As is now common, a virtual launch of the all-new fifth-generation Range Rover was held today. While it was a very public release at the Royal Opera House in London, in New Zealand it was a remote launch.

Still, it was a worthwhile event with the new car looking very similar but at the same time notably different, if perhaps not as big of a shift as the previous generations. Apparently, the whole design of the new Range Rover centered around three areas of focus:

  • Driving dynamics
  • Refinement in the cabin
  • Connected tech

So the main changes to the new Range Rover are under the skin; an incredible new interior, lots of tech and connectivity, and for the first time ever, a 7-seat option. I owned a Range Rover years ago, and recall there were companies offering this as an after-market addition. Finally, Land Rover has listened to the owners and made this available (albeit only on long-wheelbase models).

Steve Kenchington, Land Rover New Zealand CEO said:The new model perfectly encapsulates five decades of Range Rover DNA while refining the vehicle to suit the 21st-century technology-immersed customer. The new model is an evolution of the Range Rover marque – the technology and grandeur details showcase industry firsts, solidifying the unparalleled league of the Range Rover. We are exceptionally proud of this vehicle – it is our most desirable to date.”

2022 Range Rover: New Zealand Details

Before we get into what’s new overall, what’s going to be available in the New Zealand market? Initially, we’ll get three models;

  • D350 HSE Short Wheelbase (SWB)
  • P530 Long Wheelbase (LWB) Autobiography
  • P530 SWB First Edition which will include the Tailgate Event Suite (explained later)

We’ll get the SV models later on in 2022. SV models will be trim changes only, with no performance or suspension enhancements.

While we will have the 7-seat option for the Autobiography LWB, this is a petrol-only model at this stage, and a diesel 7-seat option may come later.

Some of the big news today was around a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) Range Rover, that should arrive here in May or June 2022. It will have a 31.8kWh (usable) battery, enough to get it 100Km on a full charge (WLTP figures), or 80Km real world, using a 105kW electric motor to drive the car. The engine will be the current 3.0-litre, twin-turbo petrol unit. While the current-gen Range Rover also has a PHEV offering, this new one should be much more usable. Land Rover went on to say that the PHEV version can use DC fast charging, which isn’t always the case with a PHEV. They expect PHEV sales to make up 35% of sales volume in New Zealand, and it accelerates to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds. The packaging of the battery, beneath the vehicle and within the wheelbase, ensures both luggage space and all-terrain capability are uncompromised, says Land Rover.

During the live launch, Land Rover dealers in New Zealand took ten orders for the new car, and there are expectations that this number will hit 50 very quickly. That’s New Zealand’s total initial allocation gone.

2022 Range Rover: Modern Luxury By Design

Fifty years on, the fifth-generation Range Rover was designed with desirability as the first element, as in, “When I look at it, do I desire it?”. It certainly looks impressive, with particular attention paid to the design being free from excessive details and lines  – but not cold and not clinical. The waistline looks much higher, and the whole car looks longer, taller and wider than the current gen. Nice to see Range Rover have retained the clamshell bonnet, as well as the split tailgate, a Range Rover tradition I doubt they will ever be allowed to change.

Side-on, there’s flush glazing, as well as flush-mounted pop-out door handles. In fact, the whole car looks extremely smooth and clean. No doubt this helps with its drag coefficient, which is a low 0.30. You might recall the launch of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 recently, an extremely smooth design that has a drag coefficient of 0.29, so the Range Rover at 0.30 is an excellent achievement. Land Rover suggests it’s the most aerodynamic SUV you can buy.

Still looking side-on, 22” rims are standard, with massive 23” rims as an option. The launch car had those larger rims, and admittedly they didn’t look too big for the car.

It’s around the back where the biggest change has occurred, and it’s certainly eye-catching. There are stunning vertical lamp clusters down the sides, and the full-width bar across the centre of the car conceals the indicators, which only appear when they are on. They look that cool, this may well get Range Rover drivers to use their indicators more.

Size-wise, the new car is 200mm longer when it’s the short-wheelbase version, and 52mm for the long wheelbase.

2022 Range Rover: Interior Design And Features

They’re calling it “a calm sanctuary” and that’s believable. With a panoramic sunroof as standard, the new Range Rover’s interior certainly seems light and airy, judging by the photos. And yes, luxurious too. You just need to look at the photos to see the level of luxury. It’s interesting to note they have retained a gear lever, even though the interior design team took a “modernist reductive approach” to their work.

A new feature to the car is third-generation Active Noise Cancellation. The engineers put 4 microphones in each wheel arch, and pump out anti-noise via the car’s 35 speakers, including the 60mm speakers in each of the car’s headrests. This is only available with the 1,600-watt upgraded sound system.

There’s also now power-assisted doors, which will not open unless the arc of the door is clear – and nice touch.

Sustainability has been taken into account, with alternatives to traditional leather including a new premium textile that combines Ultrafabrics and Kvadrat wool-blend to create a defining materiality option that is lighter and generates only a quarter of the CO2 of traditional leather.

Another new feature is Cabin Air Purification Pro which combines dual-nanoe X technology for allergen reduction and pathogen removal, to help significantly reduce odours and viruses, while CO2 Management and PM2.5 Cabin Air Filtration enhance air quality. Land Rover says advanced nanoe X technology is scientifically proven to significantly reduce viruses and bacteria including SARS-CoV-2 viruses3. The innovative technology is active in the air, so particles don’t have to pass through a filter to be trapped and neutralised. A second nanoe X device in Row 2 optimises its effectiveness for all occupants.

As mentioned, some of the Big News today was around the 7-seat option in long wheelbase Range Rovers. And due to engineering, they’ve managed to give any third-row passengers 90cm of leg space, which is an impressive feat.

Alexa has been integrated into the car, along with Spotify. From your home, you could ask Alexa to turn on the car’s heater before you go to it, for example.

The driver has a huge 13.7” display, while the centre display is a large 13.1”. There’s also an optional rear seat entertainment system, with dual 11.4″ touchscreens mounted on the rear of the front seatbacks.

2022 Range Rover: Tailgate Event Suite

Down the back, if your Range Rover has the Versatile Loadspace Floor, you can get Tailgate Event Suite. This is included in New Zealand First Edition models, and is designed for tailgate parties. More of a USA thing than in New Zealand, but handy all the same. Tailgate Event Suite includes cushions, and the floor rises up to give you a backrest for those long days at the pony club. There’s a separate 12-volt battery for this area, enough to run 12-volt accessories for up to two hours, says Land Rover. You can also control the Tailgate Event Suite via a phone app, which manages the lights and allows the user to pump music from their phone to the speakers in the rear of the car. Up to 350Kg of people may sit on the tailgate.

2022 Range Rover: Mechanicals And Driving Dynamics

Other than the updated PHEV details, mechanicals are a mix of 6-cylinder diesel and petrol V8 options. A new 389kW petrol V8 powerplant will get the car to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds.

A full EV version will be arriving around 2024. There are no other details around the EV version at this stage, other than it’s coming.

As always, offroad is where a Range Rover is supposed to excel. This has been taken into account for the new model, with features like a 90cm wading depth, and an all-new automatic terrain system (it will judge what mode you need and select it for you). There’s a new sonar system too, which will stop the car going into water that’s too deep, for example. The 2022 Range Rover is built on the new MLA-Flex body architecture.

The chassis is 50% stiffer than the previous gen, and transmits 25% less vibrations. The chassis itself is made of 80% aluminium, and the rest high-grade steel.

There are twin-valve dampers, which takes measurements 500 times a second for the ultimate ride, and also an Active Body Roll System. Electrically operated four-wheel steering is included, with up to 7% turn at the rear of the car, and this contributes to a turning circle of less than 11-metres – that’s only slightly more than the tiny Peugeot 208 GT we recently tested. Four-wheel steering is standard on all models.

Remote parking will be available next year, where you can exit the car before parking, and use the phone app to tell the car to park itself.

2022 Range Rover: Pricing

Well, not yet. Land Rover New Zealand are saying it should be available next month.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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