► It’s the new 2022 Range Rover
► Rides on MLA platform of next XJ
► PHEV, electric and ICE engines
Land Rover’s all-new, fifth-generation Range Rover is under development in the West Midlands, as Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) rethinks how modern luxury should look in the new decade. Even flagship models like the full-fat RR and Jaguar XJ limousine have to keep up with the times - and both will adopt a range of heavily electrified powertrains to retain relevance in these carbon-crunched times.
The next Range Rover is due in 2022, and it’ll be underpinned by JLR’s versatile MLA platform, set to see duty first in the newly rebooted XJ (below).
The skateboard architecture can house a range of powertrains, from plug-in and mild hybrids to zero-emission battery-electric systems. And this fully EV Range Rover will be just as able to wade through a muddy riverbed as it will cruise along the Kings Road in Chelsea.
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Will the new Range Rover be only electric?
No. Expect a range of powertrains; this won’t be a Jaguar i-Pace-style electric-or-nothing luxury SUV. Word on the grapevine is that the 2022 Rangie will offer a smorgasbord of motive choices, spanning JLR’s new straight-six to be offered alongside diesels and a petrol V8, all with some degree of hybridisation.
Mild hybrids recuperating energy are a given and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) a dead cert - but all eyes will be on the all-electric model, expected to use a large-capacity battery pack of up to 90kWh. Expect to see the benefits of JLR’s collaboration with BMW on electric motors and control systems and a state-of-the-art 4wd set-up is in the works.
A battery powered Range Rover: regal refinement
Range Rover’s electrification fits with the company’s ‘Destination Zero’ emissions pledge, but also promises to raise Range Rover’s already lofty off-road game, executives have pledged to CAR magazine.
‘On the road, the increased refinement and silent running [of an electrified powertrain] excites me,’ says JLR vehicle line director Nick Collins. ‘And off-road, you get peak torque at zero revs together with much more accurate control.’
The group’s first full EV, the Jaguar i-Pace (which doesn’t sit on the MLA platform), re-invented the SUV silhouette with cab-forward proportions. Range Rover won’t. ‘Technologies will not dictate our form,’ says creative director Massimo Frascella. ‘We want to control these technologies and do what we think is right for the car.’
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‘Designing a new Range Rover comes with a certain pressure – it is clear how important Range Rover is to defining our brand,’ adds Frascella (below).
'But in a way there is less pressure [than with the Defender] because you have more of a visual evolution; a path that’s more defined. There is also more potential in the Velar’s reductivist design direction.’
CAR’s artist’s impression above shows the direction we believe the new Range Rover will take; don’t expect too much Velar/Evoque bling, but in three years’ time there will surely be space for a fresh design chapter.
Does an electric Range Rover appeal to you? Be sure to sound off in the comments below