For 2015 Range Rover has added a high-performance version of the Range Rover Sport, dubbed the SVR. The SVR gets 40 more horsepower than the standard Supercharged and Autobiography versions, as well as 21-inch wheels and a host of aerodynamic improvements. In addition, Range Rover have thoroughly gone over the vehicle and revised it in a number of ways, including tweaks to the differential, the gearbox and the brakes, all with the purpose of pushing the envelope when it comes to high performance SUVs.
The Range Rover Sport is available in SE, HSE, Supercharged, Autobiography and high-performance SVR models. SE and HSE get a 340-horsepower supercharged V6, while Supercharged and Autobiography models step up to a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. The SVR version gets an even more powerful, 550-horsepower version of the supercharged V8 engine. Power is delivered through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration with any of these models is very quick, just 6.9 seconds to 60 mph for the base engine.
The 4-wheel drive system in the Range Rover Sport provides a bias toward the rear wheels, sending more power to them most of the time for a more stable on-the-road driving feel. It works in conjunction with a Torsen differential and single-speed transfer case, while a separate system with a 2-speed transfer case and low range is optional. An available Terrain Response 2 system lets the driver simply dial in different conditions and terrains such as snow, mud, sand, gravel or rocks and the all-wheel drive and electronic stability systems will automatically choose the best settings and torque distribution to traverse it smoothly and confidently. Separately, the stability system offers a Dynamic mode, oriented toward enthusiastic driving on the road.
Beside the driver is a simplified, control layout, with a higher center console and more sophisticated, customizable displays. Highlights among in-dash interface options include a 12.3-inch TFT display, along with a separate 5-inch TFT display, as well as an 8-inch touch screen at the center of the dash for entertainment, navigation and other 'secondary' functions. When the stability control is in its Dynamic mode, the displays on that main TFT screen change to a red theme.
Underpinning the Range Rover Sport is a 4-corner air suspension with variable ride height. It has several different ride heights, depending on the speed (the maximum clearance is only available up to 31 mph), and can adjust its height about seven inches. The suspension is made of aluminum and fully independent, with double wishbones in front and a multi-link setup in back. In all, the suspension allows more than ten inches of travel for both the front and rear travel--an asset for off-roading, where wheel articulation is important. Steering is an electric-assist rack-and-pinion system, while brakes are strong Brembo 4-wheel vented discs.
Five can fit in the Range Rover Sport, although on both the SE and Supercharged models, there's a third-row seating option that expands total capacity to seven. Seating for five is standard on the Range Rover Sport, accommodating two comfortably in the first row and three in the second road; even the second row now included adjustability (it slides nearly four inches fore/aft) and climate settings. A third-row seat is available and adds seating for two more; the setup doesn't sacrifice any cargo space as it folds completely flat into the floor when not in use.
To help improve fuel efficiency, the Range Rover Sport gets Intelligent Stop/Start technology. This system automatically stops the engine when at a stoplight, restarting it instantaneously as soon as the brake is released. But much attention has also been paid to cabin quiet; the Sport has multiple levels of extra sound deadening to help keep the interior quiet well beyond the levels of a normal luxury vehicle. Acoustic laminated glass is used to keep out outside and wind noise, and special bushings for the suspension help avoid transmission of road noise inside.
Safety features in the Range Rover Sport include frontal, side curtain and thorax bags, plus active front seat belts. A number of active-safety features are available in the Range Rover Sport and they might help avoid an accident entirely. Examples include Lane Blind Spot Monitoring, Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Flank Guard, Automatic High Beam Assist, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist. Adaptive cruise control is also available and it will brake automatically if it anticipates a collision.
The more contemporary, elongated design of the Sport, with its clamshell hood and floating roof design, along with side fender vents, is easily distinguished from a distance, while LED lamps are now used for the headlight and taillight clusters. Red Brembo brake calipers signal the sportier intent of this model. And if you order the Black Package, you can eliminate all the chrome, for even more of a performance look. Range Rover points out that there are eleven interior color themes, four different aluminum interior finishes, three real wood veneers, three headliner colors, and three contrast roof colors, along with a total of 19 exterior hues. Wheel options range from 19 to 22 inches in a variety of designs.
One key difference that the Range Rover Sport HSE offers over the SE is a standard Dual Moon Roof; but it also includes perforated leather upholstery, heated front seats, and additional trim. Outside of the engine upgrade, the Supercharged model gets adaptive damping, as well as steering-wheel paddle-shifters. Towards the top of the lineup, the Autobiography gets adaptive headlamps with Automatic High-Beam Assist, upgraded ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, a center-console cooler, most of the aforementioned active-safety items and a 1700-watt Meridian Signature Reference system with 23 speakers, including a subwoofer. It's part of a connectivity package that includes voice control, Bluetooth audio streaming (and hands-free calling) and full USB connectivity.
One noteworthy option is a rear-seat entertainment system, 4-zone climate control, a 7700-lb tow package and soft door-close.