3rd generation Range Rover Sport launched in Malaysia

The Range Rover’s history is a long one, stretching back to 1970 when it was the first 4×4 vehicle (the term ‘SUVs’ did not exist then) to have premium appointments instead of being just a basic workhorse vehicle. This approach by Land Rover drew a new segment of customers from the upper parts of the market – including the late Queen of England.

1970 Range Rover
The first Range Rover, launched in 1970, was the world’s first premium SUV.

Over 50 years, the Range Rover has been the flagship of the Land Rover and it has always led in terms of technology and capability – not only for the brand but also among SUVs.

Range Rover generations

The Range Rover became so well established that Land Rover eventually made it a sub-brand on its own, and today, it is one of the three brand segments of JLR (the rebranded name of the previous Jaguar Land Rover company). As a standalone brand, the Range Rover line started to expand with additional models such as the Range Rover Sport, Evoque and Velar.

Each of these additional models catered to slightly different groups within the Range Rover class, a strategy that helped to broaden its customer base. The Range Rover Sport, which was introduced in 2004, has gone through two generations already and is now in its third generation and available in Malaysia through Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (JLRM).

2023 Range Rover Sport

As with every Range Rover model all along, the new Range Rover Sport sets new benchmarks not only in all-terrain capability but also on-road performance (especially since 98% of Range Rover owners never really drive off-road). For the Malaysian market, JLRM is importing the Dynamic version which is priced from RM1,698,000 (RM888,688 duty-free).

“The Range Rover Sport is not just an SUV, it is a testament to our relentless pursuit of elevating the standards of automotive luxury. Once again raising the bar in bringing customers unparalleled driving experiences, the all-new Range Rover Sport is primed to make its mark on Malaysian roads and continue the legacy of excellence that the Range Rover name embodies. Across the spectrum of the Range Rover family of vehicles, the Range Rover Sport is a crown jewel for those who relish being behind the wheel, standing as the epitome of power and precision and transforming each journey into sheer driving pleasure,” said Syed Ahmad Muzri Syed Faiz, Managing Director of JLRM.

2023 Range Rover Sport

With Professor Gerry McGovern as Chief Creative Officer for JLR, the latest Range Rover Sport maintains the unmistakable DNA of the brand and model. Professor McGovern has led the design teams for Land Rover since the late 1980s (with short stints in the Ford Premier Automotive Group when it owned Land Rover) and has made sure of design continuity.

With the latest model, the design has the same bold proportions that create a strong presence on the road. While other premium luxury SUVs have become curvaceous and rounded, the Range Rover Sport maintains the solid cubic look that is highly recognisable. The horizontal bisecting body-colour element emphasises its visual width, accompanied by tasteful black detailing.

2023 Range Rover Sport

Modern elements include a stealth-like front-grille and distinctive digital LED lighting units, the latter being the slimmest ever fitted to a Range Rover. The clean lines of the exterior are enhanced by flush glazing and door handles, a hidden waist rail finisher and the roof is smoothly flush with laser welding.

Range Rover Sport MLA-Flex structure

In the past, aerodynamics were not a major concern for designers of SUVs. They didn’t go very fast so aerodynamic efficiency – which starts to be useful over 70 km/h – was not pursued. However, with modern SUVs, the performance is much higher and smoother airflow is important for stability.

In the case of the Range Rover Sport, aerodynamic efficiency is also important as it is a large and heavy vehicle, so every bit helps in reducing energy consumption. Thus, for the new model, the designers worked hard in the wind tunnel to bring the Cd down to 0.29, which is comparable to the average sedan.

Range Rover Sport MLA-Flex structure

With this new generation comes advanced chassis technologies, the most significant being the flexible mixed-metal architecture known as MLA-Flex. This is a new structural design with balanced and optimised weight, strength, and stiffness. Up to 35% increase in torsion stiffness has been achieved and along with engineering enhancements, noise and vibrations have also been substantially reduced.

The chassis also has Dynamic Air Suspension (DAS), ain intelligent system which switches volume in the air springs. This allows a wider range of absorption to provide comfort on all types of terrain and also the stiffness when required for taut and dynamic handling.

Range Rover Sport MLA-Flex structure

There is also a degree of predictability so the system makes adjustments pro-actively. This is achieved by monitoring the road ahead using eHorizon navigation data. To enhance handling further are Adaptive Dynamics and torque vectoring as standard technologies.

Under the bonnet is a 3-litre turbocharged 6-cylinder petrol engine from the Ingenium family with an output of 400 ps/500 Nm. The drivetrain also has 48V Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technology (MHEV) which partially electrifies it. With MHEV technology, there is a powerful battery which stores electricity (up to 200 wH) that is normally ‘wasted’ during deceleration or braking. Separate from the normal vehicle battery, it generates additional torque to help acceleration and reduces use of engine power. This helps reduce exhaust emissions and of course, fuel consumption.

2023 Range Rover Sport

The power goes to all four wheels through an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission and Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Also assisting the driver in difficult terrain conditions is Terrain Response 2, which can be considered as a ‘professional 4×4 co-driver’. With the system, all the driver has to do is select a program that matches the terrain conditions and the system will make the necessary settings for optimum stability and grip.

2023 Range Rover Sport

The Terrain Response system was pioneered by Land Rover in the 1990s and has been a standard feature on its models. It has undergone evolution and in its second generation, it can tackle just about any condition, allowing drivers without off-road driving skills to be like the experts. Of course, as mentioned earlier, most Range Rover owners don’t really go far off-road (maybe to their durian plantation) but Terrain Response 2 is something good to have anyway.

Within the latest Range Rover Sport is the familiar interior with opulent premium luxury appointments. The Pivi Pro infotainment system takes centre stage with its high-resolution floating 13.1-inch curved touchscreen. An intuitive personal assistant, this intelligent system creates a personalised onboard experience and controls everything, from navigation to media and vehicle settings.

2023 Range Rover Sport

2023 Range Rover Sport

2023 Range Rover Sport

The latest version of Pivi Pro is customisable and more importantly, the interface has been revised so that the number of ‘layers’ in the menu are less. It takes just 2 taps to go from the main screen to the required function or feature. Haptic feedback also reduces the need for the driver to look too much at the screen when making selections. The instrument panel is a 13.7-inch Interactive Display which can be configured in layout to suit different preferences.

2023 Range Rover Sport

Mindful of the importance of having clean air for a healthier environment, the Range Rover Sport comes with Cabin Air Purification Pro. This combines dual-nanoeX technology for allergen reduction and pathogen removal to help significantly reduce odours and viruses, while CO2 Management and PM2.5 Cabin Air Filtration enhance air quality.

2023 Range Rover Sport

The advanced nanoe X technology is scientifically proven to significantly reduce viruses and bacteria including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) viruses. In an independent test, nanoeX has shown over 99% elimination of the COVID-19 virus.

The CO2 Management feature is an enhancement of the cabin purification system. It monitors the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cabin and selectively introduces fresh air, which helps maintain driver alertness.

2023 Range Rover Sport

Besides Terrain Response 2, there are also Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to help the driver be aware of potential accidents and also avoid them. These include Emergency Braking, a 3D Surround Camera, Wade Sensing, ClearSight Interior Rear View Mirror, Manoeuvring Lights, Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, Driver Condition Response, Lane Keep Assist, and Traffic Sign Recognition.

ClearSight Ground View in Range Rover Evoque
The ClearSight Ground View display was introduced in the Range Rover Evoque as a world first. It allows the driver to see the ground just ahead of the vehicle to spot obstacles or hazards.
Range Rover Sport MLA-Flex structure
ClearSight Ground View can also be used on the road, complementing the rearview camera when parking in tight spots.

A fascinating feature is the ClearSight Ground View which gives the driver a view of the ground just ahead of the front bumper. It’s like seeing through the front end and all the ground conditions are visible as well as where the front wheels are. With this feature, it is possible to manoeuvre the vehicle around any hazards confidently.

“Sime Darby Motors is pleased to launch the third-generation of the iconic Range Rover Sport, which is celebrated globally for its combination of luxury and performance. We are confident that the Range Rover Sport will set new benchmarks for the luxury SUV segment, which continues to grow in Malaysia,” said Jeffrey Gan, Managing Director of Retail and Distribution of Sime Darby Motors Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Macau.

Range Rover Sport [2023]

Click here to know more about Range Rover models in Malaysia

Visit Motortrader.com.my to find pre-owned Range Rovers

2023 Range Rover Velar now available for booking

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