When the latest Range Rover hit the market a year ago, Land Rover watchers wondered where that would leave the soon-to-land, all-new Range Rover Sport, based on the same chassis, suspension, engines and running gear. Would one model detract from the other?
But Land Rover’s design and engineering teams were even more aware than of the need to provide demarcation between the models, and they did it. The Sport is obviously a Range Rover in every fibre, but it is 15cm shorter and 250-300kg lighter, with some ‘wedge’ in the body to make it more dynamic.
Best of all, the cheapest TDV6 costs £20k less than the cheapest ‘full-fat’ Range Rover, so the Sport’s previous role as a slightly more affordable (but barely less prestigious) route into Range Rover ownership has, if anything, been enhanced.
Land Rover’s designers have refused to skimp on two things in particular. One is height. There are plenty of prestigious SUVs on offer these days, but Range Rovers are still pre-eminent in providing a ‘command’ driving position. The Sport has that magic combination of high seat/huge screen/low waistline/panoramic view of the bonnet that every Range Rover has had since 1970. The other is design sophistication.