The New Ranger Rover Sport: Enough said!

Reductive design meets raucous athleticism
Land Rover has always set new standards in the "what's the craziest way we can launch this new car" stakes.
Staff reporter
Land Rover has always set new standards in the “what’s the craziest way we can launch this new car” stakes.

Over the years we’ve seen them tackling some epic life-or-death stunts in some of the most remote and demanding settings on earth. Previous feats include a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, a first recorded crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in the Arabian Peninsula and a first ascent of the 999 steps to Heaven’s Gate in China, in 2018.

So, for the launch of the new Range Rover Sport, they applied their minds to making this one of their most outrageous, namely, with a dramatic world-first climb up a flooded dam spillway in Iceland.

Impressive

The epic ascent saw New Range Rover Sport resist the surging torrent of water flowing down the ramp of the Karahnjukar Dam – the biggest of its kind in the world – at a rate of 750 tonnes per minute. A loss of traction risked plunging down the perilous 90 m drop at the base of the spillway to the valley floor below.

The third generation of Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV is the most desirable, technologically advanced and capable yet, mixing an imposing road presence with instinctive driving responses using the most advanced combination of chassis technologies ever fitted to a Land Rover.

Official James Bond stunt driver Jessica Hawkins was behind the wheel as the New Range Rover Sport demonstrated its grip, traction, performance and composure, completing the latest in a series of challenges for Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV. The spillway climb was the final obstacle on the drive from the valley floor to the summit of the dam, taking in a flooded riverbed, long steep tunnels and the 40-degree rocky dam wall itself. The 294 m stretch of spillway had water furiously cascading down its 90-metre drop, to provide the ultimate test of traction and driver confidence.

“The power of the water surging down the spillway was breath-taking from the side of the valley. Driving into it knowing that a 90-metre drop was waiting behind me at the bottom of the slope, if things went wrong, made this the most challenging drive I’ve ever undertaken. Despite the steep slope and rushing water, New Range Rover Sport made it look easy. Its traction, composure and commanding visibility inspired so much confidence I was able to enjoy the whole experience,” Hawkins said.

Athletic Architechture

New Range Rover Sport is based on Land Rover’s advanced, flexible Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA-Flex), which provides the perfect foundations for its superior dynamics and peerless refinement. Its line-up of four powerful and efficient powertrains in Southern Africa will include a six-cylinder extended range plug-in hybrid (PHEV) which provides a pure-electric driving range of up to 113km and CO2 emissions as low as 18g/km1.

The new 390kW V8 Twin Turbo provides sports car performance, with 0-100km/h in as little as 4.5 seconds with Dynamic Launch engaged. Customers can also choose from powerful and efficient 3.0-litre petrol and diesel Ingenium engines, while pure-electric propulsion will be available in 2024, as Land Rover continues its electrification journey.

“Land Rover’s pioneering MLA-Flex architecture and the latest chassis systems come together to deliver the highest levels of dynamism we’ve ever seen on Range Rover Sport. Integrated Chassis Control governs the comprehensive suite of innovations, co-ordinating everything from the latest switchable-volume air suspension system to our Dynamic Response Pro electronic active roll control. The result is the most engaging and thrilling Range Rover Sport ever,” Nick Collins, Executive Director Vehicle Programmes, Jaguar Land Rover, said.

Assertive modern design

Dramatic proportions accentuate the Range Rover Sport’s emotive design with taut surfacing, a dynamic stance and instantly recognisable profile, perfectly accentuated by its muscular proportions – giving the impression the vehicle is poised and ready.

New Range Rover Sport’s reductive design extends to its all-new interior. Featuring a new cockpit-like interpretation of the trademark Range Rover Command Driving Position, the latest convenience and driver assistance technologies and finest materials combine to ensure every drive is an experience to savour.

Engaging on every journey

A new Stormer Handling Pack provides the ultimate combination of chassis technologies for the most dynamic and agile handling and includes Dynamic Response Pro, All-Wheel Steering, an Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking, and Configurable Programmes.

Dynamic Response Pro is a 48-volt electronic active roll control system, capable of applying up to 1,400Nm of torque across each axle, for a confidence-inspiring driving experience and new levels of body control and cornering composure, while All-Wheel Steering helps achieve unrivalled agility and manoeuvrability at low speeds, with superior stability at high speeds.

Dynamic Air Suspension introduces switchable-volume air springs for the first time and is fitted to every New Range Rover Sport. The intelligent system enhances the bandwidth of the suspension by varying the pressure within the airbags to deliver traditional Range Rover comfort with the dynamic handling expected from the Range Rover Sport. To optimise responses, the vehicle monitors the road ahead using eHorizon navigation data to pre-emptively prime the vehicle for upcoming bends.

Seamless technology

Land Rover’s powerful Electrical Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) supports an ecosystem of seamless connected technologies, including Software Over The Air (SOTA). The clever technology provides remote updates for 63 electronic modules, ensuring New Range Rover Sport remains at the cutting edge of innovation, modern technology and services throughout its life.

The award-winning Pivi Pro infotainment features a high resolution floating 13.1-inch haptic touchscreen positioned at the centre of the modernist dashboard. Controlling everything from navigation to media and vehicle settings, it learns the user’s habits and intelligently personalises the onboard experience, becoming a truly intuitive personal assistant.

Watch the press for more information and local launch dates.

Adapted from Motorpress