Santa Barbara was the setting for the latest adventure of DRIVEN’s West Coast correspondent Jonathon Ramsey, who followed in some royal tire treads at the wheel of a Range Rover Sport.

Read on for his report from the field:

The Range Rover Sport on a royal jaunt to Santa Barbara

Tanning beds let us pretend we’ve been in St. Croix, a Kinect lets us pretend to do battle in imperial Rome, and collagen and botox let us pretend we’ve been in a genetic lottery and a time machine.

But some things still can’t be faked, like the sensation massive objects at massive speed.

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A ride on the Zero-G can mimic the Space Shuttle in orbit, but there’s no faking the Space Shuttle at launch.

We can’t even recreate an animal: a mechanical bull merely replicates mechanics, it doesn’t place a ton of angry bull between your legs.

You cannot fake the Range Rover Sport and its inimitable thrill of rapid motion

As much as this admission would displease The Bionic Man, we just don’t have the technology.

And this means that you cannot fake the Range Rover Sport and its inimitable thrill of rapid motion in rabid, weighty luxury.

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It is the gold ingot of indulgence, not of having your cake and eating it, but having your opulence and moving it.

Imagine the QE2, on wheels, powered by the Hoover Dam.

Imagine the QE2, on wheels, powered by the Hoover Dam

When the Sport was given a glorious and long overdue overhaul for 2010, a 5.0-liter V8 with 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque reset the specs.

The figures might not appear lacking for a vehicle weighing nearly as much two Porsche 911s.

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However, the Sport’s numbers are within a Carrara-marble’s throw of the new Bentley Continental GT, another pharaonic giddy-up that no one accuses of tardiness.

Ascend to the throne and you’ll find that in spite of its heft, the Sport’s fit is cozy.

Ascend to the throne and you’ll find that in spite of its heft, the Sport’s fit is cozy

There are more electroluminescent pushbutton options than you’ll find at Best Buy, but most of them won’t concern you.

Use the throttle to place an urgent call to that V8 and you’ll focus on the wheel like an Abrams tank driver grabbing his joysticks when it’s battle hour.

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What’s more, the two will create the same feeling both inside and out: I. Mean. Business.

What kind of business? Zero to sixty passes in 5.9 seconds.

You need a Range Rover to drive the direct route from Beverly Hills to the Bering Strait

That’s 1.5 seconds slower than the aforementioned Bentley, 0.3 seconds adrift of the Porsche Cayenne S.

However, you can’t drive the direct, overland route from Beverly Hills to the Bering Strait in either of those other vehicles.

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For that, you need the Range Rover, and nothing else.

We’d only be going as far as Santa Barbara, though.

Massive luxury and power on the move for a Santa Barbara excursion

Massive luxury and power on the move also describe the summer travels of Prince William and his bride.

So when they chose to take their royalty to Santa Barbara for a bit of polo and hoi polloi we thought it proper to follow their trail in the Sport.

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Or better yet, have High Tea at The Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara.

Our Icelandic companion and I figured Devonshire Cream and champagne was a much better use of our time than chasing aristocratic vapors.

Stopping in for High Tea at The Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara

We weren’t wrong.

The 186-room oceanfront resort dates from 1927 but was recently made over with the aid of $305 million.

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In addition to its beachfront Casino swimming club, 11-room spa, Bella Vista restaurant devoted to local ingredients, and stellar Pacific views, it is one of the most beautiful and serene places to spend an afternoon.

High Tea, a fixture on Fridays and Saturdays, began with three summer finger sandwiches.

One of the most beautiful and serene places to spend an afternoon

They were followed by a tower of crumpets, orange currant scones, miniature red velvet cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons, opera torte, fresh fruit tart and chocolate caramel tart, homemade strawberry jam, lemon curd and fresh Devonshire cream.

Liquid complement came in the form of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne and Sandeman sherry.

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It requires a reservation and a bit of time to digest that High Tea originated in the same land that serves fried edibles in a rolled-up newspaper.

But if you’re in the area, we recommend it.

The graceful Brit raced through town, regal, easy to pilot, and powerful

Santa Barbara is graced with wide thoroughfares, but as with most other hamlets rush hour fills them with workaday travelers.

We already knew that the Range Rover Sport is every bit the graceful Brit through town, regal, easy to pilot, and powerful enough to hold – or take – your place in line.

That helped explain the absurd fact that more Range Rovers are sold in New York City than anywhere else in the world.

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It also explained why we wouldn’t leave The Four Seasons – at the resort there was California-inspired Italian cuisine, half-priced bottles of wine (from Monday to Thursday), fireplaces and Pacific views.

Outside there was just another lesson in rush-hour coping.

Open roads would mean opportunities for heavy hustling

So we savored in the best English way, knowing our Range Rover Sport would be there when traffic cleared, and knowing that open roads would mean opportunities for heavy hustling –

And that would mean the kinds of glorious, giddy feelings that, well, you just can’t fake.

J.R.