New Range Rover Sport | Enhanced efficiency drives improved sustainability

Enhanced efficiency drives improved sustainability

The new Range Rover Sport demonstrates Land Rover’s commitment to enhancing the sustainability of its products and operations.

With its all-new lightweight aluminium structure and optimised powertrains– the new Range Rover Sport addresses the growing consumer need for more socially acceptable vehicles in a carbon-conscious world.

The new Sport’s greener credentials stem from a comprehensive approach to reducing environmental impact throughout the life-cycle of the vehicle, from development and manufacturing, to customer use and end-of-life.

First in its segment with lightweight aluminium construction

The All-New Range Rover Sport is the first vehicle in its segment to feature an advanced all-aluminium body structure, delivering significantly reduced weight, improved performance and enhanced sustainability, thanks to the manufacturing process’s reduced CO2 footprint.

This lightweight architecture underpins the next generation of Range Rover SUVs – including the recently launched Range Rover flagship model – and is the result of a £1 billion investment programme.  The next-generation platform design continues Jaguar Land Rover’s leadership in such aerospace-inspired, high-performance lightweight aluminium structures, having pioneered this technology in mass production since 2003.

The all-aluminium monocoque body structure in the new Sport helps to reduce the combined body/chassis weight by 39 percent compared to the previous steel semi-monocoque plus chassis frame design.

Not only is the aluminium structure incredibly light, it is also incredibly strong.  The body has been engineered to withstand the same punishing off-road impacts as all Land Rovers.  The joints in the shell are riveted and bonded together using aerospace techniques adapted for automotive use.  This structure means that traditional energy intensive construction methods, such as spot welding, are not required, and the new Range Rover Sport is produced in an all-new state-of-the-art bodyshop.


Optimised structure is lighter, stronger and more refined

Engineered in parallel with the All-New Range Rover, the new model’s lightweight aluminium body structure has been subjected to the most extensive development and optimisation process ever undertaken by Land Rover.

Engineers used the latest ‘multi-dimensional’ CAE optimisation tools, which made it possible to minimise the weight, while simultaneously delivering outstanding stiffness and refinement together with excellent safety performance.

A key factor in the creation of such a weight-efficient body is the way different forms of aluminium components are employed within the structure: pressed panels, plus cast, extruded and rolled aluminium alloy parts, are combined in a rigorously optimised structure where the strength is concentrated precisely where the loads are greatest.

The resulting optimised structure protects occupants using an incredibly strong and stable safety cell, and provides a very stiff platform for superior NVH and vehicle dynamics.

Innovations to further reduce weight and enhance performance include the first automotive use of high strength AC300 aluminium within the crash structure.  In another automotive first, the entire vehicle bodysides are pressed as single aluminium panels – thus reducing the amount of joints, eliminating complex assemblies and improving structural integrity.

Lightweight technologies cut weight by up to 420kg*

Land Rover engineers have combined the state-of-the-art lightweight structure with substantial weight reductions throughout the chassis, driveline and interior systems, to deliver total model-for-model weight savings of up to 420kg* compared to the outgoing vehicle.

The dramatic weight reduction was achieved through an incredibly rigorous development and optimisation process in which every possible weight saving opportunity was aggressively pursued.  Key weight-saving technologies in the vehicle include:

  • All-aluminium door construction, including high performance lightweight aluminium side intrusion beams
  • All-new lightweight front and rear suspension design with all-aluminium front and rear subframes
  • Optimised spring, damper and anti-roll bar designs
  • All-new lightweight aluminium final drive units and optimised driveline components including new single-speed 4WD system with Torsen differential
  • High precision lightweight magnesium castings used for the cross car beam and front end carrier
  • SMC plastic tailgate
  • Lightweight high-strength steel seat structures


Streamlined aerodynamics

The aerodynamic performance of the new Range Rover Sport was optimised during an intensive development campaign using state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tools, involving the equivalent of 1.5 million hours (or over 170 years) of processor time.

Special aerodynamic innovations optimised during development were:

  • Active vanes – the new Sport features active vanes in the main upper grille aperture, which improve aerodynamics by blanking off the grille when cooling airflow is not required.  Electronically controlled, they automatically adjust to one of 16 positions.  Standard on TDV6, SDV6, and SDV8 Europe region).
  • Aerodynamic underfloor panelling – more extensive lightweight panelling has been incorporated to create a smooth, flat profile under the vehicle.  Additional deflectors have been added around the front and rear suspension components, with front and rear undertrays around the main driveline components.
  • Enhanced air flow – detail features to improve air flow include near-flush glazing on the A-pillars and vehicle side glass; separation edges incorporated in the rear lamps and D-pillars; optimised shaping of the door mirrors and upper rear spoiler.


Careful attention has also been given to water management on the vehicle, including a hydrophobic coating on the front side door glass to help keep it clear of droplets, carefully shaped roof panels to avoid unwanted drips when the tailgate is opened, and a rear wash wipe which is designed to avoid annoying drips.

Low-CO2 powertrain technologies

The advanced diesel and petrol powertrains in the new Range Rover Sport have been extensively optimised to minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

To ensure the greatest possible fuel efficiency, the latest Sport powertrains incorporate a comprehensive selection of low-CO2 technologies, including:

  • Smart regenerative charging – the electrical charging system has an intelligent power management system which prioritises charging when the car is decelerating, capturing the wasted kinetic energy and reducing the fuel demand of the electrical system.
  • High-pressure direct injection – both petrol and diesel engines feature the latest high-pressure direct injection technology for more efficient combustion.
  • Optimised low-friction designs –state-of-the-art engine designs which have been carefully developed to minimise frictional losses.
  • Electric fans – TDV6, SDV6 and SDV8 diesels have electric fans in place of viscous fans, to minimise parasitic losses when no cooling is needed.
  • Low viscosity transmission fluids – the 8-speed automatic is specified with the latest low viscosity fluid to maximise efficiency.

The new Sport further reduces fuel consumption by adopting energy efficient Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) in place of the previous hydraulic system, cutting CO2 emissions by over 3 percent.

Drivers may also make use of a new ECO Driving feature which provides them with information and feedback via the 8-inch touchscreen about the level of fuel consumption they are achieving, to help them adopt more economical driving habits.


Sustainable by design, with lifecycle approach

In order to minimise the car’s overall ecological impact, the All-New Range Rover Sport has been designed with a lifecycle approach, aiming to minimise the environmental impact by considering the entire lifecycle of the vehicle: from development and manufacturing, through customer use, to end-of-life recycling and re-use.

Each element of the lifecycle was analysed with a view to consuming fewer natural resources, using more sustainable materials and minimising the generation of waste.  The development process has included a full lifecycle assessment in line with ISO 14040/14044.

The new Sport’s aluminium construction makes a major contribution to its reduced carbon footprint.  Up to 75 percent of the aluminium material is sourced from recycled content, including closed loop recycling of waste metal from the manufacturing process, resulting in a significant saving of energy and CO2 emissions (body panels made from recycled material use only 5 percent of the energy required for new aluminium).

Further energy is saved during the manufacturing process, which does not require highly energy intensive processes like welding.

Recycled and renewable materials have been used wherever possible in the new Range Rover Sport’s design.  High specification vehicles uses up to 26.7kg of recycled plastics, diverting over 11,800 tonnes of plastic from landfill during the carline’s life.  Natural and renewable materials, such as the luxurious leathers and veneers, represent 28kg of each vehicle.

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