'Lightweight' New Range Rover

This is the new 2012 Range Rover. It might come as a surprise to you to see one gracing these pages, as the cumbersome 4x4s from Gaydon have never been the 'greenest' of vehicles. Far from it. A heavy four-wheel drive system, heavy sound proofing, a luxurious interior and simply the sheer size of Range Rovers past has meant poor fuel economy and even worse emissions.

Things started to change, however, with the arrival of the more sustainability-minded Evoque. The new Range Rover isn't any smaller than its predecessor but, thanks to an all-aluminium monocoque body structure, it weighs 420kg less. That equates to a 39% weight saving over the steel monocoque used in the outgoing model.

420kg. That's the same weight as an entire Ariel Atom, or one of these, just about. It's also going to mean drastically improved CO2 emssions and an increase in fuel economy, possibly in the region of 40mpg for what will undoubtedly be the most popular TDV6-engined model. 

It's always difficult to judge the Land Rover creations until they are seen in the metal, so we'll reserve judgement on the Range Rover for now. However, Land Rover's Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern, has said that his team "worked incredibly hard to capture the elegant proportions and pure surfaces which have been a feature of the best Range Rover designs".

It's been a good year for Range Rover. They've recently introduced 24-hour shifts on the Evoque production line to keep up with global demand and they even let their hair down with the surprisingly well resolved Evoque Convertible Concept at this year's Geneva Motor Show.

Full specifictions won't be released until just before the Paris Motor Show. The 2012 Range Rover will, however, go on sale in September.

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