With Land Rover’s recent push to downsize their vehicles and improve efficiency, the company has drawn heavily from the use of supercharged power, substituting a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 for the gas-guzzling 5.0-liter V8 in base Range Rovers, Range Rover Sports, and LR4s. However, it’s a wonder why the company has shied completely away from diesel power in the US given the success of oil-burning Rovers throughout Europe. The company may fear that diesels’ less-than-stellar horsepower numbers and “unsophisticated” behavior will detract from Land Rover’s premium status in the US. Nonetheless, with Land Rover’s recent update to the Range Rover Sport SDV6 power plant, the engine may very well be ready for service in the States.
The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged SDV6 unit now produces a respectable 302 horsepower to go along with a massive 516 lb.-ft. of torque, an improvement over the previous SDV6’s 288 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque. Land Rover revised the engine’s turbochargers and added more efficient fuel injectors, allowing the new SDV6 to return over 40 mpg on the European cycle. These are impressive numbers considering that the engine develops over 300 horsepower and carries a vehicle that weighs around 5,000 pounds.
Rumors of a hybrid powertrain in future of the Range Rover/ Range Rover Sport have abounded–in the meantime, however, it seems practical to offer a diesel engine as the “economical” alternative. If the diesel engine sees duty in the US, it would be one of the more powerful diesels available on an American luxury SUV. In addition, the SDV6’s massive torque wouldn’t sacrifice the Range Rover Sport’s aggressive, dynamic characteristics or the Range Rover’s off-road prowess. And with a fuel economy rating unthinkable for Range Rovers of the past, the move to diesel would be a win on all fronts for Land Rover and its customers.
Stay tuned on TFLcar.com for more developments concerning diesel Land Rovers in the US–we wouldn’t be surprised if the move happened within the next few years.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video review of the 2014 Range Rover Sport.
Frank caught automotive fever early in life. Hailing from a long line of car fanatics, he was able to recite the year and model of every car that passed him by age five. His passion and love for the automobile have only grown since then. When not thinking about cars, he is reading, writing, learning, or dreaming about them. His area of expertise is in the realm of German and Italian cars, of which Porsche is a favorite. Frank currently resides in the heart of NASCAR country in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family. He enjoys driving exotic cars in the beautiful Carolina weather.