Wet test track, with a healthy dose of Range Rover Sport on tap. Cue a bout of luxury, and fun times ahead.
Hot on the heels of the new Range Rover, the British firm has released the new Range Rover Sport, which promises better performance and a tighter chassis, whilst still retaining its quintessential pantomime luxury experience. So, have they succeeded?
Well, to find out Range Rover has kindly invited me to test out the new Range Rover Sport on a closed circuit. This means no speed limits, nice.
Once the Range Rover Sport made its way onto the track, you can immediately feel its eagerness to get going, and the thing that catches you off guard the most is just how bitey it is at any RPM. No matter the speed, no matter the RPM, the Sport just gave more and more power, and it never felt out of breath as we careened around the circuit.
Plus, the Range Rover Sport really gave you the confidence to take the corners at speed, thanks to what the British boffins term mixed-metal architecture (MLA-Flex). The new Sport is touted to be up to 35% stiffer than its predecessor, and that made it much more composed through the corners, despite its heft and bulk due to its SUV stature. The car feels more responsive as well, with ample steering feedback that ensures you can feel every bit of sensation from the road.
Of course, this being a Range Rover, you need some relaxation too right?
While hurtling the car into the corner above 100, you can keep the seat heating on and even have a massage as you hear the tyres giving way underneath. The perfect setting to unwind for my scenario, as I was hooning the Sport through an absolute downpour, with torrential rain pelting down on the tarmac around us.
Also on display was the Range Rover Sport’s Integrated Chassis Control system. It’s specially tuned for the car, and ensures that you don’t end up in a tree (or cone in this case) should you take the next set of corners with a rather ambitious speed in mind.
However, this system does end up babysitting you through the turns, as it works its brains to command the car’s heft through. As soon as it detects any form of abnormality in the form of body roll or wheel slip, the system comes barging in, momentarily disabling any power input in order to compose itself better through the corner. In some cases, the car starts grabbing the brakes too, if it senses the rear getting out of line.
I will digress, this scenario will only happen if you are someone who chucks a 2.3-tonne car into a corner without any regard for personal safety. “Eh, what could go wrong?”
Though I did not get an opportunity to take the Range Rover Sport offroad, I’m fairly certain that it has the capabilities to shine on any terrain. The company has a renowned history of solid offroaders, and money’s on this being part of that group too. It even sports offroad adaptive cruise control, the first of which I heard in any car.
Overall, if you want something that is dressed to the nines in luxury, while still being able to keep pace with virtually anything else on the road, look no further.
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