Land Rover’s upcoming performance SUV, the Range Sport, will include a 280 kW supercharged 4,2-litre V8-engined flagship. It is expected in South Africa in the fourth quarter of next year.

Land Rover’s upcoming performance SUV, the Range Sport, will include a 280 kW supercharged 4,2-litre V8-engined flagship. It is expected in South Africa in the fourth quarter of next year.


Known as project L320 within the Solihull-based company, the Range Sport was inspired by the Range Stormer concept (shown at the Detroit Show earlier this year) and although it bears several resemblances to the Range Rover, it is based on the underpinnings of the new Discovery, which was launched to the South African media last month and will go on sale locally by mid-2005.


The Range Sport will be marketed under the slogan “Dynamic Spirit” and have “the character of a Range Rover fused with the spirit of a sportscar. It’s a triathlete to the BMW X5’s sprinter”, a UK-based Land Rover source said. The range’s South African début will be at the end of September next year.


Land Rover hopes L320 will make the brand “more relevant” to Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 owners and to executive-saloon buyers. Fitted with a Jaguar-derived engine, the flagship model will produce 525 N.m of torque – 60 per cent of which, Land Rover claims, will be available between 1 500 and 3 500 r/min. The first 1 150 L320s will be high-spec supercharged models with luxurious interiors and 20-inch alloys inspired by the Range Stormer concept.


There’ll also be a 4,4-litre V8 (which produces 224 kW and 424 N.m of torque) and a 142 kW 2,7-litre turbodiesel unit that pushes out maximum torque of 440 N.m, reports say.


Terrain Response, an electronic management system that governs the operation of the engine, gearbox, air suspension, drivetrain, traction control and brakes to best suit conditions, will be standard. The driver uses a six-position dial to select Dynamic (for high speeds or winding tarmac roads), Normal (for day-to-day driving), Grass/gravel/snow (for slippery conditions) or Sand; Deep ruts; Rocks (for extreme low grip terrains).


The "Dynamic" setting will probably be the default setting on the Range Sport, sources say. In addition, the steering will have both variable ratio set-up and speed sensitivity.