The New Range Rover Has Arrived
But is it still a purebred symbol of British pedigree or a modern errand cart for the Kardashians?
The new L460 Range Rover is a stunner. While the rear end has a certain unfinished air about it and the interior is a bit hard with the angles and iPad stuck on the dashboard, the view of the L460 in the picture above is just gorgeous. Rugged looking angles, rather large and ridulous wheels, and a pleasing spec all make the new Range Rover as good as anyone could expect of this new generation I would argue. That said, there is more to the new Range Rover than meets the eye, so let's dig a bit deeper into the world of Range Rover and what it has meant throughout the years, perhaps reshaping the definition as we go.
Land Rover's are one of those vehicles that you either love and know everything about, or you hate/ are indifferent towards and know nothing about. From reliability issues for some to "swear by them" lifetime Land Rover owners, there is not a whole lot of middle ground with the brand. The lineup of Land Rover in 2021 is confusing, I'll make no qualms about that. I have found myself in past years trying to make sense of their goofy "L" chassis codes which seemingly follow no logical progression and the lineup of models which sometimes seem to be eerily similar (while the Velar is beautiful, where exactly does it go? Between the sport and Vogue? Beneath the Sport? The suspense is almost breathtaking... not really.)
Land Rover's overabundance of technology used in their modern offerings has been known to throw some people off the scent as well due to its dodgy longevity, while the never ending pureblood Land Rover fans who one would think haven't heard of an iPhone their love of Land Rover goes back so far remain smitten with the brand, as long as it is a model that hasn't been made since 1970.
The fact that remains, however, is the Range Rover remains the status symbol of choice for two classes of people- those who like to have their photos taken on Miami's South Beach and those who simply see their Range Rover as an immensely capable off-roader to be used as they were originally intended- off-road. One of the founders of the Range Rover (the name is slipping my mind at the moment and I simply am on a roll typing so not going to look it up) voiced his frustration over this rather new idea that Range Rover's are some sort of luxury good and that they never leave the pavement or the designer shop parking garage. Having moved to Florida a year and half back, I concur with him. In a state as flat as a ruler with as little fluctuation in weather as the inside of a refrigerator, there certainly seems to be an abundance of Range Rover's about, which brings me to my point.
Perhaps it is OK that Range Rovers share two identities in terms of owners in the modern era. Certainly I feel it is a waste when I see one wasting away at a Palm beach golf course, but perhaps I am being an old fuddy duddy thinking this way. Certainly the Range Rover's off-road pedigree still matters, as yesterdays announcement of the L460 focused a decent amount on its four wheel drive system as well as its dimensions and off-road credibility.
I realize that I am a bit of an old soul for 25 years old, I like the idea of certain old world things (square body pickup trucks with barely a radio in them, Range Rover's with mud on them towing a trailer, old world pubs/bars with well worn leather armchairs and crackling fireplaces and putting on a button down shirt occasionally for date night), but I also accept the new and the modern, and in many ways it excites me (except for twitter- that can go the way of the Ford Pinto). Perhaps I should work on my own ambiguity towards change and appreciate that Land Rover still even mentions the Range Rover's heritage in a world far away from glitzy shopping and perfectly smooth pavement, for this means that there is still a small holdout of people who views the Range Rover as what it was intended to be: an all around capable off-roader.