A couple of decades ago it would be unthinkable to compare a Range Rover to haute couture, but sit back and let me play devil’s advocate. To understand a product that has been established for a while, one of the ways is to consider its heritage. While the Range Rover does not have the century-long history of esteemed fashion maisons, its 50-year hallmark is already a legacy in the making.
The New Range Rover marks the fifth generation of its first predecessor, but its design remained virtually untouched for the first 25 years (with the four-door introduced only in 1981). If that was a testament to quality design, most would be satisfied to stop there and yet it’s the tireless strive for distinction that keeps the elite few at the top of the constantly evolving game. This means there’s always room for change; there’s always room to be better.
So, you remove the superfluous and return to the core of what makes the brand excel. At its core, the Range Rover is a luxury SUV. With the latest release, it’s almost as if the guys at the lab pushed the throttle on this twin concept by injecting even more luxury into every segment of the car, while reinforcing the utilitarianism of an off-road drive.
During the presentation, Jaguar Land Rover APAC’s managing director Alistair Scott called it “a product of obsession”. A hundred and twenty-five patents across five years? Clearly. Two hundred and sixty thousand virtual tests and clocking in literally seven million hours? That’s borderline OCD. We were told alongside all those, uh, adjustments, the car was treated to over a million kilometres of real-world testing. For context, that’s the distance of circling the globe 25 times.
Grandly standing upon 23-inch wheels, the vehicle certainly manifests a presence. What’s striking is that for a structure of its size, the body is incredibly streamlined. The characteristically short front overhang, formal front end, upright windscreen and distinctive boat tail rear are all tapered in plain view.
It’s the flush elements like the embedded handles and world- first hidden-until-lit rear lights, but if you take a closer look, laser-welded roof joints and rounded edges create a seamlessness, unlike anything you’ve ever seen. As if each car was individually chiselled from a block of metal as opposed to being pieced together in a congregation of parts.
On the framework, the new MLA-Flex (Mixed-Metal Modular Longitudinal Architecture) has been engineered to balance weight, strength and stiffness. By keying up powertrain efficiency, you are to get an enhanced overall interior experience through improved seating and noise isolation. And if you’ve been behind the wheel of the Land Rover Defender, you’ll recognise the signature intuitive steering, smartphone-inspired interfaces and connectivity also make for more than a pleasant drive.
Luxury itself is expressed in bespoke service, so it’s fitting that the new line should also be interpreted in an SV model. The Special Vehicle Operations line allows for further personalisation. (You want more security for your vehicle? They can bulletproof your windows.) Modern luxury is increasingly defined by the understated. No longer the ostentatious displays but the quiet and painstaking craftwork that goes into it.
The New Range Rover is available to order now through Wearnes Automotive.