This Is How The Second-Gen Range Rover Sport Stacks Up Against Its New, Third-Gen Avatar
This is a deep-dive into the feature set of the new Sport to see what’s changed and how it compares to the outgoing L494 generationby Khris Bharath, on
The all-new 2023 Range Rover Sport finally broke cover a couple of days ago. After what was close to a decade in service, the old Sport was really in need of a complete overhaul and that is exactly what this third-gen model promises to be. An all-new Sport from the ground up.
What’s Changed On The Outside
One look at the new model and you won’t mistake it for anything else but a Range Rover Sport. It follows the quintessential lines of what you expect to find on a traditional Range Rover, but the new Sport adopts Land Rover’s ’Reductionsim’ philosophy, which the British marque first debuted nearly five years ago on the Velar.
This same ethos followed through onto the Evoque, Discovery Sport, the recently unveiled full-size Range Rover, and now finally, the Range Rover Sport. It all comes together beautifully in with an aesthetic that is contemporary.
The new Range Rover Sport takes a more minimalist approach to its exterior design. The coefficient of drag is also lower by 15% at just 0.29 compared to the old model
Looking at the new Sport, the biggest change you’ll notice are the smaller grille and the sleeker LED headlights. Land Rover has tried to clean up the face by moving the license plate further down into the front bumper. The new air dams follow a single line along the bumper and this approach looks far more sophisticated than before. You’ll also get black or bronze trim pieces depending on the trim you choose.
This is perhaps the easiest angle to tell a Sport apart from its bigger sibling. You can almost immediately tell that the new design is far more minimalist, as it is devoid of all the creases that donned the outgoing model. The door handles now sit flush with the bodywork. Personally, I am a big fan of this new design direction at Land Rover.
The low slung roof and rising beltline convey the Sport’s dynamism. The new Sport is also longer than before by three inches. Finally, you’ve got some new wheel designs, with an optional 23" rims with carbon inlays.
Onto the rear now and I think this is where you’ll see the most substantial change not just to the outgoing model, but also to any other current Land Rover’s. Gone is the blocky design of the old car and in comes a sleeker-looking derriere. The taillights are now thinner and longer than before and the Range Rover badge sits on a big slab of gloss black trim.
Just like the front, the rear too sees the number plate move further down into the bumper. Thankfully on this top-spec first edition model, you also get a pair of proper exhaust pipes. Lastly, another Range Rover hallmark that has always kept the rear windscreen clutter-free is that roof-mounted wiper and it has been thankfully carried over onto the latest model.
The Essence Of Sporting Luxury
While the changes on the outside may appear subtle, (which by the way is deliberate) the cabin of the new Sport is a big departure from the last model on every front. Be it the design, the tech on offer, or the sheer quality, the new Sport trumps the old model on every front. Let’s start with the dash.
You’ve got some sleek air vents, that look like they’re straight out of the full-size Range Rover. It’s a no-brainer that you’ll see a lot of parts sharing from the JLR parts bin. Sitting at the center is a new 13.1-inch Pivi Pro screen, which has also been borrowed from its elder sibling. Frankly, the level of comfort and tech on offer is truly exhaustive.
- * Amazon Alexa integration
- * A 13.7-inch all-digital drivers display
- * Wireless Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto
- * 15W Wireless Charger
- * Voice Assist with support for 31 languages
- * Smart LED digital headlights with image projection
- * Advanced Driver Assistance Features
Overall, the cabin lends a sense of luxury and continues to be a place that combines high-quality materials and sportiness, something that has always been a Range Rover Sport, trait.
You’ve now got sportier three-spoke steering as opposed to the four-spoke and a host of lightweight sustainable materials that dress up the well-appointed cabin. The ambient lighting and optional 29-speaker 1,430-Watt Meridian Surround sound system, that has noise-canceling built into the headrests will elevate the experience for passengers offering up a more immersive experience while on the move.
As I mentioned earlier, the new model is also longer and wider than before, which means more legroom for rear-seat passengers.
As before, the choice of powerplants for the new Sport is pretty vast.
|Displacement & Layout||Horsepower||Torque|
|P360 SE||3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6||355 hp||369 lb-ft|
|P400 SE Dynamic||3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6||395 hp||406 lb-ft|
|P440e Autobiography||3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6||434 hp||619 lb-ft|
|P530 First Edition||4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8||523 hp||553 lb-ft|
The P360 and P400 have been carried over as it, but the biggest gains in terms of zero-emissions drive on offer come with the latest P440e and P510e. The outgoing model’s plugin hybrid system only offered up to 26 miles of real-world pure EV range. The new improved PHEV model has a bigger 38.2 kWh battery pack which Land Rover claims to offer 70 miles of range, but expect a real-world range of about 54 miles.
Also, at the top, gone is the old 5.0 supercharged V-8 that can trace its origins to the old Ford days, and, in comes a BMW M sourced 4.4-liter twin-turbo that produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph is done away in 4.3 seconds, which makes it just as quick as the old Sport SVR. Every new Range Rover Sport is mated to an 8-Speed automatic transmission.
The Meat Of The Matter
Land Rover has thrown in the kitchen sink at the new Sport to ensure that it handles as good as it looks
The new Ranger Rover Sport is built on the MLA-FLex or Flexible Modular Longitudinal architecture, which means it can accommodate a variety of powertrains with everything from the myriad of gas and diesel options to an upcoming all-electric model due in 2024.
The chassis is up to 35-percent stiffer than the outgoing model, which is great news as the new generation can now live up to the Sport name more than ever before. After all, the Sport is all about offering a more agile and spirited drive as opposed to the stately manners of its big brother.
The new Sport features the Stormer Handling Pack that packs an electronic Limited Slip Differential and torque vectoring, which will help with how this SUV handles the corners. Go for the PHEV or V8 and you can also get rear-wheel steering (up to 7.3 degrees).
The new Sport also derives an active anti-roll system powered by a 48-volt system, that prevents the vehicle from leaning in the bends. The adaptive air suspension introduces switchable air springs for the very first time on any Range Rover that can soften or stiffen the ride on the fly. The ride height is lowered by 16 mm as speeds increase.
Four-wheel drive is standard across the range, but the intelligent iAWD system can regulate torque to each axle automatically depending on the driving conditions. For instance, power goes to all four wheels in any off-road mode, but the system automatically cuts and restricts power only to the rear axle when you find yourself on a highway.
Off-The Beaten Path
The new Sport is perhaps the most competent off-road when compared to its chief rivals.
Now, it wouldn’t be a Land Rover if it wasn’t good in the off-road department. Thankfully, this new Sport shines through with the latest Terrain Response 2 system. You get both high and low range modes with a host of new tech that makes the SUV, quite capable off-road.
A new kind of Off-road cruise control monitors terrain in real-time and makes adjustments to the suspension and steering. The new wade mode lets the Sport get into water that is up to 90cm or 35-inch deep, which is the same depth that the current Defender can handle. Impressive, isn’t it?
To Sum It Up
|P400 SE Dynamic||$91,350|
|P530 First Edition||$122,850|
While the Range Rover Sport was badly in need of a makeover from the ground up, Land Rover went the extra mile and has ensured that they give it the sort of upgrades not just in terms of its design, but also in terms of the top drawer hardware that truly make it worthy of wearing that Sport badge. As for pricing, the new model is pricier starting at $84,350 as opposed to the old Sport SE which started at $70,900.
At the other end of the spectrum, the priciest 2022 SVR Carbon Edition would set you back $132,600 while the new P530 costs $122,850. The next-gen SVR and an all-electric Ranger Rover Sport are already in the works and expect them to cost more than the most expensive variant of the outgoing model.