What Is It?
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Long Wheelbase (LWB) is a stretched version of the regular Range Rover luxury SUV. There are still only two seating rows, but the back row in particular is significantly roomier, and it's bedecked with luxuries typically found only in executive-class sedans.
What's immediately striking about the Range Rover LWB is how normal it looks. Long-wheelbase luxury sedans typically have visibly elongated rear doors, giving them a slightly awkward look that limits their mainstream appeal. That's why you'll probably stick with the regular wheelbase Audi A8, for example, unless you happen to have a chauffeur. But the Range Rover LWB's rear doors appear to be perfectly proportional -- it's as if the entire vehicle simply expanded by 10 percent. So the choice here isn't between style and functionality; rather, it's between regular and super-sized Range Rovers, each with the same eye-pleasing shape and style.
Inside, the back seat gets an extra 5.5 inches of legroom, and the power reclining rear seat backs can tilt back 17 degrees -- an increase of 8 degrees compared to the regular Range Rover. Rear massage functions will also be offered. Three-across rear seating is standard, but two individual rear seats with a full center console can be specified for a true first-class experience. The LWB models are further equipped with a panoramic sunroof and power rear-window sunshades.
Befitting its top-of-the-line status, the Range Rover LWB will initially come only with the supercharged 510-horsepower V8, which whisks the regular-wheelbase Range Rover to 60 miles per hour in just 5.1 seconds.
Also of note is the new 2014 Autobiography Black edition, a supercharged, LWB-only model that will be sold in a limited run of just 100 units for the U.S. market. The Autobiography Black is basically a fully optioned Range Rover LWB with exclusive color and interior trim combinations, including leather-wrapped panels virtually everywhere you look.
Pricing had not been announced as of this writing, but given that the regular Range Rover Supercharged starts around $100,000, we expect a base price well north of that for the LWB version.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because...
It looks great; there's no outward hint that it's an LWB model other than the "L" badge on the back; and it's a refreshing departure from the standard executive-sedan fare. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Long Wheelbase is a genuinely unique luxury offering, and that's a rare commodity these days.
Other Cars to Consider
Audi A8 L -- The long-wheelbase A8 is available with an awesome 6.3-liter W12 powerplant, and it's great fun to drive if you can convince your chauffeur to turn over the keys.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class -- The new S-Class comes standard with a long wheelbase for the American market, and its myriad improvements make it a strong contender for any executive-class shopper.
BMW 7 Series L -- Like the Audi, the long-wheelbase 7 Series boasts an exclusive 12-cylinder engine (in 760Li trim) that sweetens the deal for those so inclined.
Used Cadillac Escalade ESV -- While Cadillac busily prepares a brand-new Escalade for 2015, you can snap up a lightly used extended-wheelbase Escalade ESV at a serious discount. The Escalade isn't nearly as nice inside as the Range Rover, or as fast at full throttle, but it offers three rows of seating and similar amenities.