First Drive – Range Rover Sport

RRS_1We slipped on the Hunter Wellies and Barbour jacket and put the new Range Rover Sport through its paces.

What is it? The Sport is Land Rover’s latest entry in a line-up that has helped propel the British company to be the belle of the automotive ball. Whereas the previous Sport was based on the Discovery this one shares major components with the Range Rover. Crucially its also lighter thanks to an all-aluminium body. The result is the most responsive and the most agile Land Rover ever made.

First impressions of the new Range Rover Sport? With style oozing from the contrasting roof panels to where the beefy 22inch rubber meets the road, the new Range Rover Sport is at once sporty, purposeful, and elegant. Styling details borrowed from the Evoque gives the chiselled exterior a more menacing almost hot hatch like stance.

What about the interior? Inside it is beautifully luxurious with an uncluttered and clean dashboard. The quality is far better throughout. The seating position is lower than before but every bit as commanding. There is also an option of two extra seats in the back making it a good family car choice. The business-class aura extends to the rear where there is a huge amount of space and a host of gadgets to keep all entertained or distracted on long journeys.

And on the road? We had an opportunity to drive both a petrol and a diesel on the launch, a 288bhp 3.0 SDV6 diesel and a supercharged 510bhp 5.0 V8 petrol.
Range Rover Sport on road: The supercharged with the 5.0-litre V8 is an insanely fast car with an impressive surge of acceleration. The one most likely to appeal to buyers is the diesel. Sprinting from 0-100km in 6.8 seconds, the diesel is no compromise and returns 37.7mpg and 199g/km of CO2. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that moves seamlessly between gears. On the road the Sport feels nothing like its predecessor and while it is still a huge vehicle and tips the scales at about two tonnes it is light and agile.
Range Rover Sport Off road: At Eastnor Castle Land Rover demonstrated the formidable go anywhere capabilities of the new Sport. From deep water wading, muddy ruts and unbelievably steep climbs and descents, the Sport makes light work of any terrain. Impressively, all of this is achieved on 22 inch road tyres.

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To reinforce the point that the Range Rover Sport is truly a first-class piece of engineering Land Rover’s final party trick for the launch was getting us to drive the Sport onto a Bowing 747. Up a steeply racked incline the Sport nudges through the doors of the aircraft. Once in there’s an obstacle course through the fuselage of the airliner to overcome before passing first class and then under the cockpit to drive out of the plane. Hard to envisage anyone ever needing to drive this way but still good to know you could.

How Much? Prices start from  £51,500

How Safe? There are a range of advanced safety features to keep you safe both on and off road. One of our favourites on the Sport is Wade Sensing where cameras in the wing mirrors monitor water level and this information is relayed to a screen on the dash. The system is not predicative so it can’t tell you the depth of water before you drive in but once submerged it can determine how close you are to exceeding the Sport’s 850mm wading depth.

What about my options? The initial line-up will comprise five equipment grades – SE, HSE, HSE Dynamic and Autobiography Dynamic and a choice of three engines; TDV6 with 258hp, SDV6 with 292hp and the 510hp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol.

3 words to describe the Range Rover Sport: Dynamic; Robust; Capable

 

For more information check out the Landrover UK facebook page or the New Range Rover Sport website


Geraldine Herbert


26th of July, 2013

 

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of goodhousekeeing.co.uk. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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