2011 Land Rover LR4 Performance

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Performance
The LR4, which was 'new' in name but not completely in other ways last year, was significantly different mechanically, shedding all the old Ford and BMW architecture and replacing it with a new 5.0-liter V-8 engine that's closely related to the one used in Jaguar models. Altogether, performance and responsiveness were modestly improved, even if fuel economy wasn't.

With 375 horsepower on tap, the heavy LR4 feels almost fleet and nimble, with plenty of power to move it to 60 mph in under 7.5 seconds. A six-speed automatic transmission teams with four-wheel drive in a body that weighs nearly 6,000 pounds.

The LR4 isn't as responsive on the road as carlike crossovers; the driving position is very tall, and it feels at first as if the LR4 is going to be tipsy in corners, but it maintains impressive composure in on-road cornering and on rough road surfaces better than most truck-based SUVs. That's thanks to an independent double-wishbone suspension with height-adjustable rear air springs and the LR4's range of electronic aids-and a series of revisions to its suspension and steering. There's still plenty of lean, though, and the LR4 is by no means a vehicle that you'd enjoy taking out on a canyon road.

Off-road prowess is clearly the emphasis in the 2011 Land Rover LR4, but it isn’t as clumsy as you might think on-road.

Off-road is where it really hits its stride. A four-corner, independent, height-adjustable air suspension and Land Rover's exclusive Terrain Response system (with separate modes commanding the behavior of an armory of electronics for several different driving conditions, such as "mud and ruts" or "sand and dunes") help bring impressive off-road ability to the 2011 Land Rover LR4 without sacrificing on-road handling. A central-locking differential engages when conditions warrant maximum grip. And for 2011, Terrain Response has been improved, while new Hill Start Assist and Gradient Acceleration Control modes help tackle steep slopes that are either loose or slippery.

To keep the LR4 at an even pace, Land Rover improved the brakes last year as well, with stopping distance as well as pedal feel improved versus its predecessor. That said, there's still a lot of nosedive and excess body motion when you stomp on the brakes firmly.

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