Next year's RR Sport gets bigger engine and better interior
27 February 2008

It looks like 2009 will be a very busy year for Land Rover. Three of the brand’s major models are getting engine, interior and exterior upgrades next year, and our spy shots reveal the look of one of the most important of them: this is the 2009 Range Rover Sport. This development mule is in early testing ahead of an anticipated winter 2009 UK launch. It's running a new 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, which will replace the current 4.2-litre V8 motor in the Range Rover and Range Sport, helping them to comply with forthcoming European emissions laws. The new 5.0-litre motor will be available in both normally aspirated and supercharged form, the latter developing some 500bhp in the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo-chasing Range Rover Sport Supercharged.The cars' new seven-speed automatic gearbox is being developed by ZF and will debut in the BMW 7-series before being introduced on the Range Rover.There’ll also be a series of cabin upgrades to the Range Rover, Discovery and Range Sport, with the alterations to the last models in that list being the most substantial. Land Rover's current satellite navigation system will be replaced with a touch-screen unit, reducing the number of buttons necessary on the dashboard, while a new four-spoke steering wheel, similar to the one found on the Jaguar XK and XF, plus some Jaguar-derived switchgear, will also come in. This equipment sharing will help to cut costs on the production line. There’ll also be mild cosmetic changes to the front and rear bumpers of all three models, as well as the grilles.Meanwhile, both the Discovery and the Range Rover Sport will benefit from new, premium-feel more upmarket interiors. Land Rover wants to bring the cabin quality of both models into line with the Range Rover, and in particular eliminate the Discovery’s utilitarian feel. Both are expected to get tweaked front and rear bumpers and better standard equipment levels. It’s also likely that we’ll see the Discovery’s current 2.7-litre V6 diesel grow to 3.0-litres.

Our Verdict

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport offers just the right dynamic twist on the well trodden SUV formula

Join the debate

Comments
82

27 February 2008

Hmmm, looks like a big green box of ammo to me...

27 February 2008

I'll have one of each, please.

27 February 2008

So they're meeting European emissions targets by making the engine BIGGER? Something is seriously wrong with the regulations then. I can't help but see anyone who drives one of these as being selfish. If they were to hit me, in my fiesta, I would be a "gonna". If everyone bought cars with "hard points" at the normal height, the roads would be so much safer. I'm not a tree hugger, but even I can see producing a car weighing 2.5 tonnes with a 5litre engine, when the ice caps are melting is madness! If I were in power, i'd put forward legislation to reduce CO2, limit weight and move the "hard points" of all cars to the same height. People who need high riding 4x4s (e.g. farmers, rural dwellers) would have to prove their "need" before being granted a permit. Do I sound like Stalin? I hope not :)

27 February 2008

You do sound like Stalin. In fact you sound like Ken Livingston. :P

27 February 2008

You do wonder whether Ford's decision to sell one of the world's few specialist 4x4 brands has at least a little to do with the way the green/safety/legislative/public sentiment might be blowing. Difficult to see how you can make a vehicle like a Range Rover more environmentally friendly without sacrificing why people want them in the first place.

27 February 2008

I'm not sure - the Ford F150 pickup and a range of other trucks have been their biggest sellers of recent times.

The Range Rover Sport is a hideous chud of a vehicle and designed just to fill a gap between the Discovery and a proper Range Rover, both of which are better looking. Enjoy it by all means if you have more money than taste.

27 February 2008

[quote Darth Balls]I'm not sure - the Ford F150 pickup and a range of other trucks have been their biggest sellers of recent times.[/quote]

Yeah, but its easier to corporately justify a pick up because they do have a utilitarian use, even if a lot of their loadbeds never see a load. Much more tricky to argue for a 5.0 litre, 2.5 tonne, 4x4 family car.

ACB

27 February 2008

Why is it that LR don't don't sell a Discovery with the V8 diesel? The Disco is such a practical car but he diesel is too slow and the petrol is just silly. I don't really know why anyone buys a RR Sport being just a smaller and more expensive Disco.

27 February 2008

[quote ACB]

Why is it that LR don't don't sell a Discovery with the V8 diesel? The Disco is such a practical car but he diesel is too slow and the petrol is just silly. I don't really know why anyone buys a RR Sport being just a smaller and more expensive Disco.

[/quote]


They don't do a petrol engined Discovery anymore, they dropped the petrol V8 about 2 years ago. It's underpowered 2.7TD is the only engine available and i say underpowered against the weight and aerodynamics of the thing. I think they should still offer a V8 petrol or diesel on it because, if you want a Range Rover, but 7 full seats are essential then you have to buy a Discovery (no the Overfinch Rangie rear seats aren't realistically an option).

Land Rover told me they won't be adding the V8 diesel to the Discovery. Now whether they change their mind remains to be seen.

27 February 2008

Visually it looks no different than the outgoing model. So they have revved up the engine line up and what?

As I have said before, the Sport version does not need the bulk, expense and CO2 rating to be a quick big car. make it rear wheel drive, reduce the weight and therefore reduce the CO2 output and price.

Alternatively, ban these behemoths from the roads.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK