Overtaken by the competition.
The 2012 Range Rover Sports Supercharged is powered by the same 5.0 Liter supercharged engine as the one in the Jaguar XFR. While the XFR felt insane, with a touch of uncontrollable power, the Range Rover Sports feels like the Hulk. Big and bulky, the almost 2.7 tons Range River Sport is propelled from 0 to 100kmph in just 6.2 seconds thanks to the 503 horses under the hood and 625Nm of torque.
And once you’re past that threshold, the 6-speed ZF HP28 gearbox keeps the rev in check so that you’re hitting 228kmph without even breaking a sweat. All that acceleration also results in the sweet sounding angry snarl of the engine, even as the supercharger whines up and you’re roaring away on the highway.
In the mild desert areas I ventured into with the Range Rover Sport, it felt reassuringly calm as I selected the appropriate Terrain Control. Driving slowly, I could take the Range Rover Sports to almost any place I felt comfortable taking it and my destination was always arrived at with no more than a few carefully calculated pushes of the accelerator and twists of the steering wheel. But then again that’s true of any good 4×4.
On the roads the Range Rover Sports drove like you’d expect: extremely smooth with virtually no road noise except the gentle rumble of the engine. The Adaptive Dynamic suspension kept everything in check without being overbearing (as was the case in the XFR when it tried to get out of hands) and the overall ride remains composed, but enjoyable.
The 2012 Range Rover Sports Supercharged is an extremely capable SUV, if a bit bland on the inside, retaining a classic shape that’s immediately recognizable on the roads. Perhaps that’s the reason why it’s the darling of UAE, but nowadays one has to look at the rest of the market as well. With the new Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and even the Lexus LX570, the Range Rover Sports feels a little outdated and outclassed in comparison. And if having the prestigious Range Rover brand is not important, then even the new Jeep Cherokee SRT8 with looks (and sounds) is a great drive.
Ultimately, though, a Range Rover is a Range Rover; unless a new facelift arrives the current model is never going to be out of fashion. And without a doubt, the Sports Supercharged is a surefire bet that you’ll be getting fiercely competitive power and luxury, even if it’s not class-leading anymore.