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Mudfest 2013: Tom's Hardware Helps Test 23 SUVs

Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

Land Rover’s second entry into Mudfest was its flagship 2013 Range Rover Supercharged. Although it's a fixture in stereotypes about the rich and famous, the Range Rover is still an off-road beast, albeit with oxford perforated seats and mood lighting. The Range Rover has more power than any other vehicle present at Mudfest, its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 outputting 503 hp and yielding sports car-class straight-line performance.

An eight-speed automatic with a neat pop-up shifter knob adds a bit of tech chic to the $111,000 Range Rover. Its 4WD system is a mix and match of old-school mechanical technology upgraded with electronics. The always-on configuration splits power 50:50 through a two-speed transfer case with high- and low-range gears. The transfer case is electronically selectable though, instead of requiring a manual lever. Land Rover's Terrain Response 2 system provides the same general, snow, mud, and sand modes as the LR2, but adds a rock crawl option for the serious off-roading enthusiast. 

Driving the Range Rover was understandably a lot of fun. Plenty of power made the 5000+-pound monster respond surprisingly well. Despite the Range Rover's luxury stigma, it had no troubles navigating the hard off-road course. It remains true to Land Rover's heritage, chewing up rough terrain with ease. The luxurious amenities are simply icing on the cake.

The Range Rover's infotainment system consists of an eight-inch touchscreen LCD. Its software appears identical to what's running on the LR2, but displayed at higher quality. Since the Range Rover was quite popular during the event, we didn’t have much time to play with its infotainment system, and cannot confirm if devices with a Lightning interface work, or if Android-based smartphones are compatible.

Of course, this vehicle's technology isn't limited to an infotainment system. Range Rover also integrates a 12.3-inch LCD where you'd expect the gauge cluster to be. Its graphics look good, and text is nice and sharp. To be sure, we weren't left missing analog gauges.

There's also plenty of available safety technology in the Vision Assist Pack, including a blind spot monitoring system that checks for high-speed vehicles in the lane you want to change to. Land Rover’s Surround Camera system makes an appearance as well, delivering a 360-degree view of the truck, similar to Infiniti’s Around View Monitor.

The newest body style adds some slants to the previous generation's boxier styling. We like how the 2013 Range Rover looks; it's a modern take on a classic chassis, but is still distinctly a Range Rover.

Vehicle Specifications
Vehicle2013 Land Rover Range Rover
Trim levelSupercharged
Engine5.0 L supercharged V8
TransmissionEight-speed Steptronic automatic
DrivetrainPermanent 4WD
InfotainmentLand Rover navigation w/eight-inch display
Notable features12.3-inch LCD gauge clusterHill-descent controlSurround camera systemBlind spot monitor w/closing vehicleSensing and reverse traffic detectionFront and rear park distance controlTerrain Response 2 system
Fuel economy13 city, 19 highway, 15 combined MPG