The sporting life as Range Rover brings power to the people
The Range Rover Sport brings a dynamic, road-orientated sporting edge to Land Rover’s product range, slotting neatly between the familyorientated Discovery and the super-luxury Range Rover.
It all but matches the best of its sporting SUV rivals on the highway while decimating them when tarmac turns to turf. In other words, a very accomplished car indeed.
Is it sporty? Well if it isn’t now, it’s never going to be. This car’s combination of air springs, active anti-roll bars and electronically-controlled damping have always produced a firm-on-the road experience justified by its extraordinary composure on the kind of back routes that would once have required sickbags if you were pressing on in a large SUV.
Now it’s even better, thanks to fine-tuning of the chassis and an active damping system that, in conjunction with the air suspension, can make calculations about road and driving conditions over 300 times a second. There are also massive Brembo brakes that manage to bring this 2.5tonne monster from rest to 100mph and back to rest again in just 15 seconds.
The amazing 503bhp 5.0litre V8 Supercharged Sport model is the only petrol option on offer to Range Rover Sport buyers and good for 62mph from rest in just five seconds if you’re quick with the steering wheel paddles that many will want to control the slicker-shifting six-speed automatic gearbox.
That kind of performance is nice to have but in the real world, most buyers will end up behind the wheel of one of the two diesel models. The original entry-level 188bhp 2.7-litre V6 diesel option was rightly ignored by many buyers who, rightly concluding it was anything but ‘sporty’, went for the 272bhp TDV8. These days, the choice isn’t quite as clear-cut, with V6 diesel power now provided by an altogether transformed 243bhp 3.0-litre unit with 29 per cent more power and 36 per cent more torque that’s now probably the pick of the range.
Like the Discovery, the Range Rover Sport features Land Rover’s unique ‘Integrated Body Frame’ twinchassis technology, giving ladder chassis-strength for off roading and a unitary body for luxury saloon-style cruising. That being the case, we probably shouldn’t be surprised that this car is as good as it is off road but it’s still a shock to be able to be able to keep up with a GTi on a twisting country road, then veer off to conquer the kind of off road terrain you couldn’t even walk through.
Whether you like the look of a Range Rover Sport will have a big impact on whether you’ll want to buy one. Like the Range Rover Stormer concept car on which it was originally based, it’s dramatic, purposeful and very in-yourface, especially now. This improved version features these piercing LED front lights and a restyled aluminium mesh front grille above a larger air intake that helps the powerful engines breathe.
If you’re after a car that really can deliver excitement on the road and ultimate capability off it, the Range Rover Sport is one of the best places you can start your search. Though now plusher, faster and more efficient, it’s still a car that’s hard to justify but very easy to like. Which, come to think of it, applies to many of the very best things in life.
For you, this may be one of them.
STUNNING: Range Rover Sport