Desert Stormer

Nov 3, 2022

Desirable, dynamic, and digital. The new third-generation Range Rover Sport, revealed to media in Dubai earlier this year, ups the ante as perhaps the most versatile, premium, and powerful luxury SUV anyone might ever need.

You can look at the Dubai setting for international media’s first in-person glimpse of the new Range Rover Sport and assume the location would have been chosen because the Middle East has an insatiable appetite for the model. Yes, that is certainly true. Thing is though, it’s true of almost every region.

The Range Rover Sport is phenomenally popular the world over. You can dress it up, or down. Both its brand essence and actual usability suit all manner of individual owner. And so, it tracks that, for Land Rover, updating the perma-popular Sport is a very big deal indeed. Irrespective of where the carmaker decides to remove the covers.

This is the third generation Sport and – to further underline the ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix’ mantra within its parent company – this new model’s predecessor was on sale for a decade. But as is to be expected perhaps, Land Rover has taken its time making sure the replacement not only lives up to the reputation of the Range Rover Sport nameplate but betters it convincingly at every turn.

Combining muscle with smooth modernity, the minimalist exterior of the new Sport dazzled beneath the lights of the industrial-looking exhibition studio media were shown into at the model’s unveiling in Dubai. A look-but-don’t-drive (yet) affair, the unveiling gave journalists the opportunity to pore over the details, of which there are many.

The short overhangs, bold front-end and steeply raked A and D pillars at the front and back leave you in no doubt you’re looking at a Range Rover Sport. Dramatically smoothed out for this generation, the sophisticated exterior features plenty of taut surfacing. While minimalist at first glance, looking a little closer uncovers plenty of intricate design elements.

The eye-catching digital LED light unit designs, for example, are the slimmest ever fitted to a Land Rover. The headlights use 1.3 million ‘micromirrors’ that can block-out up to sixteen different objects while on the move and offer up to 500 metres of clear visibility. These sit above a sculpted, double-aperture lower bumper that incorporates a horizontal bisecting body-colour element that makes the Sport appear low and wide, as the demeanour of this powerful model demands.

Precisely honed design elements are echoed at the vehicle’s rear, including a sculpted tailgate with a full-width feature bearing the Range Rover script. Uninterrupted LED light graphics introduce surface LED technology to a production vehicle for the first time, providing a crisp and contemporary look at night that is vivid and consistent when viewed from any angle. A characteristically high shoulder line runs the length of the SUV, accentuated by new lower fender details and the longest spoiler ever fitted to a Range Rover. Flush glazing and door handles, along with a laser-welded roof add to the clean lines of the exterior.

The new Range Rover Sport’s minimalist exterior design extends to its all-new interior, which features the trademark Range Rover ‘Command Driving Position’, along with plenty of cutting-edge technology, and top shelf premium materials.

Another of the many highlights inside the new Range Rover Sport is Land Rover’s PIVI Pro infotainment system. This features a high resolution floating 13.1-inch curved touchscreen positioned at the centre of the dashboard and controls everything from navigation to media and vehicle settings. PIVI Pro even learns the user’s habits and intelligently personalises elements of the driving experience, becoming like a digital personal assistant. The PIVI Pro screen is complemented by a 13.7-inch Interactive Driver Display, with high-definition reconfigurable graphics.

Naturally there are plenty of audio options available, with the Meridian Signature Sound System being the most advanced and powerful audio system ever fitted in a Range Rover Sport. It presents an enveloping sound experience using 29 speakers, a new subwoofer and up to 1,430W of amplifier power – including four headrest speakers that enable those travelling in the four main seats of the vehicle to experience personal sound zones.

The Range Rover Sport is available in New Zealand in Dynamic SE and Dynamic HSE specifications, with a First Edition available throughout the first year of production. Soon, the performance focused SVR and efficient PHEV models will also arrive, giving Range Rover customers here a plethora of options.

Powerful and efficient powertrains available include six-cylinder extended range Electric Hybrids, a potent new V8 and a six-cylinder diesel Ingenium engine. It is expected that a pure-electric Range Rover Sport will also be introduced in 2024.

As the new Defender did for Land Rover, the latest Sport serves to help subtly shift the Range Rover brand from primarily heritage-focused to one that delivers high tech luxury. Whether in Dubai or Dairy Flat, the new Range Rover Sport will most definitely be in hot demand.