Engine and wheel upgrades are great, styling is a matter of taste

What is it?

Range Rovers have long been fertile territory for tuning companies, and the latest is this, from Kahn Design: the Cosworth Sport RST 300.

Design specialist Kahn has developed a styling kit for the new range-topping Range Rover Sport HST that includes a carbonfibre bonnet, carbonfibre wheelarch extensions, all-new carbonfibre bumpers front and rear, and twin carbonfibre tail spoilers. It also includes lightweight forged 22in aluminium wheels that, Kahn claims, save 10kg of unsprung mass per corner.

What’s it like?

An acquired taste. Much of this car’s carbonfibre is woven into a distinctive check pattern and left lacquered but unpainted on its panels. The look is expensive and unusual. Like a footballer’s waistcoat, it certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for those who make up the customer base of cars like this, you can imagine that it could be very appealing indeed.

Inside this car Kahn reupholsters the seats, fits new kickplates, new dash materials and new instruments. It’s here that the firm’s affiliation with Northampton-based Cosworth Engineering also comes to the fore; there are Cosworth logos almost everywhere, even on the drilled aluminium pedals.

That’s because Cosworth is responsible for teasing an extra 32bhp and 118 lb ft of torque from Land Rover’s 3.6-litre TDV8 engine for this car. The extra power doesn’t have a transformative effect on the driving experience, but the extra torque’s noticeable. This car’s half a second faster than a standard Range Sport V8 diesel over the 0-60mph dash, 5mph faster at the top end, and pulls much harder between 2500 and 3500rpm.

Those bigger, lighter wheels also improve the precision and response of the car’s steering, even though they also add a harder edge to its secondary ride.

Should I buy one?

Do you like the way it looks? The Kahn Cosworth RST is certainly a niche car, and the near-£20k premium that the Bradford-based company charges for it over a standard Range Sport TDV8 HST narrows its appeal still further. But if you want your Range Sport to stand out, and you think Kahn’s styling modifications are flattering, there’s every reason to indulge.

We’d say the engine and wheel upgrades are worth having, but would willingly forgo the carbonfibre makeover they come with. But then there’s just no accounting for taste when it comes to cars like this, especially given that they’re designed to appeal to cash-rich extroverts with very little taste for accounting

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
philcUK 9 September 2009

Re: Range Rover Sport Kahn Cosworth RST 300

you think this is bad you should see some of the other cars they have butchered in the past in their own 'style'.

I've only ever seen one of their creations on the road - a Mercedes SL that had been fitted with a cheap fiberglass nose job to try and make it look like an SLR and even cheaper looking alloys. caught it coming into a filling station i was just leaving and it nearly induced spontaneous projectile vomiting.

Audi Tastic 3 June 2009

Re: Range Rover Sport Kahn Cosworth RST 300

It's tasteless, tasteless, very very tasteless, its very tasteless, it's very tasteless!

Paul J 3 June 2009

Re: Range Rover Sport Kahn Cosworth RST 300

Steelydan wrote:
Thirdly, three words to fell you and your argument : Land Rover Defender.

A superb off-road utility vehicle, which has as much to do with the Khan RST300 as Ann Widdecombe has in common with Paris Hilton.