Land Rover Range Rover Sport

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THE third-generation Range Rover Sport, which takes styling cues (and borrows powertrains and technologies) from the luxury marque’s flagship model, has been revealed. The initial line-up is now available to order in Australia, with local deliveries set to commence in the final quarter of the year.

The large SUV range comprises seven powertrains, five variants, as well as two chassis packs, and is available in 12 colours, with four alloy wheel sizes, three roof options and a trio of trim styles (SE, HSE and Autobiography) to choose from. The first units that will be available Down Under are mild hybrid six-cylinder turbo-diesels, plus the PHEV 510 plug-in petrol-electric hybrid variant (PHEV).  

A First Edition version of the P530 variant, which is powered by a BMW-sourced twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 petrol motor, will be “available throughout the first year of production (and feature) a specially curated specification”, while the mild hybrid six-cylinder- and the rest of the V8 turbo-petrol variants will arrive in the local market next year. The entry price has gone up by about $19k; the D250 SE retails for $139,160 (before options and excluding on-road costs) and the PHEV for $198,100. 

From an aesthetic point of view, the new Range Rover Sport looks like an evolution of the previous model, with short overhangs, distinctive front-end styling and steeply raked screens fore and aft. However, it features fresh detailing includes a stealth-like front grille and slimline LED headlamps (with DRLs) that sit above a double-aperture bumper with a broad horizontal bar and black accents.

Flush glazing and door handles, a hidden waist rail finisher and the laser-welded roof contribute to claimed drag coefficient of just 0.29, while at the rear, the sculpted tailgate features a full-width bar with the brand’s lettering, uninterrupted LED light graphics (which introduces surface-LED tech to a production vehicle for the first time), as well as “the longest spoiler ever fitted to a Range Rover”. 

By virtue of being based on the flagship Range Rover’s mixed-metal architecture (MLA-Flex) – the new model has 35 per cent higher torsional stiffness than the outgoing version – and works in conjunction with a suite of systems governed by the model’s Integrated Chassis Control module.

One of them is Dynamic Response Pro, which provides heightened roll control via a 48-volt electronic active roll control system, capable of applying up to 1400Nm of torque across each axle.

Dynamic Response Pro works hand-in-hand with the latest-gen Dynamic Air Suspension – fitted as standard to every Range Rover Sport variant – which introduces switchable-volume air springs. 

The Dynamic Air Suspension varies the pressure within the chambers to deliver luxurious ride comfort and, when necessary, dynamic handling. To optimise responses, the vehicle monitors the road ahead using eHorizon navigation data to pre-emptively prime the springs for upcoming bends. 

Adaptive Dynamics 2 technology continuously controls the active twin-valve dampers to reduce body movements, while cornering agility benefits from all-wheel steering, torque vectoring by braking and an electronic active differential. All-wheel steering provides rear-wheel steering of up to 7.3 degrees out of phase with the front wheels to improve manoeuvrability at low speeds (and reducing the turning circle to 10.95 metres), while turning in-phase for better high-speed stability. 

Meanwhile, the new Range Rover Sport’s cockpit-like cabin combines a commanding driving position while simultaneously cocooning the driver with a high, sloping – and tech-laden – centre console. 

Buyers can choose between luxurious grained, Windsor or soft Semi-Aniline leather trim, but may also opt for lightweight Ultrafabrics premium textile upholstery finished in a dual-tone scheme, all of which blend tastefully with the new model’s Moonlight Chrome interior finishers. 

The front seats are 22-way electrically adjustable (with memory), heated and ventilated, replete with a massage function and winged headrests, while rear passengers benefit from an additional 31mm of legroom and 20mm more knee clearance. 

Among the audio setups available, the Meridian Signature Sound System utilises 29 speakers, a new subwoofer and up to 1430W of amplifier power – including four headrest speakers that enable those travelling in the main seats of the vehicle to experience personal sound zones.

Meanwhile, Active Noise Cancellation utilises microphones and accelerometers inside each wheel arch to constantly monitor the sounds passing into the Range Rover Sport, while digital processors calculate the level of noise-cancelling sound required to filter this from the cabin. Apart from adding to in-car refinement, it also enhances the soundtrack provided by the powertrain (in Sport mode).

Other luxury features include Cabin Air Purification Pro, deployable door handles (with proximity sensing), soft door close and approach unlock, as well as automated walkaway lock functions. 

The latest-generation Pivi Pro infotainment system features a high-res floating 13.1-inch curved touchscreen (now with haptic feedback), which complements the configurable 13.7-inch digital instrument cluster. The system, which incorporates machine learning technology, utilises Alexa, supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and is aided by a 15W wireless device charger. 

Land Rover’s Electrical Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) supports over-the-air software updates, as well as the latest safety-focused Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)… All Range Rover Sport variants are fitted with Emergency Braking, 3D Surround Camera, wade sensing, ClearSight Ground View and manoeuvring lights, driver condition monitor, lane-keep assist and traffic-sign recognition.

  

The comprehensive choice of powertrains in the range includes six-cylinder D250, D300 and D350 mild-hybrid diesel engines and P360 and P400 mild-hybrid straight six Ingenium petrols.

The new P510e Electric Hybrid blends Land Rover’s 3.0-litre six-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 105kW electric motor and 38.2kWh battery, producing total system outputs of 375kW and 700Nm. 

Range Rover says the PHEV is capable of accelerating from zero to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds, has a total range (from fully charged and fuelled) of 700km and an electric-only range of up to 125km (NEDC). With DC rapid charging, up to 80 per cent of battery charge can be replenished within 60 minutes.

At the top of the range, the twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8-powered P530 produces 390kW and 750Nm; it is said to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds (with Dynamic Launch engaged). All variants are fitted with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission as well as Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. 

And finally, even though the Range Rover Sport is unlikely to be utilised as a serious off-roader, it’s still claimed to be the more competent away from paved roads than any of its predecessors. 

For example, it is the first Land Rover to feature Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control; an evolution of All-Terrain Progress Control, the function allows the driver to set the desired speed and comfort level, from a choice of four settings, when the Range Rover Sport is traversing rough surfaces. 

Terrain Response 2 automatically detects the surface and terrain to adapt the chassis to best deal with the situation, prompting and informing the driver via the Pivi Pro touchscreen. It works in harmony with the comprehensive chassis systems to make the most effective progress off-road.

The Range Rover Sport is likely to be offered with a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty. Land Rover will continue its electrification journey when it unveils an all-electric version of the model in 2024.

2023 Range Rover Sport pricing*:

Diesel  
SE D250 $139,160
Dynamic SE D300 $151,026
Dynamic HSE D350 $168,638
Autobiography D350 $191,141
First Edition D350 $196,359
   
Plug-In Hybrid  
Dynamic HSE P510 $198,097
   
Petrol (available in 2023)  
SE 360 TBC
Dynamic SE P400 TBC
Dynamic HSE P400 TBC

*Pricing excludes on-road costs.

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