A long-wheelbase version of the Range Rover goes on sale early this year, including a luxurious and exclusive Autobiography Black model.
Eight inches is the magic number at Range Rover, that added to the wheelbase to make every LWB derivative from the 1993 to this 2014. The rear doors are now nearly as long as the front fenders. The rear seat is the primary beneficiary of this extension with more than seven inches additional legroom and a minor increase in cargo area.
The LWB choice will be offered on Range Rover Supercharged and Range Rover Autobiography models, with the 510-hp V8 engine and 8-speed automatic. In either you can get a three-person rear seat or individual reclining seats and a center console. Every LWB will include powered window shades, a panoramic sunroof and an L badge low on the front doors.
In other respects the features, systems and mechanicals are similar to the standard 115-inch wheelbase Range Rover.
Range Rover's new flagship is the Autobiography Black. At $50,000 more than a regular-wheelbase Autobiography, the Black is the most expensive luxury utility in the U.S. market (though a loaded Cayenne Turbo S can reach the base price of the Autobiography Black). It's also the most exclusive: Land Rover anticipates building only 100 Autobiography Black models for the U.S. market. The first 25 will be painted pearl Valloire White, adding $14,500 to the $185,000 tariff.
Black gets a unique grille and side vents with chrome edges, chrome detailing, and unique 21-inch polished wheels. The interior upgrades are much less subtle.
Autobiography Black is four-seat only with unique upholstery design, and memory, climate control and massage for all four seats. The right-rear seat has a powered extendable calf rest. Material upgrades include leather for all the roof pillars and cargo area, seat backs and ski pass-through, perforated leather door panels, brushed stainless tailgate trim and illuminated door sills with Autobiography Black script.
Designed for German-limo-like comfort with a better view, the Black's rear center console houses a pair of metal framed black leather tables with USB charging and cupholders, which open and stow electrically. Dual 10.2-inch screens handle entertainment and offer navigation tracking, and the headphone storage conceals the ski hatch until needed. There's also a chiller box for beverages.
As with the door handles, stowage compartments and so on the rear console lighting is LED, owner-adjustable for ten colors in varying intensity. Three cabin color schemes, including a two-tone palette, are unique to the Black.
The Range Rover LWB versions are expected to go on sale at Land Rover dealerships sometime in the first quarter of 2014.