It's too early to call it a triumph. But it's certainly the most important milestone for JLR since the British company passed into the hands of Tata Motors.
The fourth generation of the iconic flagship of the Land Rover brand will be available to customers in the UK and USA by December. The rest of the world gets it in the first quarter of 2013. The new Range Rover has grown in size and possibly stature too. It attempts to offer new levels of luxury while also trying to stay green. For the first time the Range Rover will use an all-aluminium frame which reduces weight by 180 kg. And despite the slight increase in dimensions. It is 27 mm longer than its predecessor, and yet stays overall shorter than rivals like the Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GL.
So while it is the world's first SUV with an all-aluminium construction, it's also now going to be the first Land Rover offering to feature a hybrid variant. And it's a diesel hybrid by the way - which attempts to cash in on diesel's higher efficiency over petrol to begin with - and enhancing that by throwing in a 50 KW electric motor. Land Rover claims that the addition of the hybrid system, heavy battery included, doesn't change the go-anywhere credentials that are the hallmark of the Range Rover brand. The hybrid variant will be offered only in select markets though, later in 2013.
Of course besides that the company is offering one supercharged petrol V8, and two turbo diesel options - one V6 and one V8.
The company has spent £ 1 billion on the entire project. This is because the new Range Rover's new architecture demanded technology enhancements for the manufacturing processes too. So the Solihull facility that makes this car has also been upgraded to meet the new production requirements at an expense of £ 370 million. The company hopes to make good on the high investment by using some of the facilities and processes - as also the vehicle's platform - for future products.
Most Range Rover Variants will likely breach £100,000 here in the UK, but interestingly its entry variant starts at £72,000 - the same price as the outgoing Range Rover.
Land Rover has unveiled its most important car yet. The market launch will happen at the Paris Motor Show where no doubt the car will be one of the most anticipated debuts - along with sister brand Jaguar's massive model debut too - the two-seater spots car F-Type. Development on both models has also been watched very closely by Tata Group Chairman, Ratan Tata, and will be the last two products launched before he steps down in December. Expect the new Range Rover to be offered in India by mid-2013.