Hot news for 2010: You were wondering what would happen to Land Rover once this British brand ended up in the hands of the India-based Tata company, and we have the answers. Ÿ LR3 made over and renamed the LR4. Ÿ New styling for Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Ÿ Proliferation of the Jaguar-shared 5.0- liter V8, which means way more power.
n What do you get when you cross a Range Rover and a Jaguar? A sport utility vehicle with sharpened reflexes, more muscle and speed, speed, speed. Now that Jaguar and Land Rover are both owned by India-based Tata, there appears to be a concerted effort to share more technology and dramatically raise the performance bar. In fact, the only model unaffected is the entry-level LR2 that carries in 2010 essentially unchanged.
The top-tier Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, however, receive some styling attention, while the LR3 had been made over to the point where the company has decided to give it a new name.
The LR4 is Land Rover’s new mid-range model, but it ranks much higher as one of the more stylish and rugged sport utility vehicles on the market.
The most noticeable physical alteration from the LR3 days is a more stylish grille, bolder bumper and more modern headlamps. The rest of the LR’s block-like design continues to set this model apart from competitors. Inside, the sumptuous cabin provides a commanding view for five passengers (seven with the optional third-row seat).
The designers literally started from scratch, reorganizing the dashboard dials and switches for easier use and moving the center console closer to the driver.
They also added LED ambient lighting and upgraded the real wood trim and leather seat coverings. The previous 300-horsepower 4.4-liter BMW-sourced V8 has been replaced by a 375-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 from Jaguar. This, of course, makes perfect sense since the two companies have the same owner. For the LR4, the 5.0 has been slightly modified with a deeper oil sump to provide engine lubrication while the vehicle is operating under severe tilting angles when off-roading.
A six-speed automatic transmission that was developed for the LR3 carries over with only minor modifications. The 5.0 also becomes the standard V8 in the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models where it can be outfitted with a supercharger to produce as much as 510 horsepower, a significant 120-horsepower gain over the Jaguar-shared 4.2-liter supercharged V8. As for the new LR4, there are numerous suspension, braking and steering mods to report, including an upgrade to the Terrain Response system, which optimizes the traction and stability-control programs plus the anti-lock brakes according to road or trail conditions. A console-mounted control knob can be set for general driving, grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts, and rock crawl. To that list, sand launch control has been added that keeps the LR4 from bogging down. Both well-equipped SE and more luxury-laden HSE models are offered. The latter is equipped with rear climate controls, premium sound package, upgraded leather seats and a navigation system.