autos

Kingsley Cars ULEZ Reborn Range Rover Classic 2021 review


The ride is nicely isolated from lumps and bumps; not perfectly smooth or quiet, but better-connected to the Tarmac than ever the standard car was, and feels idiosyncratic with it. You get a little bit of wind flutter from around the door seals at fast motorway speeds, and the odd gentle rattle from the car’s sliding rear windows in their frames over sharp edges. Nothing that oughtn’t come with the territory really, or that would stop you from using one of these regularly, just as Kingsley advertises and intends.

Three engines are offered. All are Rover V8s true to the car’s history, ranging from 4.0- to 5.0 litres in capacity and from 240- to 330bhp. Our test car had the mid-range 4.6: an engine that’s been made over with new crankshafts, pistons, conrods, camshafts, valves, cylinder heads, a new exhaust and a new Lucas fuel injection system, producing just under 270bhp and more than 300lb ft of torque. It has a wonderfully redolent, whooshing, burbling, airy-sounding combustive soundtrack, too, that’s part car, part powerboat, part hovercraft. If you’ve forgotten how V8 Range Rovers used to sound, the Kingsley Classic will be a wonderfully welcome reminder.

Those outputs weren’t enough to make the car seem fast compared with modern performance SUVs, but you wouldn’t want it to be: it’s got as much poke as it can use. Our test car’s four-speed ZF torque-converter gearbox was a bit clunky, slushy, and slow to kick down; but the 4.6 engine has the torque to carry its long intermediate ratios in any case. 

You can really enjoy yourself at the wheel of this car, gently hustling a renewed old-stager along at a very modern pace, and drinking in a sense of occasion that feels hugely characterful and mechanically genuine, and really special: a million miles divorced from the low-effort, actively managed, perfectly sanitised experience of modern equivalents.



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