Land Rover Range Rover Sport
L320 Range Rover Sport
1 Aug 2005
By CHRIS HARRIS
LAND ROVER’S Range Rover Sport was just its fifth all-new model in the English marques’ seven-decade history.
Codenamed L320, it is a luxury SUV based on the L319 Discovery III’s T5 platform and shared most of its underpinnings.
This is in spite of its slightly shrunken Range Rover (RR) appearance and namesake.
Mechanically the Sport falls in line with the Discovery III in sharing Jaguar-derived engines that are heavily modified for their LR applications.
It also features LR’s full complement of ‘Terrain Response’ off-road chassis developments as well as the availability of ‘Dynamic Response’ for performance-car on-road capabilities.
The latter is a hydraulically activated, computer-controlled anti-roll system that senses and then reacts to counteract heavy leaning through corners.
There’s a strong integrated body-frame structure (basically a refined separate ladder-frame chassis), with independent double-wishbone air suspension featuring air springs that harden at speed or during cornering.
However, the wheelbase is 140mm shorter than the Discovery’s for improved agility.
Like the Discovery, there are five off-road ‘terrain’ settings – normal, grass/gravel/snow (slippery conditions), mud and ruts, sand and rock crawl – selectable by the Sport’s driver.
Driving all four wheels full-time, the auto is a ZF six-speed sequential-shift automatic.
Least powerful of the motors the gearbox is mated to is a version of the 2.7-litre common-rail turbo-V6 diesel pumping out 140kW of power and 440Nm of torque from 1900rpm.
Next up comes a 220kW/425Nm 4.4-litre petrol V8, while a supercharged 4.2-litre version offers 287kW and 550Nm, making it the fastest LR ever.
Equipment levels include six airbags, automatic air-conditioning, electric front seat adjustment and an electronic park brake, while more money buys satellite-navigation, high-end audio with rear DVD screens, an integrated mobile phone, bi-Xenon headlights with cornering capabilities and adaptive cruise control.
REJUVENATED for the 2007 model year, the Discovery-based Range Rover Sport range gains a blistering new 3.6-litre twin-turbocharged diesel V8 designed by Land Rover.
The 200kW/640Nm oil-burning V8 hits the popular Sport range at the same price as the similarly-specified petrol V8 variant ($107,900), leaving the $87,900 TDV6 to open the range and the $136,900 to top the range at slightly higher prices.
For the 08MY LAND ROVER has freshened up its global top-seller – the Range Rover Sport – with a series of equipment and trim upgrades.
An electrically adjustable front passenger seat is now included on all models, while a powered steering column adjuster, an enhanced Bluetooth system and a wider choice of trim options are now available.
Owners will be able to spot the 08MY vehicles by their “new high quality finishes”, along with the addition of three new colours.
Pricing remains static for the $87,900 turbo-diesel V6, while the V8 diesel starts $1000 higher at $108,900.
The latter is the same price as for the 4.4-litre V8 petrol – also $1000 more expensive – however, the range-topping Supercharged V8 continues from $136,900.
The 08MY changes have been implemented partly to prepare the Range Rover Sport for the upcoming BMW X6 – an evolution of the current E70 X5 range that will be pitched against the successful Land Rover as a ‘sports tourer’ performance SUV alternative
The Road to Recovery podcast series
Land Rover models