The new Range Rover will attract a higher price tag without repelling potential suitors.
In order to compete in the super-luxury SUV segment, where the likes of Bentley, Lamborghini and Aston Martin are soon to venture with new SUV models planned for the near future, Land Rover will respond with their own lavish off-roader. With the roaring success of the £125,000 2011 Autobiography Ultimate Edition, Land Rover has already tested the waters with a high-priced Range Rover giving them confidence to move the Mk4 more upmarket.
"The Ultimate Edition shows there's an opportunity to go up a notch in price," brand director John Edwards told Autocar. "We tested the market for a reason. We always learn for future models." There was concern regarding the market's response to such an expensive Range Rover, of which only 500 units were produced. "I was quite nervous about it," he said. "The top model before that was £90k, so it could have been interesting. But they all went straight out of the door. The rush in China, Russia and Middle East was huge, and the UK exceeded forecasts, too."
Notable features of the special edition model included individual bucket seats in the rear;p a center console that ran the length of the cabin; wood, leather and aluminum trim; and Apple iPads fitted in the back of the front headrests. Bentley's foray into the SUV segment began with their EXP 9F concept, revealed in Geneva, while Lamborghini are expected to preview a similar concept at this month's Beijing Motor Show. "Bentley and Lamborghini are entering the market and it's exciting," said Edwards. "We welcome them and are confident we can compete."
The next-generation Range Rover is nearing the end of development and should be revealed later this year, with first sales to start early 2013.