A curious beast, the Range Rover Sport is neither pure-bred, Range Rover nor functional Land Rover but it is certainly the best of both worlds.
But when it comes to mountain-climbing and stream-fording, it’s the electronic wizardry that makes it all seem so simple and achievable from the comfort of the driver’s seat. All Range Rover Sports have an Intelligent Shift, 6-speed automatic gearbox. It is electronic and distributes the power to all four wheels all of the time it’s in motion. It also has a sequential mode or Manual Command Shift and a Sport button. The Intelligent Shift is adaptive, changing setting to match the driving style and road conditions, while its control unit compares notes with other systems such as the Terrain Response.
Terrain Response makes the most of the available grip, especially off-road and there are five setting that can be dialled in via a knob on the central tunnel; general for normal road use, grass/gravel/snow for more slippery conditions, mud and ruts, sand and finally rock crawl. Each of these settings affect the engine management system, the gear-change points, the air suspension ride height in all cases other than ‘general’, the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Traction Control and ABS, the award-winning Hill Descent Control (HDC) and the electronically-controlled centre and rear differentials. Phew!
The Sport also features a twin-speed transfer box with high and low ratios, which can be changed on the move and the HDC can be activated separately to the Terrain Response system.
Along with the strong body-frame, side impact bars, crumple zones and ‘load-paths’, the Sport comes with six airbags as standard. Two for the front occupants with another two set into the sides of their seats and two curtain airbags that run the full length of the cabin.
A curious beast, the Range Rover Sport is neither pure-bred, Range Rover nor functional Land Rover but it is certainly the best of both worlds.1 April 2007
Range Rover Sport Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Land Rover Range Rover Sport TDV8 HSE|
|Body Type||Four Wheel Drive (4x4)|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed CommandShift Automatic Gearbox|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||31.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year, Unlimited Mileage Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 01/04/07)||£53,120|