The new Range Rover Sport is the ultimate premium SUV,” Land Rover’s Gerry McGovern said.
“With its sleeker, more aerodynamic body, lower roof, sloping roofline and reduced weight, it matches and even outperforms its Range Rover sister vehicle in some areas. It truly justifies the ‘S’ in SUV.”
There are plenty of engine options in the new Range Rover Sport, and expect a diesel-electric hybrid to join the line-up later in the year.
In the new Range Sport, connected to the standard 8-speed automatic transmission, it’s good for a claimed 194g/km of CO2, and economy likely to be in the high thirties. By contrast, the 420kg heavier old Range Sport TDV6 scored 32.1mpg and 230g/km.
Adding hybrid motor assistance should stretch that figure above 40mpg, with a confirmed CO2 output of 169g/km – that’s better than a Porsche Cayenne Diesel (189g/km) and a Cayenne S Hybrid (193g/km). Performance will improve too: expect the 0-62mph sprint to dip under 7sec (from 7.1) and the top speed to better the standard car’s 130mph.
The battery pack will of course add unwanted weight to the Range Rover Sport, but they’re packaged in a reinforced cradle under the cabin, meaning no impingement on passenger space and no danger of rupturing the cells if the owner ever decides to try out the Rangie’s off-road talent.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport Hybrid borrows styling touches from both the Evoque and the latest Range Rover, to strike a good balance between the sporty aggressive stance of the former and the elegance of the latter. The Sport is both lower and longer than the standard Range Rover, which helps it look a little more dynamics, but it is a bit more colour-dependent.
Although the regular Range Rover Sports will be available from September 2013, hybrid models won’t arrive until 2014, and it’s Europe that’ll see the largest take-up.
Hybrids are usually the darlings of US sales charts, but the diesel-hybrid won’t even be offered in the USA. The volume seller in the USA will continue to be the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol car thanks to America’s on-going love affair with petrol. China too, prefers petrol models, albeit the downsized 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, good for 237bhp.