Stormin’ down Bangna-Trat Expressway at 200 kph
The test drive: There it was a macho looking piece of machinery. Nine million THB worth of imported 4X4 ~ All Wheel Drive automotive luxury. The Range Rover Sport HSE. Designed in 1970 by Charles Spencer King a “go-fast and turn-tight type guy”. Who was tragically killed by a van riding his bike at age 85.
Mr. Kings design still holds. It’s fire proof, it’s iconic. The legacy, the name. First they wanted to call the vehicle Road Rover!!! Range Rover was a good choice. Imagine Road Rover. I could have a dog named Road Rover but a premium SUV?
Walk around: Range Rover Sport HSE. What can I say. Damn good looking. The new nose, the new two bar grille. The new LED headlamp and cool tail-light clusters but still keeping the original 70s Range Rover design DNA. Range Rover Sport is the definitive luxury sports tourer.
Step inside. The superbly appointed, premium leather interior and elevated cockpit designed to cosset and cocoon every passenger. The ergonomically designed center console comes with a cooler. A super premium infotainment system with a 11 speaker Harman Kardon sound system boasting. And multi function steering wheel controls, touch screen information system plus all the iPad, USB, blue-tooth – the works.
The parking aid displays a wide-angled ( front, back and side) image on the touch-screen. No need for a parking attendant any more. For safety and security there’s six airbags, side curtains, ABS, DSC, ETC and RSC (roll stability control).
Fire up the engine. No key! Just press the start button. Under the hood lurks a 3.0 liter high-tech Turbo Diesel pumping out 255 horse power 600 Nm of torque enough to tow a locomotive. Fuel consumption 9 kilometer per liter. The sprint to 0-100 takes 9.3 seconds. This roaring V6 power-plant is mated to a super-smooth 8 speed automatic gearbox with paddles on the steering wheel. Underneath permanent four wheel traction connected to four glorious 20′ five spoke wheels.
Let’s hit the road. Zig-zag through the heavy down town traffic. The commanding view makes so easy to manoeuvre this 2,500 kg vehicle. Exit Thonglor- Rama XI direction Suwanabhumi. Eight lanes. The turbo chargers kick in. 100-150 -180 kph. Swiftly.
Into the long curve approaching the airport at 140 kph! And flat out again on the straight to the DEP terminal. Left, right. The brakes sharp as a neurosurgeons knife. My passenger hangs on the grab handle with two hands. “What a ride!
“ I answer, you ain’t seen nothing, yet!” I as I cruise past the runways and hangars of Suwarnabhumi and hit the elevated Bangkok-Chonburi Expressway. Now the in official, (clandestine) high speed test. The long stretch toward Chonburi. NOW! Speedometer: 110, 140, 160,180 and 200 kph! Steady like a rock. Full speed ahead.
This is the Range Rover Sport. Length 4,7 meters, wheelbase 2.7 meters and weight 2.5 metric tons.
A luxury sports tourer and the still the ultimate SUV, 4×4, All Wheel Drive. The Range Rover Sport is the favorite vehicle of many celebs from the Beckham’s, Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Pamela Anderson to Michael Jordan.
Last year the 1,000,000 th Range Rover rolled out of the Solihull factory. And who else drives it? Pope John Paul II and Queen Elisabeth. Range Rover 41 years – still the best 4x4xfar.
British Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Pattaya Showroom Tel: 038 377 855
Written by : John K Lindgren