2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Preview

Jeff Youngs | Apr 03, 2013
FAST FACTS
  • Completely redesigned
  • Weighs significantly less despite increasing in size
  • Roomier back seat and cargo area
  • Optional "occasional use" third row
  • New supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine with automatic stop/start
  • New 8-speed automatic transmission
  • New Terrain Response 2 vehicle settings
  • New electric steering with available Dynamic Response mode
  • New suspension
  • Upgraded infotainment technology
  • Available modern safety and convenience technologies
  • Optional adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist
  • Optional park assist
  • Flank Guard system helps protect against scrapes

Introduction

The Range Rover Sport is the most popular Land Rover model in America, and for the 2014 model year, it is completely redesigned. With the new 2014 Range Rover Sport, Land Rover addresses customer requirements for better fuel economy, additional interior space, and modern technological safety and convenience features, while at the same time making the new Range Rover Sport more capable on and off the road.

Exterior Features

The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is constructed around a new aluminum structure, reduced in weight by a total of 800 pounds despite increasing in size. The redesigned Range Rover Sport's wheelbase is 7 inches longer than before, while the body is just over 2 inches longer in length. A lower ride height contributes to better aerodynamic performance, Land Rover says. Though a completely new design, the 2014 Range Rover Sport retains styling cues that make it instantly identifiable. The clamshell hood design, the fender vents, the floating roof effect, and the fastback rear glass all mark this new Land Rover as a Range Rover Sport.

Interior Features

Land Rover trims the 2014 Range Rover Sport's cabin in leather, wood, aluminum, and satin chrome, with several combinations of color and materials from which to choose. According to Land Rover, the new Range Rover Sport's rear-seat leg room and shoulder measurements are more generous than before, and cargo area dimensions have grown. This creates enough space for an optionally available, though small, third-row seat.

Optional Features

Land Rover offers the new Range Rover Sport in SE, HSE, Supercharged, and Autobiography model series. Depending on the version selected, the SUV can be optioned with a panoramic fixed glass roof, panoramic glass sunroof, various wheel designs and sizes, upgraded audio systems, 4-zone automatic climate control system, and a rear-seat entertainment system. Optionally, the front seats offer 14-way power adjustment, the rear seats are climate controlled, and premium leather is wrapped around the front and rear seats. A soft-close door system, power liftgate, power deploying side steps, heated steering wheel, heated windshield, and a center console cooler are also available for this model.

Under the Hood

The Range Rover Sport SE and HSE models are equipped with a new direct-injection, supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine producing 340 horsepower. Standard automatic stop/start technology conserves fuel by shutting the engine off while the SUV is idling in traffic or at an intersection. An 8-speed automatic transmission directs power to the pavement through a standard 4-wheel-drive system with a single-speed transfer case. Land Rover claims this engine returns 25 mpg in combined driving, and accelerates the SUV to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds.

The Range Rover Sport Supercharged and Autobiography models have a familiar engine carried over from the previous-generation vehicle, a direct-injection, supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 generating 510 horsepower. Acceleration to 60 mph requires 5 seconds, according to Land Rover. Fuel-economy estimates were not divulged by the automaker, but given the SUV's reduction in weight and improved aerodynamics, it will almost certainly be better than the outgoing version's combined driving rating of 14 mpg.

As an option, buyers can replace the lighter single-speed transfer case with a 2-speed unit offering low-range gearing, allowing the owner to exploit the Range Rover Sport's off-roading ability. The upgraded transfer case includes a Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential and a Torque Vectoring by Braking system. All Range Rover Sports are equipped with hill-start assist, hill-descent control, and Gradient Release Control systems, as well as Terrain Response 2 technology that calibrates the drivetrain according to the type of surface the SUV is traversing. A Transmission Idle Control system reduces driveline torque by 70% when the Range Rover Sport is idling.

A new suspension is installed in the 2014 Range Rover Sport, equipped with a 4-corner air suspension that provides a total of 7 inches of ride-height variability. This allows the SUV to ride closer to the ground on the freeway, improving aerodynamics and fuel economy, while maximizing wheel travel, axle articulation, ground clearance, wading capability, and approach, departure, and breakover angles when traveling off-road, according to Land Rover. The Supercharged and Autobiography versions also have Adaptive Dynamics continuously variable suspension dampers as standard equipment.

Safety

For 2014, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport offers a long list of safety technologies that are new to this model, if not luxury SUVs in general. They include blind-spot monitoring with Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection, lane-departure warning, adaptive xenon headlights with automatic high-beam assist, and a Surround Camera with
Tow Assist.

Technology

The 2014 Range Rover Sport is equipped with a standard 8-inch high-resolution color touch screen used to control information and entertainment features of the vehicle. Land Rover says that as a result, dashboard button and control count is reduced by 50%. Bluetooth calling and music streaming, voice-recognition technology, and a USB port are standard equipment. Range Rover Sport Supercharged and Autobiography models are equipped with a 12.3-inch virtual gauge display.

The new Range Rover Sport can also be optioned with adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist, a full-speed-range system. Park Assist is also available, able to steer the Range Rover Sport into a parallel or perpendicular parking space while the driver operates the transmission and pedals. Flank Guard is a new technology designed to warn the driver if the side of the vehicle is about to scrape against a wall, post, tree, another vehicle, or something similar.
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