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New York show: New engines for Land Rovers

Big is better: Land Rover's Discovery has been given a fresh face and heart transplant.

Bigger, more frugal engines for upgraded Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport and Vogue

9 Apr 2009

THE Indian-owned British brand, Jaguar Land Rover, has used this week’s New York Auto Show to demonstrate there’s plenty of life left in its full-size off-road flagships.

Fresh from confirming it would build an all-new mini-SUV based on last year’s LRX concept in the UK from 2011, JLR unveiled revitalised ‘10MY’ Discovery, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Vogue wagons that will go on sale in Australia late this year.

The new range is headlined by two new direct-injection 5.0-litre V8s and a similarly larger-capacity 3.0-litre diesel V6, all of them more powerful and efficient than the respective 4.2 and 2.7-litre versions they replace.

The arrival of the new models Down Under is unlikely to be soon enough for Land Rover Australia, which was among few brands to increase sales locally last year, thanks largely to the entry-level Freelander and evergreen Defender.

This year, the top-selling Disco is down 37 per cent, the Rangie Sport down 41 per cent and the top-shelf Rangie Vogue – which remains LR’s biggest seller in the US, despite being its oldest model – down a big 54 per cent, with just 10 sales in March. Total Land Rover sales are down one-third in the first quarter of 2009.

While all three 2010 SUV ranges will also feature new interior and exterior cosmetics that aim to inject more “premiumness”, plus upgraded chassis and interior technologies, the most significant change is the adoption of the same engines that will power Jaguar Australia’s upgraded XF range from June.

Also seen under the bonnet of the revised XFR sedan and XKR coupe, JLR’s new EU5 emissions-compliant supercharged 5.0-litre V8 employs a twin-vortex Eaton supercharger to deliver a beefy 375kW of power and 625Nm of torque in the most expensive Range Rover Sport and Vogue models.

A 385kW version of the force-fed V8 accelerates the XFR to 100km/h in a claimed 4.7 seconds and the lighter XKR two-door in 4.6 seconds.

24 center imageFrom top: Land Rover Discovery 4, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Vogue.

Like the new twin-turbocharged diesel V6 that will be available with the newly-named Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport, the blown V8 is also said to be 29 per cent more powerful, as well as six to nine per cent more fuel-efficient.

Unlike the current Discovery 3, which employs a single-turbo version of Jaguar’s twin-turbo 2.7-litre diesel V6, the 2010 Land Rover’s version of the twin-turbo 3.0 TDV6 will produce 180kW and 600Nm, the latter available from 2000rpm and 500Nm which is claimed to be on tap almost instantly from idle. The XF 3.0D will be available in Europe with two power outputs – 181kW/500Nm or 208kW/600Nm.

Land Rover says all new engines are more efficient thanks to ‘e-Terrain’ technologies such as optimised engine calibration, lower idle speeds, reduced torque-converter slip and the new Intelligent Power System Management (IPSM) technology, including smart regenerative charging, improved aerodynamics and a clutched air-conditioning pump to reduce parasitic losses on the diesel.

The supercharged V8 and twin-turbo diesel, plus a new naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 to replace the Disco and Rangie Sport’s 4.4-litre V8, all come standard with a new taller-ratio ZF six-speed automatic transmission, which in the Rangie Sport can be operated by steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters for the first time.

The 3.6-litre TDV8 will continue to be available in the Discovery-based Range Rover Sport, which is the newest of Land Rover’s three large SUVs.

All three models receive updated exteriors via new grilles and bumpers, but the Discovery gains the lion’s share of visual changes, including new LED lighting and a redesigned, cleaner and more upmarket interior comprising fewer buttons and more prominent positioning of Land Rover’s Terrain Response off-road system. The seven-seater also gains new tow assist, high beam assist and keyless entry systems.

Both Rangie models get revised switchgear and higher-quality materials, but all three score a new 360-degree “surround” camera system that employs five exterior camera views that can be displayed individually or in pairs on the central display screen, which Land Rover says virtually eliminates blind spots.

Dubbed as “the world’s most complete luxury all-terrain vehicle”, the flagship Vogue adds to this a “world-first dual-view infotainment system”, which allows the driver and front-seat passenger to view both satellite-navigation and DVD video simultaneously on a touch-screen dashboard monitor.

For 2010, the most expensive Land Rover also comes with a new programmable and configurable 12-inch digital instrument panel, which for example can move items like the speedo to one side to reveal off-road systems displays more prominently while off-road driving.

More powerful new brakes and a continuously variable Active Damping system are claimed to improve on-road dynamics (the latter including a new ‘Dynamic’ setting for sporting on-road driving), while off-road ability is enhanced by a hill descent control system across the range.

The Rangie Vogue also features new switchgear, a new steering wheel with multi-directional thumbpads, leather headlining, an upgraded navigation system and enhanced safety features including adaptive cruise control, emergency brake assist, blind spot monitoring, the surround camera system and automatic high-beam assist.

Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said the Discovery 4’s new interior not only had a much more premium look and feel, but also improved functionality.

“The new console inclines towards the driver, the switchgear and controls fall more readily to hand, and new LED Interior Mood Lighting in HSE models helps make the cabin a more pleasant and more easily used space after dark. We've made the interior environment more premium too, with smoother surfaces, softer materials and close attention to critical details such as stitching.” Land Rover managing director Phil Popham said the Range Rover Sport's performance, ride and handling had been transformed by the new engines, transmission and chassis systems.

“Combine these enhancements with the contemporary style and luxury of the revised interior, and it's clear that the Range Rover Sport remains the only choice as the quintessential SUV sports tourer,” he said.

“The Range Rover Vogue 10MY is a considerable step forward for what is already regarded as the one of the world's most complete luxury vehicles.

“New engines deliver formidable power, efficiency and customary Range Rover Vogue refinement, and new technologies, such as the dual view screen, deliver a world first. Like its legendary predecessors, the Range Rover Vogue 10MY is setting the pace once more.”

Read more:

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