What is it?
Simple, it’s a stretched Range Rover. It may sound crazy to suggest that some owners find a five-metre SUV rather short, but to the (mainly) Chinese and American buyers — already queueing around the block to buy the new, stretched Range Rover revealed late last year — the standard model always lacked rear legroom. In those markets, well-heeled owners are inclined to travel in the rear and hate not being able to stretch their legs.
To accommodate these people, Range Rover engineers have let 200mm (7.9in) of extra length into the wheelbase — all of it visible in the extended rear door. They’ve taken care to reinforce the basic aluminium monocoque structure to concede very little in torsional rigidity. The result is a rear compartment with genuine sprawling space, and the bonus of commanding rear seating, which no Rolls or Bentley can currently provide. As a bonus, you can now recline a Range Rover L rear seat twice as far as in the short wheelbase model. It all costs, of course — around £7400 extra, model for model.
In Britain, you can only get the long wheelbase as a TDV8 (diesel) or the full-fat 5.0-litre supercharged V8, although the 3.0-litre diesel V6 is to be sold in some markets where tax breaks favour smaller engines.