Range Rover – a cool off-road tool

You’ll notice this if you’re an avid listener of hip-hop, or if you’re a viewer of the show, Cribs on MTV: rappers like to mention the British behemoth in their songs, and you’re guaranteed to find at least one blinged-up Range in the garages of these stars.

And it’s easy to see why the Range Rover is such a favourite status symbol. Every millimetre of the SUV – all 4972 of them – exudes a sense of style and opulence. It’s the kind of vehicle you buy to say to the world, “Hey, I’ve made it.”

But sadly, with prices starting near the million mark, a Range Rover is something that most of us can only afford to dream about – until we win the lottery, or make big in the hip-hop industry.

For 2011, Land Rover gives us dreamers and those with large bank balance something to savour. The Range Rover model stable consists of the TDV8 Vogue SE, TDV8 Autobiography, V8 Supercharged and the V8 Autobiography.

The diesel derivatives are powered by a V8 with an Engine Displacement of 4367cc, that produces 230-kilowatts and an amazing 700 Newton metres of torque. The petrol-engined models are propelled by 4999cc powerplant, that renders and output of 375-kilowatts and 625 Newton metres of torque. So there’s no struggle for power if you’re behind the wheel of a Range Rover.

Even though most will not always venture on the beaten track in this vehicle, the Range Rover is abound with technologies aimed at giving it superb off-road ability. Permanent four wheel drive, Hill Descent Control with Gradient Release Control, four wheel Electronic Traction Control, and an centre electronic differential with low range transfer box are features all 2011 Range Rover models are equipped with. To make the task of driving as easy as possible, Adaptive Cruise Control with Advanced Emergency Brake Assist is standard across the range.

Aesthetically, the Range Rover is a distinctive looking vehicle. Although it might share some faint traits with other members of the Land Rover family, you will not mistake it for a Discovery or Freelander.

The array of standard gadgets on all Range Rover models is amazing: there is a rear view camera, Blind Spot Monitoring, Dual View Touch Screen, HDD Navigation and Hybrid TV system. Lucky rear passengers get to enjoy the Rear Screen Entertainment Pack, which comprises of 2 headphones, AVI Panel and remote control – it’s a bit like having a mobile house.  One also has the choice of configuring a truly special, plush Range Rover, with interior trim options like Burr Wood, Cherry Wood and Grand Black Lacquer – all with a veneer finish. As standard, you also get front and rear sets with heating and cooling functions – a Range Rover would be a haven on long journeys, insulating from the outside elements.

As you would expect, the list of safety features on the Range Rover is pretty vast. For starters, there’s the Electronic Brake-Force Distribution system, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Assist, Roll Stability Control and trailer stability assist. There is an ample number of airbags should you be forced to collide with something – curtain side airbags, front airbags for driver and passenger, front seat pelvic and thorax airbags and even an airbag for the driver’s knee.

The Range Rover is laden with cool gadgetry and it has street presence by the ton. When I’m a millionaire, I’ll certainly be ordering one – my slice of motoring magnificence.

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