New 2021 Range Rover leaks ahead of reveal next week

1 year, 3 months ago - 24 October 2021, autocar
New 2021 Range Rover leaks ahead of reveal next week
Fifth-generation Range Rover is about to be officially unwrapped, but new images show off its final design

Land Rover will officially reveal the new, fifth-generation Range Rover next Tuesday (26 October) but a selection of images leaked online have previewed the final design. 

Posted to Instagram by cochespias, the low-quality pictures show the reinvented flagship SUV from various angles, giving us our first look at the final design without any camouflage. As expected, the styling overhaul is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and appears to be centred more on giving a smoother and more minimalist overall look.

A new grille, light clusters and bumpers help to mark this out as the fifth-generation car, but more striking is a new black panel that dominates the rear end, extending up the sides and along the top of the tailgate, housing new-look vertical brake light clusters. Elsewhere, it looks to be a case of updating the Range Rover's trademark features; the silhouette is relatively unchanged, the distinctive 'gills' still feature ahead of the front doors and the bonnet looks to be a clamshell-style design. 

Pictures of the interior give less away, but we can see a new touchscreen running Jaguar Land Rover's latest Pivi Pro software, a fresh new steering wheel and centre console design and an all-digital climate control stack. Further details will be given at the car's reveal, which will be covered live at next Tuesday evening.

Images previously submitted to Autocar by reader Mohammed Rajak showed a pair of camouflaged test mules running around the Highlands, one of which towing a trailer, likely for powertrain telemetry purposes.

Numerous prototypes of the luxury SUV have been seen in varying levels of disguise testing across the UK and Europe over the last year or so. Earlier this year, a photographer managed to get closer to one than anybody managed previously, grabbing a look at the prototype's partly disguised innards. 

Although we can't make out the overall cabin design, a few clues can be gleaned from the two images showing different angles – now confirmed by the leaked images. The first is a central touchscreen - that appears to be production-spec - which sits proud of the dash centre and is significantly larger than before. It also appears to be running a further developed version of Jaguar Land Rover's latest Pivi Pro operating system. 

A familiar digital dial display is visible, too, though other elements of this prototype's cabin are either covered up or unfinished. We can see a gearlever borrowed from Jaguar's recently updated model range, but there's no indication of it being for production. Haptic feedback controls can be seen on the steering wheel, too.

Earlier mules sported a quad-exit exhaust, suggesting they packed the range-topping V8 engine option, which for the fifth-generation car will be a 4.4-litre turbocharged unit borrowed from BMW.

One image (below) shows off the rear-wheel steering system that will make its debut on the new Range Rover. It's not yet known which variants will receive the system, but it gives clues as to the flexibility of the car's new MLA architecture. 

Previously, the shorter, standard Range Rover was caught on video at the Nürburgring, being pushed to its limits during the usual manufacturer pool, where makers bring prototypes of all shapes and sizes to be put through their paces. 

Featuring a wider stance aided by what looks like a more pronounced shoulder line, wider wheel arches and an imposing front end, the new SUV appears to balance a styling evolution with the tradition that customers expect. 

JLR is also apparently benchmarking the new model against a Mercedes-Maybach GLS, one of its prime competitors along with the BMW X7.

The company’s new flagship will replace the current Range Rover, which was launched in 2012, and should give JLR a much-needed high-profit-margin boost just as it embarks on its wide-reaching Reimagine transformation programme under new boss Thierry Bolloré.

It’s based on the latest-generation MLA platform, which offers the flexibility of accommodating internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrid systems and full battery electric powertrains. You can read our full 2021 Range Rover scoop for more information. 

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