2012 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Performance

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Performance
Far more capable than you'd expect any 5,500-plus-pound vehicle to be, even in "base" HSE trim, the 2012 Range Rover Sport is a force to be reckoned with on-road, and able to acquit itself surprisingly well off-road, too.

The HSE version uses a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 375 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to haul the big SUV to 60 mph in just 7.2 seconds, and likely as much power as most buyers will need--or want.

For those with a thirst for massive power, there's the Supercharged. With a supercharger added to the 5.0-liter V-8, it generates 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque for blistering 5.9-second 0-60 mph runs. Both Range Rover Sport trims come with standard all-wheel drive, six-speed automatic transmissions, and advanced dynamics and traction control systems.

The 2012 Range Rover Sport's powerful engines, well-tuned suspension, and high-tech electronic control systems combine to make one of the most versatile high-performance SUVs available.

While the Range Rover Sport, and the Supercharged model in particular, give up some off-road capability in trade for superior on-road handling and speed, both are still capable of impressive off-road feats. The stiff suspension of the Sport makes it somewhat less comfortable than the standard Range Rover, however, and the street-tread tires don't do as well when grip is minimal.

Perhaps best of all, however, is how easy Land Rover makes it to access all of this performance. Behind the scenes, a symphony of differentials, electronics, and sensors combine to do amazing things to manage traction, speed, and driver control--but the driver doesn't need to understand how they work in order to use them. Just turn the knob or press the touch-screen button to suit the conditions and you're set.

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