The second-generation Range Rover Sport is due to be revealed in the middle of 2013 before going on sale at the end of the year.
McGovern said the new car “would be given more personality than before” and it would be “separated a bit more” from the Range Rover.
Insiders have revealed that the new Range Rover Sport line-up will include a seven-seat option for the first time, a model that should sell particularly well in one of the Range Rover Sport’s biggest markets, North America.
McGovern didn’t confirm it for production but said it would be a “challenge” to make a seven-seat Range Rover Sport. “It’s a sporty car with a sleek profile,” he said, “so creating it would be a challenge if it is successfully to carry extra seats.”
Under the skin, the new Range Rover Sport will be closely related to the new Range Rover. The two will share Jaguar Land Rover’s Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA), a riveted and bonded aluminium monocoque that should help shave about 300kg from a base V6 diesel, taking it to about 2160kg.
An even lighter kerb weight would be achieved by fitting a four-cylinder diesel engine. Insiders have confirmed that this option is under evaluation for the new Range Rover Sport (but not the Range Rover).
Despite the close relationship under the skin, a greater visual differentiation between the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will come from a more sharply raked roofline, shorter rear overhang, deeper body sides and more aggressive treatment for the front and rear detailing.
Launch engines are likely to include a 255bhp V6 diesel as the entry-level unit, and a 334bhp twin-turbo V8 as the most potent oil-burner. A 503bhp V8 petrol is likely for the Supercharged variant.
The economy champion will be a V6 diesel-electric hybrid, which should have a claimed combined 333bhp, a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec and CO2 emissions of just 169g/km.