Range Rover. The epitome of luxury and all-round capability is finally here on our local shores. Unsurprisingly, a car with such extensive history and high image needs to be launched in an equally regal and historical place. The Carcosa Seri Negara.
Built in the year 1896, Carcosa Seri Negara was once the official residence of the British High Commissioners in the country. It began serving as a hotel in the year 1989 and is now owned by the Malaysian government. However, anyone can reserve one of the two bungalows for accommodation or events, like this Range Rover launch for example…
Please click below to read more!
Enter the beautiful grass covered courtyard and you will be instantly greeted by every member of the Range Rover family tree. From the first generation Range Rover Classic to the latest fourth generation, the presence of all four generations of Range Rover gives you a great perspective on the evolution of this iconic luxury off-roader.
Once you step into the bungalow, you will immediately understand how this mansion could have eleven bathrooms and just as much bedrooms. It is huge, yet you cannot tell from the outside. The interior is beautifully furnished, spend some time in it and you will start to appreciate the details the launch organisers have put in, such as the framed pictures you see hung on the walls everywhere are actually picture of Range Rovers from all era.
Many VIP guests were invited to this exclusive launch event. Celebrities, royalties, and even people from the British High Commission were present that day. Unsurprisingly, these people came with the cars to match. Mostly limousines, and a lot of Land Rovers.
No launch party is complete without drinks, and guests could choose from juice, beer and wines as everyone waits for the dinner to begin. The rain which poured down soon after might have delayed the dinner slightly but umbrellas were kindly provided for everyone to enter the huge purpose-built tent. Land Rover umbrellas no less.
The huge transparent, air-conditioned tent houses around a hundred guest, each with their own silverware and glasses. With the sky now approaching darkness, a variety of spotlights and candle-lit tables creates a cosy atmosphere. Separated from the elements, you would not have guessed you are in a purpose-built tent but a dining hall of a five star hotel.
Electric violin performance starts off the night, and appetizers were served. After speeches from a few key people from Land Rover and a main course later, the electric violinist came on stage playing a dramatic tune to cue the dramatic appearance of the new Range Rover.
Once the sliding doors open, the new Range Rover can be seen still meters away from the entrance to the main stage. That is because what lies ahead of the Range Rover is in fact a tiny but challenging “off-road” course. Consisting of uneven steep ramps further made slippery from the rain, the Range Rover still has a small pond of water to wade through before entering the main stage. You won’t see a more dramatic or cooler entrance for a launch of a new car.
Many people may not have noticed, but the Range Rover was in its highest suspension setting while it was conquering that artificial off-road course. And as soon as it hits the stage, the driver set its air suspension to the lowest setting. Very cool indeed.
Desserts served were left untouched as most people from the media and some of the guests came up to get a good feel of the Range Rover’s interior. The interior is definitely the star of the car in my opinion. The Range Rover displayed was hardly the top-spec model and yet it feels just as, if not more luxury and premium as most limousines costing significantly more.
Step out from any new Bentleys and right into the new Range Rover is hardly a downgrade, in fact you just might prefer the Range Rover’s higher seating position and the feeling of spaciousness thanks to the full-length panoramic sunroof. All the beautiful wood and metals you see are just that, genuine wood and metal. You will struggle to find any scratchy plastics anywhere as they are all wrapped in leather or finished in brushed aluminium. To be honest, these interior photos you see here does it absolutely no justice.
Is typical for us Malaysians to slam the doors of a new car to determine its “quality” based on the ‘thunk’ sound created, but in this case you really don’t have to. Gently push the door till it touches the car and it will vacuum-shut itself. Slam as hard as you want but it will still resist from hitting the car and instead deflects like two magnets before shutting itself elegantly again with the power of vacuum. Never gets old.
If you drive an average car like me, the first thing you will notice when sitting in the driver’s seat are the lack of conventional dials and gauges. Everything is now replaced with high-resolution screens. The TFT (Thin-film-transistor) screen which displays your speed is similar to those found in the Jaguar XJ limousine. The main advantage of using a screen is that more information can be displayed in front of you and it is also customizable.
Bring yourself to the rear seats and they are just as comfortable as being in the front. However, if you believe the rear passengers should be more comfortable than the chauffeur in the front then you can spend more by upgrading the standard bench seat into two individual seats with massage function.
For the moment, two engine choices are available. A 4.4 liter SDV8 turbocharged diesel engine with 334 horsepower, and a 5.0 liter V8 supercharged petrol engine with 502 horsepower. A more economical 254hp 3.0 liter TDV6 diesel engine should be available later in the future.
The two Range Rover variants are priced at RM949,888 and RM1,089,888 respectively. Yes, it may cost more than your average S-Class but then again you are basically getting two cars in one with the new Range Rover. An extremely capable off-roader on the outside, and a hugely comfortable and luxurious limo on the inside. If I were to live with only one car with the rest of my life, you know which car I will choose.
Hope you enjoyed reading my complete report on this launch event as much as I did attending it. Once again I want to thank the marketing people from Land Rover for the kind invitation to this exclusive event. I look forward to attending more of these automotive events in the future!