New Range Rover LWB spotted: is it aiming at the Bentayga?
These spy photos have given us our closest look at the new Range Rover LWB yet, and it appears it could well look to compete with Bentley and Rolls-Royce's biggest offerings.
The all-new Range Rover LWB has been spotted testing by our spy photographer, and it gives us our closest look yet at the replacement for the model we've known and loved since 2012.
Although still heavily camouflaged to disguise its body lines, what we can see on the surface shows that the design of the new Range Rover is certainly a case of evolution rather than revolution, with it cutting a fairly familiar profile.
However, it's what's under the skin that really counts with this new model, as the D7u architecture of the current Range Rover is being done away with in favour of an all-new and aluminium-intensive platform.
Dubbed Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA), the platform is set to be used on everything from the Jaguar XE all the way to this top-end Range Rover in the next generational cycle for many Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, and the new platform will mean a host of new engines, too.
The current 3.0-litre V6 and 4.4-litre V8 diesels, and 3.0-litre V6 and 5.0-litre V8 petrol engines fitted to the current model which are all outsourced are set to go the way of the dodo, with the new model instead more likely set to feature the new 3.0-litre straight-six Ingenium petrol and diesel engines produced in-house at JLR's Wolverhampton engine plant, with it likely that both would be paired with a 48V mild hybrid system.
However, key to the MLA platform's lightweight aluminium design is that it will compensate for weight gained by adding batteries into the equation eventually, with both plug-in hybrid and fully electric variants set to be offered – something that's important given Rolls-Royce and Lagonda, Aston Martin's revived ultra-luxury marque, are both gearing up to put electric models into production.
The next Range Rover is unlikely to be offered with an electric drivetrain right off the bat if our sources are to be believed, though, with Land Rover supposedly wanting the first electric Range Rover to be a stand-alone model with more car-like qualities than other models in the line-up and more limited off-road prowess.
As far as size is concerned, though, it looks as though the new Range Rover, which is internally codenamed L460, has its sights set on the Bentley Bentayga as a key rival, with it not set to differ much dimensionally from the current model which is just a shade smaller than the Bentley. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan will also be a key rival at the upper end, while more 'mainstream' offerings such as the BMW X7 and upcoming X8 are also on its radar.
Also worth noting is that the next Range Rover could also spearhead Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced autonomous driving systems, with the company already well under way with trialling self-driving technology as part of the UK Autodrive project involving a fleet of Discovery test cars. The 'Smart settings' artificial intelligence system and Land Rover's connected car technology are also set to feature – all of which are going to be requirements to keep it at the top of the pack.