New Range Rover Sport previewed at Charles Hurst Land Rover
DRIVE was recently invited to check out the all new Range Rover Sport 'in the metal' courtesy of Charles Hurst Land Rover in Belfast.
Naturally, we were all too happy to go along to the special preview event which took place on a scorching summer evening – especially when the magic words "drinks provided by Short Cross Gin" were mentioned in the invite (other, lesser gins are also available).
On the night, two vehicles from the newly updated Sport model were on display in the 'mid-range' trims of Dynamic SE and Autobiography – though of course a term like 'mid-range' is kind of an oxymoron when you're dealing with a luxury-as-standard marque like Range Rover and a vehicle with an entry level sticker price of £80,325.
I was particularly taken with the Dynamic SE, presented in a beautiful Portofino Blue paint finish (an £895 option) which really popped against the all-white showroom decor: interestingly, the Autobiography was presented in gleaming Ostuni Pearl White metallic paint, a colour choice which is for some reason no longer available – though you can still opt for the no-cost solid Fuji White if monochrome is your thing.
Both featured seriously well-appointed and comfortable soft-touch leather-swathed cabins, the ergonomically pleasing cockpits centred around Range Rover's 'floating' 13.1-inch Pivi Pro touchscreens with haptic feedback, complemented by a separate climate control panel below and a 13.7-inch interactive driver display behind the steering wheel.
Looks wise, the new Sport is very much an evolution/refinement of the outgoing model, with a sharper front end treatment featuring slimmed down LED headlights and a cleaner grille design. The third generation Sports' sides have been pleasingly smoothed out with the same body-flush pop-out door handles and 'seamless' sill-to-glass door treatment as the recently revised full-size Range Rover.
Round the back is where things change most noticeably with an even more minimalist revamp: horizontally-orientated LED brakelights are set either side of a Range Rover branding strip on the upper tailgate, with the numberplate relocated to a recess in the lower bumper.
We can't tell you much more about the new Range Rover Sport without actually driving one, but our first impressions were good – and that's not the gin talking, honest.
In the meantime, check out the specs highlights elsewhere on this page and visit landrover.co.uk/vehicles/new-range-rover-sport to have a go at building your own. Land Rover are taking orders now with first deliveries currently scheduled to arrive in "six to nine months" – but, as ever, expect further delays on that front.
:: NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT: HIGHLIGHTS
- Powertrain line-up includes a pair of extended range electric hybrids and a choice of mild-hybrid petrol and diesel engines
- New 523 BHP V8 delivers 553 ft lbs of torque and 0 to 60mph in 4.3 seconds
- Advanced P510e and P440e electric hybrids are capable of up to 70 miles of pure-electric driving, with overall Co2 emissions from 18g/km
- PHEV models capable of rapid DC charging up to 80 per cent in under an hour, or from 0 to100 per cent on a 7kW AC home charger in as little as five hours
- Line-up will expand to include a fully electric model in 2024, alongside new Range Rover as Land Rover's second pure-electric model
- Dynamic Air Suspension with switchable volume air springs makes its Range Rover debut, twin-valve active dampers enhance agility, control and composure
- Choose from four trim levels: SE (from £80,325), Dynamic SE (£83,325), Autobiography (£95,065) and First Edition (£102,685)
- Stormer Handling Pack combines All-Wheel Steering, Dynamic Response Pro, Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking and Configurable Programmes
- Digital LED headlights with signature DRLs, Image Projection and Predictive Front Lighting enhance visibility with fast-acting shuttering technology reducing glare
- Curved floating 13.1-inch Pivi Pro touchscreen with haptic controls alongside a 13.7-inch Interactive Driver Display
- Integrated Amazon Alexa3 and "Hey Land Rover" allows voice control of numerous in-car functions using natural speech
- Intelligent ADAS technologies enhance convenience with Remote Park Assist making it possible to park from outside the vehicle