Land Rover is putting the final touches to the new Range Rover Sport ahead of a showroom debut a year from now. It is thought that the Range Rover Sport will make its public debut in the spring at the Geneva or New York show.
The new model is based on the same riveted and bonded aluminium monocoque as the new Range Rover and is expected to follow it closely in terms of specification.
Today’s car is priced from just under £50,000, but with the switch to a much more sophisticated aluminium platform, all-new suspension and improved features, insiders expect a price hike of at least 10 per cent for the new model.
The new Sport is expected to weigh the same as its sister model, which means that the entry-level V6 diesel variant should hit 2160kg — 300kg lighter than the current entry-level model. This in turn will ensure that the new Range Rover Sport is a markedly more dynamic proposition than the current model.
The range will kick off with the new-generation 255bhp, 442lb ft turbocharged V6 diesel engine. The familiar V8 supercharged motor is good for 504bhp and 461lb ft in its standard application, but with Porsche having just unveiled the 542bhp Cayenne Turbo S, Land Rover bosses may see fit to launch a new extreme-performance version.
The new Sport is also expected to get the option of the 335bhp twin-turbo V8 diesel engine. With 516lb ft on tap from just 1750rpm, this engine could outrun the petrol V8 for through-the-gears acceleration.
Also new to the Range Rover Sport range will be a V6 diesel-electric hybrid model, which has a claimed combined 333bhp, a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec and CO2 emissions of just 169g/km. It’s thought that the Sport hybrid will be on sale from launch.
Judging by the spy shots on which our artist’s impression is based, the Sport uses the same under-structure and even the same doors as the new Range Rover. Although the windscreen and windscreen angle are also common to the two cars, Land Rover designers have used a number of visual tricks and relatively inexpensive changes to give the Sport a much more dynamic appearance.
The bonnet tapers more sharply to its leading edge and the roofline slopes more aggressively towards the tailgate. The rear overhang is shorter than that of the new Range Rover and its tailgate glass is raked more steeply.
Another trick to give the Sport a more dramatic appearance is the use of deeper door skins, which make the side windows shallower and, along with the big sill extensions, give the car deeper body sides. At the front, the headlights will be more aggressive than on the Range Rover and the bumpers will be blockier.
The interior has more of a slope to its dashboard and centre console than in the Range Rover, but almost all of the switchgear is shared. The Sport also gets an upright automatic shift lever, something that will be shared with the Jaguar F-type.