Expected to go on sale in 2012, the new Range Rover will likely feature a lightweight rivet-bonded aluminum chassis for the first time. However, Just-Auto is reporting that a final decision has not been made but is expected within months. If it gets the green-light, Land Rover could easily borrow technology from Ford Premier Group sibling Jaguar, which uses aluminum extensively for its XJ saloon.
By using the lightweight material, engineers could shed up to 40% off the current SUV’s unpainted body shell, equating to a saving of roughly 300-400kg. This would give it a kerb mass roughly equal to a luxury saloon, improving both performance and emission levels.
Codenamed L405, the new off-roader is also expected to get a sleeker and more compact look than current versions, plus a shorter roofline. Under the bonnet will be a new 5.0L V8 powerplant with both naturally aspirated and supercharged versions. Once again, developers will call on their Jaguar counterparts for the new engines, which are also expected to feature in Jag’s upcoming XF sedan range. Power levels are estimated to be around the 350-450bhp range. Other possible models will include diesel variants as well as a rumored hybrid version.