2013 Range Rover and Airstream trailer
Denis Flierl's picture

2013 Range Rover demonstrates towing ability pulling American icon

An all-new 2013 Land Rover Range Rover demonstrates its breadth of capability by towing an Airstream to Morocco and back.

When Land Rover introduced the all-new 2013 Range Rover, they touted the new SUV’s unmatched breadth of capability and its position as the best towing vehicle in its class with a 7716 lb. trailer capability. That all sounds good on paper, but what will the world’s finest luxury SUV do in the real world? The all-new 2013 Range Rover is the fourth generation in the Range Rover line and will try to maintain its position around the globe as they best luxury all-terrain vehicle.

Land Rover set out to show just what the new 2013 Range Rover will do and teamed up with an American icon to take part in the ultimate road-trip to one of the highest points in Africa. The new Range Rover was hitched to a new Airstream 684 Series 2 aluminum travel trailer and the team left Airstream's European home in the English Lake District. The goal was to drive to the top of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and back.

Extra stump-pulling torque with the SDV8

Land Rover chose the most capable towing powertrain in the 2013 Range Rover lineup, the 4.4-liter SDV8 diesel engine producing 334 horsepower with 516 lb ft of torque, and hitched the Airstream to its electrically-deployable tow bar. The diesel V8 comes mated to a smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic transmission.

Ben Samuelson, whose firm Samuelson Wylie Associates planned and executed the trip, started the journey at the factory where Airstream finishes its European spec trailers in Tebay, just a few miles from the Scottish border. The team set out for Oukaimeden, in Morocco which is the highest ski resort in Africa in the Atlas mountains.

The Range Rover encountered every kind of road and conditions

En route, the Range Rover and Airstream traveled to Land Rover's state of the art factory in Solihull, Frank Gehry's amazing aluminum Marques de Riscal building in the Spanish wine region of Rioja, the beach near Casablanca, the desert outside Chichaoua and the race track at Marrakesh, where Land Rover was based for the launch of the new SUV.

The team drove the 2013 Range Rover for more than 12 hours a day on every type of road imaginable. In Spain, Samuelson said they encountered “horrendous side winds, the type that sees articulated trucks tipped onto their side.” The Range Rover comes equipped with a Trailer Stability Assist that kept any sway in the trailer from causing a problem.

3,676 miles in just 11 days

From start to finish, the all-new Range Rover handled the challenge of towing the 5,289 lb. Airstream 3,676 miles in just 11 days. Samuelson was deeply impressed by the new luxury SUV: "The new Range Rover's towing ability is nothing short of stunning. It pulled the two and a half ton Airstream like it simply wasn't there.”

The all-new 2013 Range Rover features a new aluminum body which lowers the weight and Land Rover says is 39 percent lighter than the steel body in the previous generation model. It also gets a new aluminum platform that includes an aluminum front and rear chassis architecture with a completely re-engineered four-corner air suspension. The reduction in weight results in improved handling in the corners and increased towing capacity.

With 516 lb ft of torque from the 4.4-liter V8 diesel, the Range Rover pulling the Airstream handled the mountains "like they weren’t even there." It’s hard to compare the all-new 2013 Range Rover with anything else on the planet, because the luxury SUV is in a class of its own. It will maintain its position as the finest luxury towing SUV in the world.

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