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2010 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Review


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By Bruce Hubbard
Auto Advisor Group
Detroit Editor
The Auto Channel

The Range Rover is one of the few vehicles ever displayed as a piece of art at the Louvre They have traveled a long way since first known as the utilitarian means of transportation in the African outback. .Land Rover has made the entire lineup of vehicles luxurious and just what the privileged want today.

Whether in Palm Beach or South Beach Range Rovers are seen with celebrities and professional sport athletes. They will definitely look great in the fine art of Range Rover and the RRS will surely drive well on the streets and highway. Most likely few celebrities will ever take the Range Rover LR4 or Range Rover Sport off road. That is where the Range Rover Sport is in a class by themselves. The RRS delivers 461 Foot pounds of off the line or pulling power known as torque! 510 horsepower! competing luxury SUVs like the X5/X5 M, Infiniti FX50 and Porsche Cayenne .The Range Rover Sport’s power can be used on and off road to make the drive exceptional.. So many innovations are on the 2010 Range Rover Sport that we have enumerated some of them to allow you to know why I think the Range Rover Sport is one of the best vehicles ever made. The Range Rover Sport was first introduced in 2005 and has each year been refined. They are the only SUV offering for 2010 the superb air suspension that allows you to raise and lower the vehicle 2.1 inches. It makes traversing the most difficult terrain easy.

The 2010 Range Rover Sport is a midsize SUV available in HSE and Supercharged trim levels. The Range Rover Sport HSE comes standard with 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, foglights, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, an adjustable air suspension and adaptive damping, keyless entry/ignition, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, power front seats, driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a navigation system with off-road tracking, a rearview camera and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon Logic 7 stereo with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, USB port and separate iPod connection.

The newest art work I drove for a week was the Supercharged version of the 2010 Range Rover Sport that retains some of the signature design. The MSRP pricing on the supercharged 2010 RANGE ROVER SPORT was $82,345.00. Worth every dime! The new features alone add value. This is a vehicle you can depend on and be sure you can get off road in Moab or the desert of Arizona. Base price was $73.345.00 but add enhanced leather for $1000, Adaptive Cruise $2000, 5 camera system $800, rear differential lock $600, HD radio $ 350, rear seat entertainment $2500, and upgraded 20” alloy wheels for $1000. Other options and accessories are also available for the customer.

The new design theme for the 2010 Range Rover Sport emphasises its position as the most dynamic model in the Land Rover range, creating a sporting, cleaner and more sculpted appearance.

At the front, new signature LED headlamps provide a technical focal point, and feature Range Rover inspired interlocking circle lamps. With a new two-bar grille and larger air intake, the vehicle’s frontal graphic is much more slim, athletic and low-slung.

The new front bumper blends with redesigned front fenders to form a simple, sculpted surface, offering improved aerodynamics and a lower, more

The side view of the vehicle features new two-stripe LED indicators, along with redesigned two-section fender vents. Color coded door mirrors complete the visual changes.

At the rear, Range Rover inspired light clusters create a fresh new look, while the smooth and sculpted bumper design mirrors the style of the front-end.

New front wheel deflectors help reduce drag and new 19 and 20-inch tires are available on Range Rover Sport, optimized for rolling resistance and improved tire wear. What I also like as is seen in one of the photos in this article is that Range Rover Sport also has under the frame a full size spare with the same rim I am driving on. When 200 miles from a Land Rover Dealer or service center and the rim is damages or tire ripped you are dead without a spare. So many SUV’S do not offer a full size spare and rim. They often offer only an air inflator system good for only 50 miles. Others offer a small donut good again for 50 miles. Manufacturers state they have road size assistance or their customers have through their insurance companies road size assistance that will assist when you have a flat tire.

Range Rover Sport Supercharged has fuel ratings of 12 mpg in the city and 17 on the highway. It is a gas guzzler for sure and as stated by Tata and Range Rover staff they will improve that. Remember this is the premium SUV with 461 foot pounds of torque and 510 horsepower. If you look closely the fuel consumption is less than I would expect.

Superbly crafted new materials and some revolutionary display technologies help to improve a cabin that is already widely regarded as one of the automotive worlds finest. Of course heated front and rear seats are on the RANGE ROVERS. Heated front windshield and rear window. The heated front windshield is a plus on those ice and snowy winter days. Range Rover Sport must be able to move in the depths of winter and this heated front windshield removes ice and snow quickly. Heated adaptive headlamps make so much sense for the snow and ice that accumulates on the glass is wisked away by heated fluids allowing for the road to be lighted properly. This is a safety feature as far as I am concerned! I love the adaptive headlamps that include automatic adjustments of low and high beams . When in mountain passes or dark roads the headlamps are superb.

Voice control for navigation and sound system take some time to learn but make your driving experience very safe. That is because you are hands free to concentrate on driving once all commands are in place. The sound system is of course top end and the optional entertainment system for second row passengers makes the journey even better. If the weather is warm and the sky bright and sunny open the beautiful sun roof and enjoy the outside air moving through the cabin.

To further enhance the premium interior ambience, the 2010 Range Rover introduces new luxury grade European leather trim for the headlining, pillar and door casings. Fascia buttons now feature a satin chrome-plated finish, which are beautifully highlighted by the Range Rover’s upgraded waterfall interior lighting. High quality satin black and natural wood finishes complete the sumptuous feel of the interior architecture.

The Range Rover Sport allows the driver, front passenger and now thanks to rear elevated seats a commanding view of the road. The elevating of the second row did take an inch or more off of the head room. So those 6 foot 2 or above take the front seat.

With the second row seats up the cargo space was the same as the previous model of the Range Rover Sport 71 cubic feet. That is about what it is with the competitors I listed.

One of the major innovations in the 2010 Range Rover is found in the instrument cluster. Here, traditional physical instruments are replaced by a 12” Thin Film Transistor screen which presents all essential driver information via cleverly designed ‘virtual’ dials and graphical displays.

“The new display technology used by the 2010 Range Rover is a major advance. It gives us tremendous flexibility in presenting information, so that the driver gets precisely the data they require, in all driving conditions,” explains Nick Rogers, Chief Engineer, New Vehicle Architecture. The system’s message center (the area between rev counter and speedometer) can be customized by the driver to display personal prioritized information, from system warnings, outside temperature and vehicle information to less critical data such as audio and telephone displays.

The message center also relays off-road information, such as steering angle, wheel articulation, suspension settings and Terrain Response™ settings.

Fingertip control of settings and menus on the TFT screen is provided by an updated steering wheel which incorporates a five-way controller.

A new hard-drive navigation system provides faster route calculation, larger area map coverage and improved reliability. The navigation system adopts an improved navigation structure which now also features ‘towards guidance’. This supplements the junction map and icon-based information with details of the actual road signage viewed by the driver along the route.

The off road capabilities have been improved. I was able hit the fire trails of Northern Michigan and run through streams, swamps, and traverse the largest logs in the Northern timber country. In addition on Lake Michigan Beaches the new “sand Launch” worked just as described by Ranger Rover. The ability to get over much of the terrain goes to the fact that the hydroformed frame can be lifted by the air suspension so that you can rock climb. To help in navigating my r off-road adventure the new five camera system viewed on the large navigation screen lets you see what you are climbing over. Helps keep you away from dangerous rocks or large logs. The cameras are amazing. The cameras show you 360 degree view of the Range Rover Sport through 5 digital cameras.

Inside is all British and has been enhanced with some of BMW and Ford Motor inspirations. Of course now the Tata automotive group owns the Range Rover and Jaguar line. They are excited about the lineup of wonderful vehicles. Frank Duuerer said that the company is doing everything to make the fuel guzzler get better mileage. Already in Europe they are using the stop/start mode. In Europe the superb diesel engines are sold in the LR2 and do offer better fuel economy.

One amazing thing was that Jaguar and Range Rover got together and built the finest engine ever. Both V8’s and one base model and one supercharged. The first time engines have been designed from the onset with the requirements of both brands in mind. Shared primary objectives included the highest possible torque and fast response from low revs.

One of the key features of the new LR-V8 is an industry first, centrally-mounted, multi-hole, spray-guided fuel injection system, delivering fuel at a pressure of up to 150bar (2,175 psi) directly to the cylinder. The positioning of the injectors ensures fuel is precisely delivered to the center of the combustion chamber, maximizing air-fuel mixing, and improving combustion control.

Fuel is delivered by twin, high-pressure fuel pumps driven via an auxiliary shaft in the all-new engine block. Delivery of fuel direct to the cylinder has substantially contributed to improved low speed, dynamic response that is particularly useful off-road while adding to driving pleasure on-road. The charge cooling effects of the direct injection fuel system have allowed the compression ratio of the naturally aspirated engine to be raised to 11.5:1, further improving the engine efficiency.

A sixth generation, Eaton™ twin vortex system (TVS) supercharger is fitted to the 510 bhp engine. A compact Roots-type unit, it feeds air through twin intercoolers, which in turn are water-cooled by their own cooling circuit. The high helix rotor design both improves the supercharger thermodynamic efficiency and improves noise quality to the point where the unit is virtually inaudible. The intercoolers reduce the temperature of the pressurized intake-air and so optimize power.

Complementing VCT and CPS on the naturally aspirated LR-V8 is a new variable inlet manifold (VIM), which can vary the length of its eight inlet tracts to optimize power and torque throughout the rev range. As a consequence, the engine can develop the maximum possible low-end torque yet breath well enough to develop the maximum possible power at high rpm.

The new LR-V8 engines are built around a stiff, all new, aluminum block with cast-in iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. For the first time at Land Rover, the blocks are high pressure die-cast rather than sand-cast, providing a superior finish and dimensional greater accuracy. The engines also have aluminum heads, with four-valves per cylinder and strong, spheroidal-graphite cast-iron crankshafts and steel connecting rods. The cylinder heads and blocks are manufactured using recycled aluminum alloy for the first time, thus reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing the new engine.

The 2010 Range Rover’s new engines are mated to the revised and super-smooth ZF HP28 6-speed automatic transmission. Its characteristics have been optimized by Land Rover engineers to provide rapid and refined shifts. The dramatic enhancement of both power and torque low down the rev range on the new engines have made it possible to actuate the transmission’s lock-up clutch much earlier in each gear, reducing slip through the hydraulic torque converter, so helping with the improvements in both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The transmission features an intelligent sport mode, which can sense and adapt transmission characteristics to particular driving styles.

The 2010 Range Rover has an advanced new Adaptive Dynamics system, which further improves the Range Rover’s peerless ride quality with greater refinement and superior body control.

A refinement to the dynamic stability control system helps automatically slow the vehicle if taking a corner too fast, thus enhancing driver control.

The system operates according to steering inputs from the driver. In extreme cases, automatic braking intervenes to help reduce the vehicle speed, with the braking pressure level applied according to the steering inputs.

This feature is complemented by the new Roll Stability Control system, which is designed to intervene in the unlikely case of an extreme situation in which the possible onset of a rollover is detected. In such situations, the system is designed to take over and perform very rapid, wheel specific braking, to help reduce speed and marginally widen the cornering radius.

In more extreme cases the system is designed to initiate marginal under steer by sharply increasing brake force on the outer wheels, again widening the

When the driver selects the new Dynamic program, the Terrain Response™ system tailors the vehicles chassis and power train settings to deliver a more sporting and responsive driving experience. Tighter body control and quicker steering responses are achieved by adjustments to the Adaptive Dynamics system, while the accelerator pedal mapping, dynamic stability control system and gear-change settings are also given more sporting characteristics.

The Dynamic program has also been specially tuned to take advantage of chassis changes to the supercharged model, which is designed to deliver improved driver confidence at higher speeds. The changes include a 20% stiffer rear roll control bar, and further revisions to the steering system, suspension bushings and wheel alignment settings.

These improvements are obvious when behind the wheel of the 2010 Range Rover Sport. The steering is precise, the road feel is not harsh and the interior noise is minimal. The large Sport is unique in the market today. It is the only SUV that has standard air suspension giving the Range Rover abilities to traverse back roads, snow, climb steep hills and even off road areas because it can raise or lower 2.1 inches with the pushing of the controls.

Stopping power has been improved on the 2010 Range Rover Sport Supercharged model thanks to braking system from Brembo™. This system employs 15-inch (380mm) ventilated front discs with unique lightweight aluminum six-piston opposed action monoblock calipers. 14.3-inch (365mm) ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers are fitted at the rear.

The RRS I drove had the Adaptive Cruise Package which includes a new Advanced Emergency Brake Assist system, which is designed to detect the driver’s responses to a potential emergency situation.

Working in conjunction with the Forward Alert System’s radar, Advanced Emergency Brake Assist primes the vehicle’s braking system, and even initiates braking in extreme circumstances if a collision is judged possible. Valuable improvements in braking distances have been recorded in the testing of this system.

Terrain Response system from Range Rover has been improved for 2010. The system can now even help you traverse sand on beaches or desert. That is one area where many off roaders get caught. When you stop on sand and sink often the frame sinks to the sand and you cannot move! But now with the Range Rover Sport use 'sand launch control' has now been introduced, which makes for noticeably easier drive-away. New, speed-dependent wheel-slip targets for the traction control system permit only very limited initial wheel-slip, helping to prevent the wheels digging down into the sand. New, speed-dependent wheel-slip targets for the traction control system permit only very limited initial wheel-slip, helping to prevent the wheels digging down into the sand.

But as I discussed with Scott Shorr and Frank Dauerer at Range Rover I have been stuck with every vehicle including the Range Rovers. When I was in deep snow where the entire frame sank into the deep snow I was stuck.. Thanks to the optional winch sold by Range Rover I could pull myself out. The same has happened with me in soft sand. I am pleased with the new system that Range Rover offers. It gives me assurance that I can go to areas that are difficult to traverse in confidence. The system works and would be one reason if I was a serious off roader to only have the Range Rover. It works, but I still carry a lot of tools including winches, chain falls, and even screen.

Another new feature for Range Rover is a revision to the rock crawl program improves brake and traction control response times, helping to reduce the wheels rolling in an unintended direction when traversing boulders, and giving a more composed drive through rocky terrain. Add the ability that you can raise or lower the Range Rover’s height above the ground with the air suspension is a real plus. Making sure that the Range Rover Sport is not hitting rocks or the frame the 360 degrees, five camera system allows you to view what you are going over in the Sport. Simply amazing! As stated with towing assist the cameras can be zoomed in for even more assist. The Range Rover Sport is simply the best off road vehicle made in 2010!

Many vehicles now offer hill descent control systems. Range Rover’s is improved and includes the new Gradient Release Control. This inhibits the initial rate of acceleration for descending very steep inclines, to increase control when braking is released at extreme angles.

The 2010 Range Rover like Volvo XC60, Ford F 150 and others offer trailer tow sway controls. This is becoming standard thanks to firms like Bosch. The trailer sway system keeps the trailer from getting out of control.

If you use the backup cameras you can get the trailer in place easily, which is another advantage of back up camera systems. It features five digital cameras which relay a near 360-degree view to the touch-screen display. The optional towing assist system that works in conjunction with the optional surround camera. The cameras function immediately as the vehicle is started, and have options for selecting and zooming in to assist with close quarter parking and with towing. The patented reverse 'tow assist' and tow hitch assist functions (selected from the touch screen menu) help perform accurate towing maneuvers. The wide fields of vision on the side cameras give a clear view of the reversing trailer and the images are electronically manipulated to provide an undistorted view. Guide lines overlaid on the rear camera image illustrate both the vehicle and trailer’s trajectory and these move in line with steering inputs, making it easier for the driver to predict where the trailer will move to, before performing the reversing maneuver.

Range Rover calls it the camera ball assist and it works well. The other option for trailering I like is the tow ball kit that includes three different size trailer hook up balls. Range Rover Sport models can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

The Range Rover Sport has a full size spare unlike some of the competition. When doing serious off roadinig you need to carry a full size spare. In addition Range Rover offers as an option the high strength steel skid plates for even more protection when off roading. I have been in certain vehicles off road without skid plates and one good jolt can remove an oil pan!

A refinement to the dynamic stability control system helps automatically slow the vehicle if taking a corner too fast, thus enhancing driver control.

The system operates according to steering inputs from the driver. In extreme cases, automatic braking intervenes to help reduce the vehicle speed, with the braking pressure level applied according to the steering inputs.

This feature is complemented by the new Roll Stability Control system, which is designed to intervene in the unlikely case of an extreme situation in which the possible onset of a rollover is detected. In such situations, the system is designed to take over and perform very rapid, wheel specific braking, to help reduce speed and marginally widen the cornering radius.

In more extreme cases the system is designed to initiate marginal understeer by sharply increasing brake force on the outer wheels, again widening the turning radius.

Land Rover offers a professional Land Rover Experience Driving Instructor. At your command is a world-class vehicle, raised and bred in the world's most remote areas.

I have been fortunate to experience one of Land Rover’s schools at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina. Every imaginable type of course we traversed. The school is for not just owners but those who are considering a Land Rover.

Other Land Rover schools are at the Quail Lodge in Carmel California; the Equinox in Southern Vermont’s Green Mountains; and in Canada at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello located in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. Each resort can be viewed by going to LandRover.com.

Vacation at a luxurious resort is a real plus. If the adventure convinces you that the Land Rover is the vehicle you wish then you win again!

“The Land Rover Range Rover Sport's performance, ride and handling have been transformed with the introduction of new engines, transmission and chassis systems. Combine these enhancements with the contemporary style and luxury of the revised interior, and it's clear that the Land Rover Range Rover Sport remains the only choice as the quintessential SUV sports tourer," says Phil Popham, Land Rover Managing Director.

I am sold on the Land Rover Sport! The Tata Brand is looking forward to even more innovations in their next generation of Land Rovers.