January 18, 2013

2013 Range Rover Launch at Land Rover Merriam

I was invited to the 2013 Range Rover Launch Party.  I cleared my scheduled, arranged for my boys to get picked up, and headed over to Land Rover Merriam.

I was slightly intimidated pulling up to the event in my wife’s 2005 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4.  It’s not that the truck is anything to be ashamed of; it’s that the lot was full of Range Rovers that didn’t have dealer tags.  They’d all been purchased or at least leased by the other attendees of the launch.

I heard the words “tax write off” literally two minutes in the door. 

I was being silly though because everyone at the launch was delightful.  The sales staff at Land Rover Merriam are professional and courteous.  The other attendees of the launch were curious and really scoured the 2013 Range Rover for flaws and new features.  I like that.

It was stressed by the sales staff that the 2013 Range Rover is 700 pounds lighter than the 2012 model, which will help with fuel economy.  The supercharged V8 engine is still making 510 horsepower, which I will always approve.  

The keystone side engine vents have been eliminated.  The actual vents are in under the hood now, but the location directly in front of the driver and front passenger’s door no longer has vents…  They’ve replaced them with accent lines, but it’s just not the same… *sadface*

The front end has been ever so carefully rounded.  The overall shape of the SUV hasn’t changed, but the edges have been softened.  It will have to grow on me.

I like the new tail lights. There have been a couple of commenters on Instagram and Twitter who referenced the Ford Explorer while looking at the 2013 taillights.  I don’t care.  I like them, especially the illuminated line down the side.

The rear lift gate is now fully powered, while keeping the top/bottom split that is classic Range Rover.  You press the handle to start the automated top portion.  Be sure to duck as it goes by and then press a button that looks the same as the button to close the top to open the bottom.  Jeremy Clarkson tweeted some pictures of a Top Gear camera guy trying to get into the back of the 2012 and the 2013.  There might be less cargo space, but the rear seats do recline seven to nine degrees and none of us have to fit cameramen in the trunk.

The interior is still gorgeous.  The front two seats now have massagers installed and can be set to begin 30 minutes after beginning your trip.  There is an optional 29 speaker stereo.  It sounds like Chingy is in the car with you.  Do people still reference Chingy?  

The gauges are fully digital.  There are no analog gauges anywhere in the Range Rover.  It’s almost 2013 on the calendar.  Manufacturers should be able to pull this off with no complications.  But I remember hearing something about the “Ghosts in the machines.”  Not that that will happen in your brand new 2013 Range Rover, but I just wanted to reference Isaac Asimov.

I can’t wait to drive the 2013 Range Rover.  It is still the vehicle that I see most often between on the road and the parking lots of professional athletes.  There are always a lot of full sized Ford, Chevy, and Dodges, but if the guys want to show off, then they drive a Range Rover.

Here's a quick video of the launch: I'm the white sweater with shaggy hair in the back. :)

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