 powertrain. That’s what really pushes the Range Rover up the list of considerations, along with the new three-row layout and useful chassis changes that not only make it more livable on a day-to-day basis, but also set the stage for models relevant plug-ins in the very near future. . Move aside, Range Rover is coming.

Features

Features

Land Rover Range Rover 2023
Vehicle type: front engine, all wheel drive, 4, 5 or 7 passengers, 4 door station wagon

THE PRICE
Base: P400 SE, $102,350; P440e SE, $106,250; P530SE, $120,050; Autobiography, $153,800; First edition, $160,000; SV, $188,200

POWERTRAIN
supercharged, turbocharged and intercooled 24-valve DOHC 3.0-liter inline-6, 395 hp, 406 lb-ft; 3.0-liter DOHC inline-6, supercharged, turbocharged and intercooled, 24 valves, 395 hp, 406 lb-ft + AC motor, 141 hp (combined power: 434 hp, 457 lb-ft; lithium- 31.8 kWh ion; 7.2 kW on-board charger; 4.4-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 twin-turbocharged and intercooled engine, 523 hp, 553 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 118.0 to 125.9 inches
Length: 198.9–206.8 inches
Width: 80.6″
Height: 73.6″
Passenger volume: 109 to 141 feet3
Cargo volume: 9 to 41 feet3
Unloaded weight (CD east): 5500–6100 lbs.

PERFORMANCE (CD IS)
100 km/h: 4.2 to 5.8 s
100 mph: 10.5 – 15.0 sec
1/4 mile: 12.7 to 14.5 s
Maximum speed: 140 to 155 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY (CD IS)
Combined/City/Highway: 18–21/16–18/21–26 mpg
Combined petrol + electric: 50 MPGe
EV Range: 48 mi


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