Range Rover Grows Up Even More

What am I looking at?

Part rolling solar eclipse, part executive car, this is Land Rover's new long wheelbase Range Rover - the first factory LWB Rangey since 1994.

What's new?

Addressing possibly the least vital need in the history of motoring, the LWB Range Rover is lengthened 20cm between the wheels and provides an extra 14cm (5.5 inches) of legroom for the rear seat passengers.

What powers it?

At the moment there's no word on which of the Range Rover line's engines will find a home in the LWB version, but it's fairly safe to assume that at the least the 5.0 V8 supercharged petrol and 4.4 TDV8 diesel will be available.

Land Rover have promised a hybrid version will be available too. This is likely to be the same 3.0 SDV6 diesel engine and 35kW electric motor combination found in the new Range Rover Sport.

Anything else?

The LWB announcement was paired with the reveal of a new LWB-exclusive trim above the 'Autobiography' called 'Autobiography Black' - yes, really.

Unlike other Black special editions, this isn't about power or paint colours but luxury - Land Rover have gone all out on the exclusive interior options. Photochromatic privacy glass, reclining leather seats with memory, climate control and massage functions for all four occupants, a chiller compartment, electrically-operated leather tables and customisable interior mood lighting is all on the list of standard kit.

How much will it cost me?

At present, Land Rover are surprisingly mum on the exact pricing - presumably on the basis that if you have to ask you can't afford it. However, we wouldn't expect any change from 95,000 for the entry diesel Autobiography and north of 130k for the hybrid Autobiography Black.

Any alternatives?

If you like your luxury with a high driving position and a lot of off-road capability, no. There's some price overlap with the Porsche Cayenne, but it's a completely different prospect.

The only real competitors are the standard luxury saloon offerings from the Germans and in-house at Jaguar. The new Mercedes S-Class is garnering the usual phenomenal levels of praise - it's a pity the 4WD version won't be coming to the UK - and the BMW 7-series is a fine alternative with the 760iL giving plenty of car for the money. A good leftfield choice (if there is such a thing at 100k prices) would be the Porsche Panamera and the Jaguar XJ L Supersport - while underpriced in this company - is a great bit of kit.

In a line?

Perhaps the best version of the best version of the best luxury offroader.

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