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2014 Range Rover Sport - Excitement, Supercharged

Luxury Meets the Ludicrous

Feb 9, 2015
Photographers: Jason Gonderman
Picture this scenario, if you will: You’re in the market for a new vehicle—an SUV—and it must combine the utmost in luxury with enough power to reverse the earth’s rotation. Oh, and be able to crawl its way up the muddiest two-track and through a field of nasty boulders. Options seem pretty bleak at this point, don’t they? Picking a vehicle meeting any one of these requirements would be downright easy, but combining all three in one truck may seem like a near impossibility. However, that’s not the case with the ’14 Range Rover Sport, which combines all of these features into one neat and tidy aluminum shell.
"The all-new Range Rover Sport truly justifies the ‘S’ in SUV.
– Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Directory"
Power In Excess
Selecting the V-8 option snags you a fire-breathing supercharged 5.0L mill that cranks out 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to propel the 5,500-pound (once you add in driver and fuel), seven-passenger people carrier from 0-100 kph (0-62 mph for those of us who live on the correct side of the pond) in fewer than 5 seconds. Power delivery is flat brutal. Depressing the skinny pedal unleashes a wonderful explosion of speed and one of the most beautiful exhaust notes of any vehicle produced today.
The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission clicks off shifts in only 200 milliseconds. The number of cogs and insanely quick shifting provide both performance and maximum fuel economy. The job of slowing all of that mass belongs to the extra-large Brembo brakes living at each corner, and they do so in a hurry, getting the steed whoa’d from 60-0 in just 104 feet.
Photo 2/13   |   Under the hood is where the magic happens. The Sport’s supercharged 5.0L V-8 churns out an impressive 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Cool air is fed to it by a dual intake system that draws from vents placed in the hood.
Where The Road Ends
Legendary off-road capability is what put Land Rover on the map, and jumping over to the company’s luxury-oriented brand, Range Rover, loses none of it. Riding on a full air suspension, the Range Rover Sport is able to adjust its height depending on the terrain. When heading off the beaten path, the suspension is able to rise up to provide 2.6 inches of additional ground clearance. The front suspension features an impressive 10.2 inches of wheel travel, while the rear boasts 10.7. Combining the next-generation four-corner air suspension with nearly a foot of wheel travel results in a superb ride, both on- and off-road.
For those wanting serious capability, the Sport can be equipped with the company’s Terrain Response 2 system and an available two-speed transfer case. Dictating where power is sent, and when, is an electronically controlled center differential, which can distribute torque at any ratio between 100 percent front to 100 percent rear as conditions dictate. Dana manufactures both axle differentials, and the rear features a Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential that can vary the degree of lockup almost instantaneously. Combining all of these features results in a nearly unstoppable package, even if the mortal behind the wheel isn’t the most experienced.
Photo 3/13   |   2014 Range Rover Sport Power Slide
Luxurious Accommodations
Moving inside we find appointments more suited for a five-star hotel than a four-wheel-drive. A beautiful combination of premium Oxford leathers set the mood as they wrap the occupants in warmth and comfort. Front and middle seats are available both heated and ventilated, and an optional four-zone climate control system keeps everybody in their ideal microclimate. Entertainment in our Autobiography edition tester came by way of rear seat monitors and a 1,700-watt, 23-speaker Meridian Signature 3-D surround sound system. For those in colder climates, a heated windshield provides for a quick defrost. Unfortunately, this feature did nothing but drive us crazy, as the heater grid lines are slightly visible.
Exploring all of the features available on the Range Rover Sport Autobiography would take a very long time, that’s just how loaded they really are. Adaptive headlights swivel to follow the road; interior mood lighting is adjustable with a multitude of colors; a sliding panoramic roof provides an excellent view to the world above; and a console mounted cooler keeps beverages frosty. Priorities. Really, we’re just scratching the surface. This is a case where seeing truly is believing.
Judging from any angle, the ’14 Range Rover Sport is an entirely lustworthy piece of machinery. The power is unbelievable, the luxury is second to none, and it has more than enough off-road prowess to get anybody into trouble if they’re not careful. The only thing keeping the Sport out of our most coveted garage spot is the six-figure price tag. However, if you have enough pennies, the Rover is worth every one of them.
Photo 4/13   |   Outfitted with rich Oxford leather, a Meridian 23-speaker 1700-watt stereo system, four-zone climate control, and more features than you know what to do with, the Range Rover Sport Autobiography provides a totally opulent experience.

2014 Range Rover Sport Autobiography

Base Price: $79,100
Price as Tested: $105,535
Engine: 5.0L Supercharged V-8
Power 510 hp
Torque 461 lb-ft
Trans ZF 8 speed auto
Curb Weight: 5,464
Brakes: Brembo calipers, 14.96 inch (front)/14.37 inch (rear)
0-60 MPH: 4.9 seconds
Quarter Mile: 13.5 seconds at 107.5 mph
Braking, 60-0: 104 feet
EPA City/Highway Fuel Econ: 14/19 mpg
Tested Fuel Econ: 14.06 mpg average

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