The Range Rover Sport has been updated with the replacement of its V6 engine by a new 3-litre, straight six-cylinder mill, connected to a mild hybrid system with some inventive features.
Two model ranges will be available with the new petrol powertrain, but with two different power outputs.
The P360 MHEV range wil boasts the 265 kW and 495 Nm version of the straight six and will be available in three specification levels, S, SE and HSE and will take the vehicle to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds.
The other range consisting of only one model, is the Range Rover Sport HST, with a more powerful version of the engine good for 294 kW and 550 Nm and capable of getting the big SUV to 100 km/h in only 5.9 seconds.
To get rid of any turbo lag and have an immediate and constant flow of power and torque from the moment you depress the accelerator, an electrical supercharger is used. Able to spool fully in just 0.5 seconds at up to 6 500 rpm to maximum boost pressure, the new technology virtually eliminates turbo lag from the twin-scroll turbocharger.
The all-new Start-Stop system switches the engine off when stationary and pairs the new 3-litre engine with an electric motor. This allows the system to harvest energy whilst the vehicle is decelerating and store it in a 48V battery. This energy can then be re-deployed through torque-assist, reducing C02 emissions by reducing the workload on the engine.
Working alongside a new Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain, the Range Rover Sport P360 (265 kW) delivers fuel economy of 9.2 L/100 km and CO2 emissions of 213 g/km.
Available exclusively on the new HST model, a more powerful 294 kW version of the MHEV Ingenium engine powers this model to a top speed of 225 km/h. This P400 engine achieves the same fuel economy figure but with CO2 emissions of 209 g/km.
The new HST model features a combination of interior and exterior updates, including bespoke badging and carbon fibre trim on the bonnet, front grille, side vents and tailgate, and this model will be identified by red brake callipers, with a grey anodised option also available.
Inside, the 16-way Dynamic front seats feature an updated colour pattern with suede cloth detailing on the steering wheel and gear lever, Satin Chrome gear shift paddles and an HST badged facia. In addition, the suite of safety enhancements includes Advanced Cruise Control – featuring Stop & Go and Steer Assist – alongside Highspeed Emergency Braking. Owners will also benefit from traditional capability features, such as Terrain Response 2.
The Range Rover Sport P360 and HST are available in South Africa now, priced from R1 369 000 and R1 874 600 (October 2020), respectively. They will slot in just under the even more powerful V8 range and above the new four-cylinder ranges.
Competitors for these models include a number of SUVs that might lack the serious off-road capabilities of the Range Rover Sport but compete in terms of status, performance and luxury like the Lexus RX 450h SE, Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X5, Audi Q8 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.
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Audi launched its V8 diesel versions in sporty disguise called the SQ7 and the SQ8 in the in the high-performance SUV segment.
The Hyundai Motor Company started the year on a winning streak, announcing its win of four accolades at the 2020 Good Design awards late last year.