- All-new exterior and interior
- New touchscreen operating system
- V8 engine gets a bump in power
- Plug-in hybrid with an estimated 48 miles of range
- Introduces the third Range Rover Sport generation for 2023
2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport First Look: Sleeker, Quieter and a Whole Lotta Tech
A huge step in the right direction
What is the Range Rover Sport?
The Range Rover Sport is Land Rover's most popular SUV, slotting between the high-end Range Rover and the bite-sized Range Rover Evoque. The current Range Rover Sport dates back to 2014, and even though Land Rover has been keeping it fresh with continuous updates, the midsize crossover does feel pretty long in the tooth. Thankfully, a full redesign is on the way in the form of the 2023 Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
The 2023 Range Rover Sport borrows some of its modernist design cues from the larger Range Rover but also goes its own way, with a tapering roofline and unique front and rear styling. The headlights are slimmer than those on the prior generation, while the view from the side reveals a more integrated look — the windows, moldings and door handles all sit flush with the vehicle's body. In the back, you'll find larger Land Rover lettering with a horizontal black strip that spreads across the tailgate and envelops the taillights. The rear license plate mounting was moved lower, to make the rear end look less cluttered.
What's under the Range Rover Sport's hood?
There's a varied mix of engines to choose from — some are carryovers from the previous model and others are all-new for the Range Rover Sport. The base P360 SE trim retains the outgoing Sport's turbocharged inline-six with 48-volt mild hybrid system. It produces a healthy 355 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.
The next-level P400 SE Dynamic trim uses a high-output version of this powertrain and develops 395 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.
This turbo-six forms the basis of the P440e Autobiography trim, but the electrical hardware is upgraded to be a full plug-in hybrid, or PHEV. The Range Rover PHEV bumps output to 434 hp, but torque gets a massive upgrade to 619 lb-ft, thanks in part to a 105-kW motor fed by a 31.8-kWh battery pack. While the PHEV has not yet been formally tested by the EPA, Land Rover estimates an all-electric range of 48 miles before the gas engine kicks in.
Finally, the range-topping P530 First Edition swaps out all of the fuel-saving hybrid stuff for a full-bore, pedal-to-the-metal twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8. It produces 523 hp and 533 lb-ft of torque — only 5 more hp than the previous model's 5.0-liter V8, but torque from the new motor is up about 70 lb-ft.
Land Rover also says that an all-electric Range Rover Sport is due sometime in 2024.
How's the Range Rover Sport's interior?
The interior looks modern yet elegant and features a curved 13.1-inch haptic feedback touchscreen that cascades into a concave center console. There's also a 13.7-inch digital driving display in front of the driver, giving the Range Rover Sport a high-tech look. The materials on the model we saw in person featured an unfinished carbon trim. Land Rover says it's forged, not woven like traditional carbon fiber, and has a coat of protective resin built-in rather than on the top layer. Other materials used inside will be a sustainable imitation leather, plus a "technical fabric" used on the upper doors and throughout other strategic locations to help improve the acoustics of the sound system.
How's the Range Rover Sport's tech?
The Range Rover Sport is full of the latest tech you'd expect from a luxury automaker. You'll get useful features such as heated and ventilated seats with 22-way adjustment and massage, selectable driving modes and an available 29-speaker Meridian sound system.
But there are also high-tech features such as active noise cancellation, which uses microphones throughout the vehicle — including some in the wheel arches — to reduce ambient road noise and make the cabin more serene. There is also a cabin air quality ionizer for the climate control system, which eliminates odors, keeps the air fresh and reduces carbon dioxide buildup. Finally, there are a number of high-definition cameras, which can provide a 360-degree perspective and assist with the automated parking feature. The camera array is so advanced, that it merits its own sharkfin antenna, along with the other fin for the audio system.
Land Rover's latest operating system, Pivo Pro, will now be featured in the Range Rover Sport and is capable of receiving over-the-air updates to add features or address any bugs. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality is included, along with a 15-watt wireless device charger. We weren't huge fans of Land Rover's last operating system, but we've tested Pivi Pro in other models and are comfortable saying definitively that it's a huge step up in terms of processor speed and menu clarity.
How's the Range Rover Sport's off-road potential?
Every Range Rover Sport comes with an adaptive air suspension, which should aid in agility and control both on- and off-road. The off-road potential is further augmented by Land Rover's Terrain Response system — a series of drive modes that can adapt to certain predetermined conditions such as sand, grass, gravel, mud, snow and rocks. There's also the road-focused Dynamic Mode for when you want to explore the Range Rover Sport's handling abilities. The Terrain Response system now includes an adaptive cruise control mode for off-roading, allowing the driver to focus on navigating around obstacles.
An optional Stormer Handling Pack will be available for those who want even more off-road capability. It combines the Dynamic Response Pro 48-volt active roll control system, all-wheel steering, an electronic active differential with torque vectoring by braking, and customizable programs.
The all-new, third-generation Range Rover Sport features stunning looks and a thoughtfully designed interior. We'll have a hard time waiting until the fall, when we can finally take a deep dive on all the tech on display and put the SUV through its paces both on- and off-road.