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Range Rover Sports kicks off at $102,800

Good sport: The base model Range Rover Sport jumps over the $100k mark but Land Rover Australia says a ground-up redesign justifies the price.

Middle child of the Range Rover line-up, the Sport, to launch in November at $103K


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25 Jun 2013

RANGE Rover has announced a starting price of $102,800 plus on-road costs for its new-generation Sport, pitched as its most dynamic SUV to date.

This makes the second-generation model, which is not due to hit local showrooms until around November this year, $2400 more expensive than the current eight-year-old entry version, but Land Rover Australia reckons it has done plenty to justify the price jump.

Featuring a ground-up redesign, the new iteration of Range Rover’s ‘middle child’ is more clearly positioned between the smaller Evoque and the larger, full-size Range Rover.

The Sport is 149mm shorter and 55mm lower than the traditional Range Rover, and model-for-model is around 45kg lighter. Unlike it bigger sibling, it is also available with the option of seven seats ($3700).

As expected, Range Rover will offer four engines – two V6 diesels, a supercharged V6 petrol and a supercharged V8 petrol – and three specification levels: SE, HSE and Autobiography, as well as sportier Dynamic versions of the latter pair.

The Sport had been due to star on JLR’s stand at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne this week, before the event’s cancellation. GoAuto will now take part in a drive program of early-build cars this week – stay posted for our first review.

The entry-level SE TDV6 uses a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 producing 190kW of power and 600Nm of torque, while a higher-output 215kW/600Nm SDV6 version of the same engine is available across SE, HSE and Autobiography model variants, priced from $113,600, $125,800 and $145,500 respectively.

Petrol versions start at $123,100 for the 250kW/450Nm 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol HSE. The HSE Dynamic ($161,600) and Autobiography Dynamic ($182,400) come with the big-daddy 375kW/625Nm 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol.

Range Rover claims the V6 diesels are up to 15 per cent more efficient than the equivalent outgoing unit, using a very respectable 7.3 litres per 100km and 7.5L/100km respectively on the combined cycle. All are fitted with fuel-saving automatic engine idle-stop.

Models using the supercharged V6 petrol, meanwhile, consume 11.3L/100km and can dash from zero to 100km/h in a claimed 7.2 seconds – three-tenths faster than the V8 that preceded it.

The supercharged V8 brings this down to a sportscar-like 5.3s, and if driven with more care can use 13.8L/100km.

A thumping 250kW/700Nm 4.4-litre V8 diesel could join the range a few months after the six-cylinder oil-burners.

Range Rover is also expected to introduce a diesel-electric hybrid version here in 2014 – capable of a remarkable 6.3L/100km – around the same time as a similar version premieres in the larger Range Rover. A four-cylinder is also on the cards, thanks to the big weight reductions All engines in the range are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF and shared with the regular Rangie. The nine-speeder that debuted this month in the Evoque will not be fitted, since it only suits transverse layouts, not the Sport’s longitudinal configuration.

Developed alongside the aforementioned larger flagship, the Sport shares the same full aluminium body structure, resulting in weight savings of up to 420kg over the superseded, separate-chassis version. The platform alone is 39 per cent lighter than before.

With these improvements comes a subsequent step up in driver dynamics, with Range Rover calling the new Sport its “fastest, most agile, most responsive model ever”.

But while the company labels the Sport as among its most “road-focused” designs to date, it also comes with its big brother’s Terrain Response system, adjustable air suspension, full-time four-wheel drive, low-range gearing (on all models bar the entry TDV6) and 546mm of wheel articulation.

The Sport is also the first Range Rover model available with the option of seven seats. At 4850mm long, the Sport is shorter than most seven-seaters, but its 178mm longer wheelbase allows the temporary third row to be accommodated.

The cabin is similar in design to its big brother, with a clean and simple design, but with a smaller steering wheel, different gearshifter, higher centre console and bigger seat bolsters to lend a sportier feel.

Standard on the TDV6 SE are 19-inch alloy wheels (including a full-size spare wheel), leather seats with six-way driver and four-way passenger electrically adjustable front seats, rear parking sensors with rear camera, dual-zone climate control and eight-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation.

The SDV6 SE adds high- and low-range gearing, adaptive suspension, Terrain Response 2 off-road kit and 20-inch alloys.

The HSE specification for both SDV6 and V6 Supercharged further includes paddle shifters, bi-Xenon headlights, power folding door mirrors, perforated leather upholstery, 14-way electrically adjustable front seats, electrically adjustable steering column, aluminium tread plates, keyless auto-entry, and front parking sensors.

The Autobiography picks up 21-inch alloys, high-beam assist, 18-way electrically adjustable front seats, front seat cooling/heating and rear heating functionality, mood lighting, a centre console fridge, and an 825-watt Meridian audio system.

The Dynamic V8 versions get adaptive suspension as standard, and torque vectoring with an active rear locking differential – it is an option on the SDV6 SE, SDV6 HSE and SDV6 Autobiography for $8100.

Standard safety features across the range include a litany of electronic handling aids, including hill-descent control, roll stability control, dynamic stability and traction control, cornering brake control and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

Other safety equipment onboard runs to an active speed limiter device, dual-stage frontal and side/thorax/pelvis-protecting airbags for the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags front to rear.

A range of high-priced options includes metallic paint ($2100), premium metallic paint ($4200), a panoramic sunroof ($4000), adaptive cruise control ($4700), blind-spot monitoring ($1420), auto park assist ($1490), and three-zone or four-zone climate control ($1800 and $320 respectively).

Range Rover sold 380,000 units of the first-generation Sport, launched globally in 2005. The new model will be available in 177 countries.

Range Rover Sport pricing*
TDV6 SE (a) $102,800
SDV6 SE (a) $113,600
V6 Supercharged HSE (a) $123,100
SDV6 HSE (a) $125,800
SDV6 Autobiography (a) $145,500
V8 Supercharged HSE (a) $161,600
V8 Supercharged Autobiography (a) $182,400
*Excludes on-road costs.

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