Range Rover Sport SuperchargedOver Christmas, I was lucky enough to enjoy the V8 supercharged splendour of a supercharged Range Rover Sport.

Big and bold, it wasn’t just the engine that was supercharged: everything about it was upscaled, from width to wheels to wow factor. It was an unexpected head-turner.

Naturally, it was also totally effortless, as you’d expect a super-refined new Range Rover with a 517hp 5.0-litre V8 to be. Rarely have I been wafted to the office in such a haven of impeccable lusciousness.

Twitter did collectively suck in through its teeth with one aspect though – predicted fuel economy. It may be all-aluminium but the Sport still weighs 2.4 tonnes, and its go-anywhere SUV underpinnings are hardly designed primarily with eco running in mind.

For a self-confessed eco geek, it risked being a painful sort of pleasure, particularly as so few cars actually achieve official consumption figures such as the 22.1mpg quoted for the Range Rover Sport.

Eco surprise

But, you know what? It amazed me. No matter what I did or how I drove it, the average journey consumption figure near as always read 22mpg. On a fast run back from the office in traffic, it swelled to nearly 27mpg.
Range Rover Sport Supercharged
Better still, on the easygoing traffic-free run in that morning, it topped 30mpg – a 30 per cent improvement on official combined.

(Sure, it’s still hardly amazing, but I’d been primed for much, much worse…)

How did it achieve this? My theory is by using its engine size to its advantage. A big, multi cylinder engine like this will always use a certain amount of fuel to accelerate, reflected in the lowly official figure.

But get it up to speed, and there’s so much in reserve, its size turns to its advantage. A gently-driven big engine will also always be less stressed than a smaller capacity one in the same situation.

And a really powerful engine will hardly be roused by regular usage, further adding to its lean-running potential.

That’s the theory, anyway, It’s one I so strongly believe in, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and actively looking for my own V8 commuter car.

But before I do, does anyone else out there have experience of this phenomenon? Or is it jus the Range Rover Sport that proves the eco advantages of upsizing?