Land Rover is fully aware that their SUVs are a bit porky. But they are brilliantly engineered and in many synonymous ways, are the Ferraris of the SUV world. That said, the small British SUV/crossover maker had decided to acknowledge the Range Rover’s weight issue by building it using all-aluminum unibodies. Now, they reportedly want to transcend the use of these lighter weight bodies on their future models, according to CARandDRIVER.
But in order to streamline their production so that they could keep up with the demand and the competition, the boffins at Jaguar-Land Rover decided that a modular platform was necessary. This modular platform is already in use with the current Jaguar XJ, which was also the same exact starting point for the current generation L405 2014 Range Rover. Past reports indicated that Jaguar-Land Rover seek to decrease their platforms to just two universally modular platforms, which will underpin a wide variety of Jaguar and Land Rover models.
As of now, Land Rover uses the Ford-sourced EUCD platform for the aging LR2 and the new Range Rover Evoque; while the Defender has been on its tried, tested, but outrageously true—and outrageously ancient—platform; and the LR4 still uses its platform from the outgoing Range Rover Sport’s integrated body-on-frame platform. Not to mention, the last generation LR322 Range Rover was built on a modified BMW X5 chassis.
So what does this production streamlining mean for Land Rover? Well, a long-wheelbase Range Rover is said to be on the way in 2014, which is built specifically for the Chinese market. The last time the Range Rover was built specifically with a long-wheelbase was in its first generation. Range Rover nuts might remember them as the Range Rover “Classic” County LWB.
LR will also reportedly bring a new diesel-hybrid option for the Range Rover using the brand’s new 3.0L turbodiesel V6. C/D doubts that we’ll see it on North American shores. But maybe if we all make enough of a racket about it, they might be convinced to bring it.
So far, the current Range Rover’s chassis is internally coined the D7, which also underpins the new 2014 Range Rover Sport. It will also be the starting point for the future Discovery 5 or LR4 successor. The LR4 has been described to be moving upmarket and that it will return with the Discovery nameplate, rather than the LR5, in succession to the LR4.
The Defender too, will be getting a rework very soon. But due to negative feedback from the niche audience that the Defender caters to, the DC100 Concept just didn’t cut the mustard. Yet, the customer demand for the Defender are in search for an update, mainly for safety and emissions standards. Either way, the Defender successor is back on the drawing board for now.
– By: Chris Chin