Although the unveiling of the Range Rover Sport is a matter of months away, Land Rover engineers are still hard at work, putting the final touches to the car. After extensive hot and cold weather testing in some of the most hostile conditions on earth, the Sport is now being put through its paces in the sort of conditions that it will encounter on a daily basis: fashionable west London.
These pictures - snapped early today by Autocar reader Andy Shovel - show a heavily disguised second-generation Sport executing a sharp U-turn around Fulham Broadway’s mini roundabout. The test car is also close to Chelsea FC’s home ground at Stamford Bridge and is heading back up Fulham Road to Chelsea itself, one of the super-affluent metropolitan areas where Range Rover makes significant sales. Indeed, there is clearly good sense in transmission and cooling shake-down tests in the heavy, traffic-light strewn, stop-start traffic of west London.
Sources who have seen the Sport in showroom guise describe it as ‘lower, shorter and obviously sporty than the new Range Rover’ but ‘much more elegant’ than the current model. As well as the option of seven seats, the new Sport will have an number of interesting drivetrain options, including JLR’s new supercharged V6 engine and a hybrid and there will also be a 2.0-litre turbodiesel version to compete more directly with Mercedes’ M-Class and the upcoming new BMW X5.