Range Rover Sport

3.0 SDV6

Autobiography

Dynamic

Range Rover Sport, front
Range Rover Sport, front
Range Rover Sport, side
Range Rover Sport, side
Range Rover Sport, side
Range Rover Sport, rear
Range Rover Sport, interior
Range Rover Sport, front

THE continuing success of Jaguar Land Rover is something to be applauded and celebrated.

It's hard to imagine that just a few years ago these famous British marques were virtually on their knees.

Former owners Ford had off-loaded them and new owners Tata were struggling to take them forward, with the situation so grim that at one point there were plans to shut one of the UK plants down.

Since then it would be fair to say the only way has been up and Jaguar Land Rover continues to break sales records month on month and year on year.

It's been achieved for the most part by the delivery of great products and with Land Rover having the lion's share of sales it continues to be the dominant partner in this fast-growing company.

The Range Rover Sport is a case in point.

The second incarnation of the Range Rover Sport, it was launched in 2014, and represents a huge step up from its predecessor.

Way back when Land Rover's product line was very limited it unveiled a concept car which was a real breath of fresh air - the Range Stormer.

It was the first creation to really put the sport into the SUV acronym and heralded an exciting new direction.

From a production car point of view it culminated in the original Range Rover Sport.

Probably quite a few people were disappointed - me being one of them - as the more pedestrian production reality didn't seem to quite match the daring concept vision.

That said there's no denying the original Range Rover Sport proved to be a huge success for Land Rover.

When it came to the marque's game-changer of recent years - the Evoque - Land Rover stayed much truer to the concept vision and the initial blueprint and end product were virtually identical.

Interestingly the current Range Rover Sport has echoes of the Evoque - which is probably best described as Land Rover's version of a sports car.

Svelte, sporty, sleek and stylish in equal measure the Sport is in many respects the consummate SUV.

Strangely it's actually bigger than its predecessor and a whole 178mm longer.

A number of engineering improvements also make it a great car, a key strength being the fact it is around 300kg lighter due to its of an aluminium platform instead of a steel hybrid monocoque.

The cabin feels big and roomy and the interior is suitably swish, with well-laid out and high-quality switchgear and instrumentation.

The suspension set-up features aluminium double wishbones and multi-links, along with height-adjustable air springs and continuously variable dampers.

As far as engines go there's a choice of diesels - a 3.0-litre six-cylinder or a 4.4-litre V8. For those who want to maximise sporting capabilities to the full there's a potent 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8 which also powers the sublime SVR model offering the ultimate in SUV performance.

Engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and there's also a stop/start system to maximise economy which has been improved since launch.

To drive the Sport feels good, though its size can take a little getting used to. A sublime ride is combined with dynamics that belie its dimensions, with pitch and roll kept to an absolute minimum.

FAST FACTS

Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Dynamic

Price:£78,600

Mechanical: 306bhp, 2,993cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:138mph

0-62mph: 6.8 seconds

Combined MPG:40.4

Insurance Group: 45

C02 emissions:185g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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