2006 Land Rover
Range Rover Sport
If you want Land Rover capability and style packed into a slightly less-boxy package, the Range Rover Sport is the perfect setup.
Over the past 50 years, a small British company with a simple green and gold logo has become legendary in the world of off-road exploration. While others have tried to emulate the mystique and reputation of the venerable Land Rover brand, none has been able to match its reputation for providing luxury and go-anywhere capability in extreme conditions.
In recent years, Land Rover has sought to make its vehicles more palatable to a mainstream audience whose safaris rarely take them out of suburbia. Most of the credit goes to a short-lived buyout deal with BMW that lasted just long enough to produce the highly desirable Range Rover, a vehicle as opulent as it is rugged. The BMW deal came undone before the same magic could be worked on the midsized Discovery, an outdated dinosaur that arrived in the United States in 1995, slotted beneath the Range Rover. Ford came along a few years later and snapped up Land Rover, hoping to apply the same formula that has proven successful at Jaguar and Aston Martin.
The LR3 was the first product born out of this relationship. The LR3 is a success by most accounts, but Land Rover also needed a BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne fighter. A real departure from Land Rover's singular focus on the off-road lifestyle, the Range Rover Sport is the company's first performance SUV. Even though it shares the Range Rover badge with its luxurious big brother, the Sport is actually a shortened, 450-pound lighter version of the LR3. The exterior styling echoes the Range Rover, and the engineers placed much significance on aerodynamics and smooth lines. A shorter wheelbase and a steeply raked rear hatch give the Sport a more dynamic stance. The steering and suspension were sharpened for better on-road performance with a variable-ratio and variable-assistance ZF Servotronic steering system and monotube shocks.
Two engines power the Range Rover Sport. A V8 channels 300 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission in the HSE. The supercharged model boosts the horsepower to 390. The Range Rover Sport's fully independent suspension utilizes air springs at each corner, and a new Dynamic Response System automatically adjusts the sway bars for maximum roll control, whether you're on-road or off-road. Although its tires, stance and suspension are tuned for life on pavement, the Sport still carries low-range gearing and the adaptive Terrain Response System first introduced in the LR3.
Although the idea of a fast and sporty Land Rover may seem like a contradiction, the new Range Rover Sport has the acceleration and handling dynamics to make it a serious player in the high-performance SUV market. It also has the class-leading off-road capability you'd expect of a Land Rover.
Copyright Edmunds.com Inc. All rights reserved. First published on www.edmunds.com and reprinted with permission. Edmunds and the Edmunds.com car logo are proprietary trademarks of Edmunds.com Inc.
Copyright 2005 - Medical Distribution Solutions, Inc., 5445 Triangle Parkway, Suite 170, Norcross GA 30092