The last in line is not nearly the least, as evidenced by the 2014 Range Rover Sport, which is being unveiled to what we're sure will be the delight of New York audiences. The middle child in the Land Rover Range Rover line-up, our initial impression is that, in terms of exterior design, it might have succumbed to the anonymity of middle-child-dom, losing the strength of its character for having to wear a couple of hand-me-downs from its bigger Range Rover sibling and a ton of hand-me-ups from its smaller Evoque sibling.
In front and in back it looks like a larger Evoque, with the Range Rover's tapering blade lights and LED day-time running lights. It shall be known by its twin-bar thematic elements such as the two-bar grille, the strakes in the side vents and the two vents on the hood. It's also got a faster windscreen angle and is more aerodynamic throughout, returning a coefficient of drag of just 0.34 for a vehicle that is 2.5 inches longer than before. The wheelbase has also been stretched by a huge seven inches.
Still, it's a comprehensive rework. It's new aluminum structure deletes 800 pounds of heft, and it weighs about 100 pounds less than a similarly equipped Range Rover. As with bigger bro, the Sport gets either the 340-horsepower 3.0-liter supercharged V6 or the 510-horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that are fitted with stop/start tech. Both run through a ZF eight-speed transmission, and power is put to the ground through a single-speed Torsen differential or an optional two-speed transfer case with low range.
Commanding that increased off-road capability is the Terrain Response 2 system and its new Automatic setting. It has more articulation to play with, the brand new aluminum suspension worth 21.2 degrees of articulation – and the emergency off-road high setting gets higher while the access height goes even lower.
The interior wears more soft-touch materials; features a smaller, thicker steering wheel; more sculpting and padding in the front seats and individual seating for rear occupants. With all that extra space between the wheels, the back-seaters can get inside more easily, and the "Ta da!" feature in the new Sport is a power-operated third row option for "occasional use."
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