Range Rover Sport launched last year at Goodwood
Fastest, most expensive Range Rover Sport will introduce game-changing tech and be sold by invitation only
The hottest version of the new Range Rover Sport will be revealed on 31 May as “the fastest, most dynamic and technologically advanced” version of Solihull’s sports SUV yet.
Expected to nudge power output past the 542bhp of its predecessor, the next range-topper will be called the Range Rover Sport SV in acknowledgement of the Special Vehicles department that is developing it. The previous car was called the SVR, for Special Vehicle Ratings.
Further details will emerge as the launch date approaches, but Land Rover has already confirmed the new car will be a “highly limited” proposition, offered by invitation only – and will pioneer a number of ‘world-first’ technologies to reach new performance heights.
The SV is set to use a highly strung version of the Range Rover’s BMW-derived 4.4-litre V8, as featured in the standard Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, pushing power and torque to unprecedented heights in a bid to rival the Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX 707 for super-SUV supremacy.
The Range Rover Sport SV will be one of Land Rover’s final new combustion cars; earlier this week Jaguar Land Rover gave a wide-reaching update on the progress of its Reimagine transformation plan, which will see an electric Range Rover arrive next year, before the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Range Rover Sport, Evoque and Velar go electric from 2025.
In line with a radical shift in its corporate image, Jaguar Land Rover has officially rebranded to JLR, and will organise its cars into four distinct model families: Jaguar, Discovery, Defender and Range Rover.
The new Sport SV will top out the new-look Range Rover family when its launched, roughly a year after the standard Range Rover Sport, which offers a host of powertrains including the 525bhp BMW-derived V8, boosts low-speed agility and high-speed poise from a new four-wheel steering system, and features an overhauled interior with Jaguar Land Rover’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment.
The latest Range Rover Sport was developed alongside the fifth-generation Range Rover, revealed in 2021, to ensure consistency within the Range Rover family but also, crucially, enough distinction between the two models.
JLR design chief Gerry McGovern said the latest model “redefines sporting luxury” and described it as “modern, relevant and progressive”.
Reflecting on the model’s impact, McGovern called the Range Rover Sport “the first of its breed in 2005, heralding a new vehicle with Range Rover luxury and sporting character”. He added: “It created a new vehicle segment and was the first model in an extended Range Rover family which paved the way for Evoque and Velar.”
The range-topping model – prior to the SV – is the twin-turbocharged 525bhp 4.4-litre BMW-derived petrol V8, which can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.5sec. It will be a popular model, predicts Nick Collins, JLR’s executive director of vehicle programmes. “V8 demand is very strong at the moment,” he said. “There seems to be a split between big petrol engines and EVs.”
The new plug-in hybrid is expected to be a strong seller, too. In its most powerful form, it uses a 3.0-litre six-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 141bhp electric motor, powered by a 38.2kWh battery, for a total output of 503bhp. It completes the 0-62mph sprint in 5.4sec and delivers 70 miles of EV range and CO2 emissions of 18g/km. Combining its petrol and electric reserves, it offers 460 miles of range.
The initial line-up is completed by a number of 48V mild-hybrid options, which use either a P400 straight-six Ingenium petrol engine or six-cylinder D300 and D350 diesel powertrains.
Two important models will arrive later: the SV and, in 2025, an electric version which could use a drivetrain sourced from technical partner BMW, such as that found in the top-rung BMW iX M60, which makes 611bhp and 811lb ft.
The new Range Rover Sport sits on JLR’s flexible mixed-metal architecture, known as MLA-Flex, which is also used by the Range Rover. The firm claims it has 35% higher torsional stiffness than the outgoing model, which lays the foundation for a number of chassis technologies all specially tuned for the car.
Collins said: “The MLA architecture and the latest chassis systems come together to deliver… the most engaging and thrilling Range Rover Sport ever.”
The model’s Dynamic Response Pro uses a 48V electronic active roll control system, capable of applying up to 1033lb ft of torque across each axle to offer “new levels of body control and cornering composure”, said the firm.
It works hand in hand with the latest-generation Dynamic Air Suspension, which introduces switchable-volume air springs for the first time. For best responses, the car monitors the road ahead using navigation data to prepare for upcoming bends.
The Range Rover Sport is now available with all-wheel steering, which, along with torque vectoring by braking and the electronic differential, should mean improved cornering agility. The steering system enables rear-wheel steering of up to 7.3deg out of phase with the front wheels to achieve better manoeuvrability at low speeds, as well as turning in-phase for improved stability at high speeds.
The model, which has Land Rover’s latest Terrain Response 2 system for off-roading, introduces the brand’s new adaptive off-road cruise control. Drivers can select one of four settings and the system adjusts the speed accordingly so the driver can focus on steering.
As with all Land Rover models, the new Range Rover Sport is an evolution of the outgoing model in appearance, keeping its short overhangs and steeply raked windows at the front and back. It has a 75mm-longer wheelbase than previously to improve rear leg room.
Chief exterior designer Dominic Najafi highlighted three fundamental elements to its design: a roofline that ‘accelerates’ down to the rear; a so-called waistline that is a continuous loop around the car; and a lower part that follows through and kicks up at the back.
He said: “It has a seamless finish from body to glass and the body side is very smooth. It’s more sophisticated than the outgoing Range Rover Sport.
“At the rear, we’ve moved the numberplate down to give a cleaner surface than before. Even the graphics on this car are harmonious. We don’t want anything to stand out. It’s a very modern approach.”
Digital LED lighting units at the front, the slimmest ever fitted to a Land Rover, create a daytime-running light signature. At the back, uninterrupted LED light graphics introduce surface LED technology to a production vehicle for the first time, claims Land Rover.
Inside, the Range Rover Sport has been designed to be more driver-oriented than its Range Rover sibling. The steering wheel is similar to the Range Rover’s but the seating position is 20mm lower.
The high centre console rises up into the dashboard, which has a 13.1in curved screen that uses JLR’s Pivi Pro infotainment system, plus a 13.7in driver’s display. It has over-the-air updates, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android and Amazon Alexa capability.
Pricing for the Range Rover Sport starts from £83,620 for the entry-level D300 model, which comes with 296bhp from a 3.0-litre six-cylinder mild-hybrid diesel engine. Prices begin at £102,540 for the 345bhp D350 car.
The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) P440e gets a 434bhp 3.0 litre six-cylinder, and starts from £89,980. The more potent P510e PHEV sets owners back £114,050, and brings a more powerful 503bhp system.
For the mild-hybridised P400 petrol motor, prices start from £90,690. It comes fitted with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder, 395bhp twin turbocharged engine.
The range-topping P530 starts from £119,580, and is the only model to get a non-hybridised engine, fitted instead with a 4.4-litre 525bhp V8 petrol motor.