The All-New Range Rover | Improved sustainability

The new Range Rover demonstrates Land Rover’s commitment to enhancing the sustainability of its products and operations, and its determination to deliver vehicles which are both relevant and highly desirable.

With its all-new lightweight aluminium structure and optimised powertrains – including the upcoming diesel Hybrid derivative – the new Range Rover addresses the growing consumer need for more socially acceptable vehicles in a carbon-conscious world.

Its greener credentials stem from a comprehensive approach to reducing environmental impact throughout the life-cycle of the vehicle, from development and manufacturing, to customer use and end-of-life.

World’s first SUV with lightweight aluminium construction

The new Range Rover is the world’s first SUV to feature an advanced all-aluminium body structure, delivering significantly reduced weight, improved performance and enhanced sustainability.

This all-new lightweight architecture will underpin the next generation of Range Rover SUVs, and is the result of a £1 billion investment programme.  The next-generation design continues Jaguar Land Rover’s leadership in such aerospace-inspired, high-performance lightweight aluminium structures, having pioneered the approach in mass production since 2003.

The all-aluminium monocoque body structure in the new Range Rover is 39 per cent lighter than the steel body in the current, representing a weight saving of over 180kg for the bodyshell alone.

Not only the lightest in its class by a significant margin, the aluminium structure is also incredibly strong too.  The body has been engineered to withstand the same punishing off-road impacts as all Land Rovers.

The joints in the shell are riveted and bonded together using techniques originally developed in the aerospace industry and adapted for automotive use by Jaguar Land Rover.  This structure means that traditional energy intensive construction methods, such as spot welding, are not required, and the new Range Rover is produced in an all-new state-of-the-art bodyshop.

Optimised structure is lighter, stronger and more refined

The lightweight aluminium body structure has been subjected to the most extensive development and optimisation process ever undertaken by Land Rover. Unprecedented use of state-of-the-art computer simulation tools – demanding well over 1000 years of processor time – has resulted in an incredibly efficient structure.

Engineers used the latest ‘multi-dimensional’ CAE optimisation tools, which made it possible to minimise the weight, while simultaneously delivering outstanding stiffness and refinement together with excellent safety performance.

Incredibly powerful simulation tools more typically used to model crash events have also been exploited to analyse the punishing off-road load cases which form a key part of Land Rover engineering development, such as the crunching ‘ditch drop’ impact.

A key factor in the creation of such a weight-efficient body is the way different forms of aluminium components are employed within the structure: pressed panels, plus cast, extruded and rolled aluminium alloy parts, are combined in a rigorously optimised structure where the strength is concentrated precisely where the loads are greatest.

The resulting optimised structure protects occupants using an incredibly strong and stable safety cell, and provides a very stiff platform for superior NVH and vehicle dynamics.

Innovations to further reduce weight and enhance performance include the first automotive use of high strength AC300 aluminium within the crash structure.  In another automotive first, the entire vehicle bodyside is pressed as a single aluminium panel – thus reducing the amount of joints, eliminating complex assemblies and improving structural integrity.

Lightweight technologies cut weight by up to 420kg

Land Rover engineers have combined the state-of-the-art lightweight structure with substantial weight reductions throughout the vehicle, to deliver total weight savings up to an incredible 420kg.

The enhanced efficiency of the new Range Rover is highlighted most effectively on diesel models, where the reduced weight of the vehicle has enabled the lighter TDV6 engine to be introduced, while delivering the same effortless performance as the outgoing TDV8 model.  A total of 420kg lighter, the new TDV6 Range Rover achieves an overall reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of up to 22 per cent.

Range Rover engineers achieved the dramatic weight reduction through an incredibly rigorous development and optimisation process in which every possible weight saving opportunity was aggressively pursued.  In addition to the lightweight aluminium body construction, the key weight-saving technologies in the vehicle include:

  • Downsized 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel powertrain available in place of 4.4-litre TDV8, with no loss in performance
  • All-aluminium door construction, including high performance lightweight aluminium side intrusion beams
  • Advanced composite reinforced aluminium B-posts, to minimise intrusion in side impacts
  • All-new lightweight front and rear suspension design with all-aluminium front and rear subframes
  • Optimised spring, damper and anti-roll bar designs
  • All-new lightweight aluminium final drive units and optimised driveline components
  • High precision lightweight magnesium castings used for the cross car beam and front end carrier
  • SMC plastic upper tailgate panels
  • Lightweight aluminium Brembo front brake callipers
  • Lightweight high-strength steel seat structure
  • All-new lightweight 19-inch alloy wheel design

Most aerodynamic Range Rover ever

With its more streamlined and rounded profile, the new model is the most aerodynamic Range Rover ever, achieving a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.34, a 10 per cent improvement compared to the outgoing vehicle.

The aerodynamic performance was optimised during an incredibly intensive development effort using state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics simulation tools, involving the equivalent of 1.5 million hours (or over 170 years) of processor time.

Among the special aerodynamic innovations which were optimised during the development process are:

  • Aerodynamic underfloor panelling – more extensive lightweight panelling has been incorporated to create a smooth, flat profile under the vehicle.  Additional deflectors have been added around the front and rear suspension components, with front and rear undertrays around the main driveline components
  • Enhanced air flow – detail features to improve air flow include near-flush glazing on the A-pillars and vehicle side glass; separation edges incorporated in the rear lamps and D-pillars; optimised shaping of the door mirrors and upper rear spoiler

Careful attention has also been given to water management on the vehicle, including a hydrophobic coating on the front side door glass to help keep it clear of droplets, carefully shaped roof panels to avoid unwanted drips when tailgate is opened, and a rear wash wipe which is designed to avoid annoying drips.

Low-CO2 powertrain technologies

The advanced diesel and petrol powertrains on the new Range Rover have been extensively optimised to minimise fuel consumption, with CO2 emissions starting from just 196g/km.

Later in 2013, the engine line-up will be further boosted, when the new model will be the first Range Rover to offer a hybrid powertrain, with the introduction of a state-of-the-art diesel hybrid powertrain designed to combine exceptional fuel efficiency with outstanding refinement and effortless performance.

To ensure the greatest possible fuel efficiency, the latest Range Rover powertrains incorporate a comprehensive selection of low-CO2 technologies, including:

  • Smart regenerative charging – electrical charging system has an intelligent power management system which prioritises charging when the car is decelerating, capturing the wasted kinetic energy and reducing the fuel demand of the electrical system
  • High-pressure direct injection – both petrol and diesel engines feature the latest high-pressure direct injection technology for more efficient combustion
  • Optimised low-friction designs –state-of-the-art engine designs which have carefully developed to eliminate all unwanted frictional losses
  • Electric fans – TDV6 and SDV8 diesels have been re-engineered with electric fans in place of viscous fans, to minimise parasitic losses when no cooling is needed
  • Low viscosity transmission fluids – the 8-speed automatic is specified with the latest low viscosity fluid to maximise transmission efficiency.

The new Range Rover further reduces fuel consumption by adopting energy efficient Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) in place of the previous hydraulic system, cutting CO2 emissions by over 3 per cent.

Sustainable by design, with lifecycle approach

In order to minimise the car’s overall ecological impact, the new Range Rover has been designed with a lifecycle approach, aiming to minimise the environmental impact by considering the entire lifecycle of the vehicle: from development and manufacturing, through customer use, to end-of-life recycling and re-use.

Each element of the lifecycle was analysed with a view to consuming fewer natural resources, using more sustainable materials and minimising the generation of waste.  The development process has included a full lifecycle assessment in line with ISO 14040/14044.

The new Range Rover’s aluminium construction makes a major contribution to its reduced carbon footprint.  Up to 75 per cent of the aluminium material is sourced from recycled content, including closed loop recycling of waste metal from the manufacturing process, resulting in a significant saving of energy and CO2 emissions (body panels made from recycled material use only 5 percent of the energy required for new aluminium).

Further energy is saved during the manufacturing process, which does not require highly energy intensive processes like welding.

Recycled and renewable materials have been used wherever possible in the new Range Rover’s design.  High specification vehicles uses up to 31.5kg of recycled plastics, diverting over 8,820 tonnes of plastic from landfill during the carline’s life.  Natural and renewable materials, such as the luxurious leathers and veneers, represent 44.5kg of each vehicle.

Bridge of Weir leather, produced using unique ‘low carbon’ manufacturing processes, further enhances the environmental credentials of the vehicle, while the real wood veneers are all sourced from sustainable forests.

  1. One Response to “The All-New Range Rover | Improved sustainability”

  2. On October 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm Roney Mascarenhas wrote:

    I just love the Range Rover it's just a car and a half.

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