Range Rover Sport

It’s become a habit, a Sunday morning ritual that I’ve unknowingly fallen into. As the toaster gently singes my wholemeal I check my lottery ticket, flick through the property section of Saturday’s paper, and mentally compile a list of all the cars I’m going to fill the stable block with should the numbers on my ticket match those displayed on my I-phone.

I’m going to need a few cars of course, one won’t do it all. I’ll need something to take my folks out in, so a four-seater is essential, one with a big a boot preferably. Then there’s the supercar (or supercars), no discerning petrol-head’s garage would be complete without one or three of those. A four- wheel drive, that’s a requirement as well; something capable of getting carrying me to the further-flung corners of my country estate when the winter comes, and it goes without saying it’ll have to be able to tow my historic racing-cars too. Plus I’ll need something to pop in to town in, and above all something that’s entertaining to drive on a B-road. This little collection of mine, I fear, isn’t going to be cheap.

However, there might just be a way of carrying my family, towing my classics, and getting my thrills without resorting to spending a king’s ransom. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the new Range Rover Sport.

Park a new Range Rover Sport next to the model it replaces and the older car instantly looks dated. The new Sport is altogether better proportioned. The front and rear over-hangs that even Land Rover designer Gerry McGovern admitted weren’t entirely right on the previous model have been well and truly sorted. The new cars’ design - which gains the wrap-around camera lens-like head, and tail lights, first seen on the Evoque - is altogether more cohesive: it’s more athletic and infinitely better looking too.

The new Sport doesn’t just look more athletic either; from the first turn of the wheel it feels it. Whereas the old car sat on a modified Discovery chassis and was little more than the four-wheeled equivalent of a fat bloke in a track suit (sadly it’s begun to attract a similarly sartorially clad clientele) the new Sport’s underpinnings are aluminium and thus altogether lighter. The new Range Rover Sport weighs in at 420kg less than the car it super-cedes. It’s faster, more economical and altogether better to drive.

Should you pick the Diesel V6 and your efforts will definitely be rewarded. Not only does this engine produce stump-pulling levels of torque (443lb ft) it returns 37.7MPG (stop-start technology helps with that), produces just 199g/km of CO2, and dashes to 60 in just 6.8 seconds: That’s pretty quick in anyone’s book –especially for 2 tonne SUV. However, if your budget allows it there’s 5 litre supercharged petrol V8 – the fastest Range Rover ever. That despatches the 0-62 benchmark in just 5 seconds, has an exhaust note that cackles just like a supercar and, is completely and utterly addictive. But, you’ll need deep pockets to run it – don’t expect more than 15MPG in day-to-day use, and that’s if you drive it carefully.

But what’s really impressive about the new Range Rover Sport is just how capable it is – at absolutely everything. In two days it’s carried me in a cabin that’s equally as quiet that of a luxury saloon over the kind of extreme terrain that no leather-lined 5 seater - there’s a 7 seat option too- anyone in their right mind would ever really let encounter. It’s waded through water up to its headlights; it’s cruised down motorways at the (nearly) legal speeds we all like to travel at these days: it’s taken me to dinner in a five star hotel and not looked out of place parked outside. It’s crossed forests and fields. It’s taken me to 151mph, the fastest I’ve ever driven – I was on a runway not a road, don’t worry! I’ve even driven through it an aeroplane (there’s a video on youtube if you don’t believe me).

Wherever you point it, thanks to air suspension, a luxurious interior, an automatic terrain response system, and some seriously stylish lines, and even depth sensors in the wing mirrors, it takes everything all in its stride.

The new Range Rover Sport is the vehicular equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife; it’s an automotive multi-tool. Quite simply it is every car you’ll ever need.

Now, where did I put that lottery ticket?

 

Range Rover Sport SDV6 Autobiography

Engine: 2993cc V6 24V Twin-Turbo Diesel

Transmission: 8 speed auto, four wheel drive.

Power:  288bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque: 443 lb ft @ 2000rpm

0-62MPH: 6.8 sec

Max Speed: 138mph

CO2: 199g/km

MPG: 37.7 combined

Price: £74,995

Many thanks to Land Rover’s UK press office for the loan of their Range Rover Sport and their hospitality during its launch

www.liam-bird.com

@bird_liam

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Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

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