Land Rover says its evolutionary approach to the new full-size Range Rover comes from a great deal of market research from existing customers who felt concerned the iconic luxury SUV would become soft, and cave to current trends.
Speaking exclusively to CarExpert at the international launch of the new Range Rover in California last week, Jaguar Land Rover’s global product senior manager Ryan Miller said that preserving Range Rover’s DNA was crucial in the design and engineering of the fifth-generation vehicle.
“The first thing that we do when we build a new project is to do customer research, we would come to the US and UK and show them the concept of the new design but really we are trying to get into the customer’s mind of what they want from the new product.
“We have a high level of loyalty on Range Rover, globally over 50 per cent, which is something that we are very protective of frankly, it’s a massive advantage for us, but there are a lot of traditionalists in that… this is the car for every occasion and that’s a massive reason for purchase, so you can go to the theatre, to the shops, shooting, you can do anything with it.
“So frankly, a lot of customers are scared to death that we were going to break the magic formula, so it’s about preserving that DNA,” Miller said.
Range Rover has been a staple of luxury motoring since the first model was introduced in 1969. Now in its fifth-generation, the brand has seemingly managed to maintain its allure and appeal through constant evolution.
“That all-around usability, the command driving position where you can see this fantastic panorama view, there’s the split tailgate and these other features that customers associate with the Range Rover. The customers [say] ‘please don’t ruin it, just make it better’.”
Perhaps the most concerning part for loyal Range Rover customers was the potential for the brand to try and reinvent the SUV into something more aerodynamic, ruining its large traditional box shape, which gives it the spacious feel.
“The rest of the automotive industry is morphing into a smaller, more aerodynamic feel, so there was a lot of, honestly, concern from these people… you can imagine that the people that buy these cars and these products make up their own minds….”
The all new Range Rover arrives in Australia around August.
Read our 2022 Range Rover Review.