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It must be one of the most difficult challenges in automotive design - to re-invent a motoring icon without losing its iconicness.
Volkswagen has tried twice to re-imagine the Beetle and failed miserably both times, GM succeeded beyond its wildest expectations with the Chev Camaro.
Whether Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern has got it right with the all-new, fourth-generation Range Rover, only time and sales figures will tell, but one thing is for sure: under the classic proportions of the familiar boxy shape, this really is a whole new car.
To start with, it's nearly half a tonne lighter than the previous Rangie, thanks to the first lightweight all-aluminium monocoque body ever used on an SUV. That will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions - probably more than putting a hybrid powertrain in the old body would have done - which should go some way towards placating the tree-huggers.
New aluminium front and rear sub-frames support completely re-engineered air suspension, with the aim of retaining the Range Rovers luxurious ride while improving on-road handling and agility - always a soft point on Solihull's premium beetle-crusher.
V6 AND V8 POWER
Customers will have the choice of V8 petrol engines or TDV6 and TDV8 diesel engines, with an average fuel consumption across the range of less than seven litres per 100km, compared to 9.5 for the previous model.
They'll be teamed with a comprehensive suite of driver aids, including a next-generation version of Land Rover's Terrain Response system, that analyses current driving conditions and automatically selects the most suitable vehicle settings for the terrain.
The cabin is designed to cocoon occupants in what McGovern calls "serene isolation"; the passenger cell has been stretched to provide 118mm more legroom for rear-seat passengers, making it possible to offer an Executive Class seating package with two separate, multi-adjustable seats for the first time on a Range Rover.
Clean, elegant interior surfaces are trimmed in traditional leather and veneers, and acoustic lamination of the windscreen and side-door glass has significantly reduced noise levels, he says, while the new suspension architecture has enabled engineers to achieve even more ride comfort.
Luxury features include exclusive Meridian surround-sound music systems and power upper and lower tailgates.
The new Range Rover will make its world debut at the Paris auto show in September and will go on sale in more than 160 countries, including South Africa, from January 2013. It's expected to cost from £80 000 to £100 000 (R1 000 000 - R1 300 000) in the UK - SA prices will be announced when they get here.
Since it wasn't possible to build the aluminium shell on the existing production line, the fourth-generation Range Rover will be made in a new aluminium body shop at the Land Rover plant in Solihull, England - just as Jaguar Land Rover introduces 24-hour production at its Halewood plant near Liverpool to meet demand for the Range Rover's baby sister, the Evoque.
Watch the Range Rover promo video