The Range Rover Sport has had a three-decade run of success. It debuted in 2005 as a smaller alternative to its larger sibling, the Range Rover. After being a huge success for the British marque, it was on the market for at least a decade. Then, the popular facelift arrived in 2013, and it stayed for another decade. Now, the Range Rover Sport is entering its third generation with this iteration. In May this year, the new Range Rover Sport was unveiled. We finally got to look around the car after a five-month wait, and here is our first impression of the all-new 2023 Range Rover Sport.
The latest Range Rover Sport is based on the same MLA Flex (Modular Longitudinal Architecture Flexible) as the larger Range Rover. The Sport gets an additional 67mm length, with a 74mm longer wheelbase and 17mm more height than the previous generation.
The new Range Rover Sport shares the same design language as the full-size Range Rover. Thanks to the tall bonnet line and blunt nose, it's instantly recognisable as a Range Rover. The Sport is distinguished from the standard Range Rover by its slimmer new LED headlights and more aggressive air intakes. Up front, new LED daytime running lights lead into a grille that is slightly darker and more aggressive than the previous generation.
Then, owing to the sloping roofline, the Sport’s side profile is more coupe-like than the boxy Range Rover. From the side, the SUV appears aggressive and yet seamless, with the roofline tapering into the longest spoiler ever seen on a Range Rover. Further, it is available with massive alloy wheels, as well as two-tone colour schemes that aid in making it stand out from the crowd.
For a precise, technical, and sophisticated appearance, the exterior's clean lines are enhanced by beautifully executed flush glazing and door handles, a hidden waist rail finisher, and a laser-welded roof. These design-enabling technologies contribute to the New Range Rover Sport's excellent aerodynamic performance, with a drag coefficient of only 0.29.
Then, at the back, the design is very clean, with few creases, similar to the full-fledged Range Rover. The LED rear lights are housed in a black trim strip; there are no light bars here. Aside from a diffuser in the lower bumper, no fake vents are to be seen either. Everything appears to be simple and uncluttered. The design is not for everyone, but it is excellent if you appreciate minimalism.
Stepping inside, the first thing you'll notice is that the new Range Rover Sport's interior is a huge step up from the previous generation, taking clear inspiration from the full-sized Range Rover. It combines classic British sophistication with cutting-edge technology and provides the option of traditional or modern materials, including some that are recycled.
The dashboard is dominated by a 13.1-inch Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment system, which sits higher than in the standard Range Rover, but you'll be pleased to see some physical climate controls located beneath. There's a floating centre console with storage under it, as well as some stylish ambient lighting throughout. The two-tone dashboard is separated by a gleaming metal trim strip that houses the air vents, and the materials used here are as high-end as they come, with plenty of leather and solid metal. Then there's the 13.7-inch driver information display, which can be customised.
Regardless of the materials used, the seats are sumptuous and are now adjustable via controls on the door panel, similar to Mercedes-Benz’s portfolio. A large centre console with the Terrain Response dial, cup holders, and one large armrest with deep centre storage is included as well. There are also two individual adjustable armrests for the front seats. Moving to the back seats, they are the most spacious, with more legroom and headroom than before, allowing you to sit back, relax, and watch the world go by.
The boot has 835 litres of space, which is 55 litres more than the model from the previous generation.Additionally, the Range Rover Sport is only available as a two-row, four- or five-seat vehicle. A huge cargo area, a full-size spare tyre, and electrically folding rear seats make up for the absence of a third row, though.
The Range Rover is currently available in four trim levels in India: Dynamic SE, Dynamic HSE, Autobiography, and First Edition. Digital headlamps with image projection, 22-inch wheels, heated and auto-dimming ORVMs, and soft-closing doors are among the features available on the HSE Dynamic trim that we have here.
This SUV's front seats have 22-way adjustment with massage, as well as heated and ventilated functions. Other features on this SUV include four-zone climate control, a heads-up display, a premium 23-speaker Meridian sound system, a wireless charger, a panoramic sunroof, configurable ambient lights, a 360-degree camera with 3D function, AI-enabled voice commands, and Cabin Air Purification Pro.
Furthermore, there are numerous options for add-on equipment that can be selected at the time of purchase, ranging from SV-spec floor mats to refrigerator compartments, a hot/cold climate pack, or even a domestic plug. There is also the 'clear sight' interior rearview mirror, which converts the IRVM into a rear camera display.
The Range Rover Sport comes standard with emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, an under-car view, cruise control, driver condition monitor, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition. It also has a remote parking assist feature. Not to mention, the new-generation Range Rover Sport has received a perfect five-star rating in the Global NCAP test.
Talking about the off-road character of this Land Rover, it includes hardware such as water wade sensing with a capacity of up to 900mm, clever 4x4, off-road adaptive cruise control, torque vectoring with e-diff for better cornering, adaptive dampers to control body movements, and launch control.
With the new Range Rover Sport, the British automaker now offers a variety of powertrain options. Internationally, you can choose between gasoline, diesel, mild hybrids, and even a plug-in hybrid. In India, we get a 3.0-litre turbo diesel with nearly 350bhp and 700Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 234kmph and can accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in 5.9 seconds.
The petrol engine is also a 3.0-litre straight-six with a mild-hybrid system and produces around 400bhp. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is the Terrain Response 2 off-road hardware.
The Range Rover Sport has special off-road geometry with impressive approach angle, departure angle, and ramp angle, which is aided by air suspension that can increase or decrease height at the touch of a button. Furthermore, the Range Rover Sport gets all-wheel steering to mask its weight on the road and off the beaten path.
The Dynamic SE trim of the new Land Rover Range Rover Sport starts at Rs 1.64 crore. Dynamic HSE, which we have seen here, is priced at Rs 1.71 crore. The Autobiography will set you back by Rs 1.81 crore, while you can own the First Edition by spending Rs 1.84 crore. There is also a petrol engine option only available in the Dynamic HSE trim and costs Rs 1.68 crore. All prices are ex-showroom in India and before personalisation.
Upon arrival, the Range Rover Sport will compete with the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Porsche Cayenne, BMW's X7, and its younger, sportier sibling, the X5 M. Soon we will get behind the wheel of the Range Rover Sport and show you how it performs on the road.