This is the best picture yet of Land Rover’s upcoming Range Rover Sport. This new SUV has the onerous task of taking on the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne – a challenge for which it must display first-rate road manners.
A sharp-eyed Autocar reader caught this late engineering prototype in Bordeaux, France. The car had only a light disguise, allowing our computer illustration specialists to reveal the final form for the first time.
The roofline of the Sport is much lower (and the tailgate more acutely raked) than its Discovery sister car’s, although other crucial dimensions remain the same. This rear three-quarter shot also illustrates just how closely the car’s styling recalls the Mk2 Range Rover. Inside, the Sport is differentiated from the Disco by sports seats and major changes to the instrument panel, according to inside sources.
Based on the same T5 platform as the new Discovery, the Sport has spent hours at the punishing Nürburgring circuit in Germany, as engineers re-tune the chassis for more sporting responses. The Terrain Response system is expected to be re-calibrated to include settings for fast road use. Sources say the air suspension system allows the Sport to be lowered for fast driving. It is also possible that Land Rover will add a variable-ratio steering system later in the car’s life.