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· LRO Founder
1,888 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Supercharged Range Rover Sport is fast -- but so what?

A 390-horsepower V-8 under the hood of Land Rover's Range Rover Sport Supercharged definitely puts the "Sport" in sport utility vehicle. Courtesy photoMark Tapscott. Behind the Wheel

Faster is better, right? So what's the deal with the mocking headline? You wouldn't buy a flashlight to drive nails or an antique chair for firewood. So why buy a sport utility vehicle to go fast?

This is why I have never understood the rationale for the Porsche Cayenne, the hot version of BMW's X-5 or the AMG edition of the Mercedes M-class. Why put lots of horsepower and a specially tuned suspension in a vehicle whose original justification nowhere mentions anything about going as fast as possible down straights and around corners?
aAds = new Array();aAds[0] = new Array();aAds[0][0] = '+middle';aAds[0][1] = '36889';aAds[0][2] = 'js';displayAd('', '', aAds);Javascript disabled. Cannot display HTML ad.Thus my problem with Land Rover's Range Rover Sport Supercharged edition of the LR3. Yes, it will leap down straights with ferocious intensity and carve up corner apexes with a wholly unexpected level of confidence.

The same $75,000-plus required to put a Sport Supercharged in the driveway could buy a Dodge Magnum Hemi and a Dodge Ram 1500 4x4. The Magnum hauls a lot and goes faster than the blown Rover, while the Ram can traverse the vast majority of off-road terrain within the English SUV's capabilities.
In posing the question in such utilitarian terms, however, I have revealed the plebian nature of my perspective. No Dodge ever built has offered the same level of prestige and class as a Land Rover. The fact the Sport Supercharged is also quick as blazes just made it jolly more fun on the lovely back roads of my half-acre Maryland estate.

Then again, my rural estate probably isn't the sort of scenery Land Rover's designers had in mind when conceiving and birthing the Sport Supercharged. It is intended for a select few prospects.

Power is courtesy of the same 390-horsepower, 4-liter supercharged V-8 normally found in the R editions of the Jaguar XK and XJ vehicles. Put your foot on the gas and the Sport Supercharged will rip from rest to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.
Similarly, the suspension is well-sorted and aided by massive 20-inch tires and electronic stability control. The result: The Sport Supercharged is quite capable of moving down a twisting lane with far more velocity than any other SUV, save the aforementioned Cayenne and its German fellow travelers from BMW and Benz.

The interior is lavish -- as expected in a Land Rover -- and there is no getting around the handsomeness of the current edition's exterior look. And you need say no more than "let's take my Land Rover" to let other folks know you've arrived at one of those top household income brackets.

Still, there is less cargo capacity in the Sport Supercharged than the regular LR3, thanks to the shortened chassis, and that blown V-8 does love its petrol and demands it in massive quantities whenever the itch to go fast strikes.

The Sport Supercharged is indeed fast, as well as luxurious and prestigious. But anything remotely practical? Not really. Which brings us round to the question posed by the headline.



ENGINE INFO: 4.0 liter DOHC supercharged V-8, 390 horsepower at 5,750 rpm, torque equals 410 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm

PERFORMANCE: 0-60 mph in 6.69 seconds (With six-speed automatic transmission)

MILEAGE: 13 mpg city, 18 highway

SAFETY FEATURES: Driver and front passenger front and side air bags, side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes, full-time all-wheel-drive, electronic stability control

· Registered
152 Posts
Let's be real, LR cannot make money from the offroad community. We need / want them to make cars that are great off roaders, reliable and with high quality. Ford it not out there to subsidise your and my hobbies, hence LR needs to make a profit for them or any other owner. If this makes them profitable I say go for it, and then thank them for the funding (hopefully) this will put into the new Defender.

· Registered
249 Posts
Thats exactly the case, Bottom line is that LR is a business, and businesses need to make money.

The RRS may not be the most practical thing out there, but to some, driving is not about pure practicality, its about fun. If you want pracicality, buy a Kia or a Toyota. Secondly, the new RRS is way more practical than the X5 4.6/4.8. I have driven both of these and the RRS is way more practical, the BMW is very harsh and stiff on everything, the handiling, the braking and the acceleration, the RRS is harsh when it needs to be, but not all the time. Lots of people have a fun weeked car, much like a corvette or a miata or an elise or something like that, so why not have your everyday SUV fast and sporty when you want it, and functional when you need it. So it is actually nothing like trying to drive a nail with a flaslight or burning an antique. Some people drive to get to point A to point B, and for some others drive just to drive. And the first mentioned need not apply, there is probably a kia dealer right down the road
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