Because it’s brand-new, and it’s a 294kW mild-hybrid.
Usually, carmakers will reserve their newest powertrains and technologies for all-new models, to provide maximum impact and make a new product that much more appealing to new customers. But if you’re Jaguar-Land Rover and you need to everything necessary to recharge interest in your current lineup, you cue up a special edition to debut that new engine. And that’s exactly what they’ve done here, with the new Range Rover Sport HST.
It’s a Range Rover Sport as you or I know it, but under the skin, serious changes have been made to mark this out as a new model. Gone is the old supercharged V6 engine, replaced with an all-new Ingenium inline-6 mill. Measuring 3.0-litres in capacity, the new engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger and an electric supercharger. The latter runs off the car’s 48V electrical system, and is able to spool up in just half a second to provide near-instant throttle response.
As part of that 48V system, you’ll find a battery, a regenerative braking system, and a small electric motor mounted within the gearbox. That small motor provides immediate torque at low-speeds (reducing engine load during takeoff), and allows the engine to shut off as you coast to a halt. The Ingenium I-6 also packs JLR’s variable valve lift & timing technologies, resulting in a 12% CO2 emissions reduction, while adding a particulate filter can reduce the causticity of the car’s farts by 75%.
It’s not all hug-the-polarbears though, as the new 3.0-litre is properly quick. There’s 294kW and 550Nm on tap, easily eclipsing the supercharged V6. In the Range Rover Sport HST, that means the century sprint is cued up in just 6.2-seconds, while V-max is rated at 225km/h. An eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive system ensure all that ferocity is transferred to the road, while active air suspension, dampers, and Terrain Response 2 ensure smooth, unfettered progress no matter the surface.
If we must talk about the HST’s rarified status… the HST edition comes with special badges (of course), and carbon-fibre trim pieces on the bonnet, grille, side vents, and tailgate. There are five exterior colours to choose from, and two alloy wheel designs. The wheels sit ahead of red brake callipers as standard, but if that upsets your stiff upper lip, you can option to have them in anodised grey.
The cabin on the other hand gets an updated colour pattern for the standard 16-way powered front seats, while there’s suede employed on bits like the steering wheel & gear lever. Oh, and there are chrome gear shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
Jaguar-Land Rover Australia has yet to confirm the availability of the Range Rover Sport HST. That said even if we don’t get the HST, we can be pretty sure that the smart new Ingenium mills are due for introduction sooner rather than later, and likely in less expensive, more vanilla variants too.