• August 20, 2022 02:15

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2022 Range Rover First Look: More Exciting Than Meets the Eye

Oct 27, 2021
2022 Range Rover First Look: More Exciting Than Meets the Eye

2022 Range Rover First Look: More Exciting Than Meets the Eye

Familiar (but new) sheetmetal conceals a lovely interior and innovative technology.

 

Meet Land Rover’s all-new 2022 Range Rover, which represents just the fifth redesign since the first Rangie was introduced to Europe in 1969. Your first impression might well match ours: “That’s it?” Certainly, this is the most, er, subtle of redesigns, but don’t let the smooth reskin fool you—there are a lot of significant changes under all that aluminum.

Haven’t I Seen You Before?

Let’s dispatch with the styling first: The new 2022 Range Rover looks rather like a concept-car version of the outgoing Range Rover, particularly from the front, where it exhibits a smooth, bumper-less rendition of that all-too-familiar face. Out back the changes are more distinctive, not to mention a bit more bizarre. The quarter panels are so flat as to seem almost featureless, and we’re at a loss to explain the Cadillac-like vertical taillamps.

We were far more impressed once we opened the doors. Inside, more so than outside, is where subtlety and simplicity translate to elegance. Controls and displays are grouped neatly in planes, one at the steering wheel and another along the line of the center console, the latter dominated by a landscape-oriented screen that appears to hover above the dashboard. It’s a good-looking setup that avoids overwhelming the occupants with buttons, but it lacks the stark simplicity (and ultimate higher learning curve) of Tesla’s and Rivian’s all-on-the-screen controls.

Ceramics, Wool, And A Third Row

The new Range Rover’s interior trim includes some rather intricate veneers, and top-of-the-line SV models feature interior pieces done up in ceramic—a novel finish, to be sure, though the stark bright white parts stand out awkwardly against the interior colors we saw. Also worthy of note: Land Rover is looking to phase out leather upholstery. While it still offers traditional cowhides, buyers can also opt for synthetic alternatives and wool blends.

Move past the spacious back seat and you’ll find something never seen previously in a Range Rover: an optional third row. Available in the long-wheelbase models, the back-back seat is surprisingly roomy and habitable by all but the tallest adults. These rear-most seating positions offer individual air vents, seat heaters, and USB ports, and they can be folded down for additional cargo space—electrically, of course. If you don’t have a brood to haul, the optional four-seat Signature Suite offers a full-length center console with a power-deploying table, 24-way adjustable massaging seats, and—if we heard the presenters correctly—up to 3 feet of legroom.

Gasoline Power To Start, PHEV And EV Coming

Land Rover will offer all 2022 Range Rover models with a 523-hp, 533-lb-ft twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that will propel the Range Rover to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. However, SE models can be had with a more efficient 3.0-liter turbocharged and mild-hybridized straight-six that puts out a healthy 395 hp and 406 lb-ft. For the 2023 model year, the Range Rover will pair that same six with a 141-hp electric motor and a 31.8-kWh battery in a 434-hp plug-in-hybrid model the company says will travel up to 62 miles (and up to 87 mph) on battery power alone. A battery-powered electric version will join the lineup for the 2024 model year.

Air suspension returns, paired with 48-volt electronically controlled adaptive dampers. To provide that Range Rover magic-carpet ride quality, the Dynamic Response Pro system uses map data to preview the road ahead and then tunes the suspension accordingly. If the vehicle’s sensors detect a potential collision, the system will set the suspension to its firmest settings to aid the driver in swerving to avoid trouble. A four-wheel-steering system should improve high-speed stability and tighten the low-speed turning radius to a mere 35 feet.

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