Travel, well, anywhere
four-corner air suspension which delivers greater than average travel.
Upper variants get a dedicated Dynamic mode in the Terrain Response system, tying down the body and reducing roll when the hardtop corkscrews, abetted by slotting the gear shifter into sport. But left to its own devices, the auto selector is adept enough to identify and adapt to conditions.
Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential combines with torque vectoring to keep nose and tail in the designated direction under intense duress.
One bespoke tyre suffices for the Sport’s multitude of tasks — Pirelli Scorpion Verde. No need to risk a manicure changing rubber between rock crawling and B road hauling. DESIGN Very roughly speaking, the Sport’s a visual blend of the Evoque and the senior Range Rover. Longer than its predecessor at 4.8m, it’s still shorter than comparable SUVs and most of the big luxury sedans it’s going to blow away sales-wise.
A black pack, which eliminates shiny bits, is pretty mean-looking on an icy white Sport. The cockpit is a masterpiece, distinctly Rangie but it’s own thing too. It is, yes, sporty.
Love that gear shifter, hand fillingly functional but cool. The rotary dial is still there, but confined to selecting drive modes. Thumb operated toggles on either side of the steering wheel control ancillary functions.
There’s limo-like legroom for rear passengers, the outside two of whom are cosseted in buckets as supportive and comforted as the front. Optional is a powered third row occasional 5+2 ‘‘secret’’ seating, which folds away into the floor. As a fiveseater it will take that many SAFETY Yet to be crashed, and unlikely to be, it’s reasonably assumed the Range Rover’s five-star NCAP rating applies here. New items reflect the polar extremes of the Sport’s ability — traffic sign recognition, perpendicular park assist, depth sensing for wading a creek, and active lane assist.
Vast Brembo brakes provide awesome stopping power. More mundane, but crucial, the spare is full size. DRIVE Again, you have to ask can the same car be so variously outstanding? Dynamically, the supercharged Sport V8 keeps pace with a Porsche Cayenne — some five seconds to 100km/h from standing makes it by same distance the fastest ever Land Rover model. Yet it crawls on rocks and wades a creek to almost a metre’s depth as readily as the doughty Discovery.
The company calls it the ‘‘fastest, most agile and responsive’’ vehicle in its history. This is possibly an understatement. The narrow, sheep-infested mountain roads of Wales would keep one of Audi’s or Benz’s faster grand tourers honest. I doubt any would handle these with the aptitude of the Sport V8. Such body roll as there is hardly any more noticeable than the RS4 wagon we’d driven the pre- VERDICT Only the extra ask for items that should be standard on a car of this stature prevent a full five-star rating for the V8. It is an exceptional achievement and surely the luxury car of the year.