Hypothetically, it Goes Off-Road, too
It seems unlikely the celebrity couple you see cruising around Hollywood in a Range Rover Sport will ever venture off-road, but customers in the Middle East are quite fond of playing in the desert with Land Rovers, and thus there is a new feature on the terrain response system to facilitate better launches in the sand. The sand mode now includes a launch control feature that allows just enough wheel slip to get the vehicles moving yet prevents it from digging down to bedrock. Sadly we weren't able to find any sand outside of Edinburgh, Scotland to test the system.
We did manage to take the Sport down a few hours worth of trails and were quite impressed by its capabilities in the mud. The trails were not as challenging as what the LR4 conquered, but more than demonstrated the Sport's capability, even with low profile tires and decidedly road-biased tread pattern. Suffice to say the Sport is willing and able to tackle far tougher terrain than its owner is likely to attempt.
When Can I Buy One?
Land Rover dealers should be getting shipments of Range Rover Sports any day now and have an official on-sale date of September 1. The Range Rover Sport HSE starts at $60,495 while Supercharged model stickers for $74,195 and includes the luxury and climate comfort packages. The $1000 extended leather package for Supercharged and HSE models equipped with the luxury package covers most of the surfaces you'll be touching with leather and is probably worth the upgrade. Four distinct styles of 20-inch wheels are available as individual options and command $1000-2500 depending on the design.