Spied: 2012 Range Rover

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Spy photographers catch the upcoming 2012 Range Rover undergoing testing. While the design will not significantly change, new technology such as aluminum materials will contribute to an overall lower weight and better fuel consumption.

The new 2012 Range Rover was spotted the other day driving around the Midlands outside of the JLR Whitley R&D center. Branded the L405, the 2012 Range Rover is made out of aluminum technology taken from Jaguar and will be 20 percent lighter than the current model, according to Car. How much lighter you might ask? How about 882lbs lighter, bringing the total weight closer to 4,850lbs. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been problems for RR in the past, however RR has been committed to tweaking future models.

Lower weight will help ease some of the problems, but so will the new hybrid power system. Most RRs will be powered by the usual TDV6 and TDV8 turbodiesels (or gas V8s in certain areas) but they will also pioneer JLR's hybrid technology. The ultimate goal for Range Rover is to nail down plug-in technology so the RRs can emit zero emissions on pure electric mode. All of the new RRs will be equipped with ZF eight-speed automatic transmissions which, in top gear, can cut down C02 emissions to 200g/km (including stop-start).

Speaking to Car, Design director Gerry McGovern said "We want these cars to be more proud, more important, more jewel-like." The 2012 Range Rover will be available in 2012, however the rumored 7-seat Range Rover Sport will follow in 2013.

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