This is the third-generation Range Rover Sport, a model at which some traditionalists originally sneered but which has done much for the fortunes (and sales volume) of the British brand. Offering all the RR swagger in a tidy package, this thing has been a darling in the moneyed set for nearly two decades.
The newest one, unveiled earlier today across the pond, will be offered with a variety of powertrains including – you guessed it – an all-electric model in the next couple of years.
One will not mistake this machine for anything other than a Range Rover, given its lighting signatures and whiff of British haughtiness. Uninterrupted LED light graphics are said to introduce surface LED technology to a production vehicle for the first time, though that may be splitting hairs given the illumination tricks baked into some other machines on the market today. The RRS differentiates itself from the big-daddy Range Rover around back, as it always has, with a set of horizontal tail lamps compared to the ultra-slim vertical slivers now serving as rear peepers on the bigger brother.
Under the hood, customers in North America can select from an electric hybrid, one of two six-cylinder gasoline-powered engines featuring mild hybrid technology, or a V8 twin-turbo. Guess which one we’d pick. In 2024, the Range Rover Sport lineup will evolve to include a fully electric model, though it isn’t immediately clear if any of those dino-fueled mills will drop off the options sheet to make way for the electron eater.
The electric hybrid will be badged the P440e and permit drivers to motor almost 50 miles on electricity only. It pairs Land Rover’s 3.0-liter, six-cylinder Ingenium engine with a 105kW electric motor and 31.8 kWh battery, good for a total system output of 434 horsepower. That burly V8 can produce 523 horses and should scoot to 60 mph from rest in less than 4.5 seconds. Less is being said about the mild hybrids, leading us to believe they may vanish in short order.
While the RRS is likely to spend its life on pavement, owners expect the thing to have a good dose of off-road chops. Look for the likes of low-speed adaptive off-road cruise control, an automatic terrain response system, and intelligent all-wheel drive. There are also active twin-valve dampers, air suspension, and available all-wheel steering which can kick the back tires out by as much as 7.3 degrees. Inside, one will find typically luxurious Range Rover trappings. Screens abound, wireless connectivity bounces around the cabin, and a so-called ‘reductive design approach’ which sounds great but really just means the interior isn’t a busy mess of buttons and baseboards.
The snazzy new Range Rover Sport will be exclusively produced at the Solihull Manufacturing Facility alongside its bigger Range Rover brother. Order books are open now with pricing in the States starting just over $80,000.[Images: Land Rover]
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