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2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Goes on Major Diet, Now More Athletic

3/30/2013
For a third consecutive year, Land Rover is introducing a redesigned Range Rover model. In 2012, the Range Rover Evoque arrived. In 2013, a new Range Rover debuted. Now, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is scheduled to roll into a Land Rover Retailer before the end of the year. Land Rover introduced the new SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, calling the redesigned Range Rover Sport "the fastest, most agile, and responsive Land Rover ever."

The 2014 Range Rover Sport's new aluminum structure is one reason this model is 800 pounds lighter than the previous model, despite a wheelbase stretch of 7 inches and a body longer by 2.1 inches. The new Range Rover Sport is also 5.9 inches shorter and rides as much as 2.1 inches lower to the ground, improving aerodynamics and, in conjunction with the weight reduction, fuel economy.

Four models are offered, starting at $63,495: SE, HSE, Supercharged, and Autobiography. All Range Rover Sports retain signature design cues from the previous-generation model, including a clamshell hood, floating roof effect, and side fender vents. For 2014, LED lighting is standard, and three contrast roof colors are available in addition to a choice between a panoramic fixed glass roof and a power panoramic glass sunroof. Multiple wheel designs are offered, ranging from 19 to 22 inches in diameter. An optional Dynamic Pack for the Supercharged and Autobiography versions adds red brake calipers, unique 21- or 22-inch wheels, body-color trim, gloss black exterior accents, and a 155-mph top speed.

Land Rover uses a variety of satin chrome, aluminum, wood, leather, and soft-touch materials for the 2014 Range Rover Sport's interior. The steering wheel is smaller in diameter and equipped with a thicker rim, the center console control panel is mounted higher and closer to the front-seat occupants, and the front seats have generous side bolsters. Land Rover has increased rear-seat leg room by an inch, improved rear-seat shoulder room, and offers an optional 5+2 seating arrangement with an occasional-use power-folding third-row seat. Land Rover claims the Range Rover Sport's cargo area is bigger, too.

Traditional gauges flanking a 5-inch display screen are standard. The more expensive models have a 12.3-inch high-resolution virtual gauge display. All Range Rover Sports are equipped with an 8-inch high-resolution infotainment touch screen, helping to reduce the SUV's dashboard control count by 50%. Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, Say What You See voice-recognition technology, and a USB port are standard equipment, along with dual-zone automatic climate control.

Three different Meridian audio systems are offered for the new 2014 Range Rover Sport, the top Signature Reference system equipped with 23 speakers and 1,700 watts of power. A power tailgate, passive entry with push-button starting, heated windshield, and a heated steering wheel are also offered for the new Range Rover Sport, and buyers can upgrade to a 4-zone automatic climate control system with climate-controlled 14-way power front seats and climate-controlled rear seats. A rear-seat entertainment system includes dual screens and White Fire wireless headsets, and the Range Rover Sport is available with a soft door close system, center console cooler, and power-deploying side steps.

The SE and HSE models are equipped with a new direct-injection, supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine making 340 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives all four wheels through a single-speed transfer case, and Land Rover claims this version of the new Range Rover Sport accelerates to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Automatic stop/start technology is standard, shutting the engine off when idling in traffic or at an intersection, and Land Rover estimates this engine will return 25 mpg in combined driving.

The Supercharged and Autobiography models continue to offer a supercharged, direct-injection 5.0-liter V-8, which generates 510 horsepower and accelerates the SUV to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat, according to Land Rover.

Full-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) is standard, the single-speed transfer case weighing 40 pounds less than the optional 2-speed transfer case with low range. The standard 4WD system provides a default torque split of 42:58 front-to-rear, but varies power distribution up to 62:78 front-to-rear depending on driving conditions.

The Range Rover Sport's optional 2-speed transfer case provides default power split of 50:50 but automatically varies delivery to 0:100 or 100:0 as conditions require. Land Rover says the driver can shift between high and low range at speeds up to 37 mph, and that this system supplies a 2.93:1 low-range gear ratio for crawling. A Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential and Torque Vectoring by Braking technologies are included with the upgraded 4WD system.

The Range Rover Sport is equipped with standard hill-descent control, Gradient Release Control, and hill-start assist. A new Terrain Response 2 system analyzes driving conditions and automatically switches powertrain calibration between General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl settings. The system can also recommend when it is appropriate to select low range or raise the suspension for extra clearance.

Regardless of drivetrain choice, the Range Rover Sport tows up to 7,716 pounds. An available Surround Camera with Tow Assist system makes it easier to connect a trailer, and trailer sway control is standard. Additional drivetrain details include a Transmission Idle Control system that reduces drive torque by 70% when the SUV is idling, optional paddle shifters for manual control of gear changes, and a smart regenerative charging system that reduces electrical system demands on the powertrain.

Land Rover says the redesigned 2014 Range Rover Sport provides improved on-road handling, ride comfort, and refinement compared to the previous-generation model. A new independent, double isolated aluminum suspension includes double wishbones in front and a multi-link setup in back. A new 4-corner air suspension provides variable ride height and gives the driver two fixed off-road height settings that raise the SUV by 1.4 inches or 2.6 inches. With this system, the Range Rover Sport's suspension supplies 7 inches of total ride height range. Key maximum measurements include:

  • Front suspension travel = 10.2 inches
  • Rear suspension travel = 10.7 inches
  • Wheel articulation = 21.5 inches
  • Ground clearance = 11.2 inches
  • Approach angle = 33 degrees
  • Breakover angle = 27 degrees
  • Departure angle = 31 inches
  • Wading depth = 33 inches

New electric variable-ratio speed-sensitive steering is standard for all Range Rover Sport models. Supercharged and Autobiography models have a Dynamic Response driving mode that makes the steering more responsive, firms up the ride quality, reduces body roll, quickens throttle response, and delivers faster transmission shifts. These two models also have a standard Adaptive Dynamics suspension with continuously variable dampers.

Big brakes are standard, employing ventilated discs at all four corners and equipped with Emergency Brake Assist and Corner Brake Control. The new Range Rover Sport is also offered with a lane-departure warning system, blind-spot monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high-beam assist, and an Adjustable Speed Limiter Device. Traffic Sign Recognition technology is also available, as well as a surround camera system, adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, and park assist with Park Exit and Perpendicular Park upgrades.

Land Rover also introduces Flank Guard with the new Range Rover Sport, which is designed to warn the driver if he or she is about to scrape against a parking garage pillar, garage wall, or an adjacent vehicle.

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