It’s just arrived and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s been quite a while since my absolutely favorite overall vehicle has graced this driveway for review, and to paraphrase an old saying, “Absence has made the heart grow fonder.” I am speaking of the flagship of the Land Rover fleet – the Range Rover Supercharged – and since it has been here last the model has received a bit of a makeover that includes a great new powertrain under the bonnet.The pride of Solihull, England and the guardian of her royal majesty has found its way back into my life, albeit for a mere half a fortnight. Range Rover is billed the most capable AND luxurious SUV in the world. When you see the price tag you will agree it darn well better be.
In 2011 Land Rover gave its SUVs a set of all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engines (mirroring what sister brand Jaguar did across its lineup) while also tweaking its innovative (and now copied) Terrain Response system and performing some minor cosmetic surgery as well. Beefy Supercharged models receive power output now boosted to 510hp and 461 lb. ft. of torque pushing this beast from 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. That is quite the bragging rights considering the Rover would just as soon choose a mountain trail as it would the tollway for its travels.
OK, the RR Supercharged is most likely going to become a victim of the stiffer fuel economy rules arriving soon but for now Land Rover is inviting everyone along for a memorable ride. This is the vehicle I will some day be telling my grandson about, you know, those stories that start out, “Back when I was your age” and then usually end up with something about snow and barefoot and uphill both ways.
The new engine has the Range Rover Supercharged feeling extra nimble these days and thanks to enhancements to the Terrain Response system in the form of Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control Range Rover can tackle any driving duties it is tasked with be it Girl Scout Cookie delivery or a weekend getaway on top of a mountain somewhere.
Other recent upgrades to the model line include improved interior equipment levels with optional reclining rear seats, laminated privacy glass, exterior design features enhancing Range Rover’s classic looks and an optional 1,200-watt Harman/kardon 19-speaker audio system. (OUR RECENT TESTER CAME WITH THE LATTER AND IF YOU ARE WONDERING WHY I AM YELLING IT IS BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN TESTING THAT SYSTEM OUT…A LOT!)
The Range Rover rides on one of the absolute best suspension systems on the planet, Land Rover’s enhanced electronic air suspension with automatic load leveling and multiple mode choices of access, standard, and off-road.
“Range Rover retains its position as one of the world’s most complete luxury vehicles,” states Phil Popham, Land Rover Managing Director. “World-class engine performance and driving refinement combined with upscale interior enhancements offer unparalleled luxury and comfort which continue to make Range Rover a clear industry benchmark.”
Pricing for that unparalleled luxury and comfort begins at $94,820 with our 2012 Range Rover Supercharged tester rolling in at nearly 103 Large. Range Rover celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and the flagship shows no signs of retreat anytime soon. When push comes to shove I am sure Land Rover will find a suitable turbodiesel powerplant for this beauty when time comes that the US administration says 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway just ain’t gonna cut it.
That day is not this day, however, so for now I will join my fellow Rovers as we rage, rage against the bureaucrats and the tree huggers (no offense Meghan) as we will not drive gently into that good night! (Apologies to Dylan Thomas.)