Land Rover's Range Rover is one of a select few models out there that rarely changes -- the current generation is over a decade old -- and when it does, the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary. It should not be surprising, then, that the 2013 Range Rover bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor despite undergoing a number of significant changes under the skin to bring it in step with 21st-century sensibilities and realities.
One key aspect of the new Ranger Rover is its reduced weight. The new model uses an all-aluminum chassis, which Land Rover claims is a first for an SUV. This new structure results in a vehicle that weighs as much as 926 pounds lighter than its comparably-equipped predecessor, though the typical U.S.-spec model will see a reduction of roughly 700 pounds. In addition to the weight loss, the new Range Rover benefits from the addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission, which will back both the naturally aspirated and supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. Both engines carry over, but their lives are going to be made much easier thanks to both these changes, which should also mean improved performance and fuel economy. The next generation of Land Rover's Terrain Response System, details of which have yet to be announced, should ensure that off-road performance at least matches that of its predecessor
The 2013 model's two-box shape is instantly recognizable as a Range Rover, but it's evident that its little brother, the Evoque, has given it some pointers on style. Compared to the upright, blocky visage of the 2012 model, the 2013 Range Rover's tapered headlight housings and raked-back grille show influences from the baby Rover, as do the 'cat eye' taillights though, unlike the Evoque, the flagship retains its more upright greenhouse. The other notable change is the move of the vertical fender vents from the front fender to the door panels.
The interior also shows some Evoque influence with the addition of the rotary gear selector, previously available only on the European TDV8 diesel model. 2013 will mark the North American introduction of this feature on the Range Rover. Overall dash design is considerably cleaner than the somewhat cluttered console and dash arrangement of the 2012 model and more functions have been integrated into the wide-format touchscreen interface on the dash. Of course, befitting a vehicle of this class and caliber, wood and leather are used generously throughout, including the top of the dashboard. Rear seat passengers enjoy an extra 4.7 inches of legroom and, if comfort is a greater concern than practicality, the three-seat bench can be replaced with an optional two-place rear seat package.
We'll have more details, including pricing and specifications, for the new 2013 Range Rover when the vehicle makes its international debut in late September at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. We do know, however, that North American deliveries are scheduled to begin in December of this year.