All-new for 2006, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport is the company’s high-performance sports touring SUV.

The Sport offers two engines, a naturally-aspirated 4.4-litre V8 or a supercharged 4.2-litre V8, both mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The supercharged model comes standard with the company’s first application of its Dynamic Response suspension system, a computer-controlled active anti-roll system that senses concerning forces and optimizes control and handling (it can be added to the 4.4-litre). It can be deactivated on off-road applications to allow greater wheel articulation on tougher terrain. Other features of the Sport’s suspension include electronic air suspension with automatic load-levelling and multiple modes, double wishbones front and rear, monotube dampers and speed sensitive, variable-ratio steering. A multi-mode system maximizes traction and control and can be set by the driver to such settings as General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand, or Rock Crawl.

The Sport is available as the HSE or the Supercharged (S/C). Features on the HSE include 19-inch alloy wheels, Hill Descent Control, four-wheel electronic traction control, six airbags, bi-Xenon headlamps, front and rear fog lamps, keyless entry, deep-tinted glass, Harman/Kardon Logic7 “surround sound” stereo, satellite DVD-based navigation system, eight-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated windshield and washer jets, heated front and rear seats, front and rear park distance control, sunroof, rear washer/wiper, heated mirrors, and programmable key fob that can control such functions as the air suspension.

The S/C adds unique seating surfaces, chrome exhaust extensions, Dynamic Response, Brembo front brakes, adaptive front lighting, cooler box, 20-inch alloy wheels and black-on-silver badging.

Available options include adaptive cruise control (on the S/C), satellite radio, Bluetooth telephone integration and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Similar to the Range Rover, but slightly smaller and lighter, the Sport is also faster, but with the same legendary ability to take on the toughest terrain you can throw at it. Despite its size, it’s extremely nimble and packed with the luxury features expected from a Range Rover. The S/C makes 60 fewer horses than the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, but it’s also $33,100 less.

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