While most cars have been designed with the driver in mind, Land Rover's newest introduction focuses instead on giving backseat passengers an indulgent ride. Climb into the Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase (LWB) and you'll understand just what we mean.
The interiors of the Range Rover LWB promise superior comfort, outfitted with the optional “Rear Executive Class” seating where there are only two plush chairs in the rear. As with the driver's and front passenger's seat, each is also crafted with perforated Semi-Aniline leathers that are velvety soft and smooth to the touch.
Though those in the front will also enjoy the pampering massage chair functions fitted into the seats, it is the backseat passengers who will be on the receiving end of some serious tender-loving care. With the chair's ability to recline by an additional 17 degrees — more than double the standard wheelbase (SWB)'s eight — they'll be able to sit back and enjoy a spa-like massage on the go. A longer wheel base also means legroom space has been extended by an additional 18.6cm, which means one can literally kick back and stretch out comfortably.
The car is also endowed with a state-of-the-art entertainment system that allows each backseat rider to play his movie of choice on a 10.2-inch video screen, which comes with wireless remote control and headphones for a truly private experience, similar to that of a premium-class flight. The in-built 1700-watt Meridian Signature Reference Audio System features 29-speaker 3D surround sound, so acoustics are not compromised in any way.
To further cater to the mood of those seated in the rear, configurable LEDs mean ambient lighting can be adjusted in terms of intensity and in a range of 10 colours. If natural sunlight is preferred, there's also a built-in panoramic sliding roof.
Having made its way to local shores last month, the sturdy Range Rover Autobiography LWB, based on size alone, is king of the road. Its sleek aluminium frame is masculinity personified, standing tall at 1.87m with a length of 5.2m, which is up from the SWB's almost 5m. Although, the height may pose a challenge to get in, the car can thankfully be lowered for passengers via a push of a button by the driver. For drivers who do not possess great height, though, a less-than-graceful climb into the car may unfortunately be in order.
Although a heavyweight on the road at 2,413kg, there is no sacrifice in terms of the handling capabilities that a modern off-roader should offer. Fitted with a V8 supercharged engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, this latest Range Rover LWB boasts a swift acceleration speed from zero to 100kph in a mere 5.8 seconds — a feat for its size and weight class — with a top speed of 225kph. In comparison, the Porsche Cayenne (the car the LWB is pitched against) boasts a slightly higher top speed of 230kph at a much lighter unladen weight of 2,040kg. But in terms of acceleration, the Cayenne loses out to the LWB with its 7.7 seconds.
An alternative to the standard range by the British car marque, this SUV boasts a stable, smoother ride for long-haul trips, cruising highways without feeling every bump and dip in the roads. That, it achieves, by not just being a sturdy hunk of metal, but a well-engineered one.
Living up to the Land Rover name of being a trusted all-terrain vehicle, the Range Rover Autobiography LWB is equipped with advanced Terrain Response 2 technology that enables easier manoeuvring on all road conditions. A simple press of a knob acclimatises the vehicle's transmission, suspension and traction settings, a feature especially attractive during monsoon season. With its advanced wade-sensing feature, there's also no need to fret when crossing flooded roads as the wing mirrors are armed with sensors to help alert the driver when water levels are too high to navigate, while providing real-time pictorial information and the car's wading capability via touch-screen.
The LWB has been fitted with other advanced safety features, including Anti-lock Braking System, Emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Traction Control, as well as systems of convenience such as Park Assist, Hill Start Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist. And to top it all off, the newest Range Rover on the market was also designed with a reduced carbon footprint of 299g/km.
Bigger and longer, yet faster and more efficient than its predecessor, the Range Rover Autobiography LWB is an all-rounder that ensures passengers are well taken care of, whether rain or shine.
Range Rover 5.0 V8 SC Autobiography LWB
Engine: V8 supercharged
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with paddle shift
Max power: 375kW @ 6,000-6,500rpm
Max torque: 625Nm @ 2,500-5,500rpm
Max speed: 225kph
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 5.8 seconds
Unladen weight: 2,413kg