Car Tech – The New 2014 Range Rover Sport – Naught to 60 in 5.0 Seconds

2014 Range Rover Sport

2014 Range Rover Sport

The 2014 Range Rover Sport is a marriage of technology and machine like no other.  This is what happens when you take the DNA of the family of most capable of sport utility vehicles on the planet and merge it with the latest advances in design, performance, safety, and technology.

This is the fastest Land Rover ever thanks to an all new aluminum architecture that has reduced the weight of the Sport by about 800lbs.  Add to this an advanced ZF eight-speed transmission connected to a sixth-generation, twin vortex, supercharged 510bhp 5-litre V8 and you get 0-60mph acceleration in 5.0 seconds.  Now you can leave a significant number of your friends “in-the-dust” at the stop light.  No longer do you have to sacrifice fun and performance for SUV capability and ruggedness.  The synergy is complete in the 2014 NEW Range Rover Sport.

I attended the world premier launch party in Manhattan tonight and what makes the 2014 Range Rover Sport exceptionally interesting to me is the leap forward in vehicle technologies.  These include almost every new innovation in automotive safety and convenience available.

In addition to “Lane Departure Warning” which will vibrate the steering wheel if the vehicle starts to drift from the lane without an obvious lane change, Land Rover added in “Traffic Sign Recognition.”  This feature uses a camera to identify traffic signs, regardless of position: left, right, or overhead, and displays it in the Instrument Cluster.  As the vehicle moves away from the sign, the displayed sign fades away.  Land Rover also brings back a classic “Automatic High Beam Assist” that automatically switches the head lights between high and low by tracking oncoming head lights from approaching vehicles and the taillights of those ahead of you.

A great new feature for those of us who frequent self-park garages is something called “Flank Guard.”  Think of this as proximity radar for your car.  With the addition of extra sensors on the front and rear bumpers, the 2014 Range Rover Sport does a better job of warning you about pillars, barriers, and other vehicles.  It does so through the central instrument cluster by displaying a graphical image indicating the proximity of objects with distance bars.  It combines this with your current steering angle and trajectory to warn of any impending impact.  These sensors are also used for traditional “Reverse Traffic Detection” to warn of any objects or people behind the vehicle while backing up.

Land Rover has taken “Adaptive Cruise Control” to a new level.  This new function operates both at lower speeds and even when the vehicle is stationary to help keep the vehicle at a pre-set time gap (distance) to the vehicle in front of you.  An enhancement called “Queue Assist” will even allow the vehicle to come to a complete stop in a traffic jam.  In addition, Land Rover has introduced an “Adjustable Speed Limiter Device” which enables you to set a personal maximum speed limit.  This should help drivers stay within the “acceptable” speed limit when transiting the many traffic enforcement zones throughout the North East.

Related driver assistance technologies include “Blind Spot Monitoring” using side mounted radar sensors to alert the driver when other vehicles enter in to blind spots.  And, a brand new technology called “Closing Vehicle Sensing” which scans much further behind your vehicle to detect fast approaching vehicles from behind moving in to your blind spot that may interfere with a lane change.

Perhaps my absolute favorite technological feature is Land Rover’s “Surround Camera System” which in addition to showing a 360 degree view around the vehicle also includes trailer reverse park guidance showing the track of both the vehicle and the trailer.  The 360 degree view is especially useful while parallel parking in New York City as frequently there are railings around trees, errant garbage cans and trash that spill over the curb that can potentially ding your vehicle.  It also takes 100% of the guess work out of exactly how much more room you have before you “tap” the car in front or behind you, or the curb.

Land Rover moves in to the next generation of Artificial Intelligence with “Advanced Park Assist” functions.  These include “Park Assist” which both helps identify if that parking space is really big enough for you to squeeze in to, then automatically steers your vehicle in to it.  “Park Exit” which steers you out of that tight parking space back to the road; and, “Perpendicular Park” which helps you back in to a space and makes sure that you have enough clearance to open the doors.

“There’s an App for that.”  The 2014 New Range Rover Sport is the first Land Rover to have a 3G WiFi Hotspot and the Land Rover Smart App.  You will be able to check how much Fuel is in the tank, see your trip history, find your Land Rover if you have forgotten where you parked, (very useful in large mall parking lots), and it will alert you if you have forgotten to lock your vehicle.  Your Range Rover Sport will be fully connected to a real-time information system and passengers will be able to browse the Web.  (For more information on Wi-Fi®, see my article, “Mobile Communications Technology Overview.”)

Land Rover is also introducing “InTouch” which appears to be a distinctly British implementation of what GM markets as “OnStar.”  The “InTouch” system will enable you to summon help without a phone and automatically call for help if it detects a serious accident or air bag deployment.

For the “Top Gun” Fighter Pilot in all of us, the Range Rover Sport will be the first Land Rover to offer a “Heads-up Display” which will project key vehicle and navigation data directly in to the drivers view.  This is the one feature that I have always wanted just for the pure “cool toy” factor.  Now if they can just add in the James Bond style missiles and machine guns… or at least perhaps innocuous laser beams that you could fire at the cars in front of you to pretend that you are clearing the road of errant drivers, it would make driving really fun.

The 2014 New Range Rover Sport is perhaps one of the most technologically advanced vehicles soon to be on the road.  Land Rover has truly pulled ahead of the competition and is now the absolute leader in the Sport Luxury SUV class.

The 2014 New Range Rover Sport should start to arrive in Land Rover showrooms in September of 2013.  For more information, visit https://newrangeroversport.landrover.com/us/en#launch or http://www.landrover.com

One final note:  For those of you like me that may prefer the Land Rover LR4, the redesign is due for the 2015 model year.  At the launch event, I met Gerry McGovern, Design Director & Chief Creative Officer of Land Rover, who told me personally, (loosely translated from British speak), “…It will knock your socks off…”  And also, John Edwards, Global Brand Director, Land Rover, that the Land Rover LR4 is at the core of everything Land Rover and that the next generation will be similarly, if not more impressive in its’ evolution. (I gave him my card and perhaps I will get invited to a preview focus group or at least to the launch party.)  I am counting down the days…

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