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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Wheels |SUVs & Wagons: Land Rover Range Rover Sport Autobiography

Paul Dean

Luxurious enough to be owned by royalty, the Land Rover Range Rover Sport Autobiography (www.landrover.com) also possesses off-road abilities that enable it to traverse deserts, bogs, and Antarctic snowfields. Credit for the latest model’s enhanced mobility and versatility goes to the Land Rover designers and engineers who replaced the heavy steel bodies and chassis of the earlier Sports with an all-aluminum monocoque that has reduced the vehicle’s weight by about 800 pounds—the equivalent of a few adults and their luggage.

Drop that much weight and add a supercharged 5-liter V-8 that develops 510 hp and 461 ft lbs of torque, and you have a velvet tractor with the agility of a Porsche. The Sport has a top speed of 155 mph and runs from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds, which closely matches the acceleration time of the BMW 5-Series. For the Autobiography edition, which has a starting price of about $93,000, Land Rover offers a choice of 19 exterior colors, premium interior trims, a glossy black grille, and 20-, 21-, or 22-inch alloy wheels.