Loud and proud luxury tuner Brabus has a new widebody kit for the 2014 Range Rover Sport through their subsidiary STARTECH, which drops and stretches the SUV into a performance hatchback look. I dare say, I think they're pulling it off.
There's something kind of cool about this inherently impractical marriage of styles. It's such a caricature that it takes me back to the tiny toy cars of my formative years; the same assessment many of us made on the off-road Lancia-looking "Jalapeno Fiero."
What Brabus is calling the "STARTECH REFINEMENT program" includes bumpers and side skirts made from PUR-R-Rim plastics, which are presented as "OEM quality." Fender flares are optional and add about 2.3" of girth to a regular Range Rover. That extra width allows the absolutely absurd 11Jx23 wheels and 305/30 R 23 tires to squeeze into the wheel wells.
There are 21's available for the paupers who can't afford to roll their fenders. But, really, what Brabus customer is going to order those slats-on-slats bumpers and Fast & Furious spoiler but draw the line at bumped out wheel arches?
Brabus' STARTECH SD 30 S performance kit remaps the 3.0 LR-TDV6 Biturbo diesel engine for an extra 31 horsepower and 52 lb-ft of torque, shaving three tenths of a second off the vehicle's 0-60 time. A special module for the air suspension control system drops the SUV about an inch, and Brabus claims "makes it more agile." Off-road capability is, obviously, completely compromised.
Interior appointments will be by customer request with swaths of leather, Alcantara, wood and carbon fiber.
Everything is warrantied for about 60,000 miles. No confirmation on price yet, but I have a feeling if you have to ask this thing isn't for you.