Welcome to the artistic landscapes, vintage tapas cuisine, cultural energy, and trendy fashion of Madrid, the Spanish capital known for its constellation of renaissance and contemporary art, elegant boulevards, and expansive royal landmarks. Whether you are visiting the historic city with family, friends, or a spouse, make sure to do so with keys in hand to an all-new 2023 Range Rover Sport. Likewise, my memorable time here was constituted by a global test drive experience of the newfangled British SUV while seeking out passionate activities to fulfill my adventurous spirit.
Embarking from Virginia, the journey transitioned from Washington Dulles International Airport to Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport through a direct 6.5-hour business class flight on United Airlines. After landing in the morning, please make your way into Centro Madrid in the back seat of the New Range Rover Sport luxury chariot and its plush cabin. The mobile lounge will softly sound you to sleep for a 45-minute nap before arriving at The Madrid EDITION, your innovatively-designed hotel accommodations during the European vacation. Before checking in, take a quick walking tour to enjoy the lively scenes and local energy to increase blood flow after the long flight. Next, seek a café for tea, fruit, and pastries while admiring Madrid’s sunny blue skies, eclectic neighborhoods, and historic buildings. Afterward, your beautifully-appointed apartment-styled suite will be ready to refresh, rest, and regroup.
Wake up to the vivacious echos of Spanish conversations and laughter, which will entice you to join the fanfare as you walk through one of the city’s most famous sites, Puerta de Sol, a busy and scenic square in the heart of the Spanish capital. Shopping is omnipresent, as well as restaurants, pubs, and lounges as you prepare for the next day of exploration. Of course the nightlife is active almost every evening, therefore be sure to conserve energy. Next, head to Casa de Valencia to satisfy your soul with the symbolic and authentic Valencian rice dish paella. Oh wow, you will eat until the sun rises if given a chance!
After a deep sleep, wake up revitalized for your drive to the countryside in the 2023 Range Rover Sport First Edition P530 V8, the lynchpin of four powertrain choices for the stately SUV. But first, hit the state-of-the-art gym for an immersive physical workout since it features every piece of equipment required to complete rejuvenation. Next up is drive time. Land Rover is proud of its dynamic British aesthetics and design philosophies thanks to the genius of Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern, who embodied the new Sport with intelligent controls, technological aggression, modish materials, and sustainable Ultrafabrics. En route to Soto de Mozanaque in Alcobendas, Madrid, my drive partner and I chose a Firenze Red Range Rover Sport First Edition glorified by a contrasting black roof and imperial 23” 10-spoke Gloss Black rims. Tucked in 285/45 R23 Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires, the larger co-engineered rubber keeps the vehicle grounded and fills up the wheel wells nicely for greater definition. The A-pillar, window frames, grille, badges, rear diffuser, and tailgate spoiler are also blacked out.
The SUV is enthusiastically agile, powerful, and ultra-quiet inside and out until you floor it as the seductive growl emanating from the quad pipes takes precedence. With a 4.4-liter V8 twin-turbo engine and 523-horsepower, 4.3-second 0-to-60 mph acceleration is immediately at your disposal from every gear of the 8-speed automatic transmission. Moreover, the picturesque roads outside the city were dignified by the First Edition’s All-Wheel Steering, Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, Dynamic Launch Mode, Dynamic Air Suspension, Dynamics Response Pro, and an Electric Active Differential. Essentially, it felt like the Range Rover Sport was piloting itself.
Upon arrival to the majestic lands and countryside retreat of Soto de Mozanaque, owned by the Duke of Alburuqrque D. Juan Miguel Osorio Bertrán de Lis., we relaxed, inhaled the purified rural air, and ate a delectable vegano lunch. Visions of freeness came to mind while admiring the postcard panoramas of the garden and manicured lawn. With roots dating back to 1731, the wedding and corporate event space was originally built as a pleasure palace and hunting lodge. Its Soto Mozanaque golf course is equally lobbying to become a Rider Cup location. While here, media guests could reveal the exalted interior of the Range Rover Sport First Edition, which features reductive design pieces, a 29-speaker 1,430-watt Meridian Signature audio system, 22-way adjustable and massaging seats, forged carbon fiber trim, and a middle console cooler. Advanced tech is provided by a Cabin Air Purification Pro (CAPP), the dramatically improved 13.1” in-house engineered Pivi Pro Infotainment system, 3D Surround Camera, a ClearSight rearview mirror, and 60 Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates. SOTA should alleviate some of the previous Land Rover quality issues and save owners from visiting a dealership. CAPP minimizes odors, bacteria, and allergens such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus utilizing PM2.5 filtration and nanoe X technology.
Once a few hours of meditation passed, our next leg directed us towards Madrid’s famed Golden Triangle of Art, such as the renowned Museo Del Prado (Prado Museum), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Reina Sofía National Art Centre), and Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza (Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum). My focus was Prado since it’s regarded as one of the best in the world for original paintings. The museum director set up a private tour for us to witness the magical illustrations of Francisco José de Goya, the highly-regarded Spanish romantic and prolific printmaker. Another collector’s item on display is the Adoration of the Magi by Hans Memling. Painted around 1479, Prado Museum acquired the oil on panel triptych in 1847. My time here was full of cultural expressions through these pristine art pieces. As well, the Prado Museum’s restoration lab highlights and corrects original works dating from 1881 when Picasso was born.
After a long and fascinating day it was time to return to the white-themed décor of The Madrid EDITION for a tranquil spa treatment, decompression in my fabulous suite, and socializing in the urbane lobby before venturing to dinner at Restaurante Amazonico. This Amazon-themed establishment was buzzing with vitality from the spirited hosts, upbeat DJ, and delicious Asian, Mediterranean, and Brazilian dishes. Our small group had a wonderful evening that flew by quickly due to the vibrant atmosphere. I believe I spent more time dancing in my seat than I did eating. And yes, I patiently awaited another night of beauty sleep in my quarters. The following day, rise to a wonderful Spanish breakfast before a morning walk to integrate with locals as they hustle to work. Then pull up a table at any of the hundreds of cafes at your disposal to people watch.
For the remainder of my stay, I focused on inner city happenings while cruising the Madrid streets and heading an hour North of Madrid to off-road around the grounds of Hotel Caserío Aldeallana in a 2023 Range Rover Sport Dynamic SE P400. The boutique hacienda features hundreds of acres, a courtyard, a chapel, and a historical 5-bedroom home to go along with the quaint guest rooms for those looking for weekend getaways with Mother Nature. I didn’t visit the property overnight, but I went for lunch and to witness the all-terrain capabilities of the Range Rover Sport. The plug-in hybrid features a 3-liter V6 engine with 434-horsepower and an electric motor good for 48 EPA-estimated electric miles. A full electric Range Rover is coming in 2024.
“The exceptional New Range Rover Sport sets new standards as the ultimate sporting luxury SUV, building on seventeen years of unique customer appeal,” said Thierry Bolloré, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover. “It is the latest embodiment of our vision to create the world’s most desirable modern luxury vehicles, effortlessly blending new levels of sustainability with the signature qualities that have made Range Rover Sport so popular.”
The PHEV derivative — riding on road tires — had no qualms traversing through deep trenches, around boulders, up steep hills, and descending as the SUV crept down slopes without the need for the driver to brake. We also demonstrated the capabilities of the new Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control and All-Wheel Steering with 7.3-degrees of rear turning to showcase the SUV’s nimbleness. Vivid cameras show actual views so you can position the Rover properly during specific maneuvers and Adaptive Dynamics and Terrain Response 2 adjust the vehicle to various road surfaces and conditions depending on its needs. Finally, after soiling the Rover with dirt and mud it was time to return to the city with Sport mode engaged to manipulate the ZF transmission utilizing the paddle shifters.
We headed to the Mercado de San Miguel back in town for various delicacies. Spanish gastronomy is presented in the historic building housing the food market through 20 stalls delivering tastes from all over Spain from Galicia to the Basque Country. Before leaving Madrid I similarly visited a theatre show, passed through one of an array of local parks, enthusiastically shopped including an outing to timepiece retailer Antigua Relojeria SA, and celebrated American Football wins at Sports Pub Madrid.
Starting at $83,000 in the US, the 2023 Range Rover Sport presents its loyal following with sophisticated luxury, electrifying power, focused refinement, and seamless technology. And what better way to nomadically explore the beauty of Madrid, Spain than with Britain’s most refined next-level SUV? It’s quite fitting for all of your exploratory endeavors. Therefore, build the newest member of your family HERE.
Article: Kimatni D. Rawlins, AutomotiveRhythms.com