The All-New Range Rover Sport
The all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport — the fastest, most agile and responsive Land Rover ever — debuted at the New York International Auto Show in March. The new model, developed with the 2013 Range Rover, joins the flagship Range Rover Evoque models to form a strong triumvirate for the luxury Land Rover marque.
The new Range Rover Sport retains its all-terrain capability and offers technological, stylistic and functional advances, including an optional 5+2 third-row seating for occasional use.
The new aluminum unibody produces a weight savings of approximately 800 pounds compared with the steel unibody on a full-frame chassis of previous models. This increases performance and agility.
“The all-new Range Rover Sport is a vehicle that has been designed and engineered without compromise. With Land Rover capability at its heart, it is one of the most road-focused vehicles we’ve ever produced, but, of course, still offers unsurpassed all-terrain capability,” says Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards.
“It is a vehicle which is designed to be driven. We’ve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting, drive together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.”
The MSRP for the Range Rover SE begins at $63,495 for the Sport SE to $93,295 for the Range Rover Sport Autobiography.
Two powertrains are available: a new 340-horsepower 3-liter supercharged V-6 engine and the 510-horsepower 5-liter supercharged V-8, with 625 lb./ft. of maximum torque.
The V-6, based on the Land Rover 5-liter V-8, delivers great torque (maximum 450 lb./ft.) throughout the rpm range, delivering 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds. A sound symposer on the intake system produces music to accompany this potency.
The larger engine provides 0–60 mph performance of 5.0 seconds, enhanced sonically as well by the specially tuned exhaust system and symposer.
A new Bosch engine management system is in charge. Its direct injection uses a multi-hole, spray-guided injection system. This is enhanced by a torque-actuated, dual independent variable camshaft timing system. And, the twin vortex system supercharger offers superior thermodynamic efficiency at low noise levels.
Both engines are paired with an electronically controlled 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, offering smooth shifting and excellent fuel economy. The company says gear changes are completed in just 200 milliseconds. Choose from a single speed Torsen transfer case or a two-speed locking case with low range.
A sporting vertical gear shifter is standard, with the option of steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. Torque converter lock-up begins as early as possible to reduce slip and energy loss.
Contributing to improved fuel economy and lower emissions are a number of components: a wider ratio spread, a tall overdrive top ratio, Stop/Start technology and the Transmission Idle Control, which disengages 70 percent of the drive torque when the vehicle is stationary and the engine is idling in Drive.
This is a more aerodynamic vehicle than the previous model — 8% more — and achieves a drag figure of Cd 0.34. Just 2.5-inches longer than its predecessor, it is shorter than many mid-sized sedans, aiding maneuverability.
Among the vehicle’s many innovations is Terrain Response® 2, which automatically analyses current driving conditions and selects the most suitable terrain program: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl. Other safety features on the new Range Rover Sport include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC); Roll Stability Control (RSC); and Electronic Traction Control (ETC).
In design, the sporty new Range Rover front end has a modern, streamlined appearance and includes slimmer lights, a rearward-sloping grille, floating roof and side fender vents. The new Rover SE also has new versions of the wheel arch design and rocker moldings.
Side fender vents are sloping and are mirrored by twin hood vents in the hood. Twin strakes are on the fender vents, the grille is a two-bar design, and the tail lamp designs also have a twin design. Large outboard air intakes are upfront, and the headlight clusters use distinctive new LED designs. In the rear, a skid plate is flanked by large twin exhaust outlets.
The floating roof design can be highlighted from the remainder of the car with contrasting colors, and the Brembo brake calipers can be finished in red, while the Black Package removes all brightwork from the exterior.
Inside is a superbly crafted, luxurious interior that’s signature to Land Rover. The cockpit’s center stack features satin chrome pillars flowing from the instrument panel through into the rear cabin; aluminum accents connect the center console into the dashboard fascia.
Mounted higher than before, that console brings the the controls closer to the driver, and the smaller-diameter, thicker-rimmed steering wheel and vertical gear shifter and seats reinforce the sportiness.
Among the many design options are 11 interior color themes; choice of seat color; four aluminum interior finishes; three wood veneers; three headliner colors; and 19 paint finishes.
Says the company: “The Range Rover Sport marks a significant step forward for the model, adopting advanced vehicle technologies and new powertrains from the highly acclaimed new Range Rover, to transform the driving experience for customers seeking the ultimate premium sports SUV.”
Range Rover Sport, www.landrover.com