First Drive: 2010 Land Rover Range Rover

On-Road

To improve the on-road ride of the Range Rover, adaptive dampers are now used. Pressure at each damper is monitored 500 times per second to allow for instantaneous adjustment of the individual damper's firmness. Like the transmission, the damper system "learns" the driver's style, so responses will be more appropriate for a given situation.

Brake upgrades are also part of the 2010 refresh. Non-supercharged models now have 14.2-inch vented discs with four-piston floating calipers in the front and 13.8-inch vented discs with single-piston aluminum floating calipers in the rear. Supercharged models see 15.0-inch vented discs with six-piston monoblock calipers up front and 14.3-inch vented rotors with single-piston floating calipers out back.

Upgrades to the stability control system allow brakes to be applied to individual wheels if the system determines that the vehicle is taking a corner too quickly. A new rollover prevention system uses a similar strategy to rapidly brake individual wheels in an effort to widen the turning radius and keep the SUV on all four tires. The stability control improvements also offer a trailer sway control system: if the vehicle senses dangerous trailer sway, individual wheels are slowed to bring the rig back in line.

Inside

The Range Rover has been at the top of the luxury SUV mountain for a long time, and this year's interior upgrades promise to keep it there for the foreseeable future. If you have any doubt, just look at the optional full-leather interior package and the upgraded "waterfall" interior lighting system.

Drivers will notice an all-new electronic instrument panel with a twelve-inch TFT display. The display can be customized to show specific information between the speedometer and tachometer via a five-way controller mounted on the steering wheel. Everything from outside temperature to wheel articulation can be displayed there.

An upgraded infotainment interface promises more intuitive operations, with many functions able to be controlled by voice commands, and a hard-drive-based navigation system now offers faster route calculation along with better map coverage.

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