Saturday 24th December 2011

PH Blog: V8 = v. good

Is there really a case for running a big, thirsty V8 these days? Oh yes there is...

So I'm enjoying my third V8 in a row, courtesy of a supercharged Range Rover Sport. And enjoying is the operative word.

But, really, why would you? When I booked the car the press office said "You'll be wanting a diesel then..." And I was all geared up to say, "Of course!" what with some fairly burly Christmas miles coming up. But then I thought, sod it, why not go the whole hog.

You'd have to be mental of course. The diesel Range Rover Sport is brilliant, as I discovered earlier in the year when I took one to the 'ring earlier to further my investigations into the goings on there.

30mpg+, plenty of grunt. What on earth would make you want to spend another £8,000 and suffer an mpg figure of half that, on a good day?

Well, because it makes you feel good, that's why. Maybe it's the time of year but I'm thinking it's a bit like whisky. Sure, you can have a nice bottle of Bells and it'll taste warming and all the rest. Or you can spend quite a bit more and have a nice Highland Park. Same effect, similar taste but oh so much more satisfying.

But can you really get to appreciate that V8? I've actually really been enjoying just tickling along with it barely on tickover, relishing that gentle vibration through the seat and the bassy vibration that permeates the Rangie's structure. Oh sure, I guess we're not far off electric cars that'll effect a convincing impression of this via a subwoofer and suchlike without supping a drop of unleaded. But it wouldn't be the same. In the Range Rover the engine is a bit like that in a big ship - distant, barely stretched but massively powerful.

I'm actually driving slower than I have in ages in the Sport. But I'm loving every minute. And as much as the diesel ticked every box the supercharged V8 retains a sense of magic that'll make those fuel bills, for the likes of us, kind of justifiable. Or maybe that's the whisky talking.



Author: Dan Trent

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