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by Tim Beissmann

A high-performance variant of the all-new Range Rover Sport has been spied undergoing testing outside the Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

CarAdvice’s spy shots reveal a more aggressive front bumper with larger central and side air intakes for the brawnier Range Rover Sport model, as well as some subtle tweaks to the outlets in the rear bumper.

The Range Rover Sport ‘R-S’ is tipped to inherit the supercharged 404kW/680Nm 5.0-litre V8 currently found in the Jaguar XFR-S, XKR-S and XJR.

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With an extra 29kW and 55Nm over the Range Rover Sport 5.0-litre Supercharged that sprints from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and will headline the range at launch, the Sport R-S will become the fastest Range Rover ever, potentially accelerating to triple figures in under 5.0 seconds.

The Range Rover Sport R-S is set to go head to head with the $183,700 BMW X5M (408kW/680Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.7secs) and the $247,500 Porsche Cayenne Turbo (368kW/700Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.7secs).

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Like the rest of the second-generation line-up, the high-performance Range Rover Sport flagship will be underpinned by an all-aluminium monocoque platform that contributes to making the new model up to 420kg lighter than its predecessor.

Like Jaguar’s R-S models, the hardcore Range Rover Sport is expected to score a unique suspension tune, some lightweight carbonfibre components, and other upgrades designed to enhance dynamic performance and visual appeal.

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Speaking at the launch of the larger Range Rover in Morocco late last year, Land Rover chassis engineering director David Waide told CarAdvice that Jaguar’s success with its R-S models made developing sports models for the Land Rover family more attractive.

“It’s one of the areas which the business can expand,” Waide said.

“You’ve seen this with Jaguar and its XKR-S edition. They’ve done very well with the R-S model … so there’s the ability to do those sorts of things with Land Rover product. I think it would be an opportunity for us, yes.”

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Speaking earlier this month at the New York auto show launch of the new Range Rover Sport, Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern confirmed a high-performance Range Rover model was “not that far away” from production.

He denied that Range Rover would create a sports division in the mould of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG, suggesting that the sports line would be more subtly distinguished.

“I don’t think we really want to emulate what other people do,” McGovern said. “It might be a nomenclature thing, a little signature that indicates that’s what it is, but I don’t think we necessarily want to do a separate brand.”




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