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The first generation Range Rover Sport commenced production in 2005. The engine choices included the petrol Jaguar engines - 4.4L V8, 4.2L V8 supercharged and, for the 2009 update model, a 5.0L V8 and 5.0L V8 supercharged engine. The diesel engine choices are 3.0L TDV6 and 3.0L V6. A 3.6L twin turbodiesel TDV8 engine was introduced in 2007. The engines are paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Terrain Response System is fitted as standard on all models of the Range Rover Sport and together with the cross-linked air suspension results in better off-road perfomance. The chassis has been adapted from the integrated bodyframe, semi-monocoque, independently suspended design and is actually a modified and shortened version of the Discovery 3. This allows for reduced expenses in the manufacturing of the vehicles due to a large number of common components. However, its smaller dimensions (its wheelbase is shorter by 140mm) and the raked roofline make it impossible to accommodate third-row occupants unlike the Discovery 3.

Brembo front brakes are standard on all models except the TDV6. A permanent four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case is standard and features an electronically controlled differential that automatically distributes the available torque to both drive axles as required and is able to lock and unlock instantaneously.

A facelift in 2009 saw the introduction of an all-aluminium 5.0L V8 petrol engine - either naturally aspirated or supercharged - as found in Jaguar's latest range of high perfomance cars. The Range Rover Sport is designed to offer a sporty road demeanour, luxury on-road perfomance and boasts the "go-anywhere" ability of any Land Rover. The first generation Range Rover Sport eventually made way for the second generation Range Rover Sport which was announced in March 2013.