The Range Rover Sport RS has again been spotted testing at the Nürburgring.
This latest test mule sports new double exhausts, which our spy photographers report as giving the car an 'incredible' sound. Tipped to be the ultimate performance version of the Range Rover Sport, the car will also be joined by an RS-badged Evoque.
The Evoque RS is expected to be launched first, possibly even by the end of the year, but it is the Range Rover Sport RS mule that has been caught by our spy photographer as it underwent performance testing in Germany.
Sources say that its 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine will have at least the same 542bhp as the Jaguar XKR-S, XFR-S and XJR. That’s 39bhp more than the new Range Rover Sport’s supercharged V8. Land Rover will be looking for a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec.
The RS prototypes we've seen are well disguised, but it can be seen that the model will have a unique front bumper design, with the foglights replaced by large air intakes. There are also changes to the rear bumper and the lower skid plate.
Modifications to the suspension are expected to be confined mainly to software changes for the active anti-roll bars and air springs. Bigger wheels than the 21-inch units already fitted to the Sport are unlikely, but a more powerful braking system seems certain.
The Range Rover Sport RS is tipped to be launched next year, some time after the Evoque RS is revealed. The Evoque RS will be powered by a 300bhp version of the Evoque’s current 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine.
Autocar first uncovered plans for the model nearly two years ago, but since then the hot Evoque has been held up by a number of issues.
First, in autumn 2011, Land Rover had not established a brand for high-performance versions. Secondly, the Evoque’s sales success was such that demand overwhelmed supply, reducing the need for additional models.
The exterior styling is unlikely to be changed extensively for the Evoque RS, according to hints from design chief Gerry McGovern. Larger wheels and extravagant arch and sill extensions will be ruled out in favour of subtler ways of making the RS model stand out from the rest of the range.