In spite of the turmoil, Land Rover plans a new uber-ute.

by Brenda Priddy

Whether owned by BMW, Ford, or Donald Trump himself, an all-new Range Rover is scheduled to debut in 2001.

The third-generation Range Rover moves even more upscale with high-tech engineering such as a new composite body material, made from sheet aluminum bonded to a structural foam core and aluminum extrusions, courtesy of Karmann. Fitted to an aluminum-intensive chassis and initially scheduled to share running gear and independent suspension with the BMW X5, the new Range Rover may also share BMW's 4.4-liter V-8, diesel and V-12 engines, in addition to Rover's existing V-8.

The joint-venture styling (between California and Munich) features Freelander-like front end styling, although sources close to Land Rover tell us the production model will likely sport "classic" round headlamps. The body, more rounded and modern, is still unmistakably a Range Rover.

If all goes as scheduled, the all-new Range Rover may be introduced as early as 2001, but if Ford decides to install their own drivetrain components, the introduction of the new model may be delayed a year or more.

© 2000 The Car Connection

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