Range Rover Sport – Brutish, British and Bold
Well, here it is! The Range Rover Sport has dropped and it has had a considerable makeover. After researching our new Range Rover article, it was clear that Land Rover was intending to separate the Sport from the Range Rover, and they have done so in incredible style.
This is now the third generation of the Range Rover Sport, Britain’s most successful, high-performance SUV. There has been a big engineering focus on the Sport’s on-road dynamism, while still maintaining Land Rover’s trademark off-road capability. However, the 4×4 is at least 100kg heavier than the previous model, which isn’t a small number.
‘The dynamic capability of this car is far beyond its predecessor’s’ says Land Rover executive director Nick Collins. ‘It stems from solid foundations: the aluminium-intensive MLA Flex architecture, shared with the new Range Rover. The Sport’s body architecture is 35 per cent stiffer than before. It literally has sports-car levels of stiffness,’
So what’s new with the Range Rover Sport?
The Sport always seemed to be a little too similar in styling to the Range Rover, and the new look has clearly defined the two front to back. That rear of the car is the biggest departure from past models, just like the Range. The boot hatch is now much more of a smooth curve, with the lights fitted into a sweeping bar across the top.
The front of the car adds much more curved, sweeping lines to the format. The slim new LED headlights and more aggressive air intakes separate the Sport from the standard Range Rover. Useless fact – the new lights feature up to 1.2 million micromirrors which can direct light in order to provide the best visibility in the dark.
For me, the new design dampens down the aggression of the previous iteration, but I’m sure that once the SVR comes around, that will change dramatically. On a whole, this new design is a winner though, it fits into the design philosophy of Range Rover, whilst still being its own entity.
Range Rover Sport Pricing and Interior
In terms of pricing, the Sport starts at around £80,000, that’s £15,000 more than the second generation. The interior is probably the main source of that though, it is a huge step up, taking clear inspiration from the full-sized Range Rover.
A 13.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system dominates the dashboard just like the Range Rover, along with physical climate controls situated beneath. The whole interior looks very familiar in a good way, everything is so well planned out, neat and aesthetically pleasing. Pair that with the wealth of technology Land Rover packs in, lush leather upholstery, metal trim and vents, everything just feels premium.
The new Sport sits on the same MLA-Flex underpinnings as its bigger brother. The key advantage for this new platform is that it enables Land Rover to add a fully electric powertrain. Land Rover is planning for the Range Rover Sport EV to arrive in 2024 which we’re excited to see.
For now, though, you have the choice of a range of hybrid options. Entry-level cars are driven by petrol or diesel six-cylinder hybrid engines. For more power, there is a muscular 4.4-litre V8 with 523bhp – this can get from 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds. Of course, there will be an SVR model on the way too, at some point.
Land Rover’s new look and design language is certainly one that’s caught the eye, and others clearly agree considering the Range Rover is currently retailing at £30,000 over list allegedly, but that’s a subject for another blog – coming soon.
On the whole I think Land Rover is going in the right direction, they have such a huge share of the market they built all on their own, and so many return customers, that it’s hard to see where they could go wrong. The SVR promises to be a striking level-up that I can’t wait to see, emissions kind of ruined the sound of the last generation so we’ll see how this one goes.