Unlikely to ever relinquish its throne, the daddy of the Range Rover lineup is set to expand the boundaries of the ridiculous even further and make the decision a doddle for anyone seeking a large SUV to take care of family duties while possessing the latent ability to incongruously blend country club levels of pampered comfort with mountain-crushing off-road mastery.
Available to order now through business leasing or personal contract hire, the new Range Rover for 2018 doesn’t look a far cry different in the flesh but things get exciting and fascinating on closer inspection, especially under the bonnet.
Exterior design updates include a gloss black surround and Atlas mesh for the grille, wider vent blades on the front bumper, a longer clamshell bonnet, new exhaust tailpipes, half a dozen new alloy wheels and two fresh metallic colours to choose from, a couple of new design packs called Black Exterior and Shadow Exterior, and the latest Pixel-laser LED lighting technology with an incredible 142 individual diodes.
Inside, the seats have been widened and made even more comfortable, with their controls relocated to the door panels. With a Hot Stone massage function, the Semi-Aniline seats are the pinnacle, complete with 24-way adjustment. Executive Class Seating can be optionally specified, with seats that recline by upto 40 degrees, almost 20cm more legroom than the standard wheelbase model, 8-way headrests for the perfect forty winks, 25 massage settings and 8 connection points for business or entertainment on the move.
Storage all around the cabin has been impressively boosted, the new Nanoe system keeps air ionised and clean for occupants, the power sunblind can be gesture-operated, and ambient lighting now allows 3-way customisation.
Inspired by the Velar, the new Range Rover’s ‘Blade’ dashboard has gone all minimalistic, the Touch Pro Duo system powering two 10-inch HD touchscreens, the upper one able to be angled to combat glare, while a pair of rotary Dynamic Dials handle the car’s other functions. Instrumentation comes courtesy of an all-new 12-inch display, which can be complemented by a 10-inch Head-Up system.
With an illuminated and simplified capacitive steering wheel at the driver’s fingertips, the new Range Rover is also set to be the most connected yet, the solid-state drive and Nuance technology able to understand conversational English and, tellingly, Mandarin. The back seats can be folded and otherwise configured using a smartphone app, the 10-inch rear seat entertainment package is powered by a quad-core processor and ultra-fast Ethernet network, and upto 18 devices can be connected throughout the cabin, alongside a total of eight 4G Wi-Fi connections. Deezer and TuneIn are now compatible and will sound stunning through the superlative 1700W Signature sound system with 29 speakers and a subwoofer. JLR’s Activity Key has also been introduced to the Range Rover, and safety features include high speed emergency braking, clear exit monitor and adaptive cruise control with queue assist. Land Rover likes to describe their new systems as a Digital Butler for the 21st Century. We like that.
Engines include the 3-litre TDV6 diesel, 3-litre V6 supercharged petrol, 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel and 5-litre V8 supercharged petrol, the flagship being the insane SVAutobiography Dynamic that puts out a whopping 565bhp.
The big news with the new Range Rover, though, is the arrival of PHEV (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle) technology. Yes, really. At a time when other manufacturers like Audi are also introducing a fresh nomenclature, the new PHEV version will sport a P400e badge – and it’s the most efficient Range Rover ever. Power comes from a 116PS (85kW) electric motor mated to JLR’s praised 2-litre, four cylinder Ingenium petrol engine, itself producing 300PS and bringing the total output to 404PS. With 640Nm overall torque, partly contributed to by the instant acceleration electric cars are known for, the new Range Rover P400e can shift to 60mph in 6.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 137mph in short wheelbase guise.
Business contract hire interest will be strong in light of 64g/km CO2 emissions and fuel economy of up to 101mpg, both in theory. In Parallel Hybrid mode the car will intelligently make the best of petrol and electric power, while 31 miles is cited as its range in EV mode. Being able to drive a full fat Range Rover to the nearest town and back on pure electricity will be quite something, a significant milestone. The petrol engine will be located conventionally under the bonnet, the electric motor will be situated in the middle of the vehicle and the 13.1kWh prismatic cell lithium-ion battery will be housed at the rear under the boot.
Charging the new Range Rover P400e PHEV using a standard domestic home plug socket will take around 7.5 hours, while a faster 32 amp cable setup is optionally available and brings the charge time down to roughly 2 hours 45 minutes, including at public charging points. The car end of the cable connects to a socket underneath the front grille. This model replaces the SDV6 Hybrid Diesel variant that was previously offered.
Off-road ability will be enhanced even further thanks to the introduction of plugin hybrid power, too, the electric motor meaning torque from a standstill can be controlled more intimately, making pull-away on loose surfaces even more graceful. The Terrain Response 2 system has been tweaked to more intelligently distribute torque around the four wheels, and a new Comfort mode along with Dynamic mode will do what they say on their respective illustrative tins. A new 4×4 transfer care utilising a smart actuator has shed 1.5kg in weight and operates in conjunction with a multi-plate clutch and bevel gear centre to provide a 50:50 torque split. With Off-Road Ride Height 2, drivers of the new Range Rover can tower over all they survey, with a 7.5cm elevation over the inimitable car’s standard height.
Does the hybrid Range Rover P400e make sense from accountancy and real-life driving perspectives?
At Contracthireacar.com our blog isn’t primarily about selling lease deals but is edited by an independent journalist and therefore underpinned by realism and truthful facts. So, how do we expect the Range Rover P400e hybrid for 2018 to stack up for our business leasing and indeed personal contract hire (PCH) clients?
Road tax (VED): people and businesses leasing a Range Rover will be aware that they attract higher road tax than other smaller, cheaper vehicles. Under the new rules and rates, its 64g/km CO2 emissions result in first-year road tax of £25 minus the £10 discount for alternatively-fuelled vehicles, meaning £15 for year one. For years two to six inclusive, though, it’ll be subject to an additional £310 annual charge due to being classed as a ‘premium’ vehicle because it costs more than £40,000. So, with £310 added on to the standard VED rate of £130 (a £10 AFV discount is again given), the hybrid Range Rover will incur road tax of £440 per year, although the premium element isn’t charged from year seven onwards. Most lease deals are for 2, 3 or 4 years, though. VED is included in contract hire rental charges, £440 divided by 12 months equating to around £37 being incorporated into the monthly lease payments. This is peanuts in relation to Range Rover pricing, so won’t trouble anyone toying with leasing one.
Corporation tax: accountants will be happy with the Range Rover P400e hybrid being eligible for a 100% first year allowance (FYA) write-down, meaning that the car’s whole value can be offset against an organisation’s profits, helping reduce its corporation tax (CT) liability.
P11d and BIK: The ‘basic’ standard wheelbase Vogue with no options has a P11d value of £86,895 translating to BIK rates of 13% for 2017/18, 16% for 2018/19 and 19% for the 2019/20 tax year. Looking at 2018/19 as an example, benefit in kind equates to £13,903 and will mean tax of £2,781 for 20% tax-payers and £5,561 for higher earners who pay 40% tax. The benefit in kind for fuel is set to be around £3,616.
Electric range and combined fuel economy (‘MPG’): Land Rover is quoting an EV range of upto 31 miles and average fuel consumption of upto 101mpg. These figures have been calculated using NEDC test procedures, though, which are widely accepted as being unrealistic [read our blog on the new tests, here]. Additionally, drivers well know that various factors from using air con/climate control and other perks like heated seats, to driving style, weather and traffic conditions all influence fuel economy and an PHEV’s zero-emissions range. In reality, in stop-start commuting in the winter with climate switched on, the real-world realistic EV range of the Range Rover P400e is likely to be around 12-to-15 miles at best. If your commute is around 5 miles and you’ve got access to charging facilities at work or home, you might just get away with zero-emissions motoring on a regular basis. Otherwise, at least some of your journeys will be greener than ever before in one of the world’s best luxury 4×4 SUVs. Barely any cars meet their quoted NEDC-based average MPG figures, so the plug-in hybrid Range Rover will struggle to achieve anywhere near 101mpg. However, it’s true that its overall environmental and financial performance should prove much more favourable than V6 and V8 diesel models, let alone the thirsty petrol variants. Hybrid vehicles are typically very relaxing to drive and quiet for people both inside and outside, which is another facet in the Range Rover’s favour.
Charging: If you’re content with plugging your Range Rover hybrid into a domestic electricity socket at home or work and leaving it for 7.5ish hours to recharge the battery to 100%, good for you. Paying for a wall box and special cable will see charging times drop to around 3 hours, which still obviously doesn’t compete with petrol or diesel for convenience. In terms of electricity, fully charging the P400e’s 13.1kwh lithium-ion battery pack will cost around £2, estimated using ‘back of a fag packet’ maths and the UK’s average home tariff as of late 2017. Owning or leasing a PHEV requires getting into a routine and rhythm in order to enjoy the benefits to the full.
It’s clear that the Range Rover continues to get better and better with each incarnation and the 2018+ model ensures that its green credentials are bolstered, too, finally allowing hybrid-seeking business lease and personal contract hire (PCH) customers the opportunity to shortlist a full fat Range Rover. To many, this will sound like bliss and we can’t disagree. Step this way for our latest Range Rover lease offers >>