The British “Uber-SUV” Delivers the Best of Two Worlds
Range Rover (or should I say Land Rover (LR), the broader term and company name, which covers both Land and Range) is arguably one of the top names when we think of a vehicles that can go beyond the asphalt and paved roads.
This name has been part of the automobile history since 1948 and sold in more than 140 countries. LR has tough years if not decades behind. Once owned by Ford and then by BMW, LR (as part of the Jaguar Land Rover Group), since 2008, the Indian Industrial Conglomerate is LR’s controlling shareholder. Things are getting better and better since then. The British Royal brand, tarnished by lowest scores of initial quality studies several years ago is flourishing again as the increasing global sales suggest. New or newer products and more models to choose from with much better quality promise a better future.
My recent test vehicle from the Range Rover range was the Range Rover Sport 5.0 V8 S/C Autobiography. This long model definition suggests to top-of-the line version of this sporty, big SUV.
510 horses under the hood and ready to run at any moment are comparable to the most elite class of the automobile world from Ferraris and Lambos to superlatives like Porsche Cayenne Turbo or BMW X5 M50. This power propels the newly aluminized, lighter-weight Sport to 100 kilometers an hour in just 5.3 seconds. The top speed exceeds 250 km/h that I could not test for the predictable reasons.
Speeding or accelerating is only one of the beautiful features of this “Uber-SUV”. With active damping suspension, long wheelbase and the high, majestic seating position on top of the fine leather, the can show to other participants of the traffic around you, what kind of mobility you can afford. Mobilizing a torque exceeding 600 lb-ft while listening to the magic sound of superchargers “on duty” is a driving experience you will never forget. The German, ZF-eight speed automatic transmission delivers this huge torque to the four wheels in 275/45R21 format. At your discretion, you can increase your control over the vehicle by shifting to manual mode via the shift paddles at your fingertips.
This performance has its costs at the pump with an average of over 15 liters. Not because of the owner of this vehicle will suffer from the fuel costs, but for the sake of even more torque, more pleasure and extended range, a Diesel engine would nicely fit to this machine.
With so many driving assistance systems from adaptive cruise control to “DampTronic” suspension that can sense the road surface 500 times per second and “Roll Stability Control” that practically eliminates a rollover risk, you will not feel alone behind the steering hill
The best part though, is hitting the road and challenging the Canadian winter while few others dare to drive.
And a 1,700-watt Meridian audio system with 23 speakers will not let you to listen to the blowing wind outside.
The total price including options worth 15 grand (as you would expect from a fully-loaded, impressive media vehicle) reaches 120 thousand. Even at this price range, there are some features which need improvement: A visually more appealing and bigger infotainment system with faster response being on top of my wish list.
If you are wealthy enough and want to combine the highest driving comfort with the ultimate off-road capabilities, Range Rover Sport may be your best choice.
Type of vehicle All-wheel drive SUV
Power 5.0, V8-gasoline engine, supercharged, 510 HP
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Price: base/as tested $104.990 / $119,715
Destination charge $1,575
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) city, highway
Standard features AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control, tire pressure monitoring, ABS (anti-lock brakes), hill start assist, power mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, Multifunctional Message Centre with LCD screen
Options Ebony Premium Headliner: $450, Climate Comfort Package: $1,000, Premium Audio System: $4,550, 22″ Gloss Black Diamond turned Wheels: $2,400, Full-size Spare Tire: $250, Adaptive Cruise Control: $1,500, Stealth Package: $1,000, Soft Door Close: $600, Paddle Shit, Nobel Plated: $100, Park Assist: $1,200
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by JLR Canada via BHG Media
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