Warning, serious story. Land Rover launched the “sporty” counterpart to the Range Rover 17 years ago. This third generation Range Sport, always bigger, more expensive and more luxurious, almost makes you wonder what the big brother might have left behind. Let’s face it, it’s still more expensive than the regular Range… which leaves room to let go of the engine. The 530 hp 4.4-liter V8 fits like a basic raw glove.
Along with its traditional Range Rover counterpart, the Range Sport has become the mainstay of the Land Rover range. In addition to being a poor relative, in any case, the first name appeared in 2005 in the midst of an explosion of high-end SUVs with a vaguely powerful character. We are not close to the paradox, as we put it “Sport” badge on a juggernaut weighing more than 2 tonnes and bordering (or exceeding) 5 meters in length. But let’s move on, Sumo wrestling is definitely a sport. Efficiency, precisely, is being able to run a brutal race and cause great periods of extreme agility in these road sumos that are the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and other BMW X6.
The first Range Sport, in its time that seems far away (penalty was not there), was not, however, an Ace of its kind. Its platform borrowed from Discovery, finish and sometimes whimsical electronics did not guarantee a bright future. But the mechanics were there, along with a certain earthy sense of provocation. It’s even more unfortunate that a certain sense of refinement and limitation has always been part of the tests. Even with a crazy 5-liter with a 510 hp compressor, a comical hand of honor for political correctness. The test was replaced, in 2013, by a more successful second generation. This time it was based on the technical basis of the “real” Range Rover, with services and a level of luxury that was dangerously close to … less.
The investigation is confirmed by a stranger, the third of the name: without giving a little, The Range Sport 2022 is almost passable machine wise compared to the “very short” Range. Short in name only, and its height of 5.05 meters… in the short version. “Sport”, now stands out in 4.95 m. Are you following? It is as clear as the rock water at the 90cm crossing (the maximum that the Range Sport can paddle in the upper position): the two flagships of the Land Rover range have gained weight, centimeters and weaving in a big step. So much so that the current Range Sport … and for as long as the Range Rover L322 (2002 – 2012, third generation).
It is possible to choose more wisely than our configuration. On the other hand, there is no option to have the right biturbo V8: it is only available in the top First Edition finish, for € 144,200.
Range in human scale, but size XXL
Leaving the Range Rover now in charge against the Rolls Royce Cullinan at the top of the road food chain, the Range Sport shifts into a less intimidating register. At least, once we were able to get out of the underground parking of the Turbo editorial staff, which advertises a fathom in 1.80 m. Here then! In standard position, Range Sport peak at 1.82 m. Changing to the lower “Access” position is therefore a must… The first shows will therefore not be monopolized by the incredibly neat presentation, worthy of the most elite of London clubs. But well a few cold sweats and a millimeter of maneuvering to save its massive 23-inch rims (yes!) by sliding the 2.04-meter-wide between the treacherous concrete pillars. Phew! Finally outside, we haven’t broken anything, and now we can enjoy the door panels trimmed with compressed carbon, thick expanded leather, real chrome metal inserts. To think that all this wealth should be covered with mud within a few hours…
Our First Edition test model, at the top of the range is a little brighter in this configuration, visible from a distance. It’s not just the loud roars of 4.4 l V8 biturbo, good education (original BMW but secret). Height is compelling. Visually, however, nothing much has changed and the contours look cleaner, surprisingly. On the wheel, a long, almost horizontal, clearly visible hood extends forward.
Lots of leather, solid chrome inserts or real pressed carbon and almost no plastic in sight. The level of luxury has risen to another level. Are you ready to stain the carpet?
The platform is completely new, however. Called MLA-Flex, the aluminum structure of the new Range can manage the increase in weight, equal to the advertised 2,505 kg empty. It’s scary! Or rather, surprising, considering what the monster has in store for us next. First, a few hundred kilometers on the highway, it is swallowed up in a magic carpet, in a cathedral silence highlighted only by the revving of the Bavarian V8. This transplant was a good idea, even if we regret the angry flights of the old Supercharged V8.
The music, its liveliness, has become more sophisticated. This deduction (relative) indicates, in perspective Lap times… anger due to weight! Once after 100 km / h (4.5 s), the impulse remains stable and without weakness, until the end. Here we have 750 Nm available, from 1,800 rpm. Good, although at 14 l / 100 km during our test, the lack of Unleaded immediately has a different taste. It doesn’t matter, because more than the filling of the tank, a large tank of 90 l, another question arises. Kinetic, this time, or ballistic: to stop such a mass, and put it out of straight lines, this must have some surprise.
The chassis benefits from very detailed developments: twin-valve shock absorbers, air suspension and motorized anti-roll bars. Pray for his faithfulness…
The laws of physics
Obviously, surprise … Or rather, the most damage is precisely the absence of a trap. As long as you don’t dare abuse it with a knife between your teeth! Ground connections, served by a very strong air suspension with two double-valve springs (designed by Bilstein) would allow, however, or almost. Are we still conscious of weight, finally? Yes, and more fortunately. It makes sense: the Range Sport was born a Range, so it stays a Range in spirit and doesn’t try to think of itself as a high-end GT.
However, it is possible to go hard for no reason in the curves. Almost flat, thanks to the work of the anti-roll bars (motorized!). But we raise it every time with acceleration, and a slight float of the suspension is heard every time the coating is tortured more. For the sake of comfort, princess! Almost everything that happens under the big 285/45 rubbers is filtered as much as possible. As for the general feeling, everything is very smooth to speak … Game. We did not know this.
With the same engine, the difference between the Sports Range and the “classic” Range is equal to 33,000 to 38,000 €! Road services, offroad and improvement are very close, so there is reason to wonder about the interests of the big brother. Extra maybe?
The feel is however sharper than at the wheel of the previous Range Sport. Not to the point of stopping, to name just him, Cayenne Turbo. The British colossus, its thing is something else: hard driving, everywhere, without feeling forced or abusing the set machine. Here is already a beautiful pirouette of immeasurable violence. Today, that is worthless. Except when it is necessary to replace large discs of 400 mm front, 370 mm rear. At this point, the laws of physics will interact with the basic principles of economics. Ditto for tires, which serve as fuses for the legs of machines of this ilk. But is it really important?
As for daring enough to climb down or pull these flimsy rubbers off the clean sheets… We can. Too bad, the weather was sunny during our fall test. We could only venture into the bushes, on the forest road, under the impressive off-road capabilities served by the Terrain Response program, which is more complex and successful than before. In practice, the Range Sport is rather in its element when riding in winter breaks, fitted with suitable rubbers. Regret, about the stem. For a traveler of this size, the volume is almost invisible: from 647 l to 1,491 l with the seat folded down. Be aware, moreover, that the two screens interfere with the folding of the rear seats if the front seats are too hard back or facing.
There is no digital interface or big screen but a clean and modest interface. Navigation is fluid, the multi-menu tree structure is easy to understand. Theme Response actions are selected via central dialing.
Price: who cares?
More sensible than the V8 P530, The entry level Range Sport starts at €94,200 with the more sensible 6-cylinder 250 hp Diesel.. Our V8, available only in the top version of the First Edition, measures the family from its top of 144,200 € without CO2 tax, of course in the upper bracket of 40,000 €.
At this rate, none of Land Rover’s most prestigious customers would question the wisdom of signing a cheque. Some will see it as an excellent alternative to the standard P530 Series: at the final price (€ 182,400 in the same First Edition, excluding penalties), you can therefore afford the Range Sport and the Porsche Boxster or Cayman with a flat-6. In some ways, the Range Sport is therefore very sensible.
Technical characteristics Land Rover Range Rover Sport (2022)
|Model tested: Range Rover Sport P530 V8 First Edition|
|Dimensions L x W x H||4.946 / 2.047 / 1.820 (reach length: 1.770) m|
|The base of the wheels||2.997 m|
|Minimum / maximum trunk volume||647/1,491 liters|
|Unloaded weight||2.505 kg|
|Engine transfer||V8 petrol, biturbo – 4,395 cc|
|Maximum power||530 hp at 5,500 rpm|
|Maximum torque||750 Nm at 1,800 rpm|
|0 to 100 km/h||4.5 sec|
|High speed||250 km/h|
|Theoretical level of CO2||261g/km (WLTP)|
|Uses are declared – written||11.7l/100km – 14l/100km|
|Price||from €94,200 (model tested: €144,200)|
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