Despite a possible sale of the brand, development work on the next-gen Range Rover is well underway with a launch date planned for 2012. The new model will be the first of a series of updates at Land Rover, with cars like the Range Rover Sport, LR3, LR2 and Defender and possibly even all-new models up on the drawing board.

Some of the advancements pegged for the new model include the adoption of an aluminum unibody using the same rivet-bonding design process used for Jaguar’s aluminum XJ. Other changes in line for the new SUV include new engines, an upgraded suspension system and possibly a hybrid option.

Using aluminum for the SUV’s structure can reduce the weight of the unpainted unibody by up to 40%, which translates to weight saving of around 700 to 900lbs, an official told AutoWeek. Styling wise, designers are expected to implement a more compact look with a lower profile, and shorter overhangs.

Mechanical changes may include an upgrade of the front strut and multilink rear axle suspension, and the adoption of a mix of new engines co-developed with Jaguar. Top of the list is a 5.0L direction injection V8 with a supercharger bolted on to lift performance to the tune of 460hp. The current diesel offerings will be upgraded, with displacement lifted to 4.0L and 3.0L respectively, and hopefully the new hybrid will make it into production.