With the stories following the ‘going green’ hype and increasing existence of hybrid technology, the general world would expect a revised Range Rover line-up with less power and more efficiency. The Range Rover Supercharged shows the exact opposite, which we of course really like. The 2010 Range Rover Supercharged is Land Rover’s ‘compressorcharged tourer’ model and we took it for a spin.
The Range Rover – the biggest model in the current line-up next to the Range Rover Sport and Evoque – is a true four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle produced by Land Rover in the UK, a company owned by the India-based Tata Motors. The first generation Range Rover was introduced in the 1970’s and over the period the range has seen numerous upgrades and design changes. The 2011 line-up consisted of five models with two engine variants; the 5.0 liter Supercharged V8 petrol version and 3.6 liter V8 engine.
During our test period the 2011 model reached the dealerships. The new Range Rover model has minor styling changes, improved interior features and an upgraded 4×4 system. A new 4.4 liter TDV8 diesel engine will become available with a new ZF 8HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Supercharged is still the strongest Range Rover available and is powered by a 5.0 liter, direct-injection supercharged V8 shared with Jaguar. Figures are 510hp at 6500rpm and 461lb-ft between 2500 and 5500rpm, to all four-wheels. The powerful supercharged engine is mated to the revised and smooth as silk ZF HP28 six-speed automatic transmission, which has an intelligent sport mode, sensing and adapting transmission characteristics to particular driving styles.
A sprint from 0 to 60mph is done in 5.9 seconds, and it has a v-max of 140mph. The Range Rover Supercharged has upgraded brakes with larger front rotors compared to the regular Range Rover, and added grip via 255/50 R20 tires bringing the heavy SUV to a halt from 60mph in just 121 feet.
The most important part of a Range Rover is the fact that it can carry its load capacity off-road as well as on a normal road. Many competitors simply lack the sheer strength and capabilities of this SUV on snowy roads or a two-track somewhere in a forest. The six-speed automatic transmission has a dual-range transfer case, so the Range Rover is geared for rock-crawling speeds.
The impressive Terrain Response system is mounted on the center console and controlled by an aluminum and rubber insert wheel. The system has numerous settings giving you the option to adjust the drive with respect to the terrain condition. It offers full-time four-wheel-drive, two-speed transfer case, hill descent control, and a center locking differential. The Dynamic program is intended for sporty on-road driving giving the chassis and power train settings a more sporting and responsive driving experience. The whole system even has the option to select one of five terrain types: general, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, sand, and rock crawl. After awhile you realize that the Range Rover can take you just about anywhere!
The overall driving experience is one of sheer amazement. It is a properly fast car, but the sensation of speed is never really felt in a way you drive a sports car. While driving general thoughts come up remembering you that the object you are accelerating weighs 2.7 tonnes and is about as aerodynamic as a bucket through water. The 2010 Range Rover offers a combination of a luxurious ride provided via its air-spring suspension and steering which is quite natural, communicative and responsive. Body roll occurs, much more than many other competitor SUVs, but those do not share the off-road characteristics of the Range Rover.
The level of quality and luxury is high. You can choose for electrical 14-way-adjustable front seats, a 710-watt Harman Kardon audio system, a 360-degree camera system, an entertainment system in the back with two 6.5 inch video screens and wireless headsets, adaptive cruise control, privacy glass windows, blind spot monitor and automatic lowering system giving people the option to step out of the Range Rover instead of jumping out of it.
The build quality of the interior is excellent and you are surrounded by natural materials, like leather, wood, cloth and steel. The main points of focus are the two screens mounted in the dashboard. Similar to Jaguar, both show vital information about the car and the multimedia. The gauges in front of the driver are digital renderings of analog dials on a 12.3-inch TFT display. Again similar to the 2011 Jaguar XJ we drove, they are useful, but lack any kind of additional functionality. No navigational instructions, no additional information concerning the entertainment inside the luxury saloon, no front facing camera and hardly any adjustments to the setup of the screen.
The second screen is situated in the center console providing the general infotainment. Available as an option is a Dual View center console touch screen can both inform the driver and entertain the passenger. You can watch DVD or a digital TV channel as the main passenger while the driver only sees the navigational instructions. How? The view angle of the split-screen is the main subject here!
Leaves us with a final conclusion to our road test. The Range Rover Supercharged is and will stay one of the best combinations of luxury and a distinctive personality out there. Everybody knows what it is and everybody knows what to expect. Its wide range of possibilities will give you the ability to go anywhere you want whenever you want.
Our overall experience was excellent, luxurious, exquisite, fast and smooth. The cornering capabilities of the massive vehicle are direct and the speed potential provided by the powerful Supercharged engine overwhelming. It truly stands out as all-rounder with its own true character.