In the world of ultra-quick performance sport-utility vehicles there are only a few models that can handle off-road shenanigans as adeptly as they do sweeping corners and asphalt sprints. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport, which has been completely redesigned, is one such versatile contender and in fact might be the model to which all other pretenders are compared. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport manages to combine the brand's legendary British luxury with the kind of enthusiastic handling and rugged all-terrain attitude that are rarely seen together in the same package.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
01. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Is All-New
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a very important product for the automaker from a sales perspective, despite the fact that the previous model was essentially a revised version of the more staid LR4's platform with a stiffer suspension system. The decision to move from a body-on-frame to a unibody chassis for the Range Rover Sport was paired with a styling effort that keeps the vehicle visually in line with the look of both the larger Range Rover and the entry-level Range Rover Evoque, a family resemblance that situates the Sport squarely between these two poles.
02. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Is Significantly Lighter Than Before
One of the most immediately noticeable aspects of the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport's redesign is the extreme weight loss that went along with it. Thanks to the judicious use of aluminum throughout is platform, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport is now close to 800 lbs lighter than it was the year before. This is an astonishing difference, especially when considering the vehicle's longer wheelbase and overall size. Even more impressive is the fact that the lighter Range Rover Sport also happens to be 25 percent stiffer, which improves its handling. Few vehicles - let alone SUVs - have undergone the same type of dramatic diet from one year to the next.
03. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Provides Two Engine Options
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport features a 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 as its entry-level engine. This unit has been tuned to provide 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, and is the same six-cylinder mill that has proliferated throughout the lineup of Land Rover's corporate cousin Jaguar. For those who crave the utmost in power, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport continues to offer a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 that churns out a hefty 510 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque. The eight-cylinder mill also comes with an added bonus: a threatening snarl from the SUV's dual tailpipes each time the go-pedal is mashed to the floor, or the automatic engine start/stop feature fires up when rolling away from a red light.
04. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Delivers An Eight-Speed Automatic
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport might offer over 500 horses, but thanks to the engineers at transmission builders ZF its power delivery never comes across as brutal or unrefined. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is matched with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, a unit which helps the eight-cylinder edition of the SUV post a combined fuel mileage rating that is two miles per gallon higher than the year before (14-mpg city / 19-mpg highway / 16-mpg combined). The Range Rover Sport V-6 ups the ante to 17-mpg around town and 23-mpg during highway cruising, for a combined total of 19-mpg. It also helps, of course, that the Land Rover is considerably lighter than it was in 2013, and that it features the previously-mentioned automatic engine start/stop system.
05. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Provides Off-Road Ready Four-Wheel Drive
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport features two full-time four-wheel drive systems (one of which offers low-range gearing) and enough ground clearance to make short work of a litany of off-road obstacles. Thanks to the Land Rover's Terrain Response system, the Range Rover Sport is able to tailor its throttle, transmission, and traction control response to adapt to whatever might lie in the path ahead and ensure forward momentum at all costs. Out on the road, the Range Rover Sports' available torque-vectoring feature helps to improve cornering by shuttling power from one side of the vehicle to another, and while the V-6 model doesn't provide access to this particular system (or the low-range option), it still enjoys a rear torque bias to help maintain impressive handling characteristics.
06. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Is Extremely Quick
With so much weight out of the picture and such a potent pair of engines under the hood, you would be right to assume that the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is much faster to drive than ever before. The vehicle's supercharged V-6 completes the charge to 60-mph in 6.9 seconds, which is actually quicker than last year's base eight-cylinder engine. Opting for the 510 horsepower supercharger 5.0-liter V-8 is even more impressive, notching a second off of the 2013 model's 0-60 time with the same engine to check in at a sports sedan-challenging five seconds.
07. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Comes In A Pair Of Trim Levels
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is initially offered in SE trim, which includes a long list of standard gear: HID headlights, an air suspension system, a power tailgate, power front seats, leather upholstery, dual automatic climate control, parking assistance, keyless entry and ignition, a touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth integration, and a rearview camera. Stepping up to the Supercharged trim level adds features such as nicer leather seats with perforations to help them 'breathe' better, a panoramic sunroof, 20 inch rims in place of the SE's 19-inchers, heaters for the front two buckets, available wood trim, and fog lights. It also includes the vehicle's torque vectoring four-wheel drive feature, paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, and an adaptive suspension system.
08. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Features A Number Of Options Packages
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is unsurprisingly generous when it comes to the number of options packages that can be selected at ordering time. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport's HSE package installs most of the luxury gear found with the Supercharged trim level on the SE model, while the Autobiography package ups wheel size to 21 inches, installs ventilated front and heated rear seats, provides adaptive headlights, and also comes with three zones of automatic clime control, a 360-degree camera system, a cooler, a louder stereo, and a blind spot monitoring system. Cleaving up these features into smaller slices are the Vision and Convenience package (360-degree camera, blind spot monitoring, automated parking), Climate Comfort and Visibility package (heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive headlights), and the Luxury Climate Comfort and Visibility package (contents of the standard CC&V package with the addition of four zones of climate control and cooled rear seats).
09. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Debuts Third Row Seating
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport is now available with the option of a third row of seating. However, the brand is being careful not to label the Land Rover Range Rover Sport as a true seven seat SUV, preferring instead to call it a '5+2' arrangement. There are a couple of reasons for this particular marketing perspective. The first is that the Range Rover Sport was visually designed so as not to suggest a seven passenger capacity in an effort to help it maintain its performance image. The second has to do with the size of the rear accommodations themselves, as the third row of seating is far more child-friendly than adult-appropriate - especially on longer journeys.
10. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Is Priced To Compete With German Rivals
10. The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Is Priced To Compete With German Rivals
The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport features a base price of $62,600 in SE trim, and selecting the Supercharged model inflates its MSRP to $79,100. While these numbers might seem high, they are in fact quite reasonable when compared against rivals like the BMW X6 M (MSRP $92,900) and the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG (MSRP $97,250). It should be noted that neither of those competitors are available with three rows of seating, nor do they come close to offering even a small percentage of the real-world off-road capability inherent in the design of the Land Rover.