Any Road Will Get You There in the 2014 Range Rover Sport
If you have ever driven a Range Rover you will know that, yes, in fact, any road will get you there.
Now, let’s take this conversation up a few notches and talk about the 2014 Range Rover Sport. It is the company’s lightest, fastest, most agile version to date. The new Sport can steer through 33.5 inches of water, wind out at high speeds on highways and challenging roads and look great just standing still.
“In 1970, Land Rover came out with the Range Rover,” remarked Fred Monsees, Land Rover Driving Instructor, at the September launch in San Francisco. “It was a state of the art vehicle then. The new Range Rover Sport continues the theme of having greater on road and off road capabilities. Just like it was revolutionary in 1970, we are at the forefront of SUV technology now.”
Recently, to prove its on-road talent, the 2014 Range Rover drove up Pikes Peak in a record 12.5 seconds. As Bob Burns, 3-D Experience Events Manager, described it, “The on-road performance is a big candy bowl.”
Craig Carter, Design Technical Manager, added, “Off-road is still king!”
Yes, the new Land Rover Range Rover Sport is two vehicles in one. Let me explain. Off-road: We tested the capabilities of the 2014 Range Rover Sport on a 700 acre ranch outside of San Francisco. The ten-mile track (constructed by Land Rover drivers over a two week period) took us two hours to traverse. Switching into different terrains was as easy as pressing a button and hardly necessary. The Terrain Response 2 system automatically checks out the driving conditions and road surface and chooses the best program for the best traction. The 2014 model also has 2.3 inches more ground clearance than its predecessor bringing it up to 11.2 inches, and the wading depth has been increased to 33.5 inches.
True to its mission to live up to its name, the Range Rover has proved its durability over and over again. Over 18 months, 20,000 physical tests were completed in a fleet of vehicles that traversed thousands of miles in 20 countries and under extreme climates and surfaces.
On-road: The new Range Rover Sport is 800 pounds lighter! That’s a significant number. The all-aluminum uni-body structure is just part of the equation. The engineers shaved off weight on equipment including the damper and anti-roll bar, the seat and door construction and tailgate.
The loss of 800 pounds also improves speed and fuel consumption (by 27%) But mostly it makes this vehicle much more fun to drive. At 2.5 inches longer (with an inch more of knee room in the back), the vehicle is still a tidy 191 inches. That brings it in shorter than many mid-sized sedans and thus easy to park in the city.
The Sport is powered by 340-horsepower supercharged V-6 (18 mpg combined) or 510-horsepower V-8 engines with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission (16 mpg combined). A quantum leap: the V-8 moves from 0-60 mph in 5.0 sec. Keep in mind, the Porsche Boxster does 0-60 in 5.5 seconds!
Along with all of the new technologies, engineers paid lots of attention to the exhaust sound. In short, this vehicle sounds as fast as it feels.
On the inside: “Under the skin you are sitting low down. There’s a high level of finish, including leather with perforation, real wood veneers and real aluminum finishes,” stated Stuart Schorr, VP Communications & Public Affairs.
From the twin-needle stitching on the 14-way heated and cooled seats, the satin chrome pillars that flow from the instrument panel to the rear cabin, the generous side bolsters on the front seats, the full panoramic roof to the wide choice of aluminum and wood interior finishes, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is more luxurious than ever. And here’s a blast from the past: there’s a secret third row available for plus two kids seating.
Our event started with dinner at the Flea Street Café in Menlo Park, California within the San Francisco Bay area. Menlo Park was ranked in 2008 by CNN as one of the top 15 US cities in their Best Places for the Rich and Single to Live. You get the idea, right?
After a meal of heirloom beets with redwood hills goat cheese and white truffle vinaigrette, a tomato and peach salad followed by herb crusted Alaskan halibut with cauliflower celery puree, and a trio of desserts including a plum hazelnut tart with ginger cream, we retreated to our rooms at Rosewood Sand Hill, a 16-acre property in Menlo Park, California.
The next day kicked off with a brisk early morning drive in the 2014 Range Rover Sport. We started on highways, continued on to winding, skinny and hilly roads and ended up at the ranch for an afternoon of barbeque and off-road testing.
A day fit for a Range Rover lover, eh?