2015 Range Rover HSE: extreme test drive on the Dubai dunes

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 23, 2015

While the 4th generation Range Rover can’t be mistaken for any other model, merely glancing at it makes the viewer detect a certain freshness about it. At the Paris Show in September 2012 where it was launched, countless people visited the automaker’s booth to see just how the first SUV in the world to have a lightweight all-aluminum monocoque body structure would look.

They were not disappointed since the Range Rover still has its original iconic design and its adventurous essence; however, it was built from the ground up. Its lines remain elegant and clean but it’s apparent that its design elements were given a new twist.

This Range Rover reflects the brand’s intention to bring its look a step forward in its evolution timeline. If anyone were to ask an expert or an avid fan on what makes the Range Rover distinctive, the answer would probably be its trio of lines on the lower accent graphic, its unbroken midline, and a ‘floating’ roofline.

Its profile ever-so-slightly tapers and has curves. Meanwhile, the roof becomes the focus of attention with the model’s use of near-flush glazing and gloss black pillars. When the announcement came that Land Rover was building an all-aluminum Range Rover, more than a few eyebrows were raised.

To say the least, this technology is trailblazing and is a major milestone in the industry. With the use of the all-aluminum structure, the fourth generation Range Rover has achieved total weight savings of 420 kg. In fact, its weight is 39% lower than that of the previous model.

Land Rover saw it fit to still use its full-time intelligent 4WD system on the new version after determining and proving its effectiveness in raising the traction and stability of its previous models to optimum levels.

The system consists of a two-speed transfer box that works alongside the most advanced electronic traction control systems. Confidence in a vehicle stems from its capabilities. It is as if Land Rover can anticipate your needs and it has equipped the new Range Rover accordingly.

Its structure is exceptionally strong and its shape has been enhanced so that it can function in all kinds of terrains. It can wade into waters as deep as 900 mm – a major improvement from 200 mm of the previous model. In its class, it offers the most impressive trailer capability of 3,500 kg.

Powertrain

We tested the Range Rover HSE with an output of 375 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, generated by a 5.0-liter V8 supercharged petrol engine. Land Rover claims that the V8 engine can permit the SUV to take just 7.8 seconds to accelerate from an absolute stop to 62 mph.

This becomes even more remarkable since it has an unladen weight of 2580 kg. It has a fuel economy rating of a combined 22 imperial mpg or 12.8 l/100 km --- better than ever but not extraordinary.

The vehicle adjusts to the various demands of the terrain with its exclusive Terrain Response 2 system. It tracks driving conditions and optimizes traction and driveability by making adjustments to its engine, gearbox, centre differential and chassis systems.

If the Terrain Response 2 is not in auto mode, the driver is still able to receive input from it such as if there’s a need to choose low range or to determine what the off-road ride height is. Land Rover brought a number of development vehicles to more than 20 countries and made them go through the most extreme weather and road conditions.

The auto company believes that by doing so, its customers are guaranteed that the Range Rover they’re getting has passed the most rigorous tests and leaves no doubt of its sturdiness and dependability.

The Range Rover’s control, composure, and ride are optimized by the Adaptive Dynamics system that features variable dampers and that closely monitors its movements.

Because of the Dynamic Response that regulates the front and rear suspension units, the comfort of its occupants is ensured. This means that cornering won’t result to that tension-provoking body lean. For those who can afford to not look at the price tag before buying, the elegant Range Rover HSE is definitely for you.

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