The opportunity to succeed an icon doesn't come along all that often for automakers, and when it does, you'd best make a big fuss about it. That marketing message was well received by team Land Rover, who hosted a gala shindig for their 2013 Range Rover reveal in London on Friday night. A brace of the new SUVs rolled out to the assembled throngs at the Royal Ballet School in London's Richmond Park, with the lead Landie wading dramatically through a deep pool of water and onto the main stage as klieg lights swirled and flashbulbs punctured the darkness.
A secondary pair of Rovers subsequently rolled up smaller plinths, where they would be inspected closely by those in attendance – everyone from Land Rover executives to British actors, artists and athletes to Land Rover owners and socialites to... well, us.
Despite having attended a full day's worth of technical seminars on the 2013 Land Rover prior to the evening's festivities, this was our first real chance to clap eyes and hands on the Land Rover for more than a fleeting moment. We told you before in our Deep Dive that the new model has presence (even if we find some of the details finicky) and we stand by that assertion. We also note now that the design will be rather color-sensitive, as darker tones go some way toward muting some of the design features like the faux door vents. More than ever, the 2013 Range Rover will offer personalization options, including two different contrasting color options for the cantilevered roof (Santorini Black and Indus Silver) and even contrasting 'vent' colors. In total, there are 37 paint colors to choose from, although 22 of them are from the Autobiography collection (read: more $$$). Thus, how much one chooses to hide or draw attention to the design will largely be a matter of personal preference.
We managed to pick our way through the masses and into the dinner chair-height throne of the Rover for a bit, and found a lot to like with the simplified interior. The sea of knobs on the center stack has been greatly decluttered, as has the center console, which has fewer buttons and a less obtrusive Terrain Response II controller. What we like best about the interior is its strong rectilinear theme, with large, interrupted panels of leather, wood and metal that all feel as good as they look. We can't report on the functionality of the revised infotainment features, as the static demo vehicles had them turned off. The rear seat was also notably more expansive, and our five-foot, ten-inch frames had plenty of space all 'round, even with the panoramic sunroof.
Check out our gallery of live reveal shots and then scroll down to watch official video of the fourth-generation Land Rover's reveal, as well as a new promo film where you can watch and hear it in action.