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Range Rover II (1994- )

[Range Rover II launch, courtesy Range Rover Register, jpg]

The new Range Rover was released in the U.K. in 1994, and in Australia in 1995 which was the 25th anniversary of the original. Although there is a strong family resemblance to the latter, the new car has a new chassis, new body and new(ish) engines. The electronic air-suspension, viscous-coupling transfer-case, electronic-traction control, and twin airbags continue. The model with the BMW 2.6 litre, 6-cyl, turbo-diesel is not being imported into Australia as yet. Interestingly, that diesel has almost exactly the same power as the original 3.5 litre (carburettor) V8 first fitted to a Range Rover in 1970.

[Range Rover rear suspension, jpg]

The air-suspension is adjustable to five different heights. The A-frame has gone from the rear-suspension, replaced by composite (?fibre-glass?) radius arms which also provide roll-stiffness. It will be interesting to see how rugged they are. The air-suspension rendered the A-frame and self-levelling unit redundant which made enough room for the fuel tank to be moved to a safer location in front of the rear axle. A new front-axle uses open swivel housings! Gone are the oil-filled swivel balls with their complex oil-seals that loved to leak. What is a Rover without oil leaks?

Transmission is either Rover's own `R380' manual 5 speed, or a ZF automatic 4 speed. The latter has special modifications to allow it to be held up in a higher gear - very useful for avoiding wheel-spin on slippery surfaces. The T-bar controls the primary gearbox and hi/lo range selection.

The petrol engine has evolved considerably. It is still a V8, two-valves/cylinder, push-rod engine, but after dabbling with 3.9L and 4.2L, it is now available in 4.0 litres and 4.6 litres capacities.

 capacity borestrokec.r.powertorque
4.0:3950cc94.0mm71.0mm8.2 :1132 kW 4750rpm304 Nm 3000rpm
4.6:4554cc94.0mm82.0mm8.35:1157 kW 4750rpm358 Nm 3000rpm

That V8 has an interesting history. A 4.4 litre version was used in Australian P76 sedans and Terrier trucks. Supaspares of Queensland were making 5 litre versions around 1986. It was also the basis of Jack Brabham's formula-one grand-prix titles in 1966 and 1967, so there must be a few horse-power yet to be extracted.

Land-Rover's V8 engine-testing procedure brings tears to the eyes - involving running the engine at full power for long periods while tilted at a 45 degree angle nose-up and nose-down, and at 35 degrees to either side.

The prices also bring tears to the eyes: SE $97,500, HSE $112,000 ($ Australian).

The old model continued to be manufactured as the Range Rover `Classic' until, in November 1995, Rover announced its demise with a final run of 25 25th-anniversary specials.

Go to the Land-Rover (main), 2001, 2000, 1998, 1997, 1996, 4.6HSE (on-) Road Test, Range Rover Classic (1970-1996) pages

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