BUYERS GUIDE - WAGONS LARGE
Although the Range Rover’s price tag limits the number of potential customers, the marque has continued to show the way to all other 4WD makers since its introduction in 1970. Sooner or later all 4WD designers adopt features initiated by Range Rover. While most of us can’t afford a new Rangie, the used market is well populated with pre-loved examples.
The current-shape, post-2013 Range Rover arrived just when some industry observers felt that the competition might be catching up with the Rangie’s traditional technology leadership.
However, the 4WD industry icon shifted the benchmark once more.
Its competitors might have copied Terrain Response in some form or other and adopted off-road compatible, variable-height, all-independent air suspension, but they then faced a new challenge: to match the latest Rangie’s all-aluminium monocoque body/chassis and lightweight suspension.
The post-2013 vehicle’s all-aluminium bodywork and lower-weight V6 engine option were said to reduce empty weight by up to a considerable 420kg.
Customers had a choice of two diesel engines: the Discovery 4’s 3.0-litre 190kW TDV6 and a revised 4.4-litre 250kW SDV8. For the ultimate in performance the 375kW 5.0-litre LR-V8 Supercharged carried over from the previous generation.
All engine options coupled to ZF’s eight-speed 8HP automatic transmission and drive through a two-speed transfer case , with a low-range reduction ratio of 2.93:1.
The previous model’s electronic traction, dynamic safety and stability aids continue in an enhanced form.
The post-2013 list looked like this: two-channel Dynamic Response active lean control, and Adaptive Dynamics with continuously variable damping; Electric Power Assisted Steering, which enables Park Assist – the latest automated technology to help drivers parallel park their cars in tight urban parking spots; Adaptive Cruise Control, with new Queue Assist feature which allows the system to continue functioning at low speeds and to a complete stop; Intelligent Emergency Braking (including Advanced Emergency Brake Assist), to help a driver avoid a collision if the traffic ahead slows quickly or another vehicle suddenly moves into the same lane; Blind Spot Monitoring, with new Closing Vehicle Sensing feature to detect vehicles that are closing quickly from a distance behind; Reverse Traffic Detection, to warn drivers of potential collisions during reversing manoeuvres; Adjustable Speed Limiter Device that enables drivers to set their personal maximum speed; Surround Camera System, with T-junction view, trailer reverse park guidance, and trailer hitch guidance.
Although the new Range Rover construction was revolutionary – the first all-aluminium 4WD – its appearance was traditional-modern, with design cues that clearly marked it as a Range Rover.
The interior had familair architecture, with high-set seats that gave a commanding view, but the finish was modern, with similarities to the Evoque. Wood and leather abounded, of course, with traditional-look stitching.
As with the Evoque, the ‘base’ model – a $168,000 ask in 2013 – was only the beginning: with options allowing buyers to individualise their own vehicles.
There were 17 interior colour themes, plus additional choice of seat colour; three interior veneers at launch, with more to follow; three headlining colours; rear Executive Class seating; 15 exterior paint finishes; black or silver contrasting roof colours; eight alloy wheel designs in 19-, 20-, 21- and 22-inch sizes; bright or dark exterior accents; full-size panoramic roof; illuminated tread plates and electrically-deployable side steps.
If all this sounds like the 2013 Rangie might be less off-road capable than its predecessors, the new body design allowed the engine air intake to be much higher and as a resut, the Range Rover’s wading depth increased to 900mm – the best in the business, outside pure military vehicles.
Also, Terrain Response 2 featured an Auto setting which analysed the current driving conditions and switched automatically between the five settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow; Mud/Ruts; Sand; and Rock Crawl. Like the previous Terrain Response systems, each setting optimised driveability and traction by adapting the responses of the car’s engine, gearbox, centre differential and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.
The new suspension system delivered class-leading wheel travel, with 260mm of movement at the front and 310mm at the rear – providing exceptional wheel articulation and composure to deal with the toughest conditions.
As on previous Range Rovers, the lightweight suspension employed four air springs that offered variable ride height, and were cross-linked for maximum axle articulation.
Another off-road improvement was the adoption of two ride heights (+40mm, +75mm) when the off-road setting was selected, rather than a single +55mm position. This change delivered a 20mm increase in maximum ground clearance at speeds below 50km/h, while the +40mm intermediate setting meant that the off-road mode remained available at 80km/h, compared with the previous 50km/h – handy on rutted roads when you can press on, but don’t want to whack the underbody on high points.
The Range Rover received upgrades in mid-2016.
The SVAutobiography Dynamic became the most powerful production Range Rover. Its 405kW 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine is shared with the Range Rover
Sport SVR. The engine has been re-calibrated for the flagship Range Rover and delivers 680Nm of torque, powering the SVAutobiography Dynamic from 0-100km/h
in only 5.4 seconds.
The 2017 model year Range Rover scored innovative technologies, including Advanced Tow Assist, an intelligent driver aid, which takes the stress out of
reversing a trailer.
Using the vehicle’s existing Surround Camera System this technology enables drivers to guide a trailer into position with minimal effort. By following the trajectory lines overlaid on an image from the rear-facing camera displayed on the central touchscreen, Advanced Tow Assist is able to steer the vehicle automatically to follow the path selected by the driver using the Terrain Response 2 rotary controller.
Advanced Tow Assist also alerts the driver of an imminent jack-knife situation.
Driver Condition Monitor and Blind
Spot Assist autonomously steer the vehicle back into its lane if sensors detect the driver is steering into the path of another road user.
Low Traction Launch is a manually-selectable driving mode designed to assist drivers when pulling away from a standstill on slippery surfaces such as wet grass, snow or ice, by controlling the amount of torque that can be applied by the driver’s right foot.
Interior changes include a new larger 10-inch dual view touchscreen display, powered by an InControl Touch Pro system. The pinch and zoom tablet-style
touchscreen provides new features including customisable homepages, enhanced satellite navigation functions and instant access to the driver’s favourite apps.
As part of the new InControl Touch Pro system fitted to 2017 model year Range Rover, the fully integrated satellite navigation has been extensively developed
with a range of new features including door-to-door routing. The comprehensive system allows customers to set a destination on the Land Rover-dedicated
smartphone Route Planner app.
The app navigates you to the vehicle, before transferring further directions to the in-vehicle system. Once parked close to your destination, the system will switch back to the smartphone to guide you to your chosen location on foot.
Commute mode automatically learns frequently used routes, such as the journey to work and recommends the best route dependent on live traffic data. Meanwhile
the sharing function allows owners to share their destination, arrival time and current location with friends, family and colleagues.
The driver is also able to view a partial or full navigation screen within the Virtual Instrument Display, depending on preference. Rear passengers can also view the journey time and distance to destination using the built-in rear seat entertainment system and even browse navigation maps and send suggested destinations to the driver, who can choose to reject or accept them, using the central touchscreen display.
Standard 2017 model year driver assistance technologies include Rear Park Distance Control, Lane Departure Warning and, Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). This intelligent technology uses a forward facing camera to detect a risk of collision and warn the driver, and applies full emergency braking if the driver fails to respond.
The additional Drive Pack includes existing features such as Driver Condition Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor, and Reverse Traffic Detection. Driver Condition Monitor analyses data such as steering inputs and road speed, as well as taking account of the time of day, to warn against driver fatigue.
The Drive Pro Pack takes the features from the Drive Pack and adds Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist and Intelligent Emergency Braking. New to
2017 model year Range Rover is Blind Spot Assist, which automatically applies counter steering if the driver begins to change lane into the path of a following vehicle. Lane Keep Assist is another new feature for 2017 model year. It provides gentle, corrective steering input if it detects the vehicle drifting across the white lines out of its lane.
The original Range Rover was the world’s first luxury 4×4 when it was launched in 1970. There have been three new distinct versions, with the most recent model unveiled in 2002.
When Land Rover launched the Range Rover Sport in late 2005, based on the Discovery platform, it was obviously necessary to have the top-shelf, more-exclusive Range Rover continue. Enter the Range Rover Vogue, the most complete luxury SUV in the world, according to Land Rover executives.
Two new Jaguar-sourced petrol engines were complemented by fresh exterior design details, a quieter interior and a profusion of new technology.
Range Rover Vogue was available with a new supercharged, 4.2-litre petrol V8 engine that generated 291kW at 5750rpm and 560Nm of torque at 3500rpm. A naturally aspirated 4.4-litre V8 with 225kW at 5750prm and torque of 440Nm at 4000rpm was also avaiable. Both engines used advanced torque-based engine management systems and drive-by-wire throttle control.
Range Rover Vogue retained the three-litre turbo-diesel engine which developed 130kW at 4000rpm and 390Nm at 2000rpm. The engines were matched to a ZF six-speed automatic electronically controlled transmission, driving an electronically controlled centre differential and dual-range transfer case.
Each model in the 2006 line up had new distinguishing features and design cues, including a new front bumper design, headlight and tail-light clusters, a front grille and revised power vents, and 19-inch wheels. The supercharged model had additional styling modifications, including a mesh-design front grille and power vents, and 20-inch wheels.
Additional features included a rear camera, a tyre pressure monitoring system and adaptive front headlamps that swivelled when cornering.
A rear seat entertainment system was available, with two headrest-mounted screens, a six-disc DVD auto-changer, infra-red remote control, wireless headphones and sockets for auxiliary media sources.
DVD satellite navigation touch-screen, a Logic 7 Harman/Kardon audio system with 14 speakers and 710 watts of power, and a personal telephone integration system were also available.
For 2007 the main introduction was a much-needed boost in diesel power and introduction of Terrain Response, as seen in the Discovery 3.
Although sharing technology with the Discovery’s 2.7-litre TDV6, the Rangie’s 3.6-litre TDV8 was not a V6 with two extra cylinders. The V6 had a V6-optimum bank angle of 60 degrees, while the V8 had 90 degrees – the best configuration for a V8’s balance.
Twin variable nozzle turbochargers helped TDV8 produce 200 kW, with peak torque of 640 Nm from 2000 rpm to 2500 rpm and with 400 Nm of torque from just 1250 rpm. The new TDV8 diesel engine was matched to the latest-generation ZF six-speed automatic electronically controlled transmission, with CommandShift allowing manual gear changes.
Range Rover Vogue’s off-road capability was enhanced by the addition of Terrain Response as standard for all 2007 models. Terrain Response allowed the driver to select one of five settings on a rotary switch, to suit the terrain. The vehicle’s electronic and mechanical controls were then optimised to handle the specific conditions.
Other enhancements for 2007 included a new twin glovebox, enhanced airbag package, an electronic parking brake, substantially improved air-conditioning and ventilation. Front seats could be optionally cooled, in addition to standard heating, and there were active head restraints.
The new gearbox and transfer had a wider ratio spread – 12 percent lower first and 28 percent higher top gear – than previously.
A rear electronic differential was standard on the Range Rover Vogue Supercharged and available as an option with the diesel and normally aspirated petrol engines. All models had a centre ‘e’ differential. Suspension settings and brakes were upgraded for the TDV8. Brembo front brakes from the Range Rover Vogue Supercharged were standard, plus 19-inch wheels or optional 20-inchers.
The list of changes for 2008 was headed by the introduction of four-zone air conditioning option, which enabled rear seat passengers to control their individual heating and ventilation. Also standard across the range was enhanced Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Pricing was TDV8$142,900, TDV8 Luxury$166,900 and Supercharged$185,900.
In 2009 Range Rover revived the ‘Autobiography’ nameplate. The facia, doors, seats and centre console were clad from top to bottom in leather. Even the floor mats were bound with leather.
Range Rover Autobiography also featured acoustic and climate glass, in the windscreen and front side windows.
Externally, Range Rover Vogue Autobiography featured 20-inch diamond-turned wheels, diamond mesh grille and side vents, black and silver badging and stainless steel detailing on brake and accelerator pedals. Pricing was TDV8 Autobiography$193,600 and Supercharged Autobiography $212,700.
The 2010 Range Rover Vogue featured a ‘dual view’ infotainment touch screen technology, allowing the driver and passenger to view different images simultaneously. This means that the passenger can enjoy a DVD movie while the driver follows navigation instructions, on the same screen.
Enhanced active safety aids included Adaptive Cruise Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Automatic High Beam Assist (AHBA) and a surround camera system.
Under the bonnet the Range Rover Vogue featured two new efficient and powerful petrol engines. The highly TDV8 diesel engine was carried over. The direct petrol-injection 5.0- litre LR-V8 supercharged petrol engine churned out 375kW (29 percent increase) and 625Nm (12 percent increase), with claimed fuel consumption of 14.9l/100km (7.3 percent reduction) and CO2 348g/km (7.4 percent reduction).
The naturally aspirated version produced 276kW (25 percent increase) and 510Nm (16 percent increase), with claimed fuel consumption of 14.0 l/100km (6.9 percent reduction) and CO2 326 g/km (7.4 percent reduction).
The 2011 Rangie continued the marque’s ground-breaking path with the introduction of a new 4.4-litre turbo-diesel V8, coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission.The LR-TDV8 4.4-litre with parallel sequential turbocharging replaced the LR-TDV8 3.6-litre and was unique to the Range Rover Vogue.
With 230kW and 700Nm, the Range Rover Vogue’s new powertrain was said to match power with conscience, reducing CO2 emissions by a claimed 14 percent and with combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 9.4 litres/100km, making this the first Range Rover Vogue ever to better 10 litres/100km.
A key component of the fuel efficiency result was a new electronically controlled, ZF 8HP70, eight-speed automatic gearbox, tuned by Land Rover engineers to combine smooth shifting with rapid response.
Key to the new engine’s performance and efficiency was the Parallel-Sequential turbocharger system which was similar to that of the 3.0-litre LR-TDV6 introduced on the Discovery 4. During normal driving, a medium-sized, variable-geometry turbocharger worked alone, optimising efficiency. When the engine revs climbed beyond 2400rpm, valves in the exhaust manifold opened and a smaller, secondary turbo seamlessly accelerated to full speed in just 20 milliseconds, full bi-turbo operation being achieved in only 180ms with no lag or power step.
This method allowed the second turbocharger to remain dormant when not required, improving engine efficiency by reducing pumping losses. A balance pipe connecting the two manifolds equalised pressure between the two exhaust systems.
The third generation common rail fuel injection system mirrored that of the 3.0-litre LR-TDV6 operating at a pressure of up to 2000bar. Most common rail fuel pumps over-supply the injector rails, with the surplus being re-circulated back to the tank. This approach raised fuel temperature significantly and meant the fuel had to be cooled before being returned to the tank, wasting energy. The Rangie system supplied fuel on demand, increasing efficiency and reducing the amount of cooling required.
There was no dipstick, because the oil level was monitored electronically by means of an ultrasonic sensor, informing the driver of the oil level and the amount of oil that needed to be added.
The 4.4-litre LR-TDV8 diesel models were fitted with the same Brembo-based braking system as that fitted to the 5.0-litre LR-V8 supercharged model, using 380mm ventilated front discs with aluminium, six-piston, opposed-action mono-block callipers and 365mm ventilated discs with single piston, sliding callipers at the rear.
For 2011, the Range Rover Vogue retained the 375kW/ 625Nm 5.0-litre LR-V8, supercharged petrol engine married to a ZF HP28 six-speed automatic transmission, as introduced in 2010. Technologies include a sixth-generation, twin-vortex Eaton supercharger whose high helix rotor improved thermodynamic efficiency by 16 percent compared to earlier designs and rendered the unit almost inaudible. The 150bar, multi-hole, spray-guided direct injection system fully optimised combustion for both power and economy. A number of design features such as the industry-first, torque actuated variable camshaft timing on all four cams and reverse cooling all contributed to engine efficiency, performance and comfort.
The supercharged engine was joined by a naturally aspirated LR-V8 producing 276kW and a matching 510Nm – 25 percent more power and 10 percent more torque than the earlier 4.4-litre V8 combined with a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
The 2011 Range Rover Vogue had improvements to its Terrain Response System in the form of Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control.
Transmission Idle Control disengaged 70 percent of the drive when the vehicle was stationary with the engine idling in Drive, significantly reducing consumption in the urban cycle. Intelligent Power Management System ensured the alternator was charging the battery at most efficient times, such as when the vehicle was coasting rather than accelerating. As well, the battery needed to be charged to only 80 percent, reducing the workload on the alternator.