For 2008 Range Rover, Land Rover added a series of further luxury touches and practical new features, including four-zone air conditioning. The improvements are expected to help maintain the strong market performance of the Range Rover, with sales in the first four months of 2007 already 19% up worldwide over last year.
"That increase is largely due to the huge popularity of the acclaimed TDV8 diesel that we introduced to the Range Rover line-up last year," says Phil Popham, Land Rover’s managing director. "The engine’s great combination of performance and fuel economy has not only powered overall Range Rover sales, but also shifted our diesel/petrol mix, especially in Europe. Most Range Rover customers who would previously have bought a V8 petrol now choose a TDV8 instead, which offers petrol-like refinement but with 32% better fuel economy."
The list of changes for 2008 is headed by the introduction of four-zone air conditioning, which enables rear seat passengers to control their individual heating and ventilation. This is neatly complemented with ’climate control’ windscreen and side glass which is now available in conjunction with automatic rain and headlight sensing. The special glass cuts infrared heat transmission into the vehicle, reducing heat build up when the vehicle is parked in the sun, for example, so allowing the air conditioning to function faster and more effectively on drive away.
A redesigned rear seat armrest provides extra stowage space (including a dedicated location for the optional rear seat entertainment remote control) and there is additional leather trim on the heating and ventilation unit and centre console. There are now a total of seven real wood veneers to choose from, all sourced from sustainable forests, and additional wood veneer elements have been applied to the rear of the centre console. A matching wooden gear knob has also been introduced on some models.
The attention to detail extends to new tread-plates and revised graphics on the touch-screen and instruments. A new interior colour becomes available, called Storm, as well as two new exterior colours, Alaska White and Lucerne Green, and a fresh set of "designers’ choices" for recommended interior and exterior combinations. There is also a new, highly polished 20" alloy wheel design.
"We are keeping the Range Rover offering fresh with regular changes: some are major, like the TDV8 engine last year – which, incidentally, will now be badged on the back of the vehicle – while others are about the detail, such as those coming in for 2008," says Phil Popham. "And this approach seems to have continuing appeal for our customers, as we’re on track for one of our best ever sales years with the Range Rover."