I have yet to find a person who wouldn’t want any Land Rover model in their garage, talk about a favorable circumstance. Certainly, it can be successfully argued that similar situations can be applied to other brands, but what generally unifies them all from ultimately achieving sales is cost to the consumer. So, with desirability fully accounted for, the conundrum now is how Land Rover can repackage its 2nd-generation (L494) mid-sized Range Rover to be even more compelling to buyers at different tiers. Just like with the rest of the stable, there are multiple variants per model to suite as many degrees of financial capacity and consumer requirements. But there seems to be a sweet spot in the Sport range that includes the stonking 575 bhp supercharged 5.0-liter V8 SVR at the top of the food-chain, and I think they have achieved it with the new updated 2020 Sport HST P400.
Our test unit came in Indus Silver with a very flamboyant Pimento/Ebony interior. The sense of presence and class are obvious especially in the indulgent interior. The Range Rover Sport P400 model is the very first to use the all-new trident-power blended Land Rover/Jaguar engine that uses a 3.0-liter inline-6 in place of the old V6 that uses traditional intercooled turbocharging combined with an electric supercharger and a trick 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system that uses a small 0.2-kWh lithium-ion battery to drive a motor-generator. The electric supercharger instantly handles power at low engine speeds while the turbo powers the higher engine speeds. The new electric architecture handles all the smart technologies and makes transitions from rest to breaking inertia instant and drama-free. It is one of the very best systems used in any car that uses a stop-start system to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. Like in other vehicles that have hybrid systems, the standard regenerative braking system helps recapture energy and charges the battery. This is a very mild hybrid setup that emphasizes dynamic performance over extending range, so the Sport HST does not have a full-EV mode.
With the promise of the generous blended power, I expected the Sport HST P400 to be a scorcher that would nip the heels of the SVR. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Oh, it is still very swift for a Range Rover Sport, I just expected more aggressive results. It is still a very classy athlete that can go places where most cannot with genuine off-road ability and 850 mm wading depth capability while still being very pampering for four very lucky adults (fits five but tight). But, if you don’t need these abilities, a BMW X5 xDrive40i for example is more spacious, handles better, and is much more dynamic on the road for significantly less money. The fabulous Brembo six-piston caliper front brakes squeeze 15.0-in vented discs while the 14.4-in rear vented discs are handled by single-sliders. They look the business and definitely manage pace effectively while looking purposeful through mean-looking 22-inch alloys wrapped with 275/40R22 Continental Cross Contact LX Sport tires.
There is a slightly cheaper P360 variant that produces 40 bhp less power and 41 lb-ft less torque from the same powertrain if you do want marginally (almost identical numbers) better fuel efficiency and less emissions under real-world conditions. However, with that mindset then you may want to look at the new naturally aspirated SE model which is the most frugal in the gasoline range and is the most financially attainable if you are dedicated to the brand. The optional 23-speaker 1700-watt Meridian™ audio system on our test unit was monumental and definitely contributed positively to the overall experience but in the end, you would have to be a hardcore Range Rover fan to covet this new Sport HST P400.
|Engine||Inline-6, 2996 cc, dohc 24V, Direct Injection Intercooled Twin-Scroll Turbo with Electric Supercharger, VVTL, 8-speed AT|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||395 bhp @ 5500-6500 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||406 lb-ft @ 2000-5000 rpm|
|Top Speed||225 km/h (140 mph) Governed|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||6.1 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||19 mpg City / 25 mpg Highway|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||US$ 84,245.00|
|What's Great||+The sweet spot in the range, opulent, purposeful, elegant, very comfortable, genuine off-road ability.|
|What's Not So||-Expected better performance results, dynamic competitive alternatives are more compelling.|
|C! Editors Rating||9/10|