There is only one. And if the competition is very different today, the Range Rover has a special place in everyone’s mind. English is back in a new opus whose plumage will surprise no one. But the performance of this 5th generation commands respect.
The return of the king
With each new generation of Range Rover we could exclaim, the king is dead, long live the king! This true monarch has built its reputation as a ruler over generations, crystallizing the best in the world of SUVs. Undeniable luxury, benchmark comfort and off-road services among the best on the market. However, since the marketing of the older generation in 2012, the luxury SUV sector has evolved upwards. Even more prestigious coats of arms have decided to occupy a part of this juicy territory. This new series therefore finds on its way, in addition to the traditional German alternatives, competitors hitherto unknown, branded Bentley, Aston Martin or even Rolls-Royce.
This fifth opus therefore had no choice but to stretch its achievements upward, while maintaining a haughty appearance that could be recognized among all. The in-house designers have done a remarkable job of modernizing the lines, which, however, evolve smoothly. The front end gains presence, skillfully combining square surfaces and subtle curves. The purity of the design is emphasized by the invisible joining of the glass and the bodywork, the smooth door handles and the particularly discreet design of the rear lights. It all exudes a crazy charisma, without frills. The template remains consistent at 5.05m for the standard version and 20cm more for the extended wheelbase variant. The 23-inch wheels in this SV finish add to the imposing stature of this new range.
On board, first-class spirits are evidently in order. But like the exterior, the English prefer to keep the traditional codes of the luxury car. The overall classic layout is reassuring, enhanced by a level of finish that is simply perfect. The central screen retains a reasonable size, in contrast to the gigantic steering wheel. The infotainment system adopts the successful interface of the PiviPro system, both from a graphical and ergonomic point of view. In this SV version, the attention to detail borders on obsession. Buyers will be able to choose notable finishes, such as marquetry for the center console and white ceramic for certain controls. Even the clicks on the indicator stalks seem to have been worked on. Jeweler! The leather can be replaced by a material called Ultrafabric, which looks great. In the second row, the darker harmonies of the upholstery enhance the cocooning side of the atmosphere. The seats are genuine Pullman armchairs (the one behind the passenger reclines limousine style) and passengers will be able to control all onboard functions from a central touchscreen. Only drawback, the legroom, regardless of the size of the machine.
If the case is at the height of the rampage, the Range Rover still needed a platform worthy of its status. This is now done with a completely new technical base called MLA-Flex. Composed of 80% aluminum and 50% more rigid than the previous generation, it ensures first-class comfort while improving dynamic performance. Under the hood, this series is available with two diesel engines (250 and 350 hp), a powerful V8 of BMW origin (530 hp), but above all two new plug-in hybrid versions available in 440 and 510 hp. It is the latter that passes through our hands. The one that must ensure almost all sales on our market. It combines a 400 hp 3.0 in-line six-cylinder petrol engine with a 105 kW electric motor, directly connected to the transmission. The technical chart reports a torque of 700 Nm and just 5.5 seconds for 0 to 100 km/h. Remarkable performance, compared to the weight of the whole thing, shown at 2.8 tons… The brand announces a 100% electric range of 113 km. In fact, it would rather be necessary to count on around 70/80 km. Comfortable endurance (which can handle the vast majority of Range Rover owners’ daily journeys), made possible by the introduction of a 38.2 kWh battery (31.8 kWh payload), considerably larger than before.
The hybrid drive of this Range Rover P510e contributes to the almost disturbing sensation of floating above the road, this Englishman has perfectly mastered the art of isolating you from the outside world. Best-in-class sound insulation, enhanced by a noise reduction system. Sensors placed in the wheel arches register the sound disturbances, which the system “cancells” via waves sent to the headrests. Fantastic art! However, this cozy cocoon is sometimes hampered by some consequences of the huge 23-inch rims. The following unsprung masses that can’t do much at junctions or potholes. Shame.
To counteract the laws of physics imposed on this very heavy Range Rover, the house’s engineers have put together a chassis with small onions. Steering rear wheels (up to 7.3°), active anti-roll bars motorized by a 48V circuit, innovative air suspension with two chambers… As a result, this series steers like a small compact SUV in the city, maintaining imperial stability in presses even on very degraded pavement, and knows how to turn a hairpin without making its front axle howl. We will not yet talk about sportsmanship, but the neutrality of the behavior impresses in light of the mass to be moved. Very good work, which does not prevent the Range Rover from keeping a typical British slim, and always impressive off-road services.
With a very extensive range and specific features depending on the variants chosen, the new Range Rover casts a wide net. English also seems well-equipped to counter the onslaught of more mainstream German SUVs, as well as to hold off its more upmarket compatriots. A remarkably well-thought-out generation that once again demonstrates the brand’s know-how in the field. But unsurprisingly, such services now come at a high price, and this Range Rover P510e SV sold for more than 200,000 euros exclusive of options reserves it more than ever for a – small – elite.
Crazy weight and prices, imperceptible space in the back, 23-inch rims to avoid
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