GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Range Rover Sport-- Ridin' High

Amazing, isn't it?  What you can get for $104,000 and change?  I drove the Range Rover Sport V8 Autobiography, the top of the line.  The architecture is monocoque.  Think of an eggshell--the outer skin supports the whole of the egg. In a monocoque-framed vehicle the skin or exterior helps support the load.  That would be instead of a separate body and frame.  Monocoque construction first appeared on the Lancia Lamda in 1924.  The term is derived from Greek and means single shell.

I could have--but didn't have time to--rock crawl, ride the beach, go through some serious mud offroad.  I  have gleefully participated in Land Rover's off-road course at the Biltmore Hotel near Asheville, North Carolina.  But don't get any notions about the course being feather-bedded because of the location--it was a serious course that taught me a lot in a short time.

The Sport was powered by a 5.0-liter aluminum alloy super-charged V8 with 510 horsepower and 461 lb.-ft. of torque.  In other words, "step away from my ride."   And just because I didn't have time to rock crawl, that doesn't mean that Land Rover's permanent four-wheel drive, four-wheel electronic traction control, two-speed electronic transfer box with electronic center differential and active rear locking differential wouldn't skip-hop across the Rubicon in record time.  It does.  It has.  Brakes are 4-wheel, power-assisted disc brakes with an all-terrain ABS system.  It comes with stability control, hill descent assist, emergency brake assist, roll stability control, active speed limiter, electronic park brake and gradient release control.  Think of yourself driving your Range Rover at a 30-degree angle to the ground.  Got the picture?  You're good.  No problem.  Even if you feel nauseous.  The electronic air suspension with automatic load leveling can be adjusted to three different levels--access, standard off-road and extended height. Should you get stuck in the Amazon forest at night when there's no one around to help and your windows are up, engage the anti-trap feature on all windows and go find local assistance. 

Autobiography comes with a chose of 11 extra interior colors, leather, auto-dim side mirrors, contrasting colors, mood lighting, fabulous audio, superior climate control and other comfort adjustments and a panoramic roof.  Just because it's capable off-road doesn't mean you have to suffer.

This vehicle is not for everyone.  But for the individual who wants extreme capability on both ends of the spectrum it is worth considering.  It won't mean much to that person that fuel economy is low, 14 city/16 highway/19 combined, which is about what I got.  The point of owning a Land Rover is owning a Land Rover.  Go crawl.

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