RE: Range Rover Sport HST | Driven

RE: Range Rover Sport HST | Driven

Friday 12th July

Range Rover Sport HST | Driven

A new inline six and 48v hybrid tech make this the most advanced Range Rover yet - but is it any good?



The new Range Rover Sport HST is the first car to use JLR's brand new inline six petrol engine, which will gradually replace its ageing V6 across the line-up in pure combustion and hybridised form. In the HST, its mated to an electric motor and promises to offer a timely mix of high-performance and economy not yet seen in the Range Rover Sport. 6.2 seconds to 62mph, 30.7mpg and 209g/km of CO2 are a compelling combination of stats for a 2.4-tonne off-roader as plush as this. But £81,250 is also a hefty price to pay for a Sport because the similarly paced and even more economical SDV6 HSE Dynamic costs around £8k less.

Predictably, the justification for that added cost is located in the new powertrain. Not only is the P400 3.0-litre the first from JLR's new petrol Ingenium family, the electric motor it works alongside is energised by new 48v architecture that powers an electric supercharger. The setup promises to provide torque at all times, including the moment you pull away and through each gearshift, helping to reduce the workload of the combustion motor, minimising the shifts of the eight-speed auto and, as an added benefit, pushing up the HST's peak outputs - which are rated at 400hp at 5,500rpm and 406lb ft of 2,000rpm.


The HST does get a unique finish to go with its high-tech internals, with new carbon trim on the bonnet and suede upholstery on the steering wheel rim, gear selector and headlining. There are also a set of optional 10-spoke 22-inch alloys that really set the two-tone exterior off nicely - but by and large the HST cherry picks from the existing Range Rover Sport specs list. It gets the same brilliantly laid-out dual-screen infotainment system with a digital instrument cluster inside, while the chassis remains air sprung with active dampers alongside the full gambit of Land Rover's off-road armoury.

Since this is a self-charging hybrid model, it starts and pulls away with the inline six running, but the electric assistance is noticeable from the second you touch the throttle. While the revs remain low, the HST pulls away with the kind of satisfyingly immediate torque that's not dissimilar to what you'd experience in a pure EV. It feels effortless and if it weren't for the slight audible dips in engine tone, you'd not notice the automatic 'box was swapping cogs thanks to the 48v system's torque fill. While everything remains quiet, you're aware of the six's smooth tone in the background; it sounds and pulls increasingly sweetly as the revs rise meaning there is genuine reward for squeezing the pedal.

While off-the-line acceleration is very good for such a hefty machine, rolling acceleration is better described as brisk than outright fast - and totally appropriate for the application. The HST's powertrain feels wonderfully elastic thanks to the wide berth of torque offered by the powertrain, and the gearbox is also surprisingly amenable to manual flicks of the nicely-sized shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The addition of all that electrical hardware doesn't seem to have hampered the air suspension's ability to deal with cracks and ridges either, although it's possible the damping rates have been stiffened a tad as the car body does react to them. But overall, the HST is as comfortable and refined as you'd hope, with little wind and tyre noise.


It can pick up the pace quite comfortably, too, with plenty of grip provided by its Continental boots and, on warm Cotswolds tarmac, unbreakable traction. Point to point pace can be very fast should you want it to be, although the lean of the Sport's body means it feels far more natural to adopt a less frenetic approach. Those looking for a more sporting hybrid SUV, are best advised to look in Stuttgart's direction. In contrast the HST is a very lovely place to tick off the miles, underwritten by the thought that you're doing it about as efficiently as a 2.4-tonne slab of British metal can without drinking derv.

Is the HST worth £8k more than its diesel brethren? The way it goes about its business and the noises that straight-six make certainly feel worthy, but if minimum visits to the pump are you highest priority, an oil burning Sport still stands apart as a great all-rounder. That equation doesn't tell the whole story these days though, and Land Rover - along with every other manufacturer and a whole heap of legislators - is betting its investment on the future appeal of SUVs precisely like the HST. In that respect, the first of the line represents a brilliant start for JLR's brave new world.


SPECIFICATION - RANGE ROVER SPORT HST

Engine: 2,996cc, straight-six, plus electric motor
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 400@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 406@2,000rpm
0-62mph: 6.2sec
Top speed: 140mph
Weight: 2,405
MPG: 30.7
CO2: 209g/km
Price: £81,250

Inspired? Search for a Range Rover here










Author
Discussion

Uncool

Original Poster:

448 posts

224 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
I'm confused by this sentence:

Article said:
Not only is the P400 3.0-litre the first from JLR's new petrol Ingenium family...{snip}
The petrol ingenium family has been out for a while. Do you mean the first 6 cylinder/

Anyway, if I was in the market for something like this, this is the model I'd go for.

ducnick

922 posts

186 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
What a colour scheme. Almost Khan esq it’s it’s vulgarity.

greygoose

5,472 posts

138 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
I thought the red didn’t suit the exterior but then I saw the vileness of the interior.....

G13NVL

469 posts

27 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
I quite like that red exterior not so sure on the inside though. Would make a lovely motorway muncher.

Nerdherder

864 posts

40 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
greygoose said:
I thought the red didn’t suit the exterior but then I saw the vileness of the interior.....
Same here.

And considering price; Better burn oil in this case.,
Advertisement

andrewparker

3,614 posts

130 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
The Sport is looking so dated these days. Surely an all new model isn’t far off?

had ham

3,580 posts

126 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
Agreed, this looks very, very dated.

But then I thought it looked dated on the day it was launched.

Awful.

Arsecati

228 posts

60 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
'Self-Charging Hybrid'? Hmmm, I don't think so! It's unable to run purely on battery at all, so I think this statement is a bit misleading, as it gives the impression of having the option of 'silent running', when it is in fact used purely to assist the engine.

Am I wrong here guys? I'm quite happy to be corrected if I'm missing something!

9k rpm

130 posts

153 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
A lot of electrical tech to be blighted by the legendary Range Rover reliability........

dandare

591 posts

197 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
9k rpm said:
A lot of electrical tech to be blighted by the legendary Range Rover reliability........
Yes, it's not confidence-inspiring.

I'm afraid the RR sports always look too pimpy for me. Bad proportions with the low roofline. Only a full fat RR looks good in my book.
I do like the interior, and I could even live with the colours.



Edited by dandare on Friday 12th July 08:37

Futse

138 posts

128 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
Well, if the colour is the only thing to be criticised, that's a good thing. Because good news, you can have it in other colours, so what's stopping you guys? ;-)

Hairymonster

442 posts

48 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
Futse said:
Well, if the colour is the only thing to be criticised, that's a good thing. Because good news, you can have it in other colours, so what's stopping you guys? ;-)
I don't want to drive a bus

Jon_S_Rally

418 posts

31 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
That red inside is awful, especially the airbag. It makes the steering wheel look like it's got a big red nose! You'd have to be bonkers to spec that interior colour.

Anyway, that aside, is this mild hybrid business really all that? I've spoken to a couple of people in the industry and they are pretty sceptical about it. It adds a lot of additional complexity, manufacturing etc etc, for what appear to be relatively limited gains. The article states that this does around 30mpg. A quick search on Autocar suggests that the diesel does 38mpg, and is significantly cheaper. Given the added complexity of construction, the additional materials required, the more complex recycling at the end etc etc, is mild hybrid actually worth it? One insider I spoke to said that it's only going to offer around a 10% improvement in efficiency, which doesn't seem a lot given the drawbacks.

It's a convenient way for OEMs to get round the 'no pure IC vehicles by 2040' thing, but I am so far unconvinced that it's actually a particularly good solution from an environmental perspective.

Big GT

629 posts

35 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
Arsecati said:
'Self-Charging Hybrid'? Hmmm, I don't think so! It's unable to run purely on battery at all, so I think this statement is a bit misleading, as it gives the impression of having the option of 'silent running', when it is in fact used purely to assist the engine.

Am I wrong here guys? I'm quite happy to be corrected if I'm missing something!
It is a hybrid, in a similar way F1 cars are hybrids. It sounds like the motor is taking the strain of the engine rather than providing separate electric propulsion. This is not a bad thing on big stuff mated to 6cyl Diesel or Petrol..
PHEV's simply wont work well on large 4x4's like these as it makes them more heavy, less economical and refined. The only advantage of self charging hybrids over plug in stuff is less batteries to haul around.


runnerbean 14

65 posts

77 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
What a colour scheme. Red is never good on big cars. And OMG the interior . . . .

Also, low 20's MPG in daily use. My diesel Q7 plug-in hybrid averaged mid-60's MPG over 20,000 miles in a year, with similar performance (which was used regularly). That's almost enough saved in fuel to pay for all the depreciation.

Buster73

3,330 posts

96 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
There was one on show at the Yorkshire show yesterday, had no idea what an HST was until reading this article, I just assumed it has a different level of spec from the HSE.

dunnoreally

294 posts

51 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
I recall someone saying in another thread that this i6 won't fit into the XE, which is where I'd have actually wanted it.

Alfa Pete

93 posts

169 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
Not sure about this.
As suggested above the extra complexity and weight make you wonder if it’s worthwhile and diesel is much more fuel efficient.
However nice to see a new inline petrol six and would impressive in a XJF.

syl

398 posts

18 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
pistonheads said:
It can pick up the pace quite comfortably, too, with plenty of grip provided by its Continental boots and, on warm Cotswolds tarmac, unbreakable traction.
Lovely close up of some Pirelli Scorpion Verde all season tyres.

As for the other comments my view is that the red is a nice colour outside, but without the black wheels. Awful interior colour. Would I replace my 3.0 diesel with the new 3.0 inline 6 cylinder petrol? Not for £8k more, but actually it's only £2.5k more in the same trim - well, it would be but it's not available in Autobiography spec.

steveb8189

231 posts

134 months

Friday 12th July
quotequote all
Uncool said:
The petrol ingenium family has been out for a while. Do you mean the first 6 cylinder/

Anyway, if I was in the market for something like this, this is the model I'd go for.
First of the NEW petrol ingenium family. They've only done 2.0 petrol engines before and with turbo(s) rather than 48v superchargers. I think they just mean this is the first time this engine config has been used