The new Range Rover Sport was developed under two banners, according to the company. “More Range Rover and more Sport” was the conclusion from customer research, and the aim of the engineering team was to create “the fastest, most agile, most responsive Land Rover ever”, with “a huge breadth of ability”.
So although the all-new Range Rover Sport shares the same PLA aluminium platform as the new Range Rover, some 75 per cent of the components – calculated by part numbers – are different from the flagship car’s.
This, say the engineers, is primarily because “no expense was spared” on redesigning the suspension system and lowering the car to create an SUV with class-leading handling.
The Sport structure also accommodates a third row of seats – a layout that Land Rover refers to as 5+2 – in which a pair of seats is fitted into the boot and can be electrically retracted with minimal intrusion on the load space.
Extensive work went into fitting the hinges, rear stop light and rear wiper mechanism into the upper part of the tailgate while still retaining headroom for the rear occupants. Indeed, Land Rover claims that there is 910mm of headroom in the very rear of the Sport, which is more than in a Mercedes E-class. What’s more, the rearmost seats can also also be packaged into the upcoming hybrid version of the Sport.
Despite the Sport’s hardcore intentions, Land Rover also claims class-leading refinement, both in terms of low-speed road noise on a coarse surface and motorway-speed wind noise.
Luxury refinements include a head-up display (which is a first for a Land Rover), very wide-angle rear parking radar (for use when reversing out of a parking space) and an “industry-first” wading depth sensor, which uses sensors in the mirrors to indicate the depth of the water when wading. Indeed, the Sport has a wading depth of 850mm – a level just under the door handles.