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New Range Rover Sport revealed with epic spillway climb

The New Range Rover Sport has made its global premiere with a dramatic world-first climb up a flooded dam spillway in Iceland.

The epic ascent saw New Range Rover Sport resist the surging torrent of water flowing down the ramp of the Karahnjukar Dam – the biggest of its kind in the world – at a rate of 750 tonnes per minute. A loss of traction risked plunging down the perilous 90m drop at the base of the spillway to the valley floor below.

The third generation of Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV is the most desirable, technologically advanced and capable yet, mixing an imposing road presence with instinctive driving responses using the most advanced combination of chassis technologies ever fitted to a Land Rover.

The successful spillway ascent was screened for the first time at an exclusive launch event at Jaguar Land Rover’s Advanced Product Creation Centre in Gaydon, UK. Official James Bond stunt driver Jessica Hawkins was behind the wheel as the New Range Rover Sport demonstrated its grip, traction, performance and composure, completing the latest in a series of challenges for Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV. Previous feats include a record-setting hill-climb at Pikes Peak, a first recorded crossing of the ‘Empty Quarter’ desert in the Arabian Peninsula and a first ascent of the 999 steps to Heaven’s Gate in China, in 2018.

Nick Collins, Executive Director Vehicle Programmes, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Land Rover’s pioneering MLA-Flex architecture and the latest chassis systems come together to deliver the highest levels of dynamism we’ve ever seen on Range Rover Sport. Integrated Chassis Control governs the comprehensive suite of innovations, co-ordinating everything from the latest switchable-volume air suspension system to our Dynamic Response Pro electronic active roll control. The result is the most engaging and thrilling Range Rover Sport ever.”

The spillway climb was the final obstacle on the drive from the valley floor to the summit of the dam, taking in a flooded riverbed, the concrete tunnels of the hydro-electric dam and the rocky dam wall itself. The final 294m stretch of spillway rises at 40-degrees and climbs 193m, with water cascading down to provide the ultimate test of traction and driver confidence.

Jessica Hawkins, Stunt Driver, said: “The power of the water surging down the spillway was breath-taking from the side of the valley. Driving into it knowing that a 90-metre drop was waiting behind me at the bottom of the slope, if things went wrong, made this the most challenging drive I’ve ever undertaken. Despite the steep slope and rushing water, New Range Rover Sport made it look easy. Its traction, composure and commanding visibility inspired so much confidence I was able to enjoy the whole experience.”  

New Range Rover Sport is based on Land Rover’s advanced, flexible Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA-Flex), which provides the perfect foundations for its superior dynamics and peerless refinement. Its line-up of powerful and efficient powertrains includes two six-cylinder extended range Electric Hybrid plug-ins, which provide a pure-electric driving range of up to 70 miles (113km) and CO2 emissions as low as 18g/km1.

The new 530PS V8 Twin Turbo provides sports car performance, with 0-60mph in as little as 4.3 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds) with Dynamic Launch engaged. Customers can also choose from powerful and efficient mild hybrid petrol and diesel Ingenium engines, while pure-electric propulsion will be available in 2024, as Land Rover continues its electrification journey.

Assertive modern design
Dramatic proportions accentuate the Range Rover Sport’s emotive design with taut surfacing, a dynamic stance and instantly recognisable profile, perfectly accentuated by its muscular proportions – giving the impression the vehicle is poised and ready.

Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Chief Creative Officer, Range Rover, said: “Our latest Range Rover Sport embraces fully our modernist approach of vehicle design whilst amplifying its unquestionable sporting and confident character” 

New Range Rover Sport’s reductive design extends to its all-new interior. Featuring a new cockpit-like interpretation of the trademark Range Rover Command Driving Position, the latest convenience and driver assistance technologies and finest materials combine to ensure every drive is an experience to savour. 

Engaging on every journey
A comprehensive dynamic toolkit combines for the most engaging and dynamically capable driving experience, based around the inherent strength of the flexible mixed-metal MLA body architecture. A suite of technologies governed by Land Rover’s Integrated Chassis Control system work in harmony to provide instinctive responses and agility.

A new Stormer Handling Pack provides the ultimate combination of chassis technologies for the most dynamic and agile handling and includes Dynamic Response Pro, All-Wheel Steering, an Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking, and Configurable Programmes.

Dynamic Response Pro is a 48-volt electronic active roll control system, capable of applying up to 1,400Nm of torque across each axle, for a confidence-inspiring driving experience and new levels of body control and cornering composure, while All-Wheel Steering helps achieve unrivalled agility and manoeuvrability at low speeds, with superior stability at high speeds.

Dynamic Air Suspension introduces switchable-volume air springs for the first time and is fitted to every New Range Rover Sport. The intelligent system enhances the bandwidth of the suspension by varying the pressure within the airbags to deliver traditional Range Rover comfort with the dynamic handling expected from the Range Rover Sport. To optimise responses, the vehicle monitors the road ahead using eHorizon navigation data to pre-emptively prime the vehicle for upcoming bends.

Epitome of sporting luxury
New Range Rover Sport makes every journey an event and can be honed to be as dynamically engaging as the driver desires, while also offering enhanced levels of refinement and comfort. This ability to combine dual characters is made possible by a comprehensive set of technologies.

The advanced Cabin Air Purification Pro system creates and maintains the optimum interior environment for wellbeing and alertness, while a selection of powerful Meridian audio options is available. The Meridian Signature Sound System is the most advanced and powerful audio system ever fitted to a Range Rover Sport, with up to 29 speakers including four headrest speakers to create personal sound zones for the four main cabin occupants. Next-generation Active Noise Cancellation3 plays its part here, reducing the number of external sounds entering the cabin for ultimate cabin refinement.

Seamless technology
Land Rover’s powerful Electrical Vehicle Architecture (EVA 2.0) supports an ecosystem of seamless connected technologies, including Software Over The Air (SOTA). The clever technology provides remote updates for 63 electronic modules, ensuring New Range Rover Sport remains at the cutting edge of innovation, modern technology and services throughout its life.

The award-winning Pivi Pro infotainment features a high resolution floating 13.1-inch haptic touchscreen positioned at the centre of the modernist dashboard. Controlling everything from navigation to media and vehicle settings, it learns the user’s habits and intelligently personalises the onboard experience, becoming a truly intuitive personal assistant.

Amazon Alexa2 brings a new level of convenience, providing the ability to control various settings and features using natural voice commands while reducing the potential for distraction. Alexa is embedded in Pivi Pro and the clever voice AI even integrates the use of Alexa devices in the home via the Land Rover smartphone app and Remote Skills.

Peerless capability
New Range Rover Sport is the most dynamically capable version of Land Rover’s luxury performance SUV and the most competent away from paved roads, using the latest Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (iAWD) and integrating Land Rover’s latest all-terrain innovations and technologies to ensure its breadth of dynamic capability.

Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control makes its debut on New Range Rover Sport and helps drivers navigate tricky terrain by maintaining steady progress according to the ground conditions. Drivers can select one of four comfort settings and the system intelligently adjusts the speed, allowing the driver to focus on steering the vehicle.