Tuning and modifying Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 L494
So you've bought a Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6, but how can you make it even better to drive and own?
TUNING AND MODIFYING
Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 L494
Significantly lighter and nimbler than its predecessor, the impressive 2013-on L494 Range Rover Sport is one of the most desirable mid-sized luxury SUVs on the planet. Facelifted in 2018, the torquey and efficient 130mph 3.0-litre SDV6 model remains the most popular choice with UK buyers.
Well-appointed, comfortable and technologically advanced, the Range Rover Sport SDV6 delivers ample on-road performance, reasonable fuel economy and impressive off-road manners too, and there are hundreds of good used examples advertised for sale. Prices start at just £11,000, rising to as much as £75,000 for a low-mileage 2020 model.
But if you buy nearer the lower end of this price range you could have a little bit left over to spend on enhancing your Range Rover Sport, with the V6 twin-turbocharged common-rail 3.0-litre diesel engine ripe for tuning. And it’s not only the engine that some Range Rover Sport owners have chosen to enhance – you can also improve the car’s suspension, braking and styling.
A proper remap can enhance your Range Rover Sport’s on-road performance, whilst maintaining a sensible level of fuel economy; and with a whole host of other modifications available, you can personalise your SDV6, making it even better than it was when it first left the factory gates.
Owners report less than perfect reliability, so only consider Range Rover Sport models that pack a full-service history (with main dealer stamps for the first three or four years), have had no more than three owners and have no issues with the electrics, tailgate operation, the air suspension, wheel bearings, diesel particulate filter, electric windows, or the parking brake. Check the interior for any sign of water ingress and scour the underside for any indications of off-road or suspension damage. A Land Rover Approved Used warranty is well worth having.
Factory cars produce between 255bhp and 302bhp, with a hefty 443 to 516 lb ft of torque. A typical ECU remap (or tuning box) can raise this by around 40 to 55bhp and 40 to 60lb ft of torque, as well as providing slightly improved real-world fuel economy. DMS Automotive’s remap can deliver 362bhp with up to 609lb ft – and an extra 5mpg; whilst a Quantum Tuning remap will produce close to these figures with no noticeable turbo lag. Other popular Range Rover Sport tuners include Celtic Tuning, Racechip and Paramount Performance.
An automatic transmission fluid flush and replacement costs between £150 and £300, but the plastic gearbox oil filter sump is difficult to access and requires the engine to be lifted. So, doing this every 70,000 to 100k miles is very expensive. Britpart.com, however, sell a replacement metal sump pan – with a removable filter which is easier to access – so this doesn’t need doing again in the future.
The Range Rover Sport’s sophisticated air suspension can fail – aftermarket compressors, bags and lines, valves, struts, and height sensors are all readily available and can be just as good, or even better, than the original equipment components.
Aerosus, R-Tec Auto Design, Bearmach and JGS4x4 all provide these parts. And a new set of poly bushes from Polybush, Superpro or Powerflex will significantly improve ride quality on older higher-mileage cars.
A number of companies like Pagid, Ferodo and EBC sell uprated pads and discs, but some owners opt for a complete big brake kit instead. Brembo, Powerful UK and Wilwood all offer these. But whatever you choose, we would recommend you also add braided brake hoses from Goodridge or HEL and some DOT 4 or DOT 5.1 brake fluid.
Wheels and bodywork
Range Rover Sport owners seem to love spending money on personalising and customising their car’s exterior and interior, so you won’t be short of options. Hamman Tuning, Paramount Performance, Overfinch and Arden are four of the most popular styling/tuning houses, with full and partial bodykits, exhausts, alloy wheels up to 23-inches in size and all manner of minor trim items, tints and wraps all available.
As with the exterior, there are plenty of choices for owners who wish to add customised personal interior touches.
These tend to be either trim focused, with bespoke aluminium pedals, colour-coded door inserts and leather upholstery etc. or infotainment based. A multitude of compatible audio head units are available, plus WiFi connectivity enabling you to access apps from the App Store and Google Play Store.
MY TUNING STORY
“I have had to get a few software issues rectified and a new air suspension compressor fitted under warranty, but otherwise my Range Rover Sport has been trouble free. However, as I use it every day, I wanted to improve the fuel consumption, so had a stage 2 remap carried out and now get an extra 4 to 5mpg, as well as noticeably better performance. I’ve also added some 22-inch Evo Black Line alloy wheels and plan in the future to get a Milltek sports exhaust next.”