The 2014 Range Rover Sport: 007 was right

When the all new 2014 Range Rover Sport made its celebrated entry into the automotive world at the New York International Auto Show last April, it was piloted into the building by none other than Daniel Craig, better known as 007. There’s no doubt that since then, this superb SUV has had the eyes of the world on it.

Land Rover wanted to bring a completely redesigned SUV onto the market whilst still retaining the long established traditions of the automaker’s love for the off-road aspect of their products. Unfortunately, in some cases, comparisons are being made with the Porsche Cayenne which in many ways, is like comparing a pair of Versace shoes and a pair of RedWing work boots. They both have excellent qualities but are very, very different.

Probably the most startling difference between this version and the older varieties is the weight difference. The 2014 has shed at least 800lbs from earlier models which makes a huge difference to the handling. The use of an all aluminum frame makes that possible and with a 7 inch increase in the wheelbase, the ride dynamics have completely changed. The 2014 Range Rover Sport is powered by either a supercharged V6 or 5.0L V8 which obviously is the more powerful of the two. The V8 hurtles this Range Rover to 60mph in only 5 seconds and although the V6 has some performance to go with it (it shares the engine with the Jaguar), the eight cylinder is the way to go. Electronic limitations prevent the V8 from surpassing 155 mph and coupled with these powerplants is the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. Land Rover firmed up the ride but kept the air suspension to improve handling and there are now two 4WD systems to choose upon dependent upon driving conditions. Another nice feature is the raised height for the vehicle to pass through flooded areas. Using the two new air vents positioned on top of the hood, it will take more than 34 inches of water to sink this boat.

The 2014 Range Rover Sport certainly lives up to its very high profile billing as the market’s top luxury, and off-road SUV. The interior still retains the luxury of previous designs but is much more functional. Navigational aids are standard and systems such as such as lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, park assist and active cruise control are available whilst other systems such as Flank Guard and Park Exit will come next year. The vehicle is listed as an official 5+2 which includes two smaller seats in the very back for children which fold down flush with the cargo floor when not in use. Leg room in the rear is much improved so that taller framed people can sit comfortably in the back.

There are some huge price differences in the options available for the 2014 Range Rover Sport where just over $63K is enough to drive the V6 version home but to jump in the supercharged V8 containing all of the goodies will set you back almost $94K. A lot of money but not when you consider the ROI. With Porsche and BMW trying to lure away the luxury SUV market to Germany, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is slowly but surely tempting them back.

You were right, Daniel.

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