2002 Range Rover hits Middle East

It's been many years and several billion dollars in the making, and Land Rover believes the 2002 Range Rover will take it into high end, luxury car territory.

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By  David Ingham Published  June 3, 2002

After several billion dollars of investment and two years of testing in fifty degree temperatures, Land Rover’s 2002 Range Rover has hit regional markets. At a Middle East press event in South Africa last week, Land Rover claimed that the 2002 Range Rover combines the best off road performance in the world with on road performance that can match a BMW or Mercedes.

“We’re positioning [the new Range Rover] as the pinnacle of luxury 4x4 motoring, yet aiming to deliver a vehicle that can act as an absolute alternative to luxury saloon cars,” said Ashley Masefield, area manager, Land Rover Middle East & Africa. “We’ve delivered up to 30% improvement on its on-road characteristics.”

For car lovers, that means a new air suspension system, stiffer chassis, greater use of aluminum to give the car a low centre of gravity and a new intelligent braking system. For the layperson, that means on-road performance that Land Rover claims matches up to that of a Mercedes S or BMW 7 Series.

Land Rover clearly has very high hopes for the 2002 Range Rover and the Gulf has been identified as a key market for the new car. Out of 25,000 models that it aims to shift worldwide this year, around 1000 of those are expected to be sold in the Gulf.

Not only that, but Land Rover will initially only be shipping the top of the range model, which retails for a cool Dhs260,000, to the region. Even at that price, Land Rover says that its regional dealers are selling models as fast as they can be shipped in.

Features that might help increase the car’s appeal in the regional market are an enhanced AC system and heat reflective glass. Land Rover also claims that the 2002 Range Rover is the only car that climbs over ‘Big Red, a famous sand dune in the UAE, without special modifications.

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