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2012 Range Rover Sport: Ready for Denver’s worst winter

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Denver luxury SUV buyers will appreciate the long list of features that make the Range Rover Sport one of the best all-weather SUV's available today. Things like heated front and rear seats, a heated windshield, heated outside mirrors and windshield washer jets make Denver winter driving enjoyable.

And the 2012 Range Rover Sport is one of the off-road capable vehicles on Denver roads, though most Range Rover Sport owners never use them to their potential. It starts with a 5.0-liter 375 horsepower aluminum V-8. The engine shares the same basic design that is used with their Jaguar cousins but gets some modifications to handle off-road extremes.

The Range Rover gets a deeper oil pan to keep lubrication continuous when the vehicle is off road and tilted at steep angles. If the driver gets far enough into Colorado’s back country, the Range Rover can ford water up to 27 inches deep. All of the electric motors, pulleys and bearings, plus the starter, alternator and air conditioning compressor, have been waterproofed.

The Sport uses a smooth and quick-shifting six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission that comes equipped with Normal, Sport and Manual modes. It has a two-speed transfer case that can be shifted on the fly, with a low range that will drive the vehicle through the most extreme off-road conditions you can encounter. The system that Range Rover uses is called the Terrain Response.

Terrain Response allows the driver to adjust chassis and transmission settings to suit the terrain being traversed. Five settings are available via a rotary knob on the console. These include general driving; grass, gravel, snow; mud and ruts; sand; and rock crawl. All the driver has to do is look out the windshield and select for the correct terrain, and the Range Rover Sport will adjust accordingly.

One notable feature is the optional surround camera system. The system uses five cameras, two facing forward, one on either side of the SUV facing down, and one at the rear to give a near-360-degree view of surroundings. Camera views can be selected from the main navigation screen, and the view can be zoomed if necessary.

Click here and we’ll take the Range Rover Sport out on the roads of Denver for a real life test.

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