Dramatic debut for the all-new Range Rover Sport

The brand new Range Rover Sport certainly made a splash during the global premiere as it demonstrated its immense dynamic capability and new reductive design.

Dramatic Debut

To kick off the launch of the car, James Bond stunt driver Jessica Hawkins got behind the wheel and took on the mammoth challenge of tackling the Karahnjukar Dam, Iceland. During this world-first attempt, Hawkins first conquered a volcanic landscape, flooded tunnels and steep rocky climbs before scaling the flooded dam spillway.

The new Range Rover showed that while it is a composed, plush luxury SUV, the addition of the ‘Sport’ badge redefines luxury performance. As Jessica Hawkins risked a 90 metre sheer drop at the base of the spillway, the Range Rover Sport completed the challenging 193 metre climb, against a constant rush of water flowing at 750 tonnes per minute.

The challenge was screened at an exclusive launch event at Land Rover’s newly unveiled advanced product creation centre in Gaydon, UK. Land Rover are no stranger to dramatic launch events, with previous feats including a first 999 step ascent of Heaven’s Gate in China and a record-setting Pikes Peak run in the previous generation Range Rover Sport SVR.

Impressive Capability

The new, third generation Range Rover Sport is the most technologically advanced and capable yet, with the car’s imposing road presence and instinctive driving responses creating an engaging driving experience.

The car is offered with a varied selection of powertrains. First up there are two six-cylinder diesel engines which produce either 300bhp or 350bhp. Then there is a six-cylinder petrol engine that produces 400bhp. Next up is the hybrid engines, which both use a six-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a 142bhp electric motor that offers up to 70 miles of pure electric range. These two hybrid powertrains produce 440bhp and 510 bhp. Finally, if you aren’t as interested in economy, there is a twin-turbo, 4.4L V8 which produces a whopping 530bhp. While the V8 will only return a measly 24mpg, it will accelerate from 0-60mph in blistering 4.3 seconds.

As we move towards an age of electrification, Land Rover also announced that a pure-electric propulsion model will be available as soon as 2024.

Reductive Design

In recent years, Land Rover has had massive success in the design department. Whether it’s the hugely popular Land Rover Defender or all new Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport follows in the footsteps of its bigger brother in providing a striking and modernist design.

While it could be argued that this new car looks very similar to the previous model, there are plenty of important differences. The front of the car has a slimmer front grill and more minimalist headlights, as well as a new lower grille which looks much more sporty than the old model. Down the side of the car, the car boasts dramatic proportions, less lines and an instantly recognisable profile. The rear of the car is arguably where the car has seen the most design changes.

The changes at the rear start with super-sleek brake lights that complement the overall design vision of being clean with minimal creases, a bit like the full-sized Range Rover. The LED brake lights are contained in a black trim strip that houses the prestigious Range Rover badge. Another significant design change is the position of the rear number plate, with it being moved below the boot.

The Range Rover Sport’s clean and minimalist design extends into its brand new interior. The new car features a cockpit style command driving position. The Range Rover is also filled with the latest technology including a 13.1-inch curved Pivi Pro touchscreen, a 13-inch driver display and a built-in Amazon Alexa voice control system. The finishes and materials are by far the highlight of the car’s interior, ensuring every driving experience is one to savour.

Digital Automotive Launch Events

Back in 2020, we discussed the rise of digital product launches and their effectiveness in the automotive market. At the time, Covid had forced manufacturers to re-think their release strategy as in-person events were no longer an option. The case study we looked at in particular was the Maserati MC20 and its digital launch event (Check out our blog post here).

Fast forward 2 years later and it seems global brands like Land Rover are still choosing to hold online global launches over having large in-person events. The Range Rover Sport launch showcased everything great about the digital experience, bringing in A-list celebrities like James Cordon and Anthony Joshua and also creating stunning short films to discuss the new car and its capabilities.

Overall, from an audience member’s perspective, the launch event was a resounding success. Here at WDA we tuned into the event on YouTube Live and really enjoyed watching the car being unveiled in such a cinematic and exciting way. Check out the launch below:

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