Range Rover switches up power, safety

DIESEL is not dead, despite what some people may think. Not here in Australia, at any rate, even if we are at the dawn of the electric-car era. We adore diesel Down Under, so car marques are going to continue producing them for the foreseeable future even if they’re being banned elsewhere.

‘The changes mean the cars will go faster and drive more safely, which is just what you need when you have to get the skates on for the school run.’

“Australians love the character of diesel, it’s good for towing, and it offers great fuel economy,” a spokesman from Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Australia told Madam Wheels today. People have been driving diesel cars here for years and, as long as they continue to do so, companies like his will continue to make them.

His comments follow JLR’s release today of improvements in power and driver-assistance technology in its popular Range Rover line-up. The changes mean the cars will go faster and drive more safely, which is just what you need when you have to get the skates on for the school run.

The engines to get the uplift include the the twin-turbo charged 3.0-litre SDV6 (earning a 12kW improvement) and 4.4-litre SDV8, which will now come with a more efficient eight-speed automatic gearbox. 

While more environmentally-friendly than their predecessors, they’ll be no match for the state-of-the-art P400e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) JLR launched last year. When that car’s in all-electric flight, it’s claimed to produce zero-emissions over a range of 51km. It will also have technology on board that will direct its driver along the most energy-efficient route by calculating route data within its rather intelligent navigation system.

Driver comfort can be switched up a notch, too, with the inclusion of a feature Madam Wheels will never be without again – Adaptive Cruise Control. The stop-go capabilities built into this life-changing feature keep a vehicle at a set distance from the car in front, slowing to a stop as it stops, then pulling away once that car is off and running again. The additional Steering Assist system helps keep the car centred in its lane by intervening in the steering if the driver veers off slightly, event while his or her hands are on the wheel.

The updated Range Rovers will start arriving soon, priced from $194,535 before on-road costs.

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