Range Rover Sport Supercharged--Chicago Cars Direct
Detailed test drive and walkaround of a 2006 Range Rover Sport Supercharged
with Chris from Chicago Cars Direct.
Sport might be something an Australian calls his buddy at the bar. As in:
"G'day, sport, can I get you a beer?" But as used in the acronym SUV, the
term doesn't usually apply that well. Most SUVs are just not that sporty,
are they? However, in the case of the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, there's
an argument to be made for the accuracy of the addendum.
First, just in case you're as confused as we were, let's explain that the
Range Rover Sport is a shortened and sharpened Land Rover LR3, brought to
market to compete with sportier SUVs such as Porsche's Cayenne and BMW's
X5. In the course of reinventing this Sport model from the LR3 platform,
the transformation resulted in a vehicle that's about two inches shorter
than the LR3 and offers much less interior room. Maximum cargo capacity for
the Sport is 71 cubic feet compared with 90 for the LR3, and rear-seat
space drops from 55 cubic feet to 49. Despite the smaller size, Land Rover
managed to add weight. Our tester pounded the road at a porky 5866 pounds,
whereas the last LR3 we tested weighed 5686 pounds.
That could lead some to believe that this would be a slow and clumsy
vehicle, but that's not the case. With its generous mass balanced very
nearly evenly on the two axles, the Range Rover Sport conducts itself with
remarkable poise. It doesn't hurt that the suspension is a combination of
adaptive interlinked air springs and active anti-roll bars. Or that the
vehicle is shod with 40-series tires on 20-inch wheels, which provide
carlike steering response and look like sporty-car tires, despite the
vehicle's all-terrain capability.
Add to the remarkable undercarriage the 390-hp supercharged V-8 with its
410 pound-feet of torque, the powerplant normally found under the hood of
an XKR or XJR Jaguar, and you can begin to understand why this Range Rover
is called Sport. When hooked to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic (with
shift-it-yourself manumatic override), the V-8 powers the Rover around with
ease, a restrained burble its only comment. Then stand on it hard, and the
big Sport rushes forward with surprising determination, running to 60 mph
in just 6.7 seconds. You can hear the Supercharger's wail during hard acceleration, but
even then it isn't intrusive.
In fact, all noise has been effectively suppressed in the Sport. Wind noise
is well down on what one might expect from such a tall and square vehicle,
and the Continental 4x4 SportContact tires, with their streetlike tread
pattern, clearly do their bit to keep the 70-mph-cruising noise level down
at 67 decibels.
All of which is in character with the car's interior. Although based on the
LR3 cockpit, the supercharged Sport wears enough premium leather and cherry
wood to provide a decent compromise between utility and luxury. Metal-tone
plastic accents on the door handles and alongside the center console are
echoed on the steering wheel, and if the overall effect isn't quite as
plush as in the Range Rover proper, well, the supercharged Sport is also
less expensive by about five grand.
The seats are firm and supportive, and the driving position is natural,
with none of the bus-driver posture found in older Range Rovers. That
expected SUV high vantage point is there, but the excellent body-motion
control afforded by the Dynamic Response system—it automatically alters
damping and roll-control rates according to how the car is being
driven—minimizes any tipsy sensations.
To check out its sport credentials, we drove the Range Rover Sport in the
mountains near Malibu, California, and were pleasantly surprised at how
well this vehicle takes to the tortuous ribbons of asphalt that traverse
this area. Again, thanks to the mechanisms that discourage unwanted body
motions, the vehicle avoids any rolling and wallowing during hard
The brakes—four-piston Brembos on the front end—rein in the Range Rover
with plenty of power and feel. Then you can swing the nose with the smooth
ZF Servotronic steering gear, which is accurate and nicely weighted if not
particularly communicative. As the vehicle reaches the corner apex, you
then exploit the abundant torque of the supercharged V-8 and the
all-wheel-drive system to pull the vehicle out of the corner without tire
As long as the cautious stability-control system has been disabled, a
driver can get on the power early and stay on a tight arc that avoids
crossing over the center line. Range Rover engineers claim they could have
dialed body roll right out of the equation but refrained from doing so to
provide some of the cornering feedback most people expect.
Comparison: Land Rover LR4 vs Lexus GX 460 vs Mercedes GL450
We head to Death Valley to find out which of these seven-passenger luxury
SUVs is king.
Read the full story here:
Shot by: Jim Gleason & Duane Sempson
Edited by: Jim Gleason
2007 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL-450 4Matic
New Star Auto Group
1239 McCarter Highway Newark, NJ 07104
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Mercedes GL 63 AMG - TEST IT
Der GL 63 AMG ist ein Luxus-Geländewagen von Mercedes, doch produziert
wird das 2,6 Tonnen-Gefährt in Tuscaloosa/USA. Und dem Deutschen „Made
in Amerika" sind die amerikanischen Einflüsse stark anzumerken.
Übergewicht, Lenkradschaltung und eine superweiche Luftfederung machen
schnelle Kurven nicht gerade zu seiner Paradedisziplin. Besonders
überzeugen kann der AMG jedoch durch seine inneren Werte: Dank 5,5 Liter
V8-Biturbo ist die Schrankwand mit Stern
in 4,9 Sekunden auf Landstraßen-Tempo beschleunigt, und das, immer mit
musikalischer Untermalung zum niederknien.
Homepage http://www.motorvision.de/ http://www.motorvision.com