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Range Rover pens its Autobiography

2012-01-31 13:11

ICONIC 4x4: The Range Rover remains the quintessential 4x4, but the Sport Autobiography now looks a lot sportier too.


With all the attention focused on its new Evoque, Range Rover has decided to remind us of its flagship model with the launch of a new Sport variant – the Autobiography edition.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer RANGE ROVER
Engine 5.0 LR-V8 SC
Power 375kW at 6000 - 6500rpm
Torque 625Nm at 2500 - 5500rpm
Transmission Six speed automatic
Zero To Hundred 6.2 seconds
Top Speed 225km/h
Fuel Tank 88 litres
Fuel Consumption 14.9/l/km
Weight 3125 kg
Airbags Six airbags
Front Suspension Air sprung Independent double wishbone
Rear Suspension Air sprung Independent double wishbone
Price R1136995


The Range Rover Evoque hogged media attention in 2011 and deservedly so with its head-turning style and incredible performance. Despite the brand earning the ire of many tree-hugging protesters, it seems to have quelled its “big, fuel guzzling SUV” reputation with the new crossover...at least for the time being.

With all the attention focused of the Evoque, Range Rover has decided to up the ante by launching a new variant of its Sport range – the Autobiography edition.

The Sport model has been around for few years, but the British automaker has taken vehicle customisation to heart with the launch of its new Autobiography edition featuring a host of styling changes.

So what’s new?

The Autobiography edition receives a number of styling upgrades, both interior and exterior, and an enhanced entertainment system.


External and interior design elements have been enhanced for 2012. As the flagship for Range Rover Sport, Autobiography Sport gives customers the opportunity to put their own original stamp on their vehicle and make it truly exclusive.

At the front, the Autobiography edition receives a new bonnet badge and grille, and the headlights have been modified to feature gloss black inners. Along the sides you’ll notice a new side vent design, body-coloured door handles and new 20" ten-spoke alloy wheels. The rear has been left largely unchanged save for the branding and a powered-tailgate, but more on that later.

Inside the Autobiography offers two luxury oriented interior themes - Cannes and revised Valencia - as well as five standard interior themes - Estoril, Hockenheim, Le Mans, Monaco and Monza. The themes add varying trim and colour changes throughout the interior and gives customers an added level of customisation not seen before in the range.

The voluminous boot has been enhanced with the addition of a powered tailgate. Operated via the key fob, or buttons in the centre console or on the tailgate, the lift height can now be set by holding the tailgate at the desired height and pressing the tailgate button for 10 seconds. This is especially useful if you’re in an area with a low ceiling and don’t want to risk damaging the rear by extending the tailgate to its full gate or having to awkwardly hold it in place while you retrieve your kit.

Range Rover Sport Autobiography

CUSTOMISATION: The new Autobiography edition features many different interior themes ranging from classic cream to a burnt orange. There's even an off-pink option...

Infotainment levels have been upgraded for all Sport models with added connectivety supporting DVD audio formats, iPod and video streaming via USB ports. Rear passengers will now have access to Range Rovers WhiteFire wireless technology incorporating cordless headphones. The standard Harman Kardon sound system has been upgraded from nine to 11-speakers and the output boosted from 240W to a substantial 380W. The Premium system now sports 17 speakers and an increase in output from 480W to 825W.

The Sport range also uses a seven inch touch-screen with dual view technology, allowing the driver to view the navigation display whilst passengers can watch a DVD. The sat-nav system now features voice commands with on-screen prompts.


Land Rover’s monster 5.0 V8 petrol engine continues to head the Range Rover Sport model range in 2012. The engine develops 375kW at 6000-6500rpm and 625Nm at 2500-5500rpm. The engine rockets the massive SUV from 0-100 in 6.2 seconds, which is mind boggling considering the vehicles’ kerb weight of 2.5 tons. 

The engine is mated to a six-speed auto transmission and fuel consumption is rated at a claimed 14.9l/100; don’t be surprised though if you’re reaching figures of 22 – 33l/100km when pushing it.

Sure, it’s a massive SUV but its performance and handling is on par with a hot-hatch courtesy of the automaker’s blistering engine and adaptive dynamics system that stiffens the suspension and steering to deliver a sporty ride. Understandably there’s quite bit of body roll but it’s ability to hug corners is fantastic, delivering a smooth, stable ride regardless of twists and undulations.

Cruising at top speed on highways and driving around the suburbs is not why you bought a Range Rover (we hope), so how does it perform off-road?


The Land Rover brand has quite a tradition of producing highly capable off-roaders. In essence each vehicle contains the brand’s off-road DNA, before moving off to the styling and interior bits. The Range Rover Sport makes short work of any off-road obstacles, be they inclines, steep dsecents or cross-axle paths.

Other models such as BMW’s X5 and X6 may claim a large slice of the 4x4 market but honestly, who’s going to risk scuffing those models out in the bundus? With Land Rover, much like Toyota’s Land Cruiser, scratches and dings add character... at least that used to be the case. I often wonder how owners of a Range Rover Sport feel dropping over R1million on a vehicle only to punish it off-road for fun.

The new Autobiography edition adds something special to the brand without skimping on either its on- or off-road qualities, despite its hefty price increase. The Range Rover Sport is first and foremost a pedigree 4x4. Sure it looks like a pimped SUV especially with its new bling grille, headlights and alloy wheels, but unlike other 4x4 posers the Range Rover is as comfortable on the road as it is overcoming off-road obstacles.

Land Rover has updated its image in recent years, even its showrooms have ditched the rustic outdoorsman look and feel for a stylish chic appeal more akin to its Bavarian rivals. If you’ve spent time in Sandton you’ll know just how many Landies are out there being wasted mounting kerbs instead of traversing mountain passes.

Range Rover Sport Autobiography R1136995


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