While the Range Rover Sport SVR isn’t new for 2016, I felt as the fastest Land Rover ever produced, it deserved its turn in the Automobheels “SUV Spotlight”. This baby did the infamous Nurburgring in a cool 8 minutes and 14 seconds, giving it one of the fastest times ever recorded by a SUV in standard production.
Many car consumers like to take a look at the inside of a vehicle. They are interested only in the creature comforts it can offer. Does it have heated seats? Does it have a sunroof? Does it have navigation and streaming audio? Does it have programmable seats and mirrors? While I am a fan of all of these features, first and foremost, I want to know what lurks beneath the hood. I don’t care how many features a car has, if it is gutless, I want no part of it.
The SVR delivers on everything. Her contoured hood houses a beast of an engine, the range-topping 5.0-litre supercharge V8, producing 550PS and 680Nm. The accompanying ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive chassis help keep the beast in line, no matter what the weather conditions. She’ll do 0-60mhp in 4.5 seconds and maxes out at an electronically controlled top speed of 162mph. Working in tandem with the powerful engine, the transmission shift strategy is constantly monitoring the acceleration, brake inputs, lateral cornering forces, kick down requests and gradient severity to choose one of the 25 pre-determined programs to ensure the SVR seamlessly adapts to the driver’s behind the wheel behavior and road conditions. The transmission also allows for driver control by offering paddle shifters along with the standard gear lever. Drivers can easily swap between automatic and manual mode.
Some would say given the amount of attention given to the engine, the refinement and luxury might have been slightly overlooked. Not so, it delivers again on all fronts. The SVR has received several enhancements to its exterior. The front bumper has been fitted with beefy looking trapezoidal air intakes, while the hood receives Range Rover script, revised vents and a new grill. Further contouring the vehicle, the side has been fitted with new, distinctive moldings, while the back has been given a high level spoiler and SVR-unique quad exhaust pipes. At first glance one might think these revisions were for visual effect only. However, Land Rover made no adjustments that do not serve a specific purpose. The larger air intakes on the front allow for more airflow to the charge air coolers that channel air into the engine, the new front bumper’s NVH comb is fitted to ensure wind noise is reduced, along with front-end lift, allowing the front tires to retain a high level of grip, and the rear spoiler reduces lift and balances the new front bumper.
The SVR is available in seven colors, including the SVR exclusive Estoril Blue. A contrasting Santorini black roof comes standard and works with the body-color side moldings, giving it an intimidating look and feel. Throw in the comfy, yet distinctive leather sport seats and the interior gives the driver the ultimate high-performance vehicle experience. The interior is available in four rich colors with standard aluminum trim detail. Carbon fibre trim for the door panels, center console, dashboard and steering wheel is optional.
“The Range Rover Sport SVR is the ultimate in premium performance,” said Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern. “Crafted by Land Rover’s ‘Special Vehicle Operations’, its performance-focused design revisions clearly differentiate the most powerful Land Rover ever produced from existing derivatives with its ground-hugging, assertive stance and additional road presence. This striking evolution retains the trademark DNA for which the Range Rover Sport is so widely acclaimed.”
With a base MSRP of $111,350, the price does limit the amount of consumers able to take advantage of the enviable performance, engineering and style this SUV delivers. However, for those of you who do have over a hundred grand to drop on a mode of transportation, little else will get you where you want to go as quickly or as fiercely. Happy Driving.