2013 Range Rover: The Future Has Arrived And It Doesn't Suck

Last week in a piece about Jeremy Clarkson I might have said that I had very little love in my heart for the Range Rover. This pissed off some people, which was good. See, unlike lesser car-based SUVs, like the X5 M or Porsche Cayenne, the Range Rover has a commanding ride height and seating position. This gives you a great vantage point to see upcoming obstructions like Atlas stones and peasants before you run them over. This commanding view of what’s underneath you combined with the heavy weight combines for terrible handling. And realizing that the outgoing Range Rover had to be driven slowly was irritating. I hate driving slow. Land Rover has proposed a solution; the all new 2013 Range Rover.

2013 Range Rover: The Future Has Arrived And It Doesn't Suck

For 2013 the Range Rover, which made its first official appearance this week in Paris, is 39 percent lighter than its predecessor. That’s right, somehow the engineers at Jaguar-Land Rover managed to bypass the whole “bulking phase” that’s consumed the entire automotive industry, and fast forwarded to the future where everything is better.

2013 Range Rover: The Future Has Arrived And It Doesn't Suck

How is that even possible? Range Rover says the bulk of the weight loss is courtesy of an all new aluminum unibody structure, the first of its kind in an SUV.  This helps the Range Rover shed around 700 to 900 pounds over its steel bodied predecessor depending on the spec. This comes despite an in increase rear legroom of about four inches.

2013 Range Rover: The Future Has Arrived And It Doesn't Suck

The interior keeps in step with the serious weight loss program. It has 50 percent less clutter according to Range Rover officials. And the light airy feeling many have come to appreciate about the Range Rover’s ride is now backed by a massive panoramic roof. You can also option a 29 speaker, 1,700 watt Meridian sound system. Range Rover made no mention of how much that option weighs. All this technical drivel is all fine and good, but less weight really means you can go faster, and faster is exactly what the 2013 Range Rover is. With the standard V8 with 375 horsepower the 2013 Range makes the sprint to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. The supercharged V8 with 510 horsepower and 461 lb ft of torque crushes the dash in just 5.1 seconds. With a chip and an exhaust from one of the many Range Rover tuners like A Kahn, or Overfinch you could easily have a  four-seconds-to-sixty SUV capable of mixing it up with a G class in the deserts of some oil rich country.

2013 Range Rover: The Future Has Arrived And It Doesn't Suck

The increased performance also comes with the added benefit of a 5 mpg increase in fuel efficiency, so not only do you get to drive like a lunatic you now get to do it for longer. Sounds like a win to me. However in light of all this good news there is still one problem with the new Range Rover. The  diesel option will not be coming to the Unites States, or at least not during its initial stateside launch.Which is disappointing, because Range Rover’s 3.0 liter V6 and 4.4. liter V8 diesels are seriously torquey oil burners. All signs point to the arrival of a hybrid version instead, which is pretty ballsy considering Range Rover’s commitment to dominating off-road capability in the luxury SUV segment. All we know is that the battery or any of its running gear will not short circuit while fording a river. Range Rover claims this model will be good for a 45 mpg and a 0-60 in less than seven seconds thanks to a 3.0 liter diesel and 1.7-kWh battery pack working in tandem. I say just give us the diesel and let us enjoy the weight savings. (PHOTOS: See more of the 2013 Range Rover here)

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