So how does it all work? Convincingly. On road, the base HSE model moves out with nearly the same authority as the outgoing supercharged one did. Rover's conservative 7.2-second 0-60 claim is a second quicker than its predecessor and just 0.3-0.5 second off the pace of our last Supercharged test vehicles. Between the added thrust and quicker-witted transmission, overtaking on two-lane roads is a far less white-knuckled experience. Drop the hammer in the Supercharged Rover and a muted but delightful snarl accompanies a claimed 5.9-second romp to 60 mph (that's Infiniti FX50/BMW X6 quick, and we expect our numbers to be closer to the Cayenne Turbo's).
This vitamin H injection conspires with the uncannily flat cornering attitude and the bigger and more powerful brakes (the fronts feature four-piston calipers on the HSE, six-piston Brembos on the S/C), to make these trucks feel vastly lighter and more nimble than their nearly three tons would have you to believe. But the real fun starts when you train all those cameras on a rocky trail and set the electrons to whirling among their myriad ECUs with the singular goal of making this luxury liner traverse gnarly obstacles and scale impossible grades as though it were being borne sedan-chair-like on the shoulders of Mt. Everest sherpas. We flogged a blown Landie on the Les Comes estate northwest of Barcelona. This hilly 1200-acre estate dates to the 10th century and now hosts Spain's only Land Rover Experience off-road school.
Before setting out on the dusty, rocky terrain under the direction of LRE instructors, we selected low range and set Terrain Response to Rock Crawl, which causes the virtual analog speedo to slide to the right, obscuring the 100-plus-mph numbers, making room for two off-roading displays. One indicates which way the front wheels are pointed and shows the status of the diff locks, the other shows wheel articulation. Clamoring up frame-twisting inclines, the driver is struck by the festival of clicks and tocks that indicate the air-suspension adjusting and ABS actuating as the center and rear diffs lock and unlock to best suit the conditions.