Land Rover already produces a very, very potent, 510-horsepower, Range Rover Sport. Senior Editor Steven Ewing called it "the best Range Rover yet." From these new Nürburgring spy photos, though, it's likely to be supplanted by something even more potent. Known as the Range Rover Sport R (a vehicle our spies have shown you before), this time, it's done a subtle strip tease, swapping camo for bare sheetmetal.
The result is our best look yet at what will almost certainly be the most powerful Land Rover ever built. First and foremost, we'd like to draw your attention to all four of the exhaust pipes on the SUV's rear, which is something new from the last time we saw an RRS-R prototype. The rear spoiler also looks larger, although not by a huge degree. Up front, a pair of gaping air intakes mounted below the headlights feeds cool air to what our spy photographers think is a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8.
Much like its corporate sibling, Jaguar, the path that the Range Rover Sport R takes will seem familiar. In the Jaguar-Land Rover hierarchy, the standard Range Rover Sport is roughly equatable to a Jaguar XF, while the Range Rover Sport Supercharged is like an XFR - both vehicles pack the same, 510-horsepower, supercharged V8. Following that convention, the Range Rover Sport R will be like the Jaguar XFR-S, tuning its 5.0-liter engine to around 550 horsepower while tightening the overall driving experience up considerably.
That last bit is more or less speculation on our parts – Land Rover could throw us a curve ball – but it doesn't seem likely, considering past precedent. We'll find out if we're right about the Range Rover Sport R when it arrives some time in 2014.