Land Rover has chosen the 2009 New York International Auto Show as the launch venue for significant updates to its Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Discovery model lines.
In fact, the Freelander is the only Land Rover not to get a major overhaul at this time. Chief among the changes to the others comes the introduction of new petrol and diesel engines, but there are styling tweaks, completely redesigned interiors, and an array of dazzling new technology to tempt 4×4 buyers.
Efficient new engines
So, the engines. The Range Rover Sport and the Discovery benefit from a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel with ‘parallel sequential turbocharging’ technology, the LR-TDV6, while all three vehicles gain the option of a new 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol, the LR-V8.
The new units have been co-developed with Jaguar – having already appeared in the XF and XK. They offer improved refinement and more power, but also much better fuel economy and emissions. The 3.0 LR-TDV6, for example, produces 29% more power and 36% more torque than the 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel it replaces, yet is 9% more efficient – returning over 30mpg.
New technology for on- and off-road
Moving onto other technological advancements, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport now boast adaptive chassis technology that promises to further improve the on-road driving experience. This includes active bodyroll suppression, but also the ability to automatically slow the car down if it enters a corner too quickly.
Electronics designed to make towing a trailer safer are available on all three models – and on the Range Rover you can even have a video system with a wide-angle cameras to assist trailer reversing – while changes to the ‘Terrain Response’ off-road electronics intended to improved descent control, rock-crawling and driving on sand mean the new cars will now be even more formidable cross-country.
Subtle changes outside, radical changes inside
On the outside there are new LED lights, curvier bumpers and aerodynamic modifications, but the established visual image of all three is clearly and deliberately very much the same. However, the interiors of the Discovery and Range Rover Sport have been completely redesigned. And we do mean completely – everything is new.
Yet changes to the Range Rover’s cockpit are still more radical. In addition to a new dual-view central screen – which allows the front passenger to watch a DVD on one half while the driver receives navigation instructions on the other – all the traditional dials have been replaced by a second screen complete with ‘”virtual” dials and graphical displays’.
Full pricing and specification details will be announced closer to the cars’ launch. The new ‘2010 Range Rover’ is scheduled to hit UK showrooms in July, with the ‘2010 Range Rover Sport’ and ‘Discovery 4’ following in September.