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Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic

Click to view picture gallery“When the new Range Rover Sport
  drives onto UK roads
or off them
  in the next few weeks, the all-new
  five-door models will weigh in at up
  to 420kg less than the outgoing
a hefty 33% weight saving
  that’s equivalent to five passengers
  and their luggage!

THIS LATEST GENERATION of Range Rover Sport models use the same type of aluminium monocoque body construction and suspension components as the new Range Rover (launched earlier this year) which provide a 25% increase in body stiffness for improved torsional rigidity. Previous Sport models used a body-on-steel chassis construction derived from that used by the Land Rover Discovery.

Not only does the weight saving improve fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions by 15%, but it makes the new Sport versions more agile both on and off road with much improved handling manners — Range Rover say the new Sport is the fastest, most agile, most responsive Range Rover yet.

“Prices currently run
from 59,995 for the
3.0-litre SDV6 292bhp
diesel to 81,550
for the range-topping,
supercharged 510bhp
5.0-litre V8
Prices currently run (at least until January 2014 when the 51,550 258bhp 3.0-litre TDV6 SE diesel joins the line-up) from 59,995 for the 292bhp 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel in HSE trim to the range-topping, petrol-drinking supercharged 5.0-litre V8 (510bhp) Autobiography Dynamic, priced at 81,550.

All the power units have been revised to offer more power and torque yet with lower CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy. The petrol engine comes from Ford's Bridgend plant and the diesel is from Ford's Dagenham facility, and the vehicles are built Land Rover's Solihull facility.

All models have permanent four-wheel drive, air suspension, a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and Stop-Start as standard. A vast range of extras is available including a 5+2 power-operated occasional seating option which enables customers from Range Rover's 169 worldwide markets to create their ultimate bespoke SUV.

Arriving early next year is a 334bhp 4.4-litre SDV8 turbodiesel and as-yet-to-be-disclosed four-cylinder engines (likely petrol and diesel units) to be built in Jaguar Land Rover's new Wolverhampton engine plant. A diesel hybrid version also joins the line-up later next year.

To debut the new British-built Range Rover Sport to the global media, Land Rover has just finished their five-week-long media launch involving nearly 1,000 Journalists from 169 countries as far away as Australia, USA, China and Russia.

As a British brand the event was based in gentile Cheltenham before 'scribes' took to the roads through the Cotswolds, into the Welsh borders, across the narrow and mountainous tarmac and gravel tracks of the Brecon Beacons (including the military gunnery ranges), before returning via Land Rover's famous Eastnor Castle estate 4x4 test facility.

After that the programme included straight-line acceleration and emergency braking tests at Cotswold Airport Kemble. The finale was pure motoring theatre where the unique experience of driving the new models up and down very steep ramps in, out and through a decommissioned Boeing 747 aircraft to showcase the Range Rover Sport's agility and the ease of manoeuvring a vehicle 4,850mm long in confined spaces. A unique and not-to-be-forgotten driving experience.

“It’s well worth taking
an off-road driving
course at one of Land
Rover’s centres to see
and experience just how
capable the best 4x4
luxury SUV is because
it’s truly phenomenal.
It's just a shame that the vast majority of UK customers will not experience just what the Range Rover Sport, and indeed the Range Rover, is capable of off-road. It's well worth taking an off-road driving course at one of Land Rover's centres to see and experience just how capable the best 4x4 luxury SUV is because it's truly phenomenal.

Most of the time the Range Rover Sport will be used for family, business or lightweight recreational use and rushing up and down motorways — in, of course, some luxury and comfort. But that misses out on using all the technology and capabilities this vehicle now fields.

In the space I have to write this story it is genuinely impossible to cover all aspects of the new model. All I can say is try it and you will buy it — there is no better vehicle off-road.

On road the handling is sharp and well controlled although perhaps not so composed as the BMW X5/X6 SUVs which really are designed specifically for fast road travel. The Range Rover Sport nearly competes... but then vastly outperforms the BMW models when it comes to driving away from roads and onto the rough stuff.

Of course the 'new money' types, followers of fashion and professional footballers who appear to buy the Range Rover Sport will never use the vehicle's all-terrain potential — and it's their loss, especially considering the significant amount of money they have paid for their Sport.

The Range Rover Sport is Land Rover's most technology-packed vehicle to date, and includes several brand new and innovative features. For example, customers can specify the new Wade Sensing feature, monitoring depth when driving through water — very handy given that these new-gen models have gained an extra 150mm (now 850mm) in their wading capabilities.

The Park Assist function now includes new 'Park Exit' and 'Perpendicular Park' features, and state-of-the-art audio systems now come in three levels, ranging up to the stunning 1,700W Signature Reference system with 23 speakers.

“Aspects of the new
Range Rover Sport that
most impressed me
were the roomy interior
and the amount of dual-
usage space: the boot is
a whopping 784 litres,
and with the seats down there’s a pretty huge
1,761 litres available.
Standard specifications across all grades reflect the luxury and premium quality associated with Range Rover. The SE comes equipped with leather upholstery, automatic headlights and wipers, DAB digital audio, powered tailgate, intelligent Stop-Start, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, HD navigation, four-corner air suspension with automatic levelling, Terrain Response, Descent Control and Say-What-You-See voice control.

Additional features provided on the HSE include 20-inch alloy wheels, perforated leather seats with 14-way electric front seat adjustment and memory function, paddle-shifters, heated rear seats, powered steering column adjustment, front fog lights, heated windscreen, rear-view camera, and aluminium tread-plates.

HSE Dynamic trim adds extra styling and handling features, along with stainless steel pedals, a bright finish for the twin tailpipes, a glossy black grille and vents, 21-inch alloys, illuminated tread-plates, twin-speed transfer box, torque vectoring and the added functionality of Terrain Response 2 Auto that selects the right mode, if required, for driving over sand, mud, rocks, in water, and so on.

The Autobiography Dynamic specification befits its flagship status, introducing as standard: High Beam Assist for the headlights, configurable interior mood lighting, Meridian surround sound audio system, adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, and an advanced preventative safety package including emergency braking and active front seatbelts.

All customers have the opportunity to make their new Range Rover Sport truly individual thanks to the range of optional features and accessories. This extends to 11 interior colour themes, four aluminium finishes, three headlining colours, 17 exterior paint finishes, seven alloy wheel designs, three contrast colours for the roof and three finishes for exterior accents.

Briefly, the aspects of the new Range Rover Sport that most impressed me were, first, the roomy interior — although I personally wouldn't take the third row seat option (which stows under the boot floor) as it does away with the space for the spare wheel. Worth mentioning, the boot is a whopping 784 litres, and with the seats down there's a pretty huge 1,761 litres.

“In the Combined Cycle
the 292bhp V6
turbodiesel officially
returns 37.7mpg —
on test it managed
36.4mpg for on road
driving which reduced to
29.2mpg after some
serious off-road travel.
Other 'favourites' include the range of functions the driver can easily select to assist them, the quality of the interior, the sharp exterior styling, the agility of the vehicle and its nimbleness off-road, and the relative ease of threading a passage through trees and obstacles and going up or down the most outrageously steep and slippery inclines.

It's very good on road, but even better off — more's the pity that isn't the territory where it will be used most.

The outrageously fast supercharged 5.0-litre V8 packs 510bhp and 460lb ft and delivers a zero-to-60mph time of just 5 seconds with a top speed of 155mph. Even more impressive, for some, is its exhaust note!

Officially this muscular V8 will return 22.1mpg in the Combined Cycle — our test drive returned 20.2mpg for fast on road driving and 15.9mpg for acceleration testing and off-road driving. With CO2 emissions of 298g/km, road tax is 1,065 for the First Year, reducing to 490 for the second year onwards. Company car tax is the maximum 35%.

By far the best-selling engine will be the 3.0-litre SDV6 turbodiesel with 292bhp and 442lb ft of torque, which does zero to 60mph in just 6.8 seconds with a top speed of 138mph. CO2 emissions are lower, by 13%, to 199g/km so road tax is 475 in the First Year and then 260 for the second year onwards. BIK is 34%. In the Combined Cycle this engine will officially return 37.7mpg and on test returned 36.4mpg for on road driving which reduced to 29.2mpg after some serious off-road travel.

Against? High prices for higher-spec versions, auto gearlever fiddly to use, improved road handling but its supreme off-road capabilities will always compromise the on-road high-speed handling.

Let's be realistic —
anybody buying a Sport won't be worrying about the price, particularly when there's a hill of good reasons to own one: utter brilliance off-road, responsive, nimble, precise, loads of easy-to-use-technology, powerful but fuel-efficient engine, looks good inside and out, comfortable ride, and that classy image.

All I can say about the new Range Rover Sport is try it and you will buy it — there is no better vehicle off-road. —
David Miles

Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic | 74,995
Top speed: 138mph | 0-60mph: 6.8 seconds | Average Test MPG: 36.4mpg
Power: 292bhp | Torque: 442lb ft | CO2 199g/km