An even balance between luxury and power is often difficult to find in any vehicle and with SUV’s it’s even more difficult as manufacturers often must strike a unique balance between luxury, power, off road capability and lastly, ensuring that the vehicle is suitable for everyday use. British off-road vehicle marquee, Land Rover have not only successfully met this challenge but have also exceeded expectation with the 2016 Range Rover SVR.
The Range Rover SVR is the fastest and most agile SUV Land Rover has ever built. It is based on the regular-production Range Rover Sport, the SVR model is tuned by Land Rover’s Special Vehicles Operations division and fine-tuned on Germany’s world renowned Nürburgring track where it lapped the track in 8 minutes and 14 seconds. That’s faster than some coupe’s such as the highly acclaimed BMW 1M Coupe.
Powering this beast of an SUV is an evolution of Jaguar XJR’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine that has been tuned to generate 550 horsepower a t 6000 rpms and 680Nm of torque from 2500 rpms to 5500 rpms. Power from the engine to all four wheels is transmitted through an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be controlled by either shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel or by using the gear shift. In dynamic mode the, the automatic gearbox’s shift times have been reduced by 50 percent when compared to the standard Range Rover Sport Supercharged.
The burly V8 engine sends this 2335kg beast from 0-100 km/h in a remarkable 4,7 seconds, stats that put most sports cars to shame, the top speed is electronically limited to a scary 260 km/h. Proving that you can have it all, the SVR’s fuel consumption is on par with that of the standard V8-powered Range Rover Sport thanks to the standard start/stop system, the fuel consumption of the SVR is 20,5 litres per 100km/h in the city and 9,8 litres per 100 km’s on the highway giving it a combined 13,7 litres per 100 km’s.
The engine upgrades are complemented by a thoroughly revised cross-linked air suspension setup with continuously variable shock absorbers. A variable-ratio, speed-sensitive electric power steering system helps the driver make the most of the V8’s power.
Although it is designed for primarily for the road, the SVR retains the legendary off-road capability that has been associated with the Land Rover name for several decades. The air suspension setup can be programmed to offer a generous 9.3 inches of ground clearance, while the SVR boasts 10,2 inches of wheel travel at the front and 10,7 inches at the back. A two-speed transfer case helps this giant get over some of the roughest terrain.
The SVR comes with an updated version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response System, which optimizes the SUV for a variety of different off-roading and inclement weather conditions.
The SVR is noticeably more aggressive than the standard version, in the front it gains a deep bumper with large air intakes used to channel air to two intercoolers, a new radiator grill and vents integrated into the fenders. Deep side skirts continue the look, while the rear is fitted with a spoiler and a new bumper that features quad exhaust pipes as well as a built-in air diffuser. SVR-specific 21-inch alloy wheels are wrapped by all-season Michelin tyres, which round off the changed exterior look.
The track-inspired treatment continues inside, where the SVR offers space for up to four passengers on bucket seats upholstered in plush Oxford leather. Fitted with a power-recline function, the rear bench can occasionally accommodate a fifth passenger on short trips or it can fold flat into the floor in order to open up 62.2 cubic feet of cargo space. Brushed aluminium trim adds a premium touch to the cabin, though buyers can order real carbon fibre trim at an extra cost.
The traditional analogue instrument cluster is replaced with a digital unit made up of a 12,3-inch thin film transistor (TFT) screen that is fully configurable. The centre stack features eight-inch high resolution colour touch screen that groups the SUV’s entertainment, connectivity and navigational functions into a single easy-to-use bundle that includes Bluetooth connectivity and a voice command function. The infotainment system can also be controlled by buttons and knobs.
The SVR can be ordered with Jaguar-Land Rover’s InControl Apps, a smartphone integration software designed to work seamlessly with both Apple and Android devices. Passengers can access the bulk of their phone’s features on the touch screen and use additional purpose-designed apps to book a hotel room, get parking information, check traffic, and make conference calls.
The Range Rover SVR comes standard with Oxford leather upholstery available in four colours, a leather-upholstered steering wheel, pedals made of stainless steel, premium floor mats, 14-way adjustable front seats, heated front and back seats, a sliding panoramic sunroof, a heated windshield, an 825-watt Meridian sound system with 19 speakers, adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, a surround camera system and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
It also comes standard with side, seat-front, thorax and pelvis airbags for front passengers. It also comes with a host of electronic driving aids including Electronic Traction Control, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Emergency Brake Assist, Cornering Control, Hill Descent Control, a Blind Spot Monitoring System, and Roll Stability Control.
On the competition front, the Range Rover SVR does face some stiff competition in offering and pricing such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE43 Coupe 4MATIC, BMW X5M and the ultra-quick 0-100 km/h Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. Having had the chance to drive the Range Rover SVR we have to say that we prefer it SVR, yes, it is total preferential treatment and we do hope to get in the seat of its competitors and see which is best in value for money and all round fun, but for now the Vrrr-Phaaa of the SVR makes us feel all gooshy inside.