There is no disguising from your neighbours what time you leave home when you drive the 5.0-litre, 510bhp, Range Rover Sport.

As your turn the key in the ignition the giant V8 bursts into life with a roar guaranteed to wake the heaviest of sleepers.

The new generation Sport is the ultimate luxury SUV, promising blistering performance on the road and sure-footed grip in the toughest of off-road conditions.

Blending the two very different requirements is an art form which is not easy to achieve and so comes at a cost, with this petrol model having a price tag of more than £81,000. This latest Sport is sleeker, lighter and offers more interior space than its predecessor.

Built entirely of aluminium it sits neatly between the new Evoque and the larger, full blown Range Rover on which it’s based. But while the Sport and its
bigger brother might look similar, a hefty 75 per cent of parts are completely different.

The more severely angled windscreen and the striking sloping roof all add to its super sporting appearance.

The interior is just as sporting while at the same time combining a definite element of luxury, including superb quality electrically operated front and rear leather seats – all of which can be heated or cooled at the touch of a button.

My test car had the added bonus of television screens in the rear of the front seat headrests as well as one in the centre of the dashboard with the company’s famous dual screen operation allowing the front seat passenger to watch programmes while the driver looking at the same screen can see only the touch screen buttons or the sat nav map.

In the new model the centre console is mounted higher so controls are closer, cocooning you in a cockpit-like layout, and the height of the Sport means you have superb visibility over the tops of surrounding cars making life on the road easier.

With a price tag of £81,000 you would expect the Sport Autobiography to be packed with hi-tech gadgetry and it is, with everything from a self parking programme, to blind spot indicators in the mirrors, self-closing doors and a powered tailgate.

Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Sport

And with a 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet you would also expect dynamic performance, and in this respect too the Range Rover Sport doesn’t disappoint.

Floor the accelerator and despite its size and weight the Sport lets out a mighty roar as it takes off. The effect is even more dynamic if you flick the gearshift from drive to sport or change gear manually via the paddles behind the steering wheel.

And with eight gears to go at, the power just keeps on coming.

The car has been engineered to deliver vastly improved on-road driving dynamics with more agile handling and the use of aluminium means it’s 39 percent lighter than the previous model’s steel semi-monocoque platform, giving significantly improved agility and performance.

And the nice thing about the Sport is how car-like it is to drive.

The on-board Adaptive Dynamics system monitors vehicle movements at least 500 times a second, reacting to driver or road inputs virtually instantaneously to give greater control and minimise body roll, providing a composed, flat ride similar to that of a hatchback or saloon.

And with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system on board allowing you to dial up the sort of terrain you are about to tackle, this car is as capable off road as it is fast on road.

Not that many Range Rover Sport Autobiography buyers will be driving off road, however, either in daylight or darkness.

Most are satisfied just to enjoy the luxury and superb on-road performance of this Midlands-built king of the road.

Fast Facts

Model: Range Rover Sport Autobiography

Price: £81,550

Mechanical: 4999cc, 510bhp, 8 cyl petrol engine driving all wheels via 8spd automatic gearbox.

Max speed: 155 mph

0-62mph: 5 secs

Combined mpg: 22.1

Insurance group: 49

CO2 emissions: 298 g/km

Warranty: Three years/ unlimited mileage