WHATEVER you think of Jaguar Land Rover, no one can deny that they are masters of the publicity stunt.
They sent a Jaguar F-Pace through a Hot Wheels-style loop-the-loop.
You sent an E-Pace through a corkscrew jump.
They built Tower Bridge with 5.8 million Lego bricks to launch the Land Rover Discovery – and then let Bear Grylls rappel them down.
They even locked down New York to allow Daniel Craig to drive the vintage Range Rover Sport.
But for me, this one is the most impressive. Why?
Because it’s just as big a hit as any other – and it shows exactly what the car was built for.
Not to mention that it cost pennies in comparison.
Nobody loops in an F-Pace.
No one does a barrel roll in an E-Pace, not intentionally, anyway.
But customers of the third-generation Range Rover Sport will want to know that it can drive through a flood.
Maybe not a torrent of water rushing towards you at 750 tons per minute – as seen here – but we had biblical weather last winter.
Fair play to Bond stunt driver and W-Series racer Jess Hawkins for taking on the challenge/risk of driving up the spill ramp of Iceland’s Karahnjukar Dam.
Think I’m a celeb’s celebrity cyclone challenge but with cars. And far more serious consequences.
If you lose traction, it’s game over.
She would wash down a 295-foot drop into the valley floor below.
And she would be dead.
Jess admitted: “Driving into the overflow and knowing what happens behind me if something goes wrong made this the most challenging stunt I’ve ever done.
“But the new Range Rover Sport made it look easy. The traction and composure inspired so much confidence that I actually enjoyed it.”
So we know that the new car can swim in deeper water (90cm) and is really exceptional off-road, but how else can it trump the previous version?
Key data: Range Rover Sport
Engine: 3 liter 6 cylinder turbo diesel
Perfomance: 300 hp
0-60mph: 6.3 sec. Top speed: 215 km/h
Out of: September
Actually in every department. Looks. Technology. sophistication. Dynamics. Also, we pay more attention to the world we live in.
Basically, it’s got all the goodness of the big-daddy Range Rover unveiled last week, welded into a Range Rover Sport’s PE kit.
Let’s get to the highlights: air suspension, rear-wheel steering, 48-volt roll stabilization, electronic active differential. . . All contribute to sports car performance in a stiffer body with less drag.
You can have 3-litre six-cylinder petrol or diesel mild hybrids, 510hp plug-in hybrids that do 70 miles on electric-only, or a 530hp 4.4-litre V8 from BMW. Yes, me too.
All-electric version will follow in 2024.
It goes without saying that the cabin is lush and tech-rich. Curved screens front and back. Wireless Apple CarPlay. Amazon Alexa. Over-the-air software updates to keep them current.
Best of all, the Range Rover Sport starts at £79,000, which is £20,000 cheaper than a Range Rover, and both are built exclusively in Solihull.
Coming soon to a Premier League training ground near you.
Ten things YOU should know as a car owner
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8782963/test-drive-range-rover-sport-car/ I test drove the new Range Rover Sport