This particular Landie is the latest iteration of Land Rover's most famous sport utility vehicle. Sold alongside the same model with a naturally aspirated version of its 5.0-liter V8, the Supercharged is perhaps not as visually athletic to behold as the Range Rover Sport, or the Jaguar XKR for that matter, but it's just as powerful as both and can carry more cargo. Which makes the 2011 Range Rover Supercharged an Alex Trebec-approved answer to the clue, "A $102,365 vehicle famous for off-roading that does things on road you didn't know it could."
Range Rovers have always been boxy, like the auto industry's take on a bar of gold: simple, heavy and expensive. Its upright grille and vertical slabs of sheet metal accentuate its towering presence, as the rest of the lines move backward in a perfectly parallel manner. Look closer, however, and you'll see the designers have built in a few subtle curves, most noticeably in the slight hood creases and subtly flared fenders filled by 20-inch, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels. 2011 models also sport new headlamps and a set of LED taillamps that turn from bright to brilliant when the sun retires.
The Range Rover's high seating position and abundance of glass provide lighthouse attendant levels of visibility, while the power-adjustable front seats are a Recaro-meets-La-Z-Boy mix of capable and comfortable. They also offer both heating and cooling to help keep bottom temperatures in the zone. When the latter is switched on, the cooling fans are clearly audible, but that's the price you pay for cold buns. Back seat passengers may miss out on the cooling experience, but the heated rear seats are adequate for people over six-feet tall and also recline.
That all-new six-speed automatic does a sublime job of channeling power to the wheels, particularly in Sport mode, where the gear changes happen quickly, but don't snap necks against headrests. When the speed needs to be reeled in, gargantuan 15-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers and 14.4-inch discs at the back will have you straining against physics... and your seat belt.
If those qualities matter more to you than owning the quickest premium sport-ute, then this $103,000 SUV still makes a degree of sense. However, when it comes to talking about triple-digit SUVs, “sense” probably never enters into the minds of would-be customers. But when one can afford to view life from a Range Rover's regal perch, they can also afford not to care – and that may be the greatest luxury of all.