Drug dealers and gangsters unite (and of course the rest of us who like a sporty Rangie); the British off-road specialists are re-imagining their entrant to the hyper SUV market – that being the all-new Range Rover Sport.
The current generation of the Sport has been with us since 2005 as a sportier alternative to the larger Range Rover. It’s been a hit with the trendy suburbanites and downtown corporate suites here and in Europe – although in the latter land they’re mainly used for transporting hit-men and smugglers.
Amongst the growing portfolio, the new Sport is expected to be supplemented by more variants of the Evoque, and all-new Freelander, Discovery and Defender models within the next few years. Just like the 2013 Range Rover, the new Sport is also expected to utilize all sorts of riveting and bondage wizardry in constructing the aluminum body.
It may sound kinky, but going aluminum yields great benefits for getting the weight down – handling, fuel economy and performance are all expected to improve. Speaking of the latter; the entry of the range is expected to be equipped with a new-generation V6 Turbo diesel, while at the upper end the current supercharged V8 motor is tipped to carry over with a few performance tweaks (here’s hoping there is an box marked 550hp).
In clothing the new structure, Land Rover has done it’s best to disguise the many test mules recently spotted on camera. But not being easily fooled; we’re giving you, the reader, a sneak-peak rendering of the real thing.
Upon seeing it for the first time, one does have to wonder if it’s simply an Evoque caught in the middle of a tug-of-war game between its two luxury Range Rover brothers. For example, the headlights and grill could almost be carried over from the smaller sibling and the roofline doesn’t differentiate much either.
However, compared with the outgoing version, it’s certainly a more dynamic attempt; the DLO (daylight opening area) is smaller and more contemporary – exaggerated by the deep doors leading into the sills. Along with the classic clam-shell bonnet, the fender side vents have also reappeared in revised form. Below the headlights and their technical graphic detailing, the aggressive front bumper shouts performance superiority. The detailed razor-like grille invites you to either admire it or to shave one’s face with it (although I strongly advise against doing the latter).
Now, it wouldn’t be a sports SUV without big wheels, so expect 20″ rollers shod in high performance rubber for the supercharged V8 version. In shifting your eyes from wheels to the rear, you’ll notice the Evoque XL theme is again evident in the similar wrap-around tail lamps. This extends to the shorter rear overhangs, rear quarter windows and raked tailgate glass too.
Similarities aside, the overall look is certainly an improvement on what was already a good formula. But does it have what it takes underneath to tackle the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, and the BMW X5 M? On screen, it looks like a strong contender but we shall see once Land Rover reveals its full specifications at launch. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Renderings Copyright: CarScoop / Josh Byrnes