Reflecting Australians’ ever-increasing penchant for SUVs of all stripes, Land Rover (and its Range Rover sub-brand) experienced significant growth of more than 20 per cent this year.
While the Range Rover range is relatively settled, we will still get a handful of new versions therein before the half-way mark of the year, and a revised Evoque later on. But the big news is with Land Rover…
Range Rover Sport SVR - March
The first model from Jaguar Land Rover’s newly developed Special Vehicle Operations division, established to take on BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-Benz performance arm AMG, launches in Australia in March.
Fittingly, the first car to receive the treatment is the Range Rover Sport SVR, replete with a a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with 404kW of power and 680Nm of torque, and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.7 seconds, 0.6sec faster than the SDV8 variant.
There’s a re-calibrated rear differential to help power out of corners, while a torque-vectoring system that can brake individual wheels is also featured. Cornering is further aided by the new Active-Roll Control system, and there’s adjustable dampers and weightier steering.
Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Hybrids - April
The Range Rover LR-SDV6 HSE Hybrid and Autobiography Hybrid are available to order ahead of launch on April 1. The HSE Hybrid is priced from $146,900 and the Autobiography Hybrid from $165,300, making them $21,500 and $20,200 more than their equivalent non-hybrid models.
The diesel-hybrid powertrain produces up to 250kW/700Nm, combining the SDV6’s 215kW/600Nm 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel with a 35kW/175Nm electric motor. Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres, down 12 per cent compared with the non-hybrid SDV6.
At the same time, there will also be a version of the larger Range Rover with the same powertrain and fuel use arriving at last (production is very constrained). You can read the review of that car here.
Land Rover Discovery Sport - May
It is the first member of its new Discovery ‘family’ beyond the model for which the range itself is named. Expect at least three family members in time, potentially including a new compact model that sits below the Sport.
Two engines will be offered: the Si4 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol produces 177kW/340Nm, while the 2.2-litre diesel engine produces 110kW in TD4 spec and 140kW in SD4 guise, both with 420Nm. Power is sent through a nine-speed auto familiar from the Evoque.
It’s clear that this model will not sit between the mainstream and luxury markets like the Freelander, but will instead be pitched firmly at the higher end of the market. See full information here.
Range Rover Evoque - Q3
An updated MY16 Range Rover Evoque launches locally around September, though we don’t know a great deal more.
Expect the usual compliment of minor cosmetic and equipment upgrades. We could also get the company’s swish new laser head-up display system.