What's better than shoving a new straight-six engine into a perennially solid luxury SUV? Throwing a 48-volt mild hybrid in there, too, that's what. That's the idea behind the Range Rover Sport HST.
Land Rover on Wednesday unveiled the Range Rover Sport HST, a special edition with a new member of Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium engine family. This new turbocharged 3.0-liter I6 is claimed to be smoother and stronger than the old V6. It puts out about 395 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, enough to get the SUV to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
To help combat turbo lag and provide better response, Land Rover fitted the powertrain with an electric supercharger than can spin up to 120,000 RPM in just half a second. Some of that juice will come from a new 48-volt mild hybrid system also fitted to the Range Rover Sport HST. In addition to providing juice for the electric supercharger, it uses an electric motor to harvest energy under braking, and it should increase the amount of time the stop-start system can stay activated.
Of course, the powertrain isn't the only special thing about the Sport HST. It also looks a bit different, thanks to special badges and carbon fiber trim on the hood, grille and tailgate. Two alloy wheel designs are on offer, and buyers can choose from five different paint colors -- black, white, silver, red or gray. Red brake calipers are standard, but more demure buyers can have them in gray.
Inside, there's a new color pattern on the front seats, and both the steering wheel and gear lever are detailed in suede. There's at least one HST badge inside the car as well, in case you forget what you're driving.
Land Rover has only announced the Range Rover Sport HST for the UK so far, but it shouldn't be long before the company unveils the same trim for US-spec Range Rover Sports. In the UK, the HST will set you back £81,250 (about $105,000).
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