This Land Rover goes from track to trail.
Land Rover, the company known for building vehicles that can tackle any off-road situation, threw a bit of a curveball when it came out with the Range Rover Sport, the brand’s most on-road, performance-oriented product. Based on a shortened LR4 chassis, the Range Rover Sport is smaller inside than the LR4 and the Range Rover. Like those siblings, the Sport still has a low-range transfer case and the Terrain Response system, so it’s not lacking in off-road ability, but its low-profile tires are much more at home on a racetrack than climbing a mountain trail. The Range Rover Sport has the same powertrains found in the Range Rover. Opt for the supercharged V-8 and you’ll get an incredible 510 hp sent to all four wheels through a smooth six-speed automatic transmission. Steering feel is good for an SUV, but the information that is transmitted through the steering column is unfiltered, which makes the Sport fatiguing to drive for long stints. There aren’t many other vehicles that would be equally happy pulling a trailer, racing around a track, tackling a muddy two-track, or pulling up to an opera house. If you need to balance your need for speed with a more sensible vehicle for hauling a family and the occasional trailer, the Range Rover Sport deserves serious consideration.
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new for 2013
The Range Rover Sport Supercharged receives new alloy wheels and red Brembo brake calipers. A trailer-tow package becomes an option, and interior color schemes include dark trim with light seats and light trim with dark seats. A Sport Supercharged Limited Edition is available for 2013, with 300 units being built in Santorini black and 200 in Fuji white.
Front, side, side curtain, and thorax air bags; ABS; stability and traction control; electronic brake assist; rear park-distance control; trailer-stability assist; and rain-sensing wipers are standard. A 360-degree camera system, active headlights, automatic-high-beam headlights, and a blind-spot monitoring system are optional.
Least off-roadable Land Rover
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Base Price Range: $60,895–$87,195
TRIM LEVELS: HSE, HSE LUX, Supercharged, Autobiography
BODY STYLE: SUV, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 5.0L V-8, 375 hp, 375 lb-ft
5.0L supercharged V-8, 510 hp, 461 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A
CAPACITIES: Towing 7716 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 33.8/71.0 cu ft