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Range Rover at the motor show

The 2013 Range Rover is the result of more than five years of work.

The car that re-writes the off-road rules is being air-freighted to the show. This new Range Rover is only the fourth of the breed and is making its first appearance outside Europe. But it’s not just the Range Rover itself that will be hogging the spotlight at Darling Harbour.

The car’s designer Gerry McGovern and the global head of Land Rover are also making the long haul to meet the hundreds of deposit-paid future owners waiting for deliveries of their car. “The Range Rover is going to be big at the show,” says Land Rover spokesman, Tim Krieger. And he’s not just talking about a reinvention of the luxury SUV that has added extra length and cabin space – but actually trimmed weight – inside a bold new body formed from aluminium.

“This car is critically important for us in Australia, so we’re air freighting a car from the UK,” Krieger says. “It will be only the second public revealing, after the Paris. “With the way of the world now, with the immediacy of the internet and social media, it’s critically important that once news breaks, we have the car to show our customers.

”The show car is a Range Rover Vogue with the TDV8 engine package, with a price tag that starts just on $200,000. But this one is special, with a long list of extra equipment to show what people can expect. It’s painted in the latest Land Rover “hero” colour, a sandy shade called Luxor. “We want to show people what all the fuss is about,” says Krieger.

The 2013 model has more than 3500 new parts. It’s the result of more than five years of work on everything from the styling to the latest air suspension and Terrain Response system for off-road work. But there is also a stronger focus on luxury – including a specially tailored four-seat cabin – as Land Rover believes the new Rangie will be shopped against flagship limos such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

The new Range Rover has a lower roofline and a bolder design that retains historical ties but makes the nose more aggressive and adds “gills” on the sides. It also has a giant sunroof, since 70 per cent of buyers choose one, and a power tailgate for the first time. There is more legroom in the rear. The cabin is just as luxurious but things have been simplified, with half as many switches and controls.

On the technology front, there’s an eight-speed automatic gearbox, fifth-generation air suspension, giant brakes with six-piston front callipers, a stop-start system on the TDV6, an on-demand alternator, electronic power steering and tyres with a lower rolling resistance. The new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel matches the performance of the previous 4.4-litre V8.

The new V8 petrol model is a full second faster to 100km/h but only makes 229 grams/kilometre of CO2, and the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 can sprint to 100 in just 5.4 seconds. Australian deliveries of the new Range Rover begin in January and the improvements have led, inevitably, to price rises.

The starting price is $168,900 for a 3-litre V6 diesel HSE, rising to $178,900 for the Vogue. The 4.4-litre V8 diesel starts at $195,100 and tops at $232,800 for the Autobiography model, while the flagship supercharged V8 is either $224,400 for the Vogue SE or $240,100 for the Autobiography.

The Range Rover will dominate the Land Rover stand at the show, but the company also has its 2013-model Freelander on display, with a new 2.0-litre petrol engine and cabin upgrades. It gives the brand a new starter car, just under the city-centric Evoke.

Once the motor show is done, the hard work begins for the 2013-model cars. “As soon as the show closes we’ll be taking it around Australia,” Krieger says.

New Range Rover
Price: about $200,000
Date of release: 2013
Engine: V8 turbo diesel
Thirst: 8.7L/100km

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