2013 Range Rover -- Detailed Look
Added Tech, Sophistication Doesn't Diminish Capabilities
Last month, we gave you a first look at the 2013 Range Rover. The big headline, other than the new styling and eight-speed transmission, was its massive weight loss over its predecessor, up to 926 pounds on some models, with the U.S. spec vehicles getting an average loss of 700 pounds compared with a comparably equipped model.
Today, Land Rover dropped a 20-plus-page release going over the specifications, features, and engineering improvements in the 2013 model. Don't worry, our summary isn't 20 pages. We sifted through the verbiage and picked out the pertinent highlights of the new model.
As noted in our First Look, the engines for the U.S.-market models are largely carryover, with some detail changes to improve fuel efficiency. However, the eight-speed automatic transmission is new, and like the massive weight loss, was selected largely for its improvement in fuel efficiency. Official EPA figures for the 2013 model have not been released yet, but should be a significant improvement over the 2012. Helping with fuel efficiency is the new Range Rover's sleek 0.34 drag coefficient, a 10-percent improvement over its predecessor and a very low number for an SUV. Styling changes, including the swept-back grille and underbody panel, contribute to its impressive aerodynamics.
Range Rover also revealed more details about the 2013 model's all-aluminum construction, the main contributor to the major weight reduction. The company says this model is the first automotive use of AC300 aluminum. Also claimed to be an automotive first is the one-piece stamping making up the body side panel, reducing the need for energy-intensive welds as well as the number of joints, resulting in improved rigidity and structural integrity. Even the door-intrusion beams, which are customarily made of steel in most vehicles, are made of the lightweight metal. The company claims as much as 75 percent of the aluminum used in the body of the 2013 Range Rover is recycled.
On the inside, Range Rover continues the tradition of lavish appointments. The front seats have 20-way power adjustment, and if that's not enough for you, there’s a five-mode massage feature. While reclining rear seats are starting to find their way into more mainstream SUV models, not many have power-reclining rear seats, which are available on the higher-trim models. And if luxury and comfort are more important to you than ultimate seating capacity, the four-passenger Individualized Rear Seating package adds an available cooled center console compartment to keep the Dom Perignon well chilled. If it's a proper party you're going to, a cooled compartment is also available for the front console. The four-passenger models also feature separate climate controls for each seating position.
But just as much as luxury is part of the Range Rover heritage and mystique, so is capability, and this side of its personality wasn't neglected as part of the redesign. Maximum wading depth for the 2013 Range Rover now is 35.4 inches, thanks to air ducting integrated into the hood. Sharp eyes will note the absence of the front fender vents on the 2013 model and some vent-looking styling accents on the front doors. This is now just a decorative flourish paying homage to past models, as the hood ducting obviated the need for the side vents. Total ground clearance is 11.9 inches, with improved approach and departure angles. Interestingly, low-range is optional, but for those models so equipped, it can be engaged on-the-fly up to 37 mph, and is a 2.93:1 ratio. If you're really looking to get adventurous with your Rover, wheel travel is 10.2 inches in front and 12.2 inches in the rear. The 2013 model also gives the driver the choice of two off-road ride heights, 1.6 and 2.95 inches, compared with the 2012's single 2.2 inch setting, courtesy of its air suspension.
If on-road excitement is more your cup of tea, the weight loss combined with the eight-speed transmission has cut 0-60 times to an estimated 6.5 seconds for the 375-hp naturally aspirated model, and just 5.1 seconds for the 510-hp Supercharged model. Good thing the brakes measure a massive 14.96 inches in the front and 14.37 in the rear. The front brakes are clamped by beefy six-piston Brembo calipers for maximum stopping capability. Electric power steering assist was selected for the 2013 model as well, mainly in the name of efficiency, but there are also some fringe benefits to the system. Naturally, park assist is now standard, enabled by the electric assist.
Range Rover doesn't stop there. The steering also includes pull/drift compensation, reducing the need for steering corrections due to road crown. Active Return also improves wheel self-centering, and Parking Torque Control provides added assist in low-speed parking maneuvers.
Range Rovers don't commonly tow in the U.S., but in Europe, it's not unusual to see them pulling a trailer, and Rover hasn't neglected owners that want to use their six-figure chariot as a beast of burden. A surround camera setup with tow assist helps to line up the hitch with the receiver when reversing, and the vehicle has a trailer stability assist mode to keep the vehicle on the straight and narrow when towing. Maximum towing capacity is 7716 pounds, the same as the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. The seemingly arbitrary figure makes more sense when put in metric terms, where it’s a nice round 3500 kilograms.
Acknowledging the fact that most Range Rovers will be sold to wealthy clients such as celebrities and other one-percenters who aren't bashful about showcasing their affluence, the 2013 model offers eight wheel designs in sizes ranging from a modest 19 inches all the way up to 22 inches, with 20- and 21-inch wheels available in between. And whereas most mass-market SUVs might offer six to 10 color choices, the Range Rover offers 37, 22 of which are unique to the exclusive Autobiography model. The interior choices are similarly overwhelming, with 17 color schemes available, plus an additional choice of seat color. You also have the choice of three sustainable wood veneer trims, with more coming, and three headliner colors.
If the 2013 Range Rover's mind-boggling array of options, features and capabilities excites you, the wait will not be much longer. The model is scheduled to hit U.S. showrooms in December. But if you fancy the bespoke treatment, your Land Rover dealer will probably be happy to discuss your custom-build options in advance of its official arrival.
Source: Land Rover