Lots going on for Land Rover today in New York, with the unveiling of three new models; the Range Rover, The Range Rover Sport and the Land Rover Discovery 4 (LR4). We covered the Range Rover earlier (and the Disco’s next!), but this is the news on the RRS.
Land Rover are working hard to keep their main models up to date and fresh before an all new set of cars arrives in a couple of years. And the big news with the Range Rover Sport is really under the skin. Out goes the old supercharged 4.2 and the somewhat breathless 2.7 diesel, and in comes the brute of a 5.0 litre supercharged lump from Jaguar that has also gone in to the new Range Rover (and the LR4 – but not for the UK – why not?), and the terrific 3.0 litre diesel that also graces the Jaguar.
I’m not a huge fan of the RRS, although it is one of the best-looking ‘hot 4x4s’ around. But, handling apart, I would plump for the full-size Range Rover every time. But this new S/C lump does help a great deal on the performance front, whilst actually improving economy and emissions, so the RRS becomes a little more desirable. But it still lags behind Mercedes, Porsche and BMW on the road with its high 5.0 seconds 0-60, and still looks like a shrunken Range Rover but without the cache. Maybe it’s too many footballers in RRS that does it, but there are classier hot-4x4s than this.
Still, the new engines will breathe new life in to the RRS, and the exterior updates and interior improvements will make it a more desirable car. Plus, the 3.0 litre diesel is a perfect engine for the RRS – very economical and a lot more fun to drive than the old 2.7.