The new Range Rover has been selling like hotcakes since its release late last year, and now it’s the turn of football player favourite, the Range Rover Sport, to pick up where its big brother left off.
Unsurprisingly, the new RR pleased the motoring press to no end after having such a revolutionary overhaul over the previous model and had them waiting eagerly for the Sport version’s arrival.
The Sport looks to have taken the sporty element to heart more than ever in this second generation model, with the car’s visuals more sophisticated and dynamic than its predecessor. The floating roof from the ‘normal’ Range Rover has been transferred to the Sport, but it is the low and compact dimensions that make it stick out.
The Sport has far more in common with the Range Rover than the previous model and shares most of its suspension and transmission parts, as well as primary components of it aluminium monocoque chassis. However, while the new Sport is 66mm longer than the outgoing model, it is still 149mm shorter than the flagship Range Rover. The dimensions of the Sport allow for three rows of seats, making for a ‘5+2’ SUV layout for the first time.
Like the Range Rover, the Sport has gone through some major weight-saving efforts and engineers claim they have been able to shave around half a tonne off over its predecessor, although this has been calculated by putting the old V8 diesel against the new V6 model. A more accurate picture when putting the two V6 models against each other sees a difference of 420kg.
At the launch of the new Sport, two engines will be available: the updated 288bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel and the Jaguar-derived 503bhp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol. In 2014, these two will be joined by a 245bhp turbodiesel V6 and a 334bhp 4.4-litre SDV8 ‘super-diesel’ that boasts a 6.5sec 0-62mph time.
All engines will incorporate stop/start technology to rein in economy and power will go through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox to a permanent four-wheel drive system.
In a move that might surprise some, Range Rover intends to deliver a “highly innovative” diesel-electric hybrid version of the Sport that will emit just 169g/km of CO2 at the end of 2014.
Prices start at £59,995 for the base SDV6 (this will be reduced next year on the arrival of the TDV6), whilst the range-topping Supercharged Autobiography V8 petrol will start at £81,550. Those with a slightly lower budget might want to look at a used Range Rover, with the former generation still a very capable car, and ironically, some might say, is the only true rival to the new model.