Years ago, just hours before purchasing my first Cherokee, I strolled across the street to the Land Rover dealership. Not that it was within my price range, but the Defender 90 was definately worth thinking about. I read the specs. Then I spoke with the salesman, "Hey, how come this Land Rover weighs half a ton more than a Jeep?" He reached behind the counter. "Here," he said while handing me a 16-ounce lug nut. "This is why." His point? Land Rovers are beefy, heavy, over-engineered muthas. Soon, however, all that will change. Just-Auto is reporting that the next generation Range Rover – due in 2012, just in time for the Mayan Apocalypse – might rely on loads of Aluminum to make their flagship both lighter and greener. And they can borrow the chassis technology from fellow PAG relation Jaguar. How much weight are we talking? About 900 lbs, or under 20% of the ultra-lux SUV's curbage. Are we stoked? A tad, though we'd be much more out of breath if they just bit the bullet and went all carbon fiber. Maybe in 2013.

Next-gen Range Rover to benefit from aluminum []

More Maximum Overfinch: 440hp Range Rover Sport [Internal]