Having been around for approximately nine years, it's safe to say the fourth-generation Range Rover (L405) is getting a bit long in the tooth. It's facing some new competition coming from the Jeep Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer duo, on top of its traditional rivals, which are pretty much all newer than Land Rover's flagship.
We've been spying on the all-new model since February 2020 and yet prototypes are stubbornly carrying thick camouflage on their bodies. Thankfully, our spies just caught one near the Nürburgring and it had slightly less disguise than before. The yellow "high-voltage" stickers denote we're dealing with the plug-in hybrid model. Speaking of which, the charging port is no longer embedded into the front grille as it's mounted on the rear wing.
What else is new? The next-gen Range Rover will switch to pop-out door handles to mirror the smaller Velar and Evoque. It's also getting a fixed glass aft the A-pillars where the side mirrors are located for slightly better outward visibility to reduce blind spots. It appears to be the standard-wheelbase version judging by the normal size of the rear doors while the dual exhaust tips are mounted below the bumper. Hopefully, when the camo will come off, we're not going to see a pair of ghastly fake exhaust finishers.
Much like the BMW X7, it would appear the Range Rover will retain the split tailgate, which is something we can't say about the latest-generation Toyota Land Cruiser. Another feature carried over from the outgoing model will be the "invisible" rear wiper, tucked away underneath the roof-mounted spoiler. At the front, there's a new grille pattern with slightly tilted rectangular design elements, along with a redesigned bumper hosting a wider lower air intake grill.
Land Rover has been tight-lipped about the fifth iteration of its large luxury SUV, but it's expected to ride on the new MLA platform developed to support a heavy dose of electrification. The plug-in hybrid spotted here will likely use an evolution of the P400e's hardware, and we're hearing the range-topping ones will rely on BMW power with the ubiquitous twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8.
It is believed a fully electric Range Rover will follow in 2024 as the architecture has been developed for zero-emissions propulsion. The rumour mill also speculates the next generation will be pushed upmarket furthermore to better compete with the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan luxobarges. Meanwhile, the regular model could be revealed before the end of the year or early 2022.