The car, due in the UK next summer, is meant to offer the agility of the more sporty 4x4s on the road combined with the ability of a true Land Rover off-road.
Power will come from normally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 and supercharged 4.2-litre V8 engines, adapted from those found in the Jaguar S-type, XJ and XK models, as well as a 2.7-litre V6 common rail turbodiesel, also used in the new Discovery 3.
Based on the Range Stormer concept shown at the North American International Auto Show in January, the Range Rover Sport will have its first public viewing at the January 2005 show.
It has a shorter wheelbase than the Range Rover (by 140mm) for improved agility. Breaking with the Range Rover tradition, it has a single piece tailgate (all previous Range Rovers have had a split tailgate). Air suspension is standard on all models, as well as Land Rover’s new Terrain Response system, introduced on the Discovery 3. Supercharged models will also be fitted with ‘Dynamic Response’ (optional on other engine derivatives), which senses cornering forces and acts to optimise body control and handling.
The system decouples off-road to allow greater wheel articulation. Adaptive cruise control is available, making its first appearance in a Land Rover.
The Range Rover Sport will be priced between Discovery 3 and Range Rover.