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THE NEW RANGE Rover is flying the flag for Britain at the 2012 Paris motor show.


Land Rover’s new range-topper rivals the VW Golf for top-billing at the Paris show, which runs from September 27th to October 14th. The luxury SUV is lighter, more fuel-efficient and more technically advanced than before, with a diesel-hybrid version joining the range later in 2013.


A weight saving of up to 420kg over the outgoing model may sound like bad news for caravanners, as it reduces the 85% match figure, but since the new Range Rover still weighs over two tonnes there’s very little it can’t reasonably tow. The legal maximum remains 3500kg.


Trimming away the kilos should make the Range Rover even better to drive. It also contributes to a 22% reduction in fuel consumption for the TDV8 version, which returns 37.7mpg and emits 196g/km of carbon dioxide.


It may be lighter than its predecessor, but it promises more space inside. Land Rover says rear-seat passengers enjoy 118mm more legroom, with the option of a two-seat ‘Executive Class’ package for armchair-style comfort in the back.


Off-road ability should be as impressive as ever, if not better. The wading depth has increased 200mm to 900mm, and there’s a new version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response system, which automatically adjusts the vehicle’s settings to suit the ground beneath it.


Even by Land Rover standards, the new Range Rover is expensive. You’ll pay at least £71,295 for the TDV6, rising to £98,395 for a Range Rover Autobiography 5.0L Supercharged. Order books are open now.


The Range Rover isn’t the only big, powerful and expensive 4×4 to tempt visitors to the Paris show. Porsche is showing off the Cayenne S Diesel. Putting out 381hp and 627lb.ft of torque, it’s Porsche’s most powerful diesel ever. On sale from January, it’s a snip compared with the Range Rover at £58,243.