Your eyes don’t deceive you: here we have another camouflaged Range Rover scooped while on test in the UK. But while the all-new Range Rover has already been revealed, this is the long wheelbase Range Rover, set for a sales debut in 2013.
Why is Land Rover building a LWB Range Rover?
When Land Rover invented the luxury 4×4 segment back in 1970, it couldn’t have conceived how the car would evolve into one of the world’s most iconic and successful luxury cars. Even the just-replaced 2003 L322 model underestimated just how popular the Rangie would be as a chauffeur-driven car, so Land Rover is finally turning its attention to a rear passenger-friendly RR.
It’s especially targeted at the Chinese and Russian markets, thanks to their can’t-buy-them-fast-enough thirst for luxury British cars, and the convention in those parts to be chauffeured rather than drive oneself.
The all-new L405 RR is already bigger in the back: its new aluminium architecture and slight dimensions stretch liberates an extra 120mm of rear legroom over the outgoing model. The ‘Pullman’ RR will get 150mm of stretch in the wheelbase, and will swap the three-seater rear bench for two individual chairs.
Like now-defunct Maybach, the rear chairs will be fully independent and electrically reclinable, according to CAR’s sources, while the whole cabin will be even more sumptuously appointed and open to further trim and upholstery options, taken from the highly successful Autobiography Edition.
Expect a hefty price tag of well over £100,000 for the LWB Rangie, which will only be available with V8 engines, in diesel and petrol form, until the TDV6 diesel-hybrid emerges in 2013.
Is there a precedent for a long-wheelbase Range Rover?
Some of you may remember Land Rover dabbling with a long-wheelbase Range Rover bodystyle before. Back in 1992, Land Rover offered an LSE car, with a very generous 203mm added into the chassis, taking the famous 100-inch wheelbase up to 108 inches.
As with the new car, top-spec engines only made it into the 1992 LSE: a 4.2-litre iteration of the venerable Rover petrol V8 saw duty, putting out 200bhp. How times have changed: the supercharged 5.0-litre V8 in the new car pumps out 503bhp, meaning 62mph in 5.1 seconds.