Tag Archive | "Range Rover Sport"

Range Rover Sport & The Pikes Peak Challenge

On the 20th March Motor Blogger reported that the new Range Rover Sport was to be officially announced at the New York Show on the 26th of that month and, as if by magic, it was. Since then it has been gathering plaudits from all sides as being all things to all men and doing those things very well indeed.

Land Rover engineers have pulled off something a bit special. This car is apparently terrific off-road as you’d expect whilst being smooth and calm when ferrying the ankle-biters around town yet still manages to be a great drive. Obviously it’s no sports car but, for a vehicle this size, it makes for very rapid progress with handling characteristics you’d expect from a smaller motor. It’s even the perfect car for driving mud-splattered Labradors up and down motorways.

To prove the merits of the Sport still further Land Rover have decided that it will undertake various challenges around the world in the toughest of environments. The first of these challenges was to pit the car against the might of the Pikes Peak hill-climb in Colorado – ‘The Race To The Clouds’.

This is an event that has been going on now for some 91 years and has shown itself to be the ultimate test of man and machine. It is 12.42 miles of snaking road with 156 corners that clings to the side of a mountain. The actual challenge takes place on June 30th and a host of vehicles are taking part. Even World Champion rally driver Seb Loeb is having a go in a Peugeot 208 T16 with a massive wing and a front spoiler the size of a giant’s snow shovel.

To test the driving merits of the Range Rover Sport an ace American racer and stunt driver called Paul Dallenbach set a new record for a production standard SUV by piloting the thing up the hill in just 12 minutes 35.61 seconds; that’s an average speed of 59.17mph on a highly tortuous and dangerous route.RR2 Range Rover Sport & The Pikes Peak Challenge

Dallenbach used the version with the 5.0L supercharged V8 engine, obviously. A roll cage and full harness was fitted (look for Pikes Peak videos to find out why) but otherwise it’s the car you and I would buy if we had the £51k plus that is needed at the bottom of the price list. Most drivers will probably settle for the V6 diesel. Fortunately that’s no slouch either.

This new Range Rover benefits from the lighter underpinnings of its big brother and a mostly aluminium construction meaning it tips the scales by 800lbs less than its predecessor. No wonder it’s fast.

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New Range Rover Sport Revealed This Month

What, you might well ask, is the purpose of the new Range Rover Sport which will be officially announced at the end of this month. Well, it sits between the mighty Range Rover flagship and the outstandingly rugged Discovery and does in fact have a purpose all of its own. Essentially, as the name suggests, it is a sportier version of its majestic namesake. Whereas the purpose of the Range Rover is for unashamed luxury coupled with real off-road ability so the Sport is designed with keen drivers in mind.

The Sport is a more involving drive with a firmer ride and a generally more dynamic feel on the road, although its mud-plugging skills are hardly diminished. Think of it, if you like, as a cross between the Range Rover and the Evoque – the best of both worlds. Land Rover believe it is their most responsive and agile vehicle yet.

The car will be revealed to the world at the New York Auto Show on the 26th March. Presumably they are presenting it there because Americans are the biggest market for this particular variant; in fact, it is LR’s biggest seller in the States.

Although the two RR cars seem very similar there are in fact a lot of differences both cosmetic and technical. The Sport has a sloping roofline and a bigger rear spoiler for example. There will be five and seven seat versions, although the extra two seats are likely to be for occasional use only. The interior is obviously Range Rover influenced but instead of the rotary dial the Sport will feature a stubby gear selector instead.

The most significant change is hidden from view. The previous Sport used the Integrated Body Frame chassis from the Discovery but the new version will instead be based on the aluminium chassis of the Range Rover. This will clearly result in a weight saving which should be noticed in both handling and economy.

The Range Rover is the definitive off-road vehicle and it will remain unchallenged in that department. If the Sport is to have improved road and driving manners then its rough terrain performance must be at least slightly compromised. That’s not to say that it won’t be way better than many rivals. It isn’t confirmed at the time of writing but LR may well fit the Terrain Response System from the bigger car. Either way, its prowess on the gnarly stuff is unlikely to be found wanting.

It certainly looks like Land Rover have done it again. The Sport will undoubtedly be in demand in the showrooms, especially as the prices will start from a round a reasonable £55,000. Another winner from Gaydon.

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