Check out the latest Life on Cars column!

Check out the latest Life on Cars column!

by Danielle Thompson (October 2021)

RUSSIAN oligarchs, gangster rappers and Kerry Katona will be delighted. The new Range Rover – soon to be appearing in the pages of Heat magazine as various ‘slebs are snapped falling out of it – is upon us. 

Annoyingly, it was only officially unveiled by Land Rover late last night after this week’s Champion headed to the printers, and all the chaps behind the new fifth-generation off-roader could offer beforehand was a deliberately blurry teaser shot that confirms what you already knew. That it looks an awful lot like a Range Rover. 

From what I’ve gleaned from online leaks it’s business-as-usual. Evolution rather than revolution on the outside, more tech on the inside, and underpinnings that are – surprise, surprise – far more electric-friendly from the off. It’s also widely rumoured to have a clever new system that lets the rear wheels do some of the steering, which should help make it feel far more nimble on the road, and more talented off it. 

There’s also no word on prices yet, but if it’s anything more than the outgoing car’s £83,525 entry price then I reckon it’s got some unlikely competition from another car revealed, in a stroke of PR genius, the day before. The original Range Rover, albeit one given a 21st century boot up the backside. 

For £125,000 a small company called Kingsley Cars will take Britain’s favourite mud-plugger in its two-door guise from the Seventies, kit it out with a modern, fuel-injected V8 and an uprated ZF auto ‘box, and garnish its innards with Apple CarPlay and wireless charging for your smartphone. It’ll even handle properly, as it’s been equipped with modern day suspension and beefed-up anti-roll bars – but from the outside it’s all but impossible to tell apart from a Seventies Range Rover. It’s eye-wateringly expensive, but it’s all too easy to spend that sort of money on a new Range Rover if you hit the options list, and this is much, much cooler.  

Admittedly, championing a restomod over the real deal is a bit like today’s bands complaining that they don’t make any money because everyone’s streaming Fleetwood Mac and Queen instead…. ….but I like Queen and Fleetwood Mac. A Kingsley Rangie is never going to appear on MailOnline’s sidebar of shame or be seized as part of an HMRC-instigated raid on suspiciously acquired wealth. It will never be papped with a Liverpool player at the wheel. Largely because it looks like a Seventies off-roader, and one that you can still pick up a tenth of what Kingsley charge for this one, if you shop around. It doesn’t look like a car of the rich, famous and successful, and it’s all the better for it. You have to explain what it is, because people who don’t speak petrolhead won’t get it.  

So it’s an overpriced old off-roader that the oligarchs will absolutely hate. Job done, then! 

David Simister is the editor of Classic Car Weekly 

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