What is it? The Sport is a smaller, more dynamic SUV than the large Range Rover on which it is based. The Sport geared more for on-road performance than off-road mastery, although it is adventure ready.
The new Rover is a dramatic 800 pounds lighter, thanks to extensive use of aluminum its unibody structure, rather than steel. Land Rover says that new construction grants the Sport even more dynamic performance, making it lighter on its feet. We expect fuel economy likely will benefit from this weight savings, as well.
The redesigned Sport is 2.5 inches longer than its predecessor, and it rides on a 7-inch longer wheelbase. These stretched dimensions allow for greater interior room, as well as an optional power-operated third-row seat, although it’s specified as best for children or “occasional use.”
Power comes from a choice of two engines: a new 340-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged six-cylinder or a 510-hp, 5.0-liter supercharged V8. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed ZF transmission and send power to all four wheels. A number of brands use this gearbox, and it’s very slick, in our experience. We expect the same in the Sport.
Land Rover includes a number of technologies to maximize fuel economy, including a start/stop system, electric power assist steering, and regenerative battery charging.
Inside, the cabin is a blend of styles from the big Range Rover, as well as the smaller Evoque. The instrument cluster comes in a variety of forms. The main cluster uses a 5-inch display, although higher-spec models will get a 12.5-inch virtual gauge cluster. All versions have an eight-inch touch screen for climate and infotainment use. Rear-seat legroom has been expanded by nearly one inch.
Expect the typical Range Rover luxury of leather, wood, wool carpets, and plenty of options that allow for customization to the buyer’s tastes.
Available safety technology includes lane departure warning; a “Flank Guard” to help when driving in narrow spaces, such as parking garages; adaptive cruise control; blind spot monitors; and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
What is new or notable? A Traffic Sign Recognition system will scan both sides of the road to look for information on speed limits, road closures, and passing regulations, and display pertinent information in the instrument cluster.
CR’s take: On paper the Sport sounds impressive, which you expect from a vehicle with base prices ranging from $63,000 up to $93,000. Hopefully there is more sportiness in this version, something the last version lacked.
When will it be available? Summer 2013.