Next Range Rover to go upmarket, downmarket and lighter-weight

With Ford selling off parts of its Premium Automotive Group (PAG) one at a time, it remains uncertain if Land Rover and Jaguar will end up under the same ownership in the future. In the meantime, Land Rover is collaborating with Jaguar on a future flagship model that will draw on Jaguar's expertise to produce a new Range Rover with a lighter-weight construction that could expand both upmarket and down.

Based on a new aluminum structure called Premium Lightweight Architecture, the next Range Rover is anticipated to shed about 40% off the unpainted unibody's weight, and some 800 pounds off the curb weight. Applying the magic formula of less weight and more power from a revised engine line-up, also benefiting from Jaguar collaboration, would contribute to improved performance and fuel economy. An all-new 5.0-liter V8 could produce about 350 hp, or as much as 460 supercharged, while the existing range of diesels are anticipated to be bored out from 2.7 liters to 3 and from 3.6 liters to 4. If Land Rover chose to shoehorn in the smaller Jaguar/Land Rover turbodiesel into the lightweight Range Rover, it would create a lower model in the range, while the top-end, supercharged version could fetch as much as $200,000 and feature a full spectrum of luxury equipment to anchor the SUV's position at the top of the luxury sport-ute market.

A new styling direction, led by new design chief Phil Simmons, is expected to include shorter overhangs and de-emphasized greenhouse to give a tauter and less top-heavy appearance. If given the green light for development by Ford or by any future parent company, the Range Rover would be the first in a series of new models from Land Rover, to be followed by a new Discovery (LR2), Freelander (LR3), Defender and Range Rover Sport.

[Source: Motor Authority via AutoWeek]

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