The new Range Rover is like the old Range Rover but better.

“Don’t change it. Just make it better”. This, after many hours in conversation, was apparently the brief from the core customer base for the new Range Rover. Not an easy thing to deliver, but this fourth generation of a British icon would seem to have done it.

We were invited up to Jaguar Land Rover’s base in Gaydon to see the car close up. We knew the broad facts. Like the all-aluminium monocoque body that helps the new car come in a whopping 420kg less than the predecessor (a shell, in fact, that is 23kg lighter than the one found in a 3 Series). The new design and interior that continues the brand’s velocity into the luxury market. And some astonishing sales figures to live up to (last year 279,606 people bought a Range Rover, more than ever before). But there were plenty of details to come: the new Range Rover is lighter, more refined, more capable off-road, and more frugal with fuel…

Well don’t just sit there. Click through to read the story.

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TopGear.com’s roundup of the Best of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

13 more after the click.

Frankfurt 2011: Land Rover DC100 (Defender) concepts

Look closely at the DC100 concepts revealed in Frankfurt today and you’ll see what could be the next Land Rover Defender in 2015. The closed roof one is just called the DC100. The open roof version is the DC100 Sport.

Land Rover is showing both of these versions to prove that a next-gen Defender must be ‘configurable’. According to how the buyer specs the option boxes, it could be an emergency vehicle, a farmers’ transport (though without the 21-inch wheels, obviously), or a weekend toy.

Mouse over and click these words to read more.

Trailer for next week’s Top Gear: NEW Episode 3: James May vs Death Valley

In next Monday’s episode…

• Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond look at some amazing second-hand bargains that match the price of Britain’s cheapest new car, the $11,000 Nissan Pixo.

• James May tests the toughness of the new Range Rover Evoque by driving it through California’s Death Valley and then gauges its stylishness by driving a surprise guest across Las Vegas.

• PLUS: a full track test with the incredible McLaren MP4-12C - as it meets its deadliest supercar rival, the Ferrari 458.

• AND Reigning Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel is the star in the Reasonably Priced Car.

(Source: youtube.com)