Land Rover Range Rover Sport TDV8 Review

Even though the Range Rover Sport diesels sold well, they needed a more powerful engine to compete on the global market. The TDV6 originally on offer was underpowered while other vehicle manufacturers offered more horsepower. Though the TDV6 continues, its more powerful 3.6L counterpart gave the range a much needed TDV8 with enough torque to satisfy customers.

The modest 188 BHP of the 2.7L TDV6 was transformed into a robust 272 BHP big brother with the addition of two more cylinders and a better fuel injection system made it a worthy market opponent. This engine dwarfs that of the Mercedes ML320 CDI which produces 221 BHP, the BMW X5 3.0D producing 231 BHP and the Audi Q7 3.0TDI made similar figures at 230 BHP.

The Range Rover Sport TDV8 is more than just the TDV6 times two. Compared with the V6 he TDV8 engine is about 43 per cent more powerful and in torque figures, delivers 44 per cent more bottom end grunt and beneficially offers fuel economy similar to the TDV6. Between the V6 and V8 models acceleration has been improved, doing 0-100 Km/h in 8.6 seconds and hitting a top speed of 210Km/h.

When you add it all up the acceleration is effortless unlike the 10.3 and 11.9 second 0-100 Km/h of it’s TDV6 predecessors. The engine exceeds Euro4 emissions standards and a combined fuel economy figure of 25.5mpg.

The TDV8 engine is manufactured at the Jaguar Land Rover FoMoCo plant in England. The cylinder block is cast and manufactured from a revolutionary Compacted Graphite Iron that offers improved fatigue strength than the aluminium blocks for the high compression diesels. The TDV8 uses a 90 degree block between cylinders and the TDV6 has a bank angle of 60 degrees.

The look of the facelift Sport has wheel arches that are subtly flared with narrow vents on the sides that sit behind the front wheels and the sharper body lines make it more appealing to the eye. The windscreen is sharply raked back and the front radiator grille is perforated which gives the appearance, that of a space rockets heat shield.

The Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport both ride on a monocoque chassis and double wishbone suspensions that offer far better a far superior road-ride and handling properties than any previous Land Rover product ever built.

The steering rack has been refined, offering more road feedback and quicker steering and handling responses. To help curb the SUV’s pitch and roll, Jaguar Land Rover technicians have upgraded the springs and dampers and lowered the car's roll centre.

The power to drive is split 50:50 between the front and rear axles but can switch instantaneously according to the demand placed on the vehicle. The Sport also gets the Terrain Response system first seen in the Discovery 3. The driver can choose one of five terrain settings via a rotary knob mounted on the console. The system will then automatically select the optimum setup for the electronic controls and the traction aids. This encompasses ride height, torque response, hill descent control, electronic traction control and transmission settings.

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