“2014 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged”
A sumptuous high performance off-roader
The entire Land Rover family took on a fresh new look in 2012 with a smoother, more attractive and more contemporary front-end styling and revised LED lighting. Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models both received significant enhancements and improvements throughout their model lineups without sacrificing any of Land Rover’s traditional persona and DNA. The 2013 Range Rover Sport continued as the definitive Sports SUV, adding new exterior colors, a wider choice of interior trim and alloy wheel designs. An optional towing package was offered for not only the 2013 Range Rover Sport, but all other models as well. The package consisted of a tow hitch receiver, trailer-towing electrics and a variable rear differential lock.
The 2013 Range River Sport was equipped with a high level of standard Harmon Kardon audio equipment, that delivered 380W of sound from 11 speakers, with an optional premium Harmon Kardon LOGIC 7 system available that produced 825W from 17 speakers – advanced features included a hard disc music server and Land Rover’s “Say What You See” voice recognition system with screen prompts.
Four key elements dominated the development of the Land Rover model lineup: first, a fresh approach to functionality; second, sustainability; third, premium-ness and luxurious-ness; and fourth, desirability – Land Rovers continue to be used off-road globally, more than any other brand. The emphasis was placed on a personality change, rather than an architectural modification for both the interior and the exterior design changes, with an emphasis on greater formality and elegance. Exteriors reflected evolution, while the interiors represented a more revolutionary approach, while technological features reached state-of-the-art levels as well.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport is the fastest, most agile and responsive Range Rover ever produced, with an all-new high strength aluminum structure that shaves roughly 800 pounds off of the previous generation models. Agility and performance have been improved with better fuel economy and a reduction in emissions. New 5+2 third row seating for occasional use is now an option. Advanced electronic driver assistance technologies have been added, along with Intelligent Stop/Start technology and an available new fully automatic Terrain Response 2 system.
2014 Range Rover Sport models provide a choice of two engines – a 3.0-liter DOHC V6 that produces 340 horsepower and 332 pound feet of torque; or a 5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve 90-degree V8 with electronic, sequential direct fuel injection and an Eaton, Roots-type twin-vortex supercharger with a power output of 510 horsepower, and torque rating of 461 pound feet. Both engines mate to a ZF 8-speed electronically controlled automatic with CommandShift manual control, featuring Normal, Sport and CommandShift manual shift modes, with available paddle shifters; and a locking torque converter.
Other mechanical and safety features include: an Adaptive Dynamic control system, suspension with Damptronic valving; a, electric power assist rack-and-pinion steering system; Land Rover’s updated Terrain Response 2 system; Blind Spot Monitoring system; Adaptive Cruise Control; a unique Surround camera system; Adaptive front lighting with auto high-beam assist; Hitch Guidance, Tow Assist, Brake Stability Assist; and Keyless Entry.
The TFT instrument panel projects gauges and information from the rear in place of physical fixed gauges continues as a novel and interesting feature.
My latest Range Rover test vehicle was the 2014 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged model, powered by the 5.0-liter, 510 horsepower supercharged V8. The exterior finish was executed in Causeway Grey metallic, with an Ebony and Cirrus (Grey) Premium leather upholstery. The base price was set at $79,100 while the Tow Package, Santorini Black Contrast panoramic sunroof, Dynamic Package, Ebony headliner, Luxury Climate Comfort and Visibility Pack, Vision and Convenience Package, Meridian Premium Audio Pack, metallic paint treatment and Inland transportation charges bumped the final tally to $94,080. Add another $100 for California emissions.
SUMMARY: The 2014 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged is a very plush, high performance SUV indeed that’s suited to serve dutifully and capably in either an on or off-road capacity. In other words, it’s equally at “Home on the Range” where the deer and the antelopes play, or attending urban high society events.
Naturally, as one would expect, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is capable of performing faultlessly, taking on all challenges with ease. The luxurious interior allows for wilderness excursions to be taken on in the lap of luxury, and the mechanical attributes and features are certainly ready to tackle any terrain with finesse, particularly under the guidance and spotting in tricky places by Land Rover’s expert Off-Road team.
I’m not necessarily sold on the fact that the added power generated by the 510 horsepower supercharged V8 can be considered as really necessary or advantageous in rock crawling, but it does allow for easier towing and a more refined image, and in a traditional African safari setting, I’m sure the supercharged Sport model is capable of handily outrunning angry wildlife.
Range Rovers in any form are virtually capable of everything that they are called upon to do in terms of off-road excursions, proven time and again on challenging press outings that require highly technical techniques over rugged terrain. The Range Rover Sport models enter the 2014 model year the same prowess as before but with a higher level of technological advances and efficiency.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport V8 supercharged delivers sport sedan-like handling characteristics with rapid acceleration and responsive braking and seemingly unparalleled off-road finesse, despite its SUV categorization. In addition to the standard supercharged features, many enhancements are finished in red including a “Sport” badge on the rear tailgate and front and rear brake calipers. New carbon veneer trim, adds an upscale, contemporary look to the interior.
In the final analysis, Land Rover, without a doubt, produces some of the most versatile and capable adventure vehicles on the planet, with the Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged representing the performance pinnacle.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Range Rover Sport V8 Supercharged
|Price as Tested:||$94,030.|
|Engine Type and Size:||5.0-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8 with dual independent variable cam timing, direct fuel injection, Eaton twin vortex supercharger and dual intercoolers.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||510 @ 6,000-6,500 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||461 @ 2,500-5,500 rpm|
|Transmission:||ZF 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with CommandShiftâ„¢ (Normal, Sport and Manual shift modes); locking torque converter.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine Permanent four-wheel drive with Torsen center differential and single-speed transfer case for nominal 42:58 torque distribution, variable – up to 62% front and 78% rear; four-wheel Electronic Traction Control (4ETC). Low-range transfer gear ratio: 2.93:1 and Active Locking Rear Differential.|
|Suspension:||Electronic air suspension with automatic load leveling and multiple modes: access, standard, off-road and extended height. Terrain sensing software and cross-link valving for improved off-road performance.|
Front – Double-wishbone with air springs, Adaptive Damping and anti-roll bar.V8 S/C adds Dynamic Response system. Travel: 10.236-in.
Rear – Multi-link with air springs, Adaptive Damping, and anti-roll bar. V8 S/C adds Dynamic Response system. Travel: 10.709-in.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs with EBD, Advanced Emergency Brake Assist, 4-channel all-terrain ABS, electronic parking brake and Emergency Brake Lights.
Tires: Michelin Latitude Sport 275/45 R21 mounted on 5-“Trident”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 115.1 inches
Length Overall: 191.0 inches
Width: 78.1 inches – without mirrors / 87.4 with.
Height: 70.1 inches – Access Mode-68.1″ / Off-Road-72.6″
Curb Weight: 5,093 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 27.7 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 14 mpg city / 19 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.37
0 – 60 mph: 5.0 seconds
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.