The 2013 Range Rover debuted today along with the announcement of a diesel hybrid version to come later in 2013.
“This outstanding new Range Rover symbolises our commitment to investing in Britain and exporting around the world, delivering class-leading performance, agility, quality and luxury in a model that enjoys iconic status in almost every market,” Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth said.
Land Rover managed to shed approximately 700 lbs in the American spec V8 model. It achieved this by switching the vehicle to an aluminum monocoque body and by implementing a host of aluminum suspension components. Doing so made the new Range Rover the world’s first SUV to feature such a body. Aside from the suspension, Land Rover will also sell the car with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, ditching the previous six-speed model.
Furthermore, the car’s unibody is pressed as a single panel, reducing the number of joints and improving the vehicle’s structural integrity.
“Through a £370 million ($590 million) investment in our manufacturing facilities we have been able to build the world’s first SUV with lightweight all-aluminium construction, a car that is 20 percent lighter, with fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions reduced by 22 percent,” Speth said.
Apart from being the world’s first SUV with such a body, the car is also made of up to 75 percent recycled aluminum and uses high-strength AC300 aluminum within the crash structure – another automotive industry first.
Land Rover’s engineers also redesigned its four corner air suspension to improve both ride and handling. For example, the system will now be able to automatically adjust itself for appropriate suspension calibration depending on the car’s present environment.
Furthermore, the car also gains 4.7 inches of rear seat legroom and customers will be able to opt for rear bucket seats and a second center console. Design cues, both inside and out, come from the wildly popular Evoque. That’s evident in the car’s exterior styling, but also in the 12.3-inch LCD display seen in the main center console.
As for the diesel hybrid model, it won’t be hitting the U.S. market any time soon. Don’t look for it next week during the Range Rover’s American premier on September 13 either. That’s because the truck doesn’t meet emissions standards, and isn’t likely to until the European rules are tightened in 2015 when Land Rover will need to make those revisions anyway.
Still, it shouldn’t stop you from dreaming. The hybridized version is said to get 37 mpg on the U.S. cycle and uses the electric portion of its drivetrain like a supercharger under hard acceleration. That means it will sprint from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds, only half a second shorter than the 5.0-liter V8-equipped model. Land Rover says the SUV stays true to the gasoline version’s handling dynamics despite carrying around heavy hybrid luggage.
GALLERY: 2013 Range Rover