It's no secret that in recent years Land Rover has been itching to reduce the mass of its products. Even before Ford sold the brand to Tata it had been working on a variety of lighter weight concepts. It looks like the next generation Range Rover will be the first benefactor of those efforts when it debuts in 2012.

The new flagship SUV is expected to cast a similar shadow to the current model, but the roof won't be nearly as tall. This should significantly reduce the frontal area and create less overall aerodynamic drag. Mass will be reduced by using a riveted aluminum chassis with the same type of construction as the Jaguar XJ. Land Rover is apparently targeting a cut of 450 kilograms (992 pounds), with composite materials in the body panels helping to achieve that goal.

The 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 now available in the Jaguar XF and XJ should bring CO2 emissions down from the the current 300+ grams / kilometer to under 200 g/km along with fuel economy of 33 mpg (U.S.) A diesel-hybrid is also expected in the lineup a couple of years after launch.

[Source: Autocar]