First DriveA first glimpse at the new Range Rover PHEV highlights its rough edges, but with some polishing it will add a much needed string to Land Rover's bow
First DriveLand Rover's flagship SUV gains new semi-autonomous safety technology and an even plusher interior
What’s new? Overfinch aren’t just another after-market specialist. The Farnham-based firm has been working with Land Rover to make the best better for thirty-one years. It even built Solihull’s first ever batch of automatic Range Rovers. This close relationship is still alive and thriving, to judge from the fit and finish of their latest offering, the Supersport.
Although Overfinch originally specialised in tuning mods, seventy per cent of today’s business is cosmetic. Our test car features the full range of changes in both areas - the 50bhp Power Pack, derived from a tuned supercharger and ECU re-mapping, bespoke Brembo brakes and the full bodykit. Inside, everything is covered in leather and Alcantara. Every stitch is perfect, as it should be for a £40k premium. If you’re after something more individual, you can commission your own interior.
What’s it like? Special. In this example, tinted (and genuine) carbon weave decorates the dash while Alcantara and different coloured cowhide covers just about everything else. On the motorway, the cabin is refined with the muted V8 rumblings both soothing and seductive. Considering 2.5 tonnes of car is sitting on Overfinch’s 22in alloys, the ride is mightily impressive. Yet more impressive is the noise. I could swear there is a Bristol bomber bellowing behind me. It’s the result of freer-flowing quad sports exhausts and makes the engine produce a brain-crumblingly glorious sound. On the overrun, the exhausts spit and pop angrily. But don’t be thrown by these sporty intentions – it may bludgeon its way to illegal speeds for such a hefty car, but it lacks the agility of the BMW X5. Throw the Supersport into a tight corner and it will follow your line dutifully, but only with a rampantly flashing traction control light. The semi-automatic ‘box is slow to respond too.
Should I buy one? While the performance benefits are debatable, the fit and finish of the cosmetic tweakery is not, and will make any 4x4 fan devoured with jealousy. If you want to keep this car’s cost under £100K, leave the engine mods alone and stick to the styling. For many, the Supersport will top their list of inanities but if you want the ultimate poseur's 4x4, this might be it. Jon Quirk