The Range Rover is a vehicle of contractions. It’s big, bulky and angular but somehow poised and elegant at the same time.At 2.7t, the diesel’s heavy but, in its latest guise, incredibly quick.
And that’s thanks to its new twin-turbo V8 power-plant.
Developed at Ford’s Dagenham plant specifically for the Range Rover and its ‘Sporty’ cousin, the new 3.6-litre engine pumps out 272bhp – making it 54% more powerful than the BMW-built 3-litre straight-six used previously.
Thanks to its sophisticated common-rail control, torque is also up by 64% but even with all that extra performance, the big motor is still only as thirsty as its predecessor.
On the road…
*Manufacturer’s figures for average combined road use
In relaxed cruising mode, serenity abounds – the six-speed ZF auto box doing its job more smoothly than a Sloane Square sales-exec.
In fact ratio changes are almost completely imperceptible – a flicker from the rev-counter is the only indicator that you’ve shifted up a gear.
But put the pedal to the metal, and the beast begins to snarl. The acceleration is wickedly enticing and, because of the ultra-calm air-ride suspension, you’re soon cruising at speeds that would cause coronaries with the boys in blue.
Handling is much the same as before – swing into corners too hard and, although better than most 4x4s, the Range Rover rolls about like a ship on high seas.
But swerve off the beaten track and serenity returns – lumps and bumps ironed out just as you’d expect.
There’s no shortage of power now this big V8 oil-burner has arrived and it promises not to be too thirsty either.
But it’s still eye-wateringly expensive – with DVD-players, Sat-Nav and deep shag-pile, the Vogue SE costs nearly £70,000. That’s equivalent to the profit from enough milk to fill Lake Superior, 700,000t of wheat. But much more fun.
Of course you could always opt for the bargain-basement HSE version – a snip at just £54,000.