Land Rover is again bringing a Range Rover Sport alongside the new Range Rover just a few months after launch. Technically largely identical, but a little flatter, a touch shorter with the same wheelbase and with a new rear end including visible tailpipes, the descendant looks a little less distinguished. He appeals to all those high earners who sometimes need a little thrill and don’t want to be completely sedated in the salon when traveling.
When a Range Rover does sport, however, it is not a sweaty affair in breathable functional underwear, but a stylish undertaking in designer tweets, Wimbledon rather than Wembley. Because even in the fast lane, the great Brit always maintains style and is reluctant to be disturbed. How also, with a curb weight of 2.4 to 2.8 tons? And of course it gets at least as far off-road as its noble cousin with an army of electronic helpers.
But it’s not just the design and the somewhat more engaging seating position on low-cut armchairs instead of comfortable throne chairs that make the difference. Land Rover has actually tuned the colossus a little more crisply and, above all, installed three pulse accelerators. A roll compensation ensures constant composure even in tight bends. The dynamic air suspension with variable chamber volume bravely keeps it horizontal, and the rear-axle steering guarantees a manageable driving experience: when maneuvering in the parking garage or driving through the old town, the Range Rover Sport therefore hardly feels larger than the smaller Evoque.
The drive is taken over by the well-known engines with a 4.4 liter and 530 hp V8 at the top, which the British buy from BMW. It manages the sprint to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, reaches a maximum speed of 250 km/h and is therefore perhaps the best fit for the sporty claim that is completely beyond reason. Anyone who listens to at least a little is better served with one of the two six-cylinder plug-in hybrids. They offer system outputs of 440 and 510 hp, an almost 40 kWh battery and ranges of more than 110 kilometers. Especially since at least the stronger of the two drives is similarly agile. It’s true that you don’t get a fist in your stomach during the kick-down, and the Land Rover isn’t really into a wild howl of the exhaust anyway. But when 700 Nm go to work, the mass is suddenly not quite so sluggish. 5.2 seconds from 0 to 100 are therefore not bad, nor is the top speed of 242 km/h.
In addition, Land Rover also has a few less pointedly positioned engines on offer: The Range Rover Sport comes up with three diesel engines from the Ingenium family, which draw 250, 300 or 350 hp from six cylinders mounted in a row. For the Otto group without airs and graces, there is also a three-liter six-ender with 400 hp in the basic model.
With the sports badge, the Range Rover loses the awe-inspiring sovereignty of a Buckingham Palace that has become tin and joins the phalanx of noble SUVs like a Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 or Mercedes GLE. However, unlike the X6 or Q8 (not to mention the Lamborghini Urus), it refrains from any form of provocation. But he offers a little tails and thrills in the everyday life of the higher earners.
The Range Rover Sport gets your pulse racing even before you drive out for the first time: by looking at the price list. Just because it costs a good 30,000 euros less than the comparable Range Rover does not make it a bargain: it only starts at 93,000 euros. Noblesse oblige.
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