For 2018 the Range Rover Sport is getting a thorough going over. It’s not a full blown remake, but it’s much more than a mid-cycle refresh. New engines, more tech – lots of new tech – and lots of nips, tucks, and styling re-dos here and there. Range Rover uses the word “transformation” a lot in their press materials, and even though that’s an ever so British way to put things, it’s not far off from what’s actually happening with the 2018 Range Rover Sport.
I’ll get to all the new goodies, tech, powertrain, and otherwise in just a bit, but let me get the bottom line out of the way first. The 2018 Range Rover Sport goes for . . . are you kidding me? Sheesh! I mean, I know these things are expensive, but I had to read the specs twice to make sure I wasn’t having a stroke. The 2018 Range Rover Sport starts at a little less than 67-thousand dollars and tops out at a little under 114-thousand. That’s like Porsche Carrera territory. And yes, yes, I know. Range Rovers can go places and do things that Porsches etc. cannot do, but that is a lot of money to pay for a fancy jeep. But I get it. One of the fun things about being rich is letting other people know how rich you are, or so they tell me.
Power & Performance
So what do you get for the cost of a nice tract home in Dearborn, Michigan? Honestly, you do get a lot, and it’s pretty nice stuff. The company says the upcoming 2018 Range Rover Sport (it should be arriving at U.S. dealers by early 2018) is “transformed by new technology.” It will feature an updated interior and exterior, along with enhancements to the powertrain, greater powertrain choices, and a buffet of tech goodies throughout. The upcoming Range Rover Sport lineup will consist of V6 and V8 gasoline models, a V6 diesel variant and, topping out the range, is the fastest Range Rover Sport to date, the 575 horsepower Sport SVR. Now, why you’d want a particularly fast truck/jeep/thing is a little beyond me at the moment, but, given that the SVR is capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, no one is going to call it underpowered or slow.
A plug-in hybrid electric powertrain is planned for 2019.
The revamp of the new Range Rover’s exterior aims to modernize the design and make the Sport look more dynamic, without changing its character. In other words, it still looks like a big box The Queen would drive around, only better. The front end has been reworked with a new LED headlight design alongside a redesigned grille. The lights and the grill are also better integrated with the new bumper and there’s a more aggressive profile overall.
The inside is like James Bond’s flat in Kensington or Eggsy’s place from The Kinsgmen: It’s veddy, veddy British with acres of leather and grove’s worth of fine wood hither and yon and tech, tech, tech! The new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system is said to be the most advanced ever created by Jaguar Land Rover. It features two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens, which form the centerpiece of a cabin Range Rover describes as “minimalist.”
I’m not sure what Rem Koolhaas or Walter Gropius would call it, but I’d bet you it wouldn’t be minimalist.
Outdoor Pursuits & Gesture Controls
There are 14 power points (power outlets of one variety or another) provided in your 2018 Range Rover Sport, all the better to enhance your in-car connectivity. There’s even a “domestic” (domestic as in its a plug like you use at home) socket to keep laptops and other devices charged without the use of an inverter.
Thanks to the Jaguar Land Rover Activity Key, you can lock and unlock your Range Rover Sport without the need to carry a fob. The Ragney PR people say this is “ideal for outdoor pursuits,” which made me smile; “What, fox hunting?”
And the tech goodies don’t stop there, not even close. The new Range Rover Sport comes with this thing called the “Gesture Sunblind.” And it, get this, opens and closes the sunblind using a gesture control system that senses your hand movement. Swipe “rearward” in front of the rearview mirror and the blind opens, swipe “forward” and it closes. And I bet the entertainment value of watching someone flail around in front of their rearview mirror trying to get this thing to work will be priceless.
The 2018 Range Rover Sport lineup and prices are provided in the nifty graph below.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias toward lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.