RAC Cars News


Range Rover Sport in The Big Apple

By raccars Published

Land Rover must have really wanted to make a point with the launch of the new Range Rover Sport. Apparently, a mere press conference wouldn't do here. Instead we got a celebrity party in New York and the car introduced by none other than James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, with an accompanying mini-movie to boot.

The on dit is that this Land Rover is all about the blacktop fun rather than mudplugging, although it is still a Range Rover and so should easily ford streams and clamber over rocks. However, just to be sure, the Range Rover Sport comes with two different four wheel drive systems: with one you get a low-range, two-speed transfer box with a fifty/fifty torque division and full diff lock for off-roading. With the other, you get a single transfer case and torque division, according to traction and stability control involvement. This one also weighs 18kg less than the alternative and uses a 42/58 front/rear torque ratio for excellent road manners.

Design-wise, the RR Sport is something of a hipster. There's no mistaking the Range Rover heritage, but the racier windscreen angle and gym-toned flanks are thoroughly up to date. While there can be no accusations of putting form before function, the Sport is definitely a fashionable affair, with masses of cosmetic configuration options, such as a choice of 19 exterior and 11 interior colour options, with three contrasting roof colours, plus seven different alloy wheels in sizes between 19-22 inches.

However, none of that is as relevant as what's happening on the road. In comparison to the previous model, the new RR Sport can boast thoroughly superior handling, with completely new suspension tuning, control systems and electric power steering. The independent aluminium air suspension is in multi-link form to the rear, with wide-spaced double wishbones to the front. The wheels are set up to travel far enough to get you out of most trouble and the wading depth has increased to 850mm.

Thanks to an aluminium monocoque body, the new Sport is about 500kg lighter than its predecessor and is equipped with all the latest technology in terms of control programmes and convenience features – think Flank Guard, Queue Assist and Closing Vehicle Sensing. If this car can't keep you safe, nothing can. Engine power is available at 5.0 litre V8 500bhp brute force or 3.0 litre 287bhp turbocharged diesel levels, with more options on the way, coupled with a super-smooth eight-speed ZF gearbox.

Thanks to the raft of intelligent updates, the new Sport is probably the most desirable Range Rover yet.

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