Two words have defined the luxury SUV class for just over 40 years. Range Rover 2011 is the update of the iconic British off-roader with the usual promise of ultimate luxury.
The 2011 changes are focused a new turbodiesel V8 engine and a new level of refinement and luxury. Paul Walker, chief program engineer at Range Rover, says the twenty-eleven model is the latest in a long line to deliver exactly what Range Rover customers want in an SUV.
While fans know all about the interior appointments available at this end of the spectrum, the big news surrounds the barnstorming new twin-turbo diesel V8 engine and its eight-speed automatic transmission.
Displacing 4.4-litres, the new V8 cranks out 230kW of power and 700Nm of torque which is then funnelled through the liquid-smooth eight-speeder to get the nearly 2800kg SUV moving like nothing of this weight and heft has any right to. The fuel figure is perhaps even more impressive than the outright power numbers with usage claimed to be a scant 10L/100km. That’s an 18 percent improvement over the outgoing 3.6-litre engine.
This biggest factor in the improvement in fuel consumption is the auto. Its shifting characteristic is incredibly smooth, fast and precise. It always seems to select the right gear for any given speed, reacts well both on road and off, and is scarcely even noticeable when shifting either at cruising speed or flat stick on the freeway. It’s been designed with low slip levels for better takeoff and power transfer, improved gearing across a variety of speeds, and its rotary-shift technology delivers an enhanced connection between driver and gearbox.
FIT-OUT AND EQUIPMENT
Inside, the latest Vogue is everything you expect with an array of interior colours and options to ensure you feel as good as you should for the money you’ll be outlaying. The traditional automatic shifter has been replaced with a rotary dial that emerges from the console when you power the vehicle up. It’s the same as the one employed on the latest Jaguars and works well once it becomes second nature.
Terrain response settings are now adjusted by rocker switches, as opposed to the dial previously used in the Vogue. Rear seat legroom has been enhanced, with passengers able to move the passenger front seat forward from the back to create as much legroom as they need. Rear seats are also fitted with airconditioning. It’s almost more pleasant to be in the back seat than behind the wheel… almost.
The old engine never felt slow, but it does once you’ve driven the new 4.4-litre. The extra seamless urge delivered by the new engine is evident from the minute you depress the accelerator. Plant your right foot and the nose lifts slightly and the Range Rover rockets forward to the tune of a muscular engine note. The 100km/h mark is dispatched easily in only 7.8-seconds, and the Vogue will continue working its way to an indicated 220 without raising a sweat.
There are no squeaks, rattles, or annoying noises from anywhere within the cabin as you’d expect for a vehicle of this calibre. In fact, continent-crossing in this SUV might almost be too easy. And you can take the whole family with you in comfort as well.
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