Land Rover’s replacement for the Range Rover Sport will get racier styling and an all-new electric-ready platform.
Our spy photographers have snapped the third-generation Range Rover Sport out on the open road. The new SUV is expected to make its debut at the end of 2022, where it will rival everything from the BMW X5 to the pure-electric Audi e-tron.
Land Rover will achieve this breadth of ability by moving the Range Rover Sport onto its new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA), which has been designed to accommodate 48-Volt mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric drivetrains.
The platform was originally destined to underpin the now-cancelled next-generation pure-electric Jaguar XJ. Now, the next-generation full-size Range Rover will be the first car to use the architecture, followed by the Sport at the end of next year.
As the name suggests, the MLA platform is designed for longitudinally mounted combustion engines for cars using mild and plug-in hybrid drivetrains. And while the all-electric XJ is no longer in Jaguar Land Rover’s product plan, it doesn’t mean that fully electric cars based on MLA are no longer in the pipeline.
Land Rover has confirmed that it will launch its first pure-electric model in 2024, and it’s quite possible that the Range Rover Sport could go fully electric during its lifespan.
Jaguar Land Rover has already announced a collaboration with BMW on pure-electric drive units – and the technology should be able to support large electric vehicles, such as a fully electric Range Rover Sport.
There hasn’t been any official word on whether the two brand’s technological partnership will also include internal combustion engines, but we expect the next petrol-powered Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will also feature BMW power.
The Range Rover Sport is one of Land Rover’s best-selling models, outselling the full-size Range Rover by almost two-to-one. In Jaguar Land Rover’s most recent financial results, it was the group’s joint-second best-selling car, trailing only the Evoque.
As such, Land Rover hasn’t thrown the old Sport’s styling book out of the window. Although it’s still heavily camouflaged, this prototype’s styling looks to be evolutionary, blending the current model’s sleeker SUV shape with a few racier styling tweaks inspired by the brand’s other cars.
The overall length of the wheelbase appears to be the same, at just under three metres long, but the car’s front and rear overhangs are far shorter. The fake panelling also conceals a more steeply raked roofline and a larger tailgate spoiler.
In detail, the Sport’s nose will be more like the Velar’s, sharing its slim grille and narrow headlights, while the rear appears to borrow its horizontal wrap-around tail lights. The pop-out door handles are another new addition for the latest Range Rover Sport.
Our exclusive images show how the new car could look once the wraps are pulled off, with the new car certainly being pushed even sportier again in terms of design and proportions compared with its predecessor.