One of the most important world premieres of this week’s New York Auto Show has been officially revealed after weeks of leaks and counter-leaks. The all-new, second generation of the Range Rover Sport is a more compact and athletic interpretation of the Range Rover Mk4, both in terms of styling and performance characteristics, and it will go on sale worldwide later this summer.
The first thing you need to know about the new Range Rover Sport is that it switches from a steel body-on-frame construction to an aluminum unibody design and that in the process, it underwent a strict diet achieving a weight saving of up to 420kg (925 pounds) in the case of the TDV6 diesel model over the outgoing model. Pretty impressive indeed.
According to the British company, the new Sport is “the fastest, most agile and most responsive Land Rover ever”.
The sleeker looking 2014 Range Rover Sport is 62mm (2.44 inches) longer than its predecessor at 4,850mm (190.9 inches), and also has a significantly longer wheelbase (increased by 178mm or 7 inches ), which not only provide greater room and improved access for rear passengers, but also allows Land Rover to offer a new 5+2 seating option.
While longer in overall length, the new Sport has shorter overhangs at the front and rear than the previous model. It is also 55mm (2.1 inches) wider than the Mk1 and is 8 percent more aerodynamic with a Cd of 0.34.
Compared to the regular Range Rover, with which it shares its all-aluminum, bonded and riveted PLA (Premium Lightweight Architecture) platform, the new Sport is 149mm (5.9 inches) shorter and 55mm (2.1 inches) lower, while model-for-model, it weighs 45kg (99 pounds) less.
Land Rover states that, while based on the Range Rover Mk4, the Sport model benefits from 75 percent unique parts.
Under the body, you will find a fully-independent, lightweight aluminum suspension with double-wishbones at the front and a multi-link layout at the rear. A fifth generation air suspension provides up to 115mm (4.5 inches) of regular movement, while an automatic extension that is triggered by sensors and a manually-selected extension, both raise the Sport by another 35mm, giving a total movement range of 185mm (7.3 inches).
New or enhanced chassis technologies for the latest Sport include the Adaptive Dynamics system featuring continuously variable dampers (CVD), and on more potent models, a dedicated Dynamic mode in the Terrain Response 2 system.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport also gets an all-new electric power steering and offers a choice of two full-time 4WD systems, the first of which provides a two-speed transfer case with low-range option, a front-rear 50/50 percent default torque split, and 100 percent locking capability. The other option is a simpler (as in less capable) and lighter (by 18kg or 40 pounds) AWD system featuring a single-speed transfer case with a Torsen differential.
Powertrain options differ from region to region, with North America getting two gasoline units, 335hp (340PS) 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and a 503hp (510PS) 5.0-liter supercharged V8.
In Europe, the Sport will launch with a 503hp (510PS) 5.0-liter supercharged V8 petrol and a 288hp (292PS) 3.0-liter SDV6 diesel, with the lineup to be expanded in early 2014 by the addition of two more diesels, the 255hp (258PS) 3.0-liter TDV6 and the 334hp (339PS) 4.4-liter SDV8 diesel engines. Land Rover said that later in the same year, it will introduce a new diesel-electric hybrid variant.
All petrol and diesel engines are paired with an electronically controlled ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission.
Notable tech features include a new, optional color Head-Up Display (HUD), a digital camera system that supports three driver assistance features (Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition and Automatic High Beam Assist), plus the new Wade Sensing feature that provides ‘depth’ information when driving through water – not that many owners will…
2014 US Models and MSRP:
Range Rover Sport SE: $63,495 3-Liter Supercharged V6 340hp
Range Rover Sport HSE: $68,495 3-Liter Supercharged V6 340hp
Range Rover Sport Supercharged: $79,995 5-Liter Supercharged V8 510hp
Range Rover Sport Autobiography: $93,295 5-Liter Supercharged V8 510hp
Price includes $895 destination and delivery