The prototype must've had a beefy engine given the quad exhaust system.
It turns out the V8-powered Defender is not the only new SUV that Land Rover is currently testing at the Nürburgring. Fresh spy shots show the next-generation Range Rover is also racking up the miles at the Nordschleife, without revealing too much of its production skin. Actually, the prototype was fully camouflaged inside and out as the official reveal is still some time away.
Despite the heavy disguise, we can clearly see the overall shape will remain largely the same as the next Range Rover will retain its boxy body rather than going for a softer, rounder appearance like so many other SUVs. While the Velar and Evoque have those nifty pop-out electronic door handles, the new British luxury SUV soldiers on with a conventional setup as the handles appear to be fixed in place.
Gallery: 2022 Range Rover new spy photos
Peeking through the camouflage are small sections of the headlights and taillights, but what intrigues us the most is the split tailgate. The upper section appears to be sticking out for some reason, although we’re tempted to believe that area carries an extra layer of camouflage to better conceal the rear end design. Look lower and you’ll notice the prototype was fitted with quad exhaust tips, thus suggesting it packed a beefy engine underneath its hood.
In one of the adjacent spy shots, it seems the SUV features all-wheel steering as the rear wheels appear to turn slightly towards the right while the front ones are turning left. This helps reduce the turning circle, while at higher speeds, all wheels turn in the same direction to increase stability.
Although our spy photographers were not able to have a proper look inside the cabin, from some angles you can observe the full roll cage and the body-hugging OMP seats. There’s also some testing device mounted on the center console, but obviously, none of these will be on the production model. You might be tempted to believe the sporty bits are a sign of a performance variant, but that’s not necessarily true as we’ve seen prototypes of regular cars using this setup at the Nürburgring.
The current-generation Range Rover is one of the oldest models in its segment, having been around since 2012. With an all-new Mercedes GLS featuring a posh Maybach variant along with a first-ever BMW X7, Land Rover needs to step up its luxury SUV game and do it fast to better compete with the Germans.
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It is believed the fifth-generation Range Rover will hit dealerships towards the end of 2021 and ride on the MLA platform, with power possibly coming from a V8 engine of BMW origins. A plug-in hybrid derivative will have an electric motor at the back, while a pure EV is said to be under consideration for a launch later in the model’s life cycle.