Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Supercharged 2010 Range Rover

Time was when vehicles were made according to their purpose and type so that you know a limousine is a luxury car and a station wagon is for the family's all -purpose car and a sedan is for office use. Not anymore. We're talking about the upscale Range Rover and Land Rover SUVs. Not that we can't seem to get fond of these marks especially when their recent makes get low rating from J.D. Power. They certainly have gone a long way from the classic rovers that once reigned supreme as the workhorse of choice driven in the Saharan deserts to the Amazon jungles. But to get all that luxurious sybaritic quality on an SUV that only a Range Rover can deliver is just off the mark.

A Supercharged 2010 Range RoverIt can be ridiculous enough to see an off-roader all terrain 4X4 meant to be driven in jungles and dirt roads (that's why they're called off-road all terrain vehicles) that sport enough luxury to shame a limousine and has evolved to be the favourite among executives hugging the lanes in the metro jungles. But what can you say about an $82,000 off road all terrain vehicle that will precisely shame a limousine? We give up. We can start throwing out the window what Webster has to say about vehicle types as the Range Rover Sport is now officially an Oxymoron.

A Supercharged 2010 Range RoverIt seemed to have been designed the luxury division and then handed over to the sports division sliding under it a 4-wheel drive off-road package meant to rough it out in the jungles of Peru. Only this one, at that price, will never end in the hands of people with any intention of roughing it. It's the kind of SUV you don't want to see mud splashed anywhere on it. The Range Rover Sport boasts some really serious muscle under the hood with a supercharged, not just turbocharged, 5.0-liter all aluminum V8 spewing 510 BHP and 461 ft lbs of torque. If we didn't read the car model at the top of technical data sheet, we could have sworn it was referring to one of these Ferrari or Lamborghini supercars. But that kind was more meant to carry or pull some heavy loads up a rugged hill - something you will never see an 82-grand Range Rover do.

A Supercharged 2010 Range Rover

The Range Rover Sport is definitely a road artifact of the times and times are not good. At least not the gadgets built in it. An off-road driver used to be happy if he got a radio in the dashboard. The Range Rover Sport doesn't have a radio; it has an "entertainment system." It also has the onboard links that will delight a computer geek, not a macho explorer. It even has cruise control that is just too paranoid of anyone blocking its path that it breaks. Mind you, it can't be turned off and it breaks, not slows down. But all that muscle and luxury carry a hefty price, not just the price tag, but a requirement to use 93 octane fuels. And even with such high octane fuel, you'd be lucky to pass the EPA rating of 12 mpg in city driving and slightly better than 17 mpg on the freeway.

We are not in the business of telling people what they can or can't drive but if we have to spend that much cash, we'd prefer something less then over-powered and over-decorated luxury car pretending to be an all-terrain off-road all wheel drive vehicle. Or is it the other way around? But no matter, we're certain the people who can afford 82 grand won't bother with our caveats. Not when it's a real head turner parked on the driveway. Those jaw-dropped stares from the neighbors can be quite priceless.

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