Class-leading off-road capability

Building on Land Rover’s legendary history for tackling the toughest climates and road surfaces, the All-New Range Rover Sport has been developed to achieve class-leading all-terrain capability, with supreme composure in all conditions.

Terrain Response® 2 and off-road technologies

The Sport enhances its class-leading status through the introduction of the ground-breaking next-generation version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response® system, which takes the capabilities of the award-winning system to a new level.

Developed by a small team of Land Rover specialists, Terrain Response® 2 features an Auto setting which uses sophisticated ‘intelligent’ systems to analyse the current driving conditions, and automatically select the most suitable terrain programme.

Ensuring that the vehicle is always driving using the optimum mode, the new system is able to switch completely automatically between the five settings: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl.  Like all Terrain Response® systems, each setting optimises driveability and traction by adapting the responses of the car’s engine, gearbox, centre differential and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.

While it functions completely automatically, Terrain Response® 2 will also provide the driver with additional advice, such as when to select low range or the off-road ride height, when the system calculates that it is necessary.

Stuart Frith, Range Rover Sport Chief Programme Engineer, explained: “Land Rover’s Terrain Response® 2 enables even non-expert drivers to benefit from the system’s full capabilities, confident that the vehicle is automatically configured in the best possible way for each moment of their trip.  So however tough the conditions, the Range Rover Sport will be ready to tackle the journey.”

Another unique Land Rover innovation, introduced for the first time on the Range Rover Sport, is the new Wade Sensing™ feature.  Wade Sensing™ uses sensors in the door  mirrors to provide the driver with information when driving through water, which is particularly beneficial when visibility is poor and at night.  A visual display and warning chimes alert the driver as the water level rises around the vehicle.

To complement these innovative features, the new Sport can also be fitted with a unique suite of all-terrain technologies to help maximise performance and safety, including Hill Descent Control (HDC), Gradient Release Control (GRC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), and Roll Stability Control (RSC).

The operation of these braking and stability systems is enhanced by the latest Bosch 6-piston brake modulator which delivers faster responses and smoother, quieter and more precise operation.

Full-time intelligent 4WD systems

The new Range Rover Sport offers a choice of two full-time intelligent 4WD systems, each able to find drive on the most challenging low-grip surfaces.

One system provides a two-speed transfer case with low-range option for the most demanding off-road conditions, with a 50/50 percent default front to rear torque split.  Optimum traction is maintained through an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the centre differential which distributes torque between the wheels at anything between 100 percent front and 100 percent rear. This is combined with sophisticated electronic traction control systems.

The transfer case offers selectable high and low range, using a two-speed fully synchronized ‘shift on the move’ system which allows the driver to change range from low to high at speeds up to 60km/h without having to stop the vehicle, providing exceptional driving flexibility.  The high-range provides a direct drive ratio of 1:1, while the low range ratio is 2.93:1 giving an extremely low crawl speed.

The alternative system is 18kg lighter and features an all-new single-speed transfer case with a Torsen differential and 42/58 percent default front to rear torque split that is designed to provide a rear-wheel drive bias for optimum driving dynamics, whilst maintaining off-road performance.  The Torsen centre differential constantly varies torque distribution between 62 percent front and 78 percent rear depending on conditions and grip available. The traction control system has been optimised to work in harmony with the differential to deliver excellent traction in all conditions.

To further optimise traction and stability in extreme conditions, more powerful Sport models are also specified with the Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential in combination with the twin-speed 4WD driveline. The locking rear differential has been further optimised to work in conjunction with the electronic torque vectoring system.

Engineered for total capability

From the very start of its development process, the All-New Range Rover Sport has been designed and engineered to deliver the incredible breadth of capability for which the marque is famous.

The new body structure was optimised in parallel with that of the new Range Rover, representing the most extensive optimisation process ever undertaken by Land Rover.  This involved unprecedented use of advanced computer simulation – demanding well over 1000 years of processor time – to deliver outstanding strength and durability, excellent safety and minimum weight.

To analyse the punishing off-road loads which really push a car’s structure to its limits, such as the crunching ‘ditch drop’ impact, engineers turned to the specialised and incredibly powerful simulation tools more typically used to model crash events.

The new Sport features enhanced body geometry for all-terrain conditions, with a smooth underfloor that helps to provide 58mm more ground clearance than its predecessor at 285mm (measured at the off-road ride height) and approach and departure angles of 33 and 31 degrees.  The vehicle underfloor has been specially designed to provide a smooth surface, with a smooth transition between suspension components, to reduce susceptibility to damage or interference.

Wading depth has also been improved significantly – an increase of 150mm over the previous model to 850mm – thanks to an innovative air intake system, which draws air between the inner and outer bonnet panels at the sides of the vehicle before it flows down into the engine’s intake system.

The re-engineered air suspension system with its new +35mm intermediate setting means that the off-road mode can remain available at much higher speeds (80km/h vs 50km/h) than was possible before, which is valuable in terrain with long, rutted dirt roads.

The All-New suspension offers outstanding wheel articulation, and this is further enhanced when the Dynamic Response active lean control system is fitted.  If this system detects off-road conditions, it isolates the stabilizer bar and reduces the level of roll compensation, thus allowing greater wheel articulation and increasing the contact patch with the terrain.  When operating in Dynamic Response mode, wheel articulation is a class leading 546mm, compared to typical competitors’ offering of less than 450mm.

Stuart Frith, Range Rover Sport Chief Programme Engineer, said: “The new Range Rover Sport may have a sophisticated, sporting appearance, but it’s true Land Rover at heart – it really has an exceptionally broad range of capabilities.  We have put the Sport through Land Rover’s legendary testing regime, where it has survived 18 months of gruelling tests in the harshest conditions imaginable.”

Land Rover toughness and durability

With an unprecedented engineering development process using state-of-the-art virtual simulation tools, followed by Land Rover’s punishing on- and off-road test and development regime, the All-New Range Rover Sport has been engineered to achieve exceptional durability and reliability.

While the initial engineering and optimisation was conducted almost exclusively using computer simulation, vehicle performance and robustness is verified through extensive physical testing, using both driven and rig-based regimes.

Well over 20,000 physical tests have been completed across all components and systems, with a fleet of development vehicles covering countless thousands of miles over 18 months of arduous testing in more than 20 countries with extremes of climate and road surfaces. This included 60,000 miles of durability testing in China, Land Rover’s biggest market.

Prototypes were driven in challenging off-road conditions such as sand, mud and snow, and their durability was put to the test in extreme exercises to verify deep wading, underfloor vulnerability, snatch recovery and towing at maximum GTW.  Further extreme strength tests include worst-case scenarios, such as driving into kerbs at speed, bridge jumps, ditch drops and sideways kerb strikes.

Punishing longer test regimes provide the ultimate challenge for durability and reliability including the month-long ‘king of the sand’ durability test in intense Middle East desert heat, a 5,000 mile flat-out endurance drive at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany, and gruelling off-road test cycles involving thousands of miles at challenging UK proving grounds.

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