Johannesburg - Land Rover has given its Range Rover Sport a touch-up for the 2018 model year, and in addition to the subtle cosmetic updates and new cabin tech, the range-topping SVR now has more power, while a new plug-in hybrid model joins the range for the first time.
The P400e variant is in fact JLR’s first ever plug-in hybrid, and it’s said to be capable of covering 51km on electric power alone. Mating a 221kW 2-litre Ingenium turbopetrol engine to a centrally-mounted 85kW electric motor, the newcomer boasts combined system outputs of 297kW and 640Nm and can, according to claims, sprint from 0-100km/h in just 6.7 seconds.
Power goes to all four wheels through the firm’s familiar permanent four-wheel-drive system and promises uncompromised offroad ability. The default driving mode combines petrol and electric drive and there’s a nav-based Predictive Energy Optimisation function to optimise system efficiency. Drivers can also dial in a pure electric mode for as long as there is sufficient juice in the battery.
But if it’s raw, unadulterated old-school muscle that you’re after, you’ll be pleased to hear that the SVR performance flagship has been given a perk-up, its 5-litre supercharged V8 now producing 423kW, up from 405kW. Below that, buyers still have a wide choice of four-cylinder, V6 and V8 petrol and diesel engines.
Exterior design changes are on the subtle side, with a redesigned bumper and a new grille upfront, flanked by Matrix Pixel LED headlights.
Inside the Range Rover Sport keeps with the digital times, inheriting JLR’s latest Touch Pro Duo infotainment system that features two vertically-stacked 25cm touchscreens, and this latest version of the Rangie Sport also gets up to 12 power points, including two domestic plugs, and the vehicle can be ordered with Land Rover’s ‘Activity Key’.
So when’s it coming?
JLR has announced that the 2018 range is coming to South Africa, but timing and pricing has yet to be confirmed.