Range Rover (2012): the first spy photos

Published: 06 July 2011

In the past few minutes our man in the Midlands has just taken these snatched spy photos of the new 2012 Range Rover. This is no mere facelift or model year revision – it's the all-new 2012 Range Rover.

This is a clean-sheet design codenamed L405, and under that zebra stripe disguise lies Land Rover's new large car platform. It uses aluminium tech garnered from inhouse rivals Jaguar and will be a whopping 20% lighter than today's behemoth, sources have told CAR.

What else do we know about the new 2012 Range Rover?

The Range Rover arrives first in 2012, but the Range Rover Sport follows in 2013 and this time it will have a seven-seat option like today's Discovery. The name of the game is to move the RR models further upmarket – in price, in style and in engineering.

That aluminium architecture for both chassis and bodywork will trim around 400 kilos to bring the kerbweight nearer 2200kg. All the better to curb emissions, fuel consumption and handling wobbles.

Hybrid power for the new Range Rover

Although most Range Rovers will be powered by the familiar TDV6 and TDV8 turbodiesels – or petrol V8s if you live in oil-rich, tax-low countries - the new 2012 range-topper will also pioneer JLR's hybrid technology.

The company is developing both petrol- and diesel-hybrid tech, which will launch in 2013 on the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The ultimate aim is for plug-in tech, which would allow the large Range Rover to creep silently into town centres on zero-emissions electric mode having been charged up at home overnight.

All Range Rovers will feature the latest ZF eight-speed automatic, which has a lofty top gear to cut CO2 emissions down as low as 200g/km, according to engineering sources. They also include stop-start.

What will the new 2012 Range Rover model look like?

It's a bit hard to tell under that weird disguise in our scoop photographs, taken outside the JLR Whitley R&D centre. But you can see a tall, stately SUV in keeping with the four decades of Range Rovers that have gone before. 

Design director Gerry McGovern has told CAR how the new Range Rover will be even more luxurious. 'We want these cars to be more proud, more important, more jewel-like,' McGovern said. 'Range Rovers will appeal to more people in future.'

Despite the zebra camo, you can see the upright, regal stature remains - it'll be a hit with Wills and Kate and royal protection officers - while the front lights appear to have LED motifs to give it a very distinctive face.

This is the first instance of Land Rover's new zebra stripe camo; it previously disguised the Evoque in Jag-spec swirly-whirly psychedelia.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet