Future Cars

2009 Sneak Preview: 2010 Land Rover Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, LR4

A comprehensive upgrade sees the Land Rover LR3 tick up one notch to LR4 for 2010 (by Land Rover‘s count, it’s the fourth generation of the Discovery, as the vehicle is known in other markets). Although there’s a new grille, headlamps, and other minor tweaks outside, the bulk of the changes are inside the cabin and under the skin. A new interior uses more soft-touch materials and groups more functions in the central touch screen. The old 4.4-liter V-8 is supplanted by a new, direct-injected 5.0-liter unit, and output jumps to 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. Chassis upgrades include revised variable-ratio power steering and suspension geometry as well as upgraded brakes. A 360-degree-view camera, trailer sway control, and keyless ignition are some of the technology highlights. The LR4 arrives in October.

The Range Rover Sport (pictured) gets a slightly more extensive – or at least more noticeable – restyling than its siblings, with a new front-end design (including front fenders), LED lighting, and new nineteen- and twenty-inch wheels. The LR4’s V-8 appears here, too, along with a supercharged variant that makes 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Other mechanical changes also amp up the sport factor. There are paddle shifters for the six-speed automatic, beefier brakes, adaptive dampers for the Supercharged model, and a new dynamic mode for the Terrain Response System (which changes throttle and shift mapping, damper firmness, and steering effort). The Range Rover Sport also adopts the LR4’s new tech features, and it gets a richer interior of its own. The 2010 Range Rover Sport also is due in October.

For its second refresh since its introduction, the Range Rover receives the same two new engines, adaptive damping, and surround-view camera system as the Range Rover Sport. It, too, boasts a new interior, which tops out with a new, full-leather option that even covers the ceiling in cowhide. Exclusive to the top Rover is an all-electronic instrument cluster and a dual-view monitor that allows the front-seat passenger to watch a movie while the driver views the navigation map on the same screen (whether U.S. regulators will allow it remains to be seen, however). Other new features include a blind-spot warning system, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. The Range Rover, the first of the brand’s 2010 models to appear, rolls into dealers next month.

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12 City / 18 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

NA / 74.2 cu. ft.