The All-New Range Rover Sport Lives up to its ‘Sport’ Moniker

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1677808570467 Range+Rover+At+Cec FeaturedRange Rover launched the all-new Range Rover Sport at a venue that properly matched its high-SES credentials. And it really is a bonafide luxury vehicle - it just happens to be more capable.

All the touchpoints and design features all live up to the ‘Range Rover’ bit of the badging. But how about the ‘Sport’ portion of its name. Can an SUV as large as itself be any good on a closed course?Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1677808609598 Dscf0056This must have been a question posed by a higher-up at Range Rover Singapore too. Which is probably why they’ve set up a space for the media to properly push the limits of their cars!

Torque for Days

One thing you’ll notice very quickly is the amount of sheer grunt the car seems to have regardless of engine revolution. On power, there seems to be a never-ending wave of torque, which translates into a sensation that you’d never run out of puff. Despite the rapid acceleration and the engine output, it manages to resist excessive lurchiness that you’d expect from a high-riding SUV.

A big part of this rigidity has to come from the mixed-metal architecture (MLA-Flex), with the new car being up to 35% stiffer than its predecessor. Steering feel is fantastic on track, considering that you’re in an SUV. There’s enough information through the rack and the seat to allow you to make micro adjustments whilst hurtling through a complex of quick corners at full chat.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1677808790319 Range+Rover+At+Cec 3It is also a very comfortable way of tackling a trackday. The luxurious cabin does a good job in isolating you from the cries of tortured tyres, whilst also coccooning you in some properly plush materials. The seats, whilst comfortable at road speeds, could do with a little more support, especially when you are faced with multiple, rapid changes-of-direction.

The Integrated Chassis Control system, which has been specially tuned for New Range Rover Sport, ensures that the car remains under control even if you are over ambitious on corner entry. Once you’re used to the layout and are taking the corners properly, it allows you to have small amounts of slip angle. This large SUV feels surprisingly agile and nimble in this regard.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1677808801133 Range+Rover+At+Cec 5However, as other automotive journalists will inevitably mention, there’s really no escaping from its sheer heft. Advanced driver aids and big power can mask a lot of the pitfalls brought about by weight. But to properly arrest any form of excessive body roll and/or understeer, the car tends to cut your engine power, going as far as grabbing the brakes in an attempt to stabilise itself.

Then again, these sensations are what you’d feel if you are driving it with no understanding of the concept of self-preservation. Rather impressively, if you opted to drive it just marginally under the limits imposed by its electronic nannies, you’d find a solid driving SUV that is actually a proper riot even on a closed track.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1677808819461 Dscf0040With all the advanced off-road tech kept intact, there’s no reason to believe that it’d have lost any of its capabilities on the rough stuff. The advancements in its software and suspension means that it can now add on-track driving to its driving arsenal.

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