Wait list for new Range Rover Electric now open

Land Rover's first luxury EV has been a long time coming. The path to ownership starts here

By PH Staff / Wednesday, 13 December 2023 / Loading comments

Typically it’s hard to get excited about a new model that is expected to slip neatly into an existing lineup, but Land Rover is right to light the beacons early when it comes to the Range Rover Electric. Because while it’s going to look very much like the current L460 (despite its maker’s attempts to tease its ‘subtle cues’) the first fully electric Range Rover is clearly a significant moment. Its maker reckons it has filed more patents covering this derivative than any previous Range Rover. Which is precisely what you want on the cusp of a new era, right? 

Much about the model we know already. It will be built in the UK alongside the existing Range Rover and it will share the existing Modular Longitudinal Architecture. Naturally, Land Rover is targeting the ‘quietest and more refined Range Rover ever created’ because that’s what battery-electric power buys you (especially when you add in active noise cancelling, which is apparently what it has done). Quite how much power we still do not know, although the manufacturer has now confirmed that performance will be comparable with the current V8 model. Again, you’d expect that from something with electric motors driving both axles – no matter how much additional weight the batteries add. 

We don’t know anything yet about battery capacity either – or the always vexed question of range – though Land Rover is promising a ‘seamless electric ownership experience’ backed by an 800v architecture for rapid charging on public networks. The batteries and electric drive units themselves will be assembled at JLR’s newly announced Electric Propulsion Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton. Up to this point, the firm says it has spent a year in virtual development, paying particular attention to ‘front-end robustness, multi-body systems analysis that considers the demand on the chassis, and virtual wading at up to 31mph’.

With that complete, the development process has moved onto physical prototypes, which are already said to be taking part in a global testing programme adapted for the new EV. Land Rover reckons this will make it ‘one of the most rigorous engineering sign-off programmes ever’ – not least because the Range Rover Electric must prove itself in all conditions and every terrain just like its stablemates, including being able to wade through up to 850mm of water. 

“The magic ingredients that underpin the success of Range Rover remain unchanged: timeless, reductionist design, a serene cabin and go-anywhere capability – but now offered with zero tailpipe emissions,” noted Thomas Müller, JLR’s Product Engineering boss. “And as repeated throughout history, the Range Rover will continue to set the standard. The first of its type. An electric luxury SUV that can deliver on the Range Rover promise. A true global luxury product, as yet unseen in the industry.”

Big words, but of course they need to be. The world is very much watching. And Land Rover will be desperate to lay down a class-leading marker with its first effort. The firm is already confident that its ‘go-anywhere capability will ensure towing, wading and all-terrain technology surpass any other luxury electric SUV’ – but its global fanbase will expect that because those elements have been integral to the brand for 53 years. To succeed more broadly, the Range Rover Electric will also need to be an exceptional, do-it-all, money-no-object EV in every sense. No pressure, guys. 

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