It needs to: Premier Automotive Group chairman Mark Fields says 2005 is the “year of delivery” for Land Rover and he expects the brand to start contributing profits to the Ford business.
The Range Rover Sport is powered by three Jaguar-derived engines: 390bhp supercharged 4.2-litre V8 and normally aspirated 4.4-litre V8 petrol engines, plus a new 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel, and features the Land Rover staples of anti-roll control and terrain response.
Pricing starts at £39,995 for the 2.7-litre, rising to £58,995 for the V8 ‘First Edition’.
Managing director Matthew Taylor calls it the most aerodynamic Land Rover ever – although the model has been toned down from the original Stormer concept revealed at Detroit a year earlier – and says it is both performance-biased and driver focused.
Taylor expects dealers to shift 4,000 in a full year, mostly conquest sales but with some cannibalisation from Range Rover. Customers will be entrepreneurial businessmen who want to stand out from the crowd.
“We see the Sport as a less frenetic, more refined alternative to existing performance SUVs,” he adds.