What’s the Story?
It’s luxurious, it’s refined, but its power is brutal. The 503bhp Range Rover Sport Supercharged is the undoubted high-speed roadburner in the Land Rover line-up.
So, where should LRO take a Supercharged Sport to really test its capabilities? Where are the UK’s best driving roads? Every enthusiast has a favourite route, but the problem with
so much of the country is its high volume of traffic. Scotland certainly has more space and boasts some of the best roads. But I’d driven the Sport in Scotland at its launch last year.
We could have gone over to Germany for a blast around the Nürburgring’s 14.17-mile Nordschleife, where Land Rover’s engineers have lapped one in 8min 49sec (9mins is the benchmark for fast roadsters). But Neil Watterson went there last year with Twisted Performance’s super-tuned Defender 90.
So, we decided upon the Isle of Man. That small, picturesque island in the Irish Sea is home of the motor cycle TT races that are run on a 37.73-mile section of the island’s public roads, where the fastest riders average more than 130mph, and reach speeds up to 190mph.
Our Favourite Bit?
Our hotel car park is covered with sheet ice, which gives us the chance to test – and marvel at – the Sport’s electronic aids. The way it finds traction when it’s difficult even to stand up on the ice is impressive.
We gaze in amazement when a yellow gritting truck slithers sideways down the nearby hill and does a 360º powerslide on the Inn’s car park. Whether he’s totally out of control or just an ace Manx rally driver doing his day job is debatable – but it’s certainly spectacular.
And the verdict from John Pearson?
The Sloc also demands strong torque, and the Sport responds, growling eagerly up to the summit.
This road’s narrower and bumpier than the Mountain part of the TT course, but the Sport’s suspension copes magnificently. Great fun.
Unfortunately, it’s not so funny when the time comes to fill up at the pumps – which you have to do every 250 miles or so, despite an 88.1-litre tank capacity. We averaged 16mpg overall, including fast driving and motorway cruising.
When the latest version of the TDV8 can manage more than 30mpg, that does limit the Supercharged’s potential buyers to overseas markets where fuel prices are cheaper, or to people with deep pockets who want absolute performance above economy. It’s a real driver’s car that’s intended to cover distances quickly and in style. When I win the lottery, one of these will be in my garage.
The full story can be found in the August 2010 issue of LRO. Download a digital issue, or order a back issue by calling 01858 438884.