The first new Range Rover in 10 years has an evolved look, four-wheel steering, and up to seven seats like its BMW X7, Mercedes GLS-class, Cadillac Escalade, and Lincoln Navigator rivals.
“Range Rover is not about radical change for the sake of it,” says Jaguar Land Rover’s chief creative officer, Gerry McGovern. Despite the fact that a new Range Rover is a once-in-a-decade occurrence (significantly longer than the typical product cycle), the all-new 2022 Range Rover does indeed look immediately familiar. But the new Rover packs a host of innovations. Those start with the model’s first ever three-row version, which at long last puts it on equal footing with competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS-class, the BMW X7, the Cadillac Escalade, and the Lincoln Navigator. The seven-seat Range Rover uses the long-wheelbase body style and is expected to be especially popular in the U.S. market, where, Land Rover tells us, one in four existing customers have requested such a vehicle.
Both versions have added approximately three inches between the axles, with the standard wheelbase now 118 inches and an overall length of 199 inches, and the long-wheelbase version eight inches greater in both measures. The wheels are as large as 23 inches. McGovern characterizes the new Range Rover’s design as “clean, reductive, and free from excessive line work.” As before, the profile view features a gently falling roofline, a continuous beltline, and a rising sill line. Compared to the previous version, McGovern says the new one “is about taking out, not adding in.”
To that end, the molding at the base of the windows has been removed, the door handles are flush-mounted, and there’s flush glazing. Until illuminated, the taillights present as simple black vertical elements. Those flush elements, along with the new vertical creases at the rear corners, active aero elements, and a suspension that automatically lowers at highway speeds give the Range Rover a coefficient of drag of 0.30, an improvement of 12 percent.
Range Rover claims to have pushed the envelope in terms of luxury finishes, with the SV trim (which arrives with the 2023 model year) featuring ceramic knobs and switchgear (in white or anthracite), wool-blend upholstery, and marquetry wood veneers in a mosaic pattern. The SV offers two design themes: Serenity, with a copper-colored roof and matching accents on the wheels and grille surround, or Intrepid, with black trim and anthracite gray as the accent color.
The new Range Rover interior features a 13.1-inch central touchscreen that runs JLR’s Pivi Pro operating system, which adds haptic feedback and includes Amazon Alexa integration as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Ahead of the driver sits a new 13.7-inch digital instrument cluster with a configurable display. The 1600-watt Meridian sound system, which is exclusive to the Autobiography and First Edition, includes active noise cancellation and boasts 35 speakers—including in the headrests. Perhaps the ultimate luxury: The optional cabin air purification system can filter SARS and Covid pathogens. Come next year, entering and exiting the Range Rover will be made easier by the optional new Power Assisted Doors, which also can be controlled via the touchscreen.
We poked around inside three pre-production Range Rovers: a standard-wheelbase First Edition, an extended-wheelbase SV with the four-seat interior, and a seven-seater. In the seven-seater, both rear rows are power-folding. The third row is genuinely usable, with 34 inches of legroom, and access is reasonably easy. It also avoids feeling like steerage class thanks to its padded armrests, USB ports, A/C vents, and seat heaters.
The four-seat SV, meanwhile, has a full-length center console from which a table motors up and swivels to serve either rear-seat occupant as well as its own 8-inch touchscreen. Its executive-class rear seats include deployable leg rests. An available rear-seat entertainment system features dual 11.4-inch screens, and there’s a refrigerated cool box in between the rear seatbacks.
Moving to the back of the Range Rover, the model again features an upper liftgate and a drop-down tailgate. For the latter, there’s a newly available Tailgate Event Suite: a pop-up two-person seat with leather cushions—just the thing for watching a polo match or tailgating before the Harvard-Yale game. The option includes additional lighting and speakers in the liftgate that can play music from your smartphone.
Underneath all the finery, the new Rover debuts the brand’s MLA-Flex architecture, which is said to be 76 percent aluminum. Torsional rigidity is up by a claimed 50 percent. Powertrain choices include inline-sixes and a turbocharged V-8. An EV is also promised but won’t arrive until 2024.
The familiar turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with 48-volt hybrid assistance returns as the base engine in the SE. It delivers 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.
Optional on the SE and standard on the Autobiography and First Edition is a new 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 making 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. With it, the new Rover hustles to 60 mph in a factory-estimated 4.4 seconds.
A plug-in-hybrid six-cylinder arrives a few months later for the 2023 model year and makes 434 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Its 38.2-kWh battery (usable capacity 31.8kWh) gives it a projected EV range of 62 miles. A 105kW electric motor integrated into the transmission is brawny enough to propel the Range Rover at speeds up to 87 mph.
All-wheel drive is standard and can now disconnect the front axle. The Range Rover adopts Land Rover’s Clearsight front camera system, which can stitch together a forward-view image as if the front bodywork were see-through. The default ground clearance is 11.6 inches, and the air suspension offers a maximum rise of 5.7 inches. The Rover can wade through nearly three feet of standing water. As in the Defender, there are six off-road driving modes.
The major chassis innovation is the addition of four-wheel steering, which is standard. The rear wheels turn as much as 7 degrees, trimming the turning circle to 36 feet. Air suspension again is used but gets new twin-valve dampers that adjust rebound and compression separately. The Range Rover also adds 48-volt electronic anti-roll bars.
The 2022 Range Rover is available for order now, with deliveries to commence in spring 2022. Expect the plug-in hybrid powertrain to be available three months later. Prices start at $105,350 for the SE and $153,350 for the Autobiography, with the First Edition currently the most expensive offering at $159,550 for the standard-wheelbase variant and $164,850 for the long-wheelbase version. When the SV arrives, it will be even dearer still and sit at the top of the lineup.
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