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Fastlane: 2014 Range Rover Sport

Land Rover, builder of Land Rover and Range Rover SUVs, continues to roll downhill with the momentum of an Alpine skier. Or is it climbing with the grip of a big, cat-seeking prey? Either way, you’re covered as the 2014 Range Rover Sport, the fastest Land Rover ever, eats asphalt and dirt roads with equal aplomb.

The all-new Range Rover Sport fills the gap between the entry-level Range Rover Evoque and top-of-the-line Range Rover. To me, they’re the perfect trifecta.

Where the previous generation Range Rover Sport was stocky compared to the Range Rover, the new model slots perfectly as it shares the raked roof styling of the Evoque, but on a larger scale. The result is a design that looks built for speed, and given what Land Rover engineers have bolted in under the hood, it is indeed just that.

Pop the “bonnet,” and witness your choice of supercharged engines: a 3.0-liter V6 outputting 340 horsepower, or a 5.0-liter V8 churning out 510 horsepower. Clearly, either will provide more than enough scoot to handle any situation, but having driven both during a recent national media launch, the V8 is the way to go as a full press on the throttle simply amplifies your already wide smile.

On the road, it’s pretty amazing to watch people’s reactions to any Range Rover, which are looked upon with decided reverence.

And what true Range Rover would be such without go-anywhere capability? The new Sport continues the legendary tradition offering a choice of two full-time intelligent 4WD systems, each delivering outstanding traction.

To save weight, increase performance and enhance fuel economy, the Sport now features an all-aluminum unibody structure which helps to reduce the combined body/chassis weight
by about 800 pounds compared to the previous steel unibody mounted on a full frame chassis. The result is a lighter yet stronger structure. Overall, the interior experience with the new Sport is just superb. To enhance the athletic
feel of the new Sport, the center console is mounted higher than before, positioning the controls closer to the driver; and the smaller- diameter, thicker-rimmed steering wheel, vertical gearshifter and seats with generous side bolsters support the sporting ambience.

There is a reason the Land Rover brand is the choice of the country club set as well as the die-hard off roader. These vehicles give you the choice of utility and luxury, while never sacrificing the Land Rover, go anywhere DNA.

Prices for the new Sport begin at $63,495.

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