What’s the story?
It’s January and Glencoe is well and truly in winter’s icy grip. I’m on my way to the Isle of Skye to carry out a modern vehicle version of the series of classic drives that I’ve done over the past year or so, with my 1969 Letts Motor Tour Guide. And this is not just any Range Rover Sport, it’s the 5.0-litre Supercharged model, the V8 engine of which produces a whopping 503bhp - which is more than four Defenders can manage - and 460lb ft of torque.
I’ve driven Scotland many times and normally think of the long motorway stint heading north as a bit of a chore before you reach the picturesque highland parts. But it’s not a chore when you’re in a vehicle that so comfortably and effortlessly shrinks long distances.
Our Favourite Bit?
The tarmac surface between the snow-covered verges is slippery, but I don’t appreciate just how treacherous it is until two ramblers attempt to walk along it and slip on their backsides.
The Sport is much more dignified; its electronic systems masterfully helping it find grip where human feet prove incapable. The hairpin-strewn road is very slippery, but again I’m impressed by the way the Sport finds grip where you think there should be none.
And the Verdict from John Pearson?
The Sport took on the Isle of Skye and won. It’s not perfect; it feels (and indeed is) a big car, which makes it seem very wide on narrow roads, and it is a tight fit in parking spaces. And it’s expensive to keep fuelled: my average for the trip was 20.9mpg. But on the final day I drove 503 miles from Broadford to my home, and got out at the end of the drive feeling good - and wouldn’t have minded continuing. There aren’t many vehicles I’d be happy to do that in.
The full story can be found in the November 2015 issue of LRO. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.