See, Land Rover discontinued the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 when the fullsize Range Rover debuted a few years back. Following that appearance, both the LR4 and Sport ditched the 375-horsepower eight-cylinder in favor of the more fuel efficient, but less powerful, 3.0-liter, supercharged V6 that currently forms the base of the brand's largest offerings.
For 2016, the new Range Rover Sport HST addresses the missing output formerly offered by the old V8 model. While it still uses a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6, the limited-edition HST ups the output from 340 hp to 380 hp. We shouldn't be surprised by this addition – sister company Jaguar uses a 380-hp version of the blown V6 in the F-Type S – although there's little denying that the all-aluminum Sport will certainly benefit from the bump.
Besides the extra grunt, Land Rover is promising a "unique exterior design and interior enhancements." Smoked front and rear lamps and gloss-black accents on the hood, fender vents, fog-lamp bezels and Range Rover badging tie together nicely with the standard Santorini Black roof. A new rear spoiler and unique 21-inch satin grey alloys round out the exterior upgrades.
Off-road enthusiasts might not be so crazy about this particular Range Rover, though. Like the standard Sport, it comes with a single-speed transfer case as standard. But while you can option the 340-hp model with a two-speed transfer case as part of the $1,500 Extra Duty Package, there's no mention in Land Rover's press release of a low-range box for the HST.
While it might not be as at home off road as some other Range Rover Sports, the HST should be sharper in the kind of conditions its owners will most often encounter. Land Rover claims the HST will boast "unique chassis settings" to cut back on the Sport's already well-mannered body motions. For those that need something even sharper, the HST, like the standard Sport with the Dynamic Package, will offer a Dynamic handling mode for the Terrain Response System. Sharper steering, firmer adaptive dampers and more aggressive drivetrain settings represent the big changes in the sportier mode.
While Land Rover has said that the HST will be a limited-edition model, it's not offered up any details on either pricing or availability. We'll be spending some time with LR next week at the New York Auto Show, though, and will do our darndest to get the details from them. Check back then, and if you're so inclined, scroll down for the official press release.
• New 2016 Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition makes its global debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show
• Exclusive 380hp 3.0L supercharged V6 engine delivers extra 40hp to enhance Range Rover Sport performance line-up
• Features dynamic exterior design and unique interior trim
• Range of updates announced for 2016 Range Rover Sport including new standard features and diesel engine options
• Full details and pricing for the 2016 Range Rover Sport line-up will be announced late Spring
(MAHWAH, NJ) – March 23, 2015 – Land Rover will present the new 2016 Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
The HST enhances the high performance Range Rover Sport driving experience thanks to its upgraded 380hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, unique chassis settings and bespoke design features.
David Mitchell, Vehicle Program Director Range Rover Sport, said, "The HST extends our Range Rover Sport line-up giving customers even greater choice. Sitting between the existing 340hp Range Rover Sport 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and the 550hp supercharged variant, it delivers enhanced V6 performance to go with the renowned comfort and refinement of the Range Rover Sport."
Additional updates to the 2016 Model Year Range Rover Sport line-up will also be showcased in New York, including the availability of a new Hands-Free Gesture Tailgate and the introduction of Automatic Access Height.
New Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition
The bold new Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition is identified by its unique exterior design and interior enhancements, which give the luxury SUV a distinctive and dynamic appearance.
A striking black theme is the hallmark of the exterior design. The HST is fitted with darkened front and rear lamps, which feature non-reflective surrounds and combine with a Santorini Black contrast roof and a new spoiler to give the luxury SUV a defined profile.
The distinctive 21-inch alloy wheels on the HST feature an exclusive dark satin grey finish helping to highlight the upgraded brakes, which are identified by red brake calipers.
The hood and front fender vents, grille and fog lamp bezels all feature a Gloss Black finish, echoed by the 'Range Rover' lettering on the edge of the hood and tailgate. Sculpted body-colored lower door panels and additional vent detailing on the bumpers are also fitted.
Similar to other Dynamic Range Rover Sport variants, the HST wears a red Sport badge at the rear, complemented by unique HST badging on the front fender vents.
Power comes from its exclusive 380hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, enhanced to provide an extra 40hp.
Unique chassis settings deliver a focused driving experience and sharper responses, without compromising the vehicle's trademark comfort and refinement. Changes to the suspension reduce body roll and deliver enhanced agility, while the upgraded brakes deliver confidence-inspiring performance.
The HST is available with a single speed transfer case with a Torsen Center differential, reflecting its high performance capabilities. Land Rover engineers have devised a unique Terrain Response® set-up for the vehicle. It features a Dynamic Mode, which optimizes the suspension, Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and other electronic systems to suit on-road driving. This feature provides more controlled electronic damping and a more responsive throttle pedal, while enhancing gearshifts and steering response to match the change in vehicle character.
Inside, the HST comes with eye-catching seats trimmed in luxurious Oxford Leather. In combination with a contrast dashboard, all-Ebony door trims and center console and standard Ebony headlining, they create a unique environment.
HST badging on the dashboard, carpet mats and the TFT instrument panel highlight the luxury model's high performance focus. The sporty cues extend to Noble-plated paddle shift levers on the steering wheel and distinctive bright 'Sports' pedals, while the aluminum interior trim features a textured 'Sports' finish.
Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition pricing and availability will be announced later this year.
2016 Model Year Range Rover Sport
In addition to revealing the new HST Limited Edition, Land Rover is announcing a range of enhancements to the 2016 Range Rover Sport, with an emphasis on improved connectivity and capability.
Land Rover is introducing its 3.0-liter Td6 turbocharged V6 diesel engine to North America. The 254hp engine delivers 440 lb-ft of torque and fuel consumption of 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.
New for 2016 is the Land Rover InControl® Remote™ app, which enables customers to interact with the vehicle using a smartphone. With the app, vehicle owners can see how much fuel is in the tank and confirm whether the doors are locked or windows left open. The app also enables the driver to remotely lock or unlock the car and receive alerts if the alarm sounds, with the option to reset it. For added comfort and convenience, InControl Remote enables the driver to bring the cabin to a pre-set temperature by remotely starting the engine.
Also available within the InControl Remote™ app is InControl Protect™, which will automatically notify emergency services and provide GPS location of the vehicle should it be involved in a collision severe enough to trigger the airbags. Occupants can also trigger an emergency call manually by pressing a button on the overhead console.
All Terrain Progress Control, available on most V6 models and standard on most V8 models, adds advanced off-road capability1. Rear-view and surround cameras have increased resolution to provide superior clarity. New Auto Access Height is introduced as standard, for improved ease of entry and exit. The system automatically lowers the vehicle to access height when needed, to make for a more graceful entry and exit for occupants.
Hands-Free Gesture Tailgate, now standard, provides hands-free operation of the tailgate by pointing a foot underneath one of two sensors at either rear corner of the vehicle. The system is fully compatible with a tow bar.
Customers will also benefit from an increased range of personalization options and an extended range of accessories.
Full 2016 Range Rover Sport product details and pricing will be available later this year.
1 These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving. Please consult the owner's manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
2 All figures are EPA estimates. Actual mileage may vary.