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The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is the shorter, more sporty companion to the ur-Landie, the Range Rover. New back in 2006, the Sport now shares its architecture with its bigger sibling, along with some of its drivetrains. And for the 2016 model year, it adds two new sources of power--one more frugal, one not so much, both outlined here in our preview of the latest Sport.The current Range Rover Sport is much lighter and more nimble than the first-generation model. Like the Range Rover full Sizes, the Sport's body is now made from glued-and-riveted aluminum, a switch from steel that's said to be worth about 800 pounds of weight loss.
New for this year is an HST model with its own drivetrain, and with an array of trim that gives it a more urbane look. The front and rear lamps are tinted dark, as are the roof and fender vents; the rear end wears a new spoiler; and 21-inch wheels are fitted, barely cloaking red brake calipers. Red 'HST' badging appears outside and inside the newest Sport; the cabin also wears contrasting leather, ebony trim, metallic paddle shifters and sport pedals, and aluminum interior trim. This year's additions come in the form of a 380-horsepower supercharged six in the HST model. Up 40 hp on the base engine, it gives the Sport the same power choices as the F-Type sportscar. The HST also gets its own upgraded suspension tuning and brakes, as well as a Torsen center differential, and a dynamic setting that tweaks the suspension, steering, and throttle to a higher state of readiness. Later this year the Sport's largest change in the US in quite sometime since the days of the defenders. The 2016 Range Rover Sport line up will include the new turbodiesel V-6. Quoted output of 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque should translate into EPA fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined, Land Rover says. We'll have more on both new drivetrains once we've had some wheel time in them. This is a very exciting change since Land Rover finally submitted thier engines to the US EPA for testing and they were previously only available in european models Meanwhile, the Sport's current lineup should translate perfectly. With either of today's standard powertrains, the Sport's ride/handling worldview tilts firmly to sport. The bigger Range Rover specializes in coddling while the Sport's air dampers and variable-ratio steering quicken up the pace. The V-8's Dynamic setting dials out much of the innate lean and scrub dictated by its height and weight. It's much closer now to the benchmarks set by the uber-utes from Germany. At the same time, the Range Rover Sport is an incredibly capable muckraker, with either the Torsen four-wheel-drive setup, or the more advanced two-speed four-wheel-drive system, with its active rear locking differential that helps improve traction on pavement and off. The two-speed system is standard on V-8 models and available as an option with the V-6. With more ground clearance than ever, the Sport can extract itself from almost anything the bigger Range Rover can, and its slight size advantage might let it squeeze through where the executive-class Landie might not. Land Rover even designed the SVR to retain its off-road readiness, keeping the same Terrain Response 2 system and low-range-equipped transfer case, but upgrading the computers and hardware in the driveline to better handle the extra power and torque. The Sport's cabin has never looked better, and the latest model's extra room in almost all dimensions solves one of the least happy aspects of the first-generation version, though the second-row seat isn't quite as supportive as the Range Rover's. These are the sacrifices. New features for the 2014 model included so-called '5+2' third-row seating, allowing occasional transport of up to seven people, with full-time seating for five. You won't want to be back there if you can say your ABCs, though, trust us. Multiple trim lines were available on the 2015 Range Rover Sport: the base SE and upgrade HSE, both outfitted with the supercharged V-6 engine; the Supercharged, with the 510-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine; the Autobiography, which shares the 510-horsepower V-8 but adds a range of unique design elements; and the range-topping SVR, which gets the 550-hp version of the supercharged V-8 along with plenty of performance-influenced styling and chassis upgrades.
The same is true for features and safety content, though we expect most of it will carry over. Changes included the addition of the SVR model as well as improvements for all variants. On the infotainment front, Sirius satellite and HD Radio were made standard on all models, and Land Rover's new InControl apps were made available as a standalone option or packaged with the Meridian upgrade stereos. A Driver Assistance Pack included traffic sign recognition, lane-departure warning, automatic parallel and perpendicular parking, parking exit assist, and parking sensors all around the vehicle. The Climate Comfort and Visibility Packages were reconfigured to add blind-spot monitoring with closing vehicle sensing and reverse traffic detection. And if that weren't enough, the puddle-lamp design was revised to show a silhouette of the vehicle instead of the Range Rover Sport logo. For 2016, the Sport adds remote connectivity via smartphone to the InControl system, and a hands-free tailgate.
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