Forget South Beach, Land Rover using Jaguar diet
Hopefully the potential dispersal of the Ford Premier Group won't affect this wonderful Jaguar/Land Rover collaboration that is being rumored. By borrowing aluminum (aluminium?) expertise from Jaguar, future Land Rovers could be as much as 1,000 pounds lighter than current models. Utilizing Jaguar's rivet-bonded aluminum monocoque body design, Land Rover could continue to build large luxury SUVs that are lighter and return even better fuel economy.
According to What Car's inside source, the new Range Rover will be the first all-alloy, monocoque-bodied 4x4 when it debuts in 2010. "There's no decision yet, and we don't have to decide for a couple of years, but it seems a logical step to investigate," said their source.
As they further point out, the Discovery and Range Rover Sport are both due for replacement a couple of years after the Range Rover, and it would make economic sense to share the technology across as many models as possible to exact the best economies of scale for L-R. It was expected that the new RR might switch to Land Rover's semi-monocoque steel T5 platform, which underpins the Discovery and the Range Rover Sport, but this makes a whole lot more sense.
Curb weight for the current Range Rover is about 6,000 pounds, but with a similar 15% weight savings as Jag has witnessed, Land Rover could get that down to less than 5,000 while maintaining the off-road toughness for which its vehicles are known. The boost in fuel economy and performance wouldn't hurt either.
[Source: What Car?]