The Range Rover Sport is a large luxury SUV produced by British automaker Land Rover since the summer of 2005. It shares its platform with the Land Rover Discovery (LR3 in North America) rather than the larger Range Rover. Land Rover calls the vehicle a sports tourer.
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a premium SUV that represents a shift in focus for this SUV-oriented luxury brand. While traditional Land Rover models have combined unbeatable off-road performance with the amenities of a luxury sedan, the Range Rover Sport represents Land Rover’s first entry into the burgeoning high-performance SUV arena. It is designed to offer sporty road manners and traditional Land Rover luxury without completely sacrificing the go-anywhere abilities of other Land Rover models.
Despite its name, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport is actually a modified and shortened version of the Land Rover LR3. As such, the Sport is the smallest and most nimble SUV in the company’s lineup. Overall, it is an enjoyable and luxurious vehicle to drive as well as look at. Shoppers seriously interested in getting maximum on-road performance out of an SUV would probably be better served by a few of this Land Rover’s competitors, however, as they are able to deliver better acceleration and handling.
It slots below the Discovery/LR3 in size and has seating for five. The top-level Sport is powered by a supercharged 390 PS (287 kW/410 hp) 4.2 L AJ-V8, making it the second most powerful vehicle in the company’s history except for the larger Range Rover Vogue SE supercharged (450 bhp (336 kW), 420 ft·lbf (569 N·m)).
A normally-aspirated 4.4 L version is available with 300 PS (220 kW/295 hp) Despite the extra horsepower that the Range Rover has over the Sport model the sport has a slightly higher top speed standing at an electronically limited 130 mph (209 km/h) but in a sprint the range rover is actually quicker with acceleration both also support brembo brakes at the front to improve stopping distances due to the heavy weight of the luxury vehicles.
The TDV6 turbodiesel engine of 190 hp is available outside the North American market. All models have six-speed automatic transmissions and fuel capacities of about 88 liters. The Premier Automotive Group claims the Range Rover Sport can wade 70 cm (27.6 in) of water.
The Range Rover Sport made the Premier Automotive Group the target of a protest by Greenpeace in 2005. The protesters infiltrated an assembly facility and temporarily delayed production of the vehicle. Greenpeace quoted issue with contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, and by extension, global warming, that would result from the vehicle’s (relatively inefficient) combustion of hydrocarbons.
The EPA estimates for the car are 14 mpg (U.S.) (17 L/100 km) city/19 mpg (U.S.) (12 L/100 km) highway, and a combined total of 16 mpg (U.S.) (15 L/100 km). (Although it must be noted that this test was carried out on the Supercharged version of the car, and was conducted on a racing track. Under these circumstances, the cars MPG would have been lower than it would have normally achieved when in use on normal roads.) however it is often seen on particular cars trip computers that the average combined mpg can often sink as low as 10 mpg (U.S.) (24 L/100 km) or 11 mpg (U.S.) (21 L/100 km).
The Range Rover Sport made its first appearance late in 2004, as a concept vehicle called Range Stormer. This was a bright orange, low-slung, 3-door, that hinted very heavily at the styling of the new model. When the production model was released, it had morphed into a five-door, was not much shorter than the standard Range Rover, and its styling was much less radical, although still identifiable with the concept model. This disappointed many people, though it is still selling well. It is questioned, however, whether this model will actually add sales, or simply cannibalise the Range Rover’s sales.
Contrary to popular belief caused by its “sport” tag and styling, the vehicle still employs the off-road systems of the Discovery / Range Rover. Its off-road capabilities were used on the British motoring show Top Gear, when Jeremy Clarkson had a skirmish of manouverability in one with a Challenger 2 tank on Salisbury Plain.