Car of the Year 2014: Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography

  • Photo by Cordero Studios, photographed at Harlan Estate
    “The perfect car for a five-star safari experience.” —Michael Uytengsu Photo by Cordero Studios, photographed at Harlan Estate
  • Photo by Cordero Studios, photographed at Harlan Estate
    “Great family car or ranch car.” —Christopher Martin Photo by Cordero Studios, photographed at Harlan Estate
  • Photo by Cordero Studios, photographed at Harlan Estate
  • Photo by Cordero Studios, photographed at Harlan Estate
<< Back to Robb Report, April 2014
  • Paul Dean

Signature Comfort

The luckiest judges were the ones whose final drive was in the Range Rover Autobiography. After nine hours of exhilaration spikes and adrenaline rushes from thrashing the Ferrari, Audi, Jaguar, and Lamborghini around wine country, they could enter the SUV without bending themselves in half, lean back on seats that are as comfortable and nearly as spacious as sofas, and then seemingly just instruct this magic machine to do the driving.

The Autobiography, a partially custom-order edition of the Range Rover, represents the highest form of luxury off-road motoring. It is a velvet brute that can get over, around, or through just about anything that nature places in front of it. By exchanging its steel body-on-frame build for an all-aluminum monocoque, this latest Range Rover has shed some 700 pounds, enabling it to exhibit sports-car pep from its supercharged 510 hp V-8.

Any Range Rover is elegant, but the Autobiography adds the choice of lush exterior colors (such as Santorini Black and Fuji White), 21- or 22-inch alloy wheels, and an Executive Class package for the rear of the cabin that includes a wine cooler.

Unfortunately for judge Eric Brandt, he experienced the Range Rover before he drove many of the sportier machines. But he made the most of it: “It was like a soft, delicious sorbet that cleanses your palate for the Lamborghini.”

SPECIFICATIONS

Configuration: All-wheel-drive SUV

Engine: Supercharged 5-liter V-8

Transmission: 8-speed automated manual

Power: 510 hp at 6,000 rpm

Torque: 461 ft lbs at 2,500 rpm

Curb weight: 5,137 pounds

Zero to 60 mph: 5.1 seconds

Top speed: 140 mph

Base price: $136,000

Land Rover, www.landrover.com

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