Sportequipe it is the road through which DR Automobiles wants to enter a higher market segment. Launched in 2022, the brand had the declared objective of moving the group to new shores, with a well-defined strategy. Now this path takes an acceleration, with the launch of a new top of the range, the Sportequipe 8. And in recent days we have had the opportunity to try it on the track, but above all on the road.
Sportequipe 8, what is there to know about the new model?
The day before the official launch of the car (which is available from November 28th) we went to the Vallelunga racetrack, just to experience this one firsthand new Sportequipe 8. She was the one who told us about it Massimo Di Risiofounder of the DR Automobiles Group, defining it “a challenge to the market”.
It’s about a vehicle that is undoubtedly top of the rangewhich takes the brand into unexplored territories so far, also from the point of view of the price which from the list stands at 49.900€ (full optional as standard). A 7-seater model, approximately 4.70 m long, capable of releasing a total of 317 HP.
The Sportequipe 8 has been defined as a “hybrid Also plug-ins“. It is in fact equipped with two electric motors (55 kW and 70 kW) and a 108 kW turbo petrol engine. These collaborate with each other in many different configurations, combined with various energy recovery systems during braking and deceleration. In this way the autonomy of the Sportequipe 8 ranges from 80 km in full electric mode up to over 1,000 km with hybrid power. And in 2024 the offer will expand furtherwith an LPG version too to reach 1,300 km.
Then we find ourselves on board all the features we are used to expecting from a top of the range like this. Panoramic roof, parking assistant, 360° cameras, infotainment display, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and a long series of second level ADASfrom blind spot warning, to emergency braking, to lane change assistance, traffic detection and much more.
On this occasion then Drivaliarental, leasing and mobility company CA Auto Bank, has launched a new project in partnership with DR Automobiles. It’s about Drive To Buya program that allows (for now with Sportequipe 6 and 7) to rent one of these cars for a monthly fee, with the possibility of converting it into a purchase in the first two months, subtracting the amounts already paid from the final cost.
What did we think of this Sportequipe 8?
After the presentation it was time to get down to business and put your hands on the wheel. We had the first taste of this new model on the track, right on the Vallelunga circuit. Even though it is not a car intended for this type of context, we must say that it defended itself well, reaching high speeds but above all (the most significant factor) showing more than optimal road holding.
Where we were then able to appreciate the qualities of this vehicle even more was in city route, near the racetrack. We did about 45 km, passing through high-speed roads, urban areas and everything in between, putting the different power configurations. And the impact has been decidedly positive.
The Sportequipe 8 is really pleasant to drive, equipped with all the necessary comforts, starting with the many driving assistance systems. Despite her considerable size, she has proven capable of tackling different contexts calmly, without really making her length weigh on her. And also from the point of view of comfort of passengerswas found to be optimal.
Then it’s the ones who strike consumption, thanks to regenerative braking systems. There was a small challenge during the day as to who could make the best use of them, especially in the various downhill sequences. The winning teams managed not only to keep battery consumption low, but even to go positive, returning to the racetrack with 14 km more autonomy compared to the starting data.
Sportequipe 8 is truly a challenge for the market
The concept of “challenge” proposed by Di Risio in the presentation of this car is actually concrete. That list price is definitely impactful for customers, although it can be amortized with the different incentives for electric and hybrid cars. And it’s a way that Sportequipe wants to use for elbow their way out and forcefully earn a place in that market segment.
Which from a performance and options point of view, it turns out quite correct. Perhaps in some design aspects it could have been pushed a little moretrying to restore a more “premium” feeling, but it’s wanting to nitpick.
In fact, the real challenge lies in being able to affirm a very young brand like this in a sector where competitors have a much more solid and celebrated history. Sportequipe 8 will succeed convince the public to give her a chance and discover its value? This will be the real battle he will have to face in the coming weeks and months, on which the future of the brand will be played out.
And ask Sportequipe 8 definitely convinced and we think it deserves a chance to find its audience. If you are curious to discover it too, you can find it more information on the brand’s official website.