With its grand entry kicked off via a run through the streets of Manhattan, the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport made its world debut in New York on the eve of the show's first press day. In addition to being the fastest, most agile and most responsive Land Rover in the history of the company, this latest iteration uses the same aluminum-intensive construction found on the just-introduced full-size Range Rover. That transition helps pare some 800 pounds off of its curb weight compared to the current Sport model.

Scaled to slip between the Range Rover and the Evoque, the new Range Rover Sport features an exterior design that intermixes elements from both of its kin with unique, individual cues to create a genuinely contemporary look that still remains true to the brand's go-anywhere heritage, while endowing it with greater aerodynamic efficiency. A more steeply raked windshield, angled grille, LED-infused lighting front and rear, bolder wheel arches and a cleaner overall integration of all body bits - including new underbody fairings - help it move smartly into the future further bolstered by an equally significant 7.0-inch wheelbase stretch.

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As might be expected, the comprehensive redesign effort is equally evident inside the 2014 Range Rover Sport. Here, too, the familiar is overlaid with new, more sophisticated visual and functional rethinks that match more elegant executions and premium materials. Complementing the bounty of supple leather and real wood/aluminum accents are redesigned seats with improved comfort and more user-friendly control layouts.

The Sport's new main instrument cluster features a 5.0-inch TFT display -- or a 12.3-inch high-res alternative with virtual gauges on high-end models - and is paired with an 8.0-inch center touchscreen that handles various infotainment/supplemental functions including the Sport's new auto-climate control system with available 4-zone adjustability, enhanced connectivity and a trio of Meridian premium audio packages that offer up to 1700 watts of power. In addition to offering more space for second-row passengers and cargo, the new Sport becomes a "5+2" model courtesy of a new optional power-folding third-row seat. However this mini-perch does come with the caveat that it was "designed for occasional use."

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The 2014 Range Rover Sport will continue to be available in four trims with two distinct powertrains culled from its 2014 Range Rover sibling. The SE and HSE swap their naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 in favor of a 340-horsepower/3.0-liter supercharged V6, while the Supercharged and Autobiography continue to use the existing 510-horse/5.0-liter V8. Both engines feature econo-enhancing start-stop technology as well as smart regenerative charging circuitry and are now backed by new 8-speed automatic transmissions that further bolster their mileage-making capabilities and offer sporting buyers the option of paddle shifters.

Like the full-size Range Rover, the new Sport is fitted with a fully redesigned aluminum-intensive chassis that includes variable-height air suspension that also brings an additional 2.3 inches of ground clearance. Its full-time intelligent 4-wheel drive offered with single- or optional dual-range transfer cases - the latter available with a Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential - is fully integrated into the Sport's fully automatic standard Terrain Response and available Terrain Response 2 systems, along with a full roster of vehicle-dynamics systems that make this new Land Rover even more capable when the going gets tough. Also on the menu are a host of new driver-assist and safety technologies. Highlighting that formidable list are Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and a Surround Camera system.

The 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport goes on sale here in the third quarter. Pricing will start at $63,495 for the SE, $68,495 for the HSE, $77,995 for the Supercharged and $93,295 for the Autobiography.


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