And say hello to a new era for Land Rover's flagship model.
Among the many reasons we love Land Rover is the fact it tended to keep things old school. The Defender was the visual icon of Land Rover’s commitment to the past before it was phased out to prepare for a modern replacement, but more telling is the fact you can still spec members of the Land Rover clan with gluttonous engines that include a supercharged V6 and V8.
That changed for the Range Rover Sport last month when Land Rover replaced its V6 with a - get ready for it - 3.0-liter twin-charged mild hybrid inline-six engine, all in attempts to save fuel and refine the beast. And now Land Rover has brought that same configuration to its range-topping SUV, the Range Rover. The new engine, slated to debut in the 2020 Range Rover, is much like the one in the Range Rover Sport.
With the help of a 48-volt mild hybrid system that collects power when the Rover is coasting and expends it to aid the stop/start system, the 3.0-liter gasoline inline-six is both more responsive and more fuel efficient. Much of that has to do with the fact the engine is twin-charged, meaning it has both a supercharger and a twin-scroll turbocharger.
Engineers were able to use the 48-volt system to drive the supercharger, supplying the engine with boost at low RPMs where a turbocharger isn’t as much help. Using electricity to drive the supercharger also cuts fuel-wasting parasitic losses that belt-driven superchargers exert on the engine. While variable cam timing and continuous variable valve lift also help the engine achieve fuel economy as high as 30.4 mpg, the real genius behind the Ingenium inline-six is that it shares architecture with JLR’s Ingenium inline-4, allowing it to share its friction-reducing parts.
Of course, the real fun is had when mashing the throttle at a standstill. That tells the engine to send 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque to the wheels, launching the Range Rover to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds before it tops out at 140 mph. Buyers in certain markets can opt for a 355 horsepower version of the engine if speed isn’t their priority. But a fast, efficient, and smoothened inline-six experience isn’t the only refinement the 2020 Range Rover gets.
There are new paint options including Eiger Grey, which replaces Corris Grey, and Portofino Blue, which now stands in for Loire Blue. Complementing the colors are a new set of 22-inch gloss black wheels, but perhaps more exciting is the fact Land Rover has loaded the Range Rover with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Further justifying its £83,655 price tag ($109,100…but that’s not US pricing) are clever lighting features like Sign Post Dimming and Tourist Mode. The former turns off individual LEDs in the headlights to reduce glare from reflective signs at night while the latter changes the aim of the beam if a driver travels to a country that drives on the opposite side of the road as their home country does (mainly relevant to Europeans). While the 2020 Range Rover is currently available to order for the UK, we’ll have to wait a bit until North American versions are ready to go.