Read the complete 2014 Range Rover Sport Review at AutoGuide.comIf there was ever an automotive edition of ‘The Biggest Loser’ reality television show, Range Rover would be a shoe-in to win. Last year the full-size Range Rover went on a dramatic diet, shedding 700 lbs. thanks to a new aluminum unibody structure. This year the Range Rover Sport is put on the aluminum platform and shrinks down to a svelte 4,700 lbs., which is roughly 800 lbs. lighter than last year’s model.
But the downsizing doesn’t stop there. The base 5.0L naturally aspirated V8 is also dead this year, replaced by a smaller 3.0L supercharged V6. Producing 340 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, the new engine is significantly down on power compared to the old V8 but, thanks to the lighter weight and a new eight-speed automatic, Land Rover claims it’s three-tenths of a second faster to 60 mph, running the sprint in just 6.9 seconds.
THAT UNMISTAKABLE V8 GROWL
Those wanting more power can still opt for the supercharged 5.0L V8 thundering out 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. Also paired to the new eight-speed auto, not only can this monster rip to 60 mph in five seconds flat, but it sounds absolutely glorious while doing it. Land Rover has mastered the sound track of the 5.0L V8 and a ‘sound symposer’ feeds a hearty growl directly into the cabin. Want to quiet things down? Simply back off the throttle and this large SUV becomes a serene cruiser.
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Land Rover has spent a lot of time making the Sport quiet inside and it has paid off. Cruising down the interstate, or flowing through the corners of a country road really highlights just how muted the interior has become. This allowed our ears to focus on other things like the available Meridian audio system pumping out 1700 watts of awesomeness through 23 speakers.
More than just quiet, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is also far smoother on the road. The old Sport had a hint of choppiness that seems to be calibrated out of the new model, which most likely has something to do with the seven-inch longer wheelbase on the 2014 Sport. Still, this doesn’t mean it has gone soft; far from it.
PUTTING MORE SPORT INTO THE ‘SPORT’
Land Rover has put a heavy emphasis on improving the driving dynamics of the new vehicle. Available on V8 models with Terrain Response 2 system is a dynamic mode that alters the power steering, throttle, transmission, stability control, traction control, damping and lean control settings. With it engaged, body roll during aggressive cornering virtual disappears and if a corner is attacked a little too eagerly, brake induced torque vectoring from a set of beefy Brembos will help rotate the big SUV around.