New engine debut for 2017 Range Rover Sport

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The new sport has improved all-terrain capabilities, with Low Traction Launch that makes easier for drivers to pull away on low-grip or unstable surfaces

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Land Rover says that its 2017 Range Rover Sport features its most efficient powertain to date, thanks to a new fuel-sipping diesel engine that offers similar performance to the outgoing 3 liter V6 engine, but that is lighter, with improved responses, agility and dynamics. It also comes with a host of new semi-autonomous driving technologies.

The new Sport sees the introduction of a 2.0-l Ingenium diesel engine, the first four-cylinder diesel engine in a full-sized Land Rover. It produces 240 hp (179 kW) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque and has a very reasonable fuel consumption of 45.6 mpg (5.2 l/100 km). That's not bad when compared to the 258 hp (190 kW) and 600 Nm produced by the 3.0-l V6, or indeed the V6's 40.9 mpg (6.9 l/100 km) fuel efficiency.

The new Sport's Low Traction Launch should make it easier for drivers to pull away on low-grip or unstable surfaces, such as mud, wet grass or ice. The system moderates the amount of torque when the driver presses the accelerator, reducing the potential for loss of traction.

Among the newly-added semi-autonomous driving technologies are Advanced Tow Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter. Advanced Tow Assist allows the driver to direct a trailer using the central touchscreen and a controller mounted on the center console. The vehicle uses its camera system for autonomous steering, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals. It will also provide an alert if a jack-knife is imminent.

The Blind Spot Assist feature keeps tabs on vehicles that are approaching from behind or that are already in the vehicle's blind spot. In the event that the driver starts to change lanes toward an approaching vehicle, the Sport will automatically steer away to prevent an accident.

The new Sport can read speed limit signs, too, and automatically adjust the vehicle's speed accordingly, though drivers can choose to activate or deactivate the Intelligent Speed Limiter as they see fit.

Also new is Driver Condition Monitor, which monitors steering wheel inputs, taking factors such as time of day and journey times into account, and will warn the driver if signs of fatigue are detected.

The Sport's new infotainment system boasts a larger 10-inch display, where drivers can pinch and zoom when navigating maps or swipe through menu screens. New bespoke mobile apps for functions like music playback, contacts and calendars are mirrored on the central touchscreen when the driver's smartphone is connected, while the new Pro Services system allows for apps to be installed directly to the vehicle's infotainment system.

An updated SatNav includes a Commute Mode, which learns regular journeys so drivers don't have to set a destination manually, and Door-to-Door Routing, which allows users to view the remainder of a route on their smartphone once they have parked so that they can finish it on foot.

Elsewhere, the InControl Remote Premium mobile app allows users to control vehicle functions from their smartphone. It's possible to check mileage or the fuel level, lock and unlock the vehicle and even adjust the climate control settings.

The 2017 Range Rover Sport goes on sale in the UK at the end of this year, with prices starting at £59,700 (about US$78,000). We've reached out for info on availability in other markets.

Source: Land Rover

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