THE APPEAL OF THE NEW RANGE ROVER TD6 DIESELS
Impressive low-speed torque, up to 650 miles between fill-ups and great towing capability are all features that are attracting customers to the new Range Rover Td6 and Range Rover Sport Td6 models, explains Chris Marchand, Executive Vice President Operations, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC.
Who is buying the new Range Rover Td6?
Right now we're seeing a real mix of buyers. Initially, it has predominantly been loyal Range Rover customers who have been waiting patiently for us to introduce diesel-powered Range Rover models. Our buyers tend to be very well-traveled and have driven diesel-powered vehicles abroad, especially in Europe. They know the benefits and are keen to enjoy them. Then there are buyers from competitive brands who have owned a diesel-powered luxury SUV and are now looking for the diesel experience in a Range Rover.
What kind of volumes are you expecting?
We're predicting that Td6 models will make up around 15% of the total Range Rover and Range Rover Sport model mix. Naturally, that may fluctuate, but it's roughly the kind of percentage our competitors are experiencing with their diesel models. Not only will these new Td6 models broaden the Range Rover portfolio, but they will give us another significant selling point against our competitors.
What is the appeal for Range Rover customers?
The feedback we're getting is that buyers love the extended range. They are looking at up to 600+ miles on a single tank. That's an easy Los Angeles to Phoenix run, a drive from Atlanta to Miami, or even a round trip from New York to Boston without filling up. This is a real convenience feature. EPA estimates show the Range Rover HSE Td6 and Range Rover Sport HSE Td6 will deliver 25 miles per gallon combined**, which is a 32% improvement over the supercharged V6 gasoline engine. The highway figure for both Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Td6 models is a remarkable 29 mpg**. With the Range Rover Td6 I'm currently driving, on a mix of commuting and long interstate runs, I've been seeing close to 30 to the gallon.
Diesels are known for their strong low-speed torque. Is that especially important to Range Rover Td6 buyers?
We know that many of our customers use their vehicles to tow. Everything from horse boxes, to boats, to race cars. To have 440 lb-ft of torque available from just 1,750rpm really enhances the towing experience and also enhances the Range Rover's breadth of capability when you head off-road. Even in day-to-day city driving, having all that low-speed 'muscle' is a lot of fun.
What other characteristics are impressing buyers?
Our retailers are telling us that customers are really impressed by the refinement of these Td6 models. As part of our market research into the appeal of diesel-engined Range Rover models in North America, we held customer clinics in three U.S. cities - Los Angeles, Boulder and Montvale, NJ. What's remarkable is that not one of the consumers who took part in 'blind tests' of the new Td6 models against similar gasoline-engined versions correctly identified they were driving a diesel. It may sound far-fetched, but I myself have lost count of the times I've traveled to the UK, got into a Range Rover Td6 model and asked myself "Is this a diesel?"
How are you pricing the diesel-engined models?
The premium is just $1,500. For the Range Rover Sport HSE, the Td6 version has an MSRP of $71,450*, compared to $69,950* for the 3.0-liter Supercharged V6 gasoline version. We're also expecting resale values for the new Td6 models to be between one and two percent higher than the gas equivalent, which really negates the price differential. Monthly leasing payments should also be lower as the two Range Rover Td6 models are expected to be valued at up to $2,100 more at the end of the lease than their gasoline counterparts.
*Price shown is Base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $995 destination/handling charge, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Total Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price includes $995 destination/handling charge and may include optional equipment but excludes tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.
**All figures are EPA estimates. Actual mileage may vary.