In 1948, Land Rover began making vehicles with one intent – build the world’s most capable all-purpose vehicles. Since then, much has changed both around the globe and for the brand. Still, Land Rover has strived to manufacture authentic 4x4s that could tackle the worst roads in the world, and they are proving that again with the 2014 Range Rover Sport.
The new Ranger Rover Sport was developed alongside the Range Rover last year, with this second-generation Sport variant bowing for MY2014. It features an all-new high strength aluminum (pronounced al•you•min•ee•um) structure that provides a weight savings of some 800 lbs. over its predecessor.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport is the most agile and responsive Land Rover yet, offers new optional 5+2 third row seating and offers a choice of supercharged V-6 or V-8 engines. Land Rover also brings the latest technology and safety features into the new model making the new Range Rover Sport able to tackle some of the best roads in the world as well.
Range Rover Sport lies in the middle of the Range Rover model portfolio from Land Rover, anchored by Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque. The Sport model was initially launched in 2005 and brings a sportier attitude to the lineup thanks to its more raked design of windscreen and hatchback and sloping roofline. For 2014 the Sport grows in length by 2.5 inches but with a wheelbase that is some seven inches longer than its predecessor and all-new aluminum front and rear suspension systems allow for 2.3-inches more ground clearance than earlier models (11.2 inches max) with a water fording height now of 33.5 inches.
While most of you will not be taking your Range Rover Sport off paved surfaces, the 2014 model still offers total full-time 4×4 capability with selectable Terrain Response2 system (general, grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, sand and rock crawl modes) that tailors drivability and traction to match terrain conditions. The new Sport also offers choice of single- or two-speed electronic transfer case with torque-sensing and locking differentials – all selectable from the driver’s seat.
A re-engineered air suspension system offers better wheel articulation while also offering higher ground clearances at higher speeds than before while also offering improved onroad experiences at all operating speeds.
The new choice of powertrains allows buyers to choose between a 340hp 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 or the beefy 510hp supercharged 5.0-liter V-8. Our recent HSE tester was outfitted with the smaller powertrain and each engine is mated to a new 8-speed ZF automatic transmission and features new center console mounted electronic gearshifter (with sport mode) that proved to have a slight learning curve during our first few times behind the wheel. We also discovered the vehicle completely shutting off when pressing the Park button once we’d reached our destination a few times (I was not fond of this function). Land Rover does include new start/stop technology for additional fuel savings when the vehicle is stopped in traffic. The HSE model is rated for 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Some of the new technology appearing in the 2014 Range Rover Sport include lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam assist, flank guard (to warn of potential side hazards when maneuvering in tight quarters), enhanced adaptive cruise control with new queue assist (total vehicle braking), blind spot monitoring combined with new closing vehicle sensing, reverse traffic detection, adjustable speed limiter device, surround camera system and electric power assist steering with advanced park assist functions including park exit and perpendicular park.
Range Rover Sport also arrives with a full host of active safety technologies including dynamic stability control, roll stability control, electronic traction control, trailer stability control, trailer stability assist, hill descent control and gradient release control, hill start assist, engine drag torque control and even corner brake control.
The ride and drive quality of this luxury sport ute is incredible with this HSE tester adding Oxford perforated leather seating (but with heat function only, no ventilation), 14-way power front seats, power tilt/telescope steering column with leather steering wheel with amenity controls, grand black lacquer interior trim panels, sliding panoramic roof and power rear liftgate. We also enjoyed the optional Meridian premium 825-watt, 19-speaker digital sound system.
For driver convenience the new Sport includes an 8-inch color touchscreen monitor, GPS on- and off-road navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming and “Say What You See” voice control.
Pricing for the 2014 Range Rover Sport from Land Rover begins at $62,600 with our loaded HSE tester arriving at $73,375. It is built in Solihull, United Kingdom with some 67 percent of its parts sourced from the U.K.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport is designed and built from the ground up with a robust go anywhere/do anything rally cry and despite a slight fondness of stopping for afternoon tea Land Rover’s newest luxury sport ute can tackle just about any situation drivers can introduce them to be it a night on the town or a trek around the globe.