The all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport has set the record for a production-standard sport utility vehicle as well as the record for any production-standard vehicle on the Pikes Peak course, where the annual contest known as 'The Race To the Clouds' will be held at the end of the month.
Coming from a standing start, the Range Rover Sport cruised through the 12.42-mile snake-like asphalt course, reaching the finish line in a record time of 12 minutes 35.61 seconds -- equivalent to an average speed of 59.17 mph (95.23 kph).
The record was independently timed and sanctioned by PPIHC (Pikes Peak International Hill Climb), organizers of the spectacular annual competition at the venue located in Colorado.
Range Rover Sport made its way through 156 corners of the course, climbing from 9,390 feet (2,860 meters) above sea level to 14,110 feet (4,300 meters). At this height, the air surrounding the course contains only 58% of the oxygen compared to those at sea level. This low oxygen does not only negatively affect engine performance, but also dulls a driver’s physical and mental performance.
The record was established by a Range Rover Sport powered by a 510-hp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine. The Range Rover Sport driven by competition and stunt driver Paul Dallenbach ran the course in mostly production specification, except for the roll cage and harness seatbelts that had to be installed to comply with racing safety requirements.
Land Rover has given the new Range Rover Sport a bold and progressive exterior design that makes it strongly identifiable as the member of the latest Range Rover family. Representing a fresh interpretation of the strong design genes of the current Range Rover Sport, the newest iteration takes pride in its modern sleek looks and sporting nature, as exuded by its sloping roofline.
In terms of dimensions, the new Range Rover Sport is around 62mm longer than the previous model (at 4,850 mm), but remains shorter than other seven-seater SUVs as well as most E segment sedans. This means that the new Range Rover Sport is easier to maneuver and easier to park. But since it has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor (plus 178 mm), the new Range Rover Sport offers a more spacious rear cabin that is now easier to access. Interestingly, the new Range Rover Sport is 149 mm shorter, 55 mm lower ad 45 kg lighter than the new Range Rover from which was derived.
Among the Range Rover Sport design cues that were given fresh interpretations are the signature clamshell bonnet, side fender vents and floating roof. The new Range Rover Sport also features a reinterpretation of the its dynamic wheel arch graphic, rocker moldings and horizontal body feature lines.
Although the front end of the Range Rover Sport managed to retain its strong SUV personality, it now dons more modern and more streamlined looks, thanks to its rearward sloping grille, slimmer headlights as well as more sculpted corners.