Why the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Matters:
If you ask Gerry McGovern, Design Director for Land Rover, the Range Rover is to SUV design what the Porsche 911 is to sports car design. Beyond this, however, McGovern says that the iconic Range Rover serves “duality of purpose” in that it does anything, and at anytime. This, he says, is what Range Rover customers love most about their vehicles.
In approaching the Range Rover’s redesign, Land Rover knew that its new flagship SUV wouldn’t just compete against other high-end luxury sport/utility vehicles such as the Lexus LX570, Mercedes-Benz GL550, Porsche Cayenne GTS, and loaded versions of the Audi Q7, BMW X5, and Cadillac Escalade. A Range Rover competes against other luxury goods and services for the expendable income of a well-heeled clientele. And for that reason, a Range Rover must be about elegance, sophistication, intelligence, and exclusivity.
What’s New for the 2013 Land Rover Range Rover:
- Completely redesigned for only the 4th time since 1970
- 700 lbs. lighter due to aluminum construction
- Rear-seat legroom increased by 4.7 inches
- Next-generation Terrain Response 2 technology
New 2013 Land Rover Range Rover: Styling and Design
When discussing the redesigned 2013 Range Rover during a private event in advance of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, McGovern said that Land Rover’s key design elements are functionality, sustainability, luxury, and desirability, a philosophy that guided the styling of the Range Rover Evoque.
For the new Range Rover, McGovern said, designers needed to balance the need to move the iconic SUV forward while retaining the model’s classic design elements. The result is the most aerodynamic Range Rover that Land Rover has ever built, a vehicle possessing “softer, more modern forms” according to McGovern, yet retains signature visual cues such as its clamshell hood, floating roof design, side vents, and characteristic grille and lighting elements.
In the process, Land Rover added 4.7 inches of rear-seat legroom to the new 2013 Range Rover, and McGovern was adamant that the Range Rover will never be a 7-passenger SUV. Cargo capacity measures 32.1 cu.-ft. behind the rear seat, and a maximum of 71.7 cu.-ft. with the rear seat folded down.
New 2013 Land Rover Range Rover: What’s Under the Hood
A 5.0-liter V-8 engine is standard for the 2013 Range Rover, rated to make 375 horsepower and driving all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission and a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a 2-speed transfer case. The Range Rover’s optional Terrain Response 2 technology continually monitors driving conditions and automatically adjusts drivetrain response to ensure optimum traction.
The 2013 Range Rover Supercharged and Autobiography models are equipped with a supercharged version of the 5.0-liter V-8. With 510 horsepower on tap, Land Rover’s claim that this model accelerates to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds are credible, especially given the 2013 Range Rover’s massive weight loss.
A new air suspension offers automatic load leveling, provides four different ride heights, and supplies greater wheel travel and wheel articulation than the previous Range Rover. When placed in Off-Road Mode, the Range Rover’s approach angle is 34.7 degrees, its breakover angle is 28.3 degrees, and its departure angle is 29.6 degrees.
Additionally, maximum ground clearance measures 11.6 inches and Land Rover says the Range Rover can traverse standing water that is 35.4 inches deep. “It’s almost amphibious, this vehicle,” McGovern quipped.
New 2013 Land Rover Range Rover: Features and Technology
As might properly be expected, there is no shortage of equipment for the redesigned 2013 Range Rover. The standard model is equipped with leather, triple-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, Bluetooth hands-free calling and music streaming, an 8-inch color touchscreen with a navigation system, and a 380-watt audio system with HD Radio and satellite radio.
Premium leather and 20-inch aluminum wheels come standard on the Range Rover HSE, and the Range Rover Supercharged is equipped with 21-inch wheels, a greater range of front seat adjustment, and heated rear seats.
Options for these models include climate-controlled front seats with massage, a 4-zone climate control system, a panoramic glass sunroof, an 825-watt premium surround sound audio system, and a rear seat entertainment system with touchscreen control and WhiteFire wireless headphones. A heated leather-and-wood steering and soft power door closers are also optional, and the Supercharged model is offered with an active rear locking differential.
A Vision Assist Pack includes a surround camera system, blind spot monitoring, adaptive headlights with high-beam assist, Reverse Traffic Detection, and Terrain Response 2 drivetrain technology. Separately, the Range Rover is offered with front and rear park assist, and an adaptive cruise control system with Queue Assist and Intelligent Emergency Braking.
Customers who choose the Range Rover Autobiography, which is almost $50,000 more expensive than the standard Range Rover, enjoy greater choice in terms of bespoke colors, materials, and trims. Individual rear seating with a rear cooler compartment, a heated wood-and-leather steering wheel, and a 1,700-watt Meridian Signature Reference audio system are the only options offered for the Range Rover Autobiography model.
New 2013 Land Rover Range Rover: What Autobytel Thinks
New 2013 Land Rover Range Rover: What Autobytel Thinks
As McGovern acknowledged, what we think about the new Land Rover Range Rover doesn’t really matter. The people who buy one of these luxury suvs will do so no matter what we have to say about it. Based on our first exposure to the new Range Rover, however, it appears to offer much more than just an iconic appearance and lofty pedigree.