Range Rover Sport Autobiography Supercharged is a blend of supreme luxury, presence, prestige combined backed by a thumping V8 soundtrack
Motoringuru sampled the Range Rover Sport TDV6 S earlier in 2016 and whilst we enjoyed its fundamental luxury, diesel urge and road manners we felt that the overall “S” package was a little basic, especially for something adorned with Range Rover badging.
Happily though, Land Rover offers Range Rover Sport customers plenty of choice, and if you climb up the Range Rover Sport specification list, you arrive at the Range Rover Sport Autobiography Supercharged, our test car for this week.
The Range Rover Sport Autobiography Supercharged which is only offered with a 5.0 litre supercharged petrol V8 that makes a prodigious 375kW @ 6500rpm and a planet bending 625Nm @ 2500-5500rpm. Prices start from $193,425 plus options and government charges.
Climb into the Range Rover Sport Autobiography Supercharged cabin and there is plush seating for five – an extra two seats are optional – and the whole interior ambience is clean and modern, whilst drawing design cues from the original Range Rover.
Range Rover Sport Autobiography models are graced with an excellent 19 speaker 825w Meridian sound system, chilled and heated front seats with heating for the rear bench and all seats a wrapped in quality Oxford leather with an “Autobiography” pattern. The front seats have a massage function too, which allows the front occupants to even set the seats on a timer, allowing them to do their work automatically at a precise time point in the journey. During peak hour Melbourne traffic we found these a blessing!
There’s also a fully digital instrument cluster which has clear, crisp graphics and offers plenty of information at a glance, which can also can include satellite navigation instructions. Range Rover Sport Autobiography models also have a heads up display as standard, which provides navigation instructions in the driver’s line of vision.
What is less helpful is Land Rover’s infotainment system which is beginning to show its age. The quality of graphics is fine, but accessing various functions can be cumbersome and fiddly, despite a number of shortcuts on the head unit. There is voice control, but it doesn’t offer accessibility to all of the system’s functions.
Land Rover offers Range Rover Sport Autobiography customers a wide breadth of customisation for their lavish lounge on wheels, with a wide variety of different trims and leathers available to customers. Our car was furnished with the Espresso/Tan/Ivory combination with the standard Santorini Black roof and there’s illuminated door sills with Range Rover lettering for added garnish.
Additionally, a vast array of options is available to prospective owners to help ensure that their Range Rover Sport is bespoke from any other that may be rumbling around their well-to-do locale. Our test car was fitted with a sliding panoramic roof ($4200), four-zone climate control which keeps the rear passengers at a perfect temperature at all times ($3200), privacy glass and solar attenuating windscreen ($1350) and InControl Apps ($650).
Once you’ve found your ideal driving position in that 20-way adjustable driver’s armchair, you push the start button and Jaguar Land Rover’s 5.0 litre supercharged V8 roars – quite literally – into life. Power and torque are 375kW @ 6500rpm and 625Nm @ 2500-5500rpm respectively, and Land Rover says it’ll haul the Range Rover Sport from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds, and we believe them.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox plays a large part in such brisk acceleration and is an excellent comrade for the V8. The transmission not only shifts smoothly and quickly – drivers can change ratios themselves with steering wheel mounted paddles – but it makes the most of the engine’s enormous powerband.
And whilst accelerating through the rev range, the V8 growls, pops and bellows. There’s nothing at all subtle about the Range Rover Sport Autobiography exhaust note. It may be a sumptuous, elegant and sophisticated limousine inside, but from the outside, those twin exhausts trumpet a raw and thoroughly intoxicating note. The noise won’t be for everyone, granted, but this model is perhaps pegged at a niche market, and there are moresubtle offerings in the Land Rover stable.
Official fuel consumption figures are 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres, and we averaged 13.5 litres per 100 kilometres during a week of mixed driving. Drive the big Rangey enthusiastically, though, and we saw average consumption hover around the 18.5 mark.
On the road, the Range Rover Sport Autobiography handles surprisingly well for a large SUV. The air suspension keeps the ride quality complacent and body roll is barely perceptible. However, despite the clever adjustable air suspension, the Range Rover Sport still can feel large and slightly imposing, but it’s never truck-like or cumbersome.
Our test car was fitted with surround camera system ($1800) to assist with negotiating tight spaces on and off the beaten track.
Should you wish to get away on the odd weekend for a spot of mud plugging – I’m not sure that you would in a $200k+ car with 22inch wheels – but you can, the Range Rover has a multi-mode 4×4 system with locking differentials. The car tested even had a sonar which can measure the depth of water crossings and can provide the driver with feedback accordingly.
The Range Rover Sport Autobiography is backed by Land Rover’s three year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
Name: Range Rover Sport Autobiography
Engine: 4999cc supercharged and intercooled petrol V8, 375kW @ 6500rpm and 625Nm @ 2500-5500rpm
Price: $193,425 plus on road costs
Options: Sliding Panoramic Roof- $4200 Stealth Pack (Mirror Caps, Exterior Accents, Range Rover script on tailgate & bonnet, Fog Lamp Bezels, Front Grille, Toweye Cover, Tailgate Finisher, Side & Fender Vent Mesh and Wheelnuts, Gloss Black non-reflective surface headlamps) – $4000 22″ Satin Black 5 Split Spoke – ‘Style 508’ – $3200 4 Zone Climate Control – $3200 Wade Sensing plus Blind Spot Monitoring w/ Closing Vehicle Sensing & Reverse Traffic Detection – $2220 Surround Camera System – $1800 Privacy Glass w/ Solar Attenuating Windscreen- $1350 Tow Hitch Receiver – $950 InControl Apps – $690
Price as tested: $215,035
Country of Origin: England