Land Rover greets the New Year with its first U.S. market diesel-powered 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs.
The British-built duo badged Td6, joins America’s sport utility diesel segment currently dominated by German competitors.
Rover’s new 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged diesel engine builds 440 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 revolutions per minute coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower is rated at 254.
The Td6 power plant offers a 32-percent improvement in fuel economy over V6 gasoline versions to yield 22 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway for driving range that exceeds over 650 miles on a single tank of fuel.
I spent extensive time driving the Td6 models, both on highway and punishing rock-strewn back roads.
The performance and capability of the new Range Rover Td6 is extraordinary with precision handling doled out by Land Rover’s Terrain Response System.
Off-road, the TRS and low-end engine torque team to provide the driver safe up and down hill crawls without use of the accelerator.
Speed is managed with a tap of steering wheel-mounted paddle-shift controls for a near autonomous driving experience that gives the operator a new level of confidence when tackling back-country passage.
Noticeably absent is the invasion of outside noise into the cabin.
Land Rover engineers have isolated diesel engine clatter from the passenger compartment with acoustic windshield and engine bay treatments that minimize the sound.
Specially designed engine mounts and graphite-iron engine block construction reduces vibration while a ridged body neutralizes structural flex off-road and wind noise at highway speed for vault-quiet quarters.
Inside, up to five occupants enjoy plush climate-controlled leather-wrapped seats that comfortably accommodate four adult riders a trip across-town or cross country.
A new "infortainment" system, standard 380-watt Meridian audio system, panoramic sunroof and ambient evening lights enhance the interior space.
The arrival of the Td6 diesel engine brings Land Rover’s powertrain choice full-circle for the premium SUV buyer in the American marketplace.
Cost for the 2016 Range Rover Sport Td6 starts at $66,450 with the 2016 Range Rover Td6 anteed to $86,450. Add $995 across the line for freight.