Range Rover P38, was a clean sheet design, but it soon became clear to the design team that they radically changed the style at their peril. They were very conscious that Range Rover customers are an extremely loyal group, and over the years market research had shown that they would be reluctant to accept major changes in exterior design.
The key qualities they protected were the command driving position, the floating roof (caused by the black, rather than body colour, roof pillars), the deep glass area and low waistline, wrap-over bonnet, distinctive rear E-pillar, two-piece tailgate, the straight feature lines (no wedge or step in side styling) and the close wheel cuts (to improve stance).
Aluminium continued to be used extensively in the second-generation Range Rover. Front wings, door skins and lower tailgate were all aluminium. The new model offered more equipment and premium trims positioning the Range Rover P38A above the Land Rover Discovery to face the increased competition in the SUV marketplace.
Three engines were offered for the Range Rover P38A. These were the BMW 2.5-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel and 3.9- and 4.6-litre versions of the aluminium Rover V8. The 4.6 gave a top speed of 125 mph and 0-60 acceleration in 9.3 seconds.
The height adjustable air suspension, which made its debut at the first generation, was further developed for the P38a and was offered as standard, improving both ride comfort and off-road potential. Range Rover P38 stayed in production until 2001.