Range Rover 3.0 TDV6 Autobiography

Fittingly, the new Chelsea tractor is a pricey star signing

Price: £87,895
Engine capacity: 3.0-litre turbo diesel
Power output (bhp @ rpm): 255 @ 4,000
Top speed (mph): 130
0-62 mph (seconds): 7.9
Fuel economy (mpg): 37.9
CO2 emissions (g/km): 196

There aren't many Chelsea tractors that you can drive down a steep Moroccan ravine, cross a boulder field and ford a river in, but that is exactly how Land Rover has chosen to showcase its all-new Range Rover. It's odd driving a near-£100k car with a soft-leather interior and all the luxuries of a Bentley or Roller past a camel herder's shack on a remote Atlas mountain track before diving off and bouncing across broken ground into the sunset. But Land Rover has a long history with Morocco. The original Range Rover was due to be launched there in 1970 before civil unrest caused a last-minute diversion to Cornwall and the firm is clearly keen to show just what its new toy can do.

Back in Britain you're more likely to see one in west London or Cheshire than tearing up turf in Wales or in the Highlands, but the new Range Rover is no soft-roader, whatever the duel-zone climate control, ventilated and massaging seats, DVD player, touch-screen display and host of hi-tech safety and luxury gadgets might suggest. In fact, it gets all the usual off-road bells and whistles and sensors to monitor wheel slip, steering angle, suspension travel, axle articulation and engine mapping. All this wizardry (I'm still inclined to think it stays upright thanks to black magic) means it detects the type of surface you are driving on to keep you stable. And whether you're crossing icy Cotswolds B roads (about as dangerous as most Range Rover journeys get) or drifting sideways along a sandy track in the Atlas mountains, you have to try very hard to get it to step out and misbehave.

Peace of mind in Chelsea (or California, which is still Land Rover's biggest market) is more likely to stem from the fact that the clever engineers at Gaydon have used a new light-weight aluminium body structure – the first of its kind in an SUV – to shed 420kg of weight. This, teamed with a new smaller V6 engine, has brought C02 emissions down to a very un-Range Rover 196g per kilometre. True, that's not exactly green city-car territory but the green lobby has had an effect on the Warwickshire firm. So much so that there is even a hybrid Range Rover in the pipeline and even the TDV6 I tested, its smaller-engined model, claims economy of 37mpg.

On normal roads all this weight loss means the Range Rover is surprisingly composed and nimble for what is a very large vehicle, while its oil-burning unit is smooth, refined and near-silent at cruising speed. Its air-suspension set-up irons out even the gigantic bumps of Moroccan roads (about the same as Britain's rapidly deteriorating highways) and increased leg-room edges it over into luxury limousine territory. At £70,000 for an entry-level model it is close to top-end pricing, too.

Not that this will bother most Range Rover customers (the company is hoping to shift 40,000 a year to reduce UK PLC's trade deficit), because the firm thinks the average customer will tick enough options boxes at the dealership to hit the £100,000 mark. This is serious cash, but there's still a certain slice of the country that wants a luxury car that will really go anywhere. If you're one of them, I doubt you'll want to risk it by crossing a Moroccan ravine, but you might like to try to convince people your new super-luxurious but British-built Chelsea tractor is much greener than they think. Good luck.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Nursery Manager

    £100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Nursery Manager Long term Ran...

    Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

    £24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    £45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

    SEN Teaching Assistant

    £45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain