Land Rover has lifted the lid on its new Range Rover Sport - describing it as “the fastest, most agile and responsive Land Rover yet”.
The Manhattan skyline offered a fitting backdrop for the occasion with the US being the biggest selling market for the vehicle and New York being its best-selling city.
The Solihull-made Range Rover Sport is the second all-new vehicle launched by Land Rover in a matter of months, following hot on the heels of the latest Range Rover.
The new model has plenty in common with the company’s flagship model too, sharing the same aluminium architecture which has seen its weight reduced by 420kg.
The original Range Rover Sport was launched in 2007 to fill a gap in the market and though it bore the Range Rover name it was actually based on the Land Rover Discovery platform.
The second generation model has been developed in tandem with the latest Range Rover, meaning it shares far more common DNA with its bigger brother.
Design-wise it has not deviated radically from its predecessor but it also has echoes of the two vehicles it sits between in the Land Rover line-up, the Range Rover and the Evoque.
Land Rover has stressed its ‘faster’ windscreen angle, streamlined and rounded profile and improved aerodynamics as a sign it will live up to its ‘Sport’tag in every respect.
A first for the model sees the option of two additional seats, the 5+2 set-up ensuring it has the capability to compete with seven-seat SUVs. It also boasts a more luxurious Range Rover-inspired interior.
Under the bonnet two engines will initially be offered, one diesel and one petrol, and economy is boosted by up to seven per cent though a fuel-saving stop-start system. More engine options, including a diesel hybrid, will come on stream in due course.
The main seller in the UK is certain to be the 3.0-litre TDV6, which thanks to the weight loss regime offers 15 per cent lower CO2 emissions and significantly enhanced fuel economy.
But petrol heads and US buyers will undoubtedly prefer to plump for a 5.0-litre 500bhp V8, which will complete the 0-60mph sprint in a blistering five seconds, though it also is more fuel-efficient and pumps out less CO2 than its supercharged predecessor.
While the Sport offers improved on-road dynamics Land Rover say the vehicle still offers the legendary off-roading ability the brand is renowned for.
It features a new automatic Terrain Response system, with the vehicle adjusting accordingly to the conditions and there is a choice of four-wheel-drive systems, with one having the added benefit of further weight reduction.
The Sport will go on sale from July and although prices have not been revealed it is expected to cost from £55,000.
Speaking in advance of its official world premiere at the New York International Auto Show, Land Rover global brand director John Edwards said: “The all-new Range Rover Sport is a vehicle that has been designed and engineered without compromise.
“With Land Rover capability at its heart, it is one of the most road focused vehicles we’ve ever produced, but of course still offers unsurpassed all-terrain capability.
“It is a vehicle which is designed to be driven. We’ve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting drive, together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.”