Standing loud and proud the 2018 Range Rover Sport SVR has turned more ‘Max Power’ than ‘Horse and Hounds’. The team at Special Vehicle Operations have worked hard to make this the fastest Land Rover yet!
Prices start from £99,680 and with colour options including madagascar orange and velocity blue and a naked carbon fibre bonnet with new integrated air vents as standard, people will definitely see you coming, that’s if they haven’t heard you first!
The 5.0L Supercharged petrol V8 coupled with an 8 speed automatic transmission has been upgraded to pack 575PS with 700Nm torque resulting in a top speed of 176mph. Exterior tweaks include the new Pixel LED lights, front air ducts to cool the brakes and new side fender vents in Narvik black. Paul Ray and his interior design team have worked their magic by improving the luxurious and functional seats, trim and dashboard, not an easy feate in a chariot that does 0-100/h (0-60mph) in 4.3 seconds, wades through rivers and takes your kids to school along with the dogs. The Touch Pro Duo infotainment System with two 8” screens has got to be one of the most easthetic and user friendly dashboards in any modern car today. With one push of a button you can quickly find the optimum drive settings including ‘Dynamic’ mode to make the car sharper, faster and louder. Of all the manufacturers JLR have certainly got this right. Activate the sports exhaust and you unleash the fire and fury that connects your neurons straight to that Supercharged V8 as it barks, growls, crackles and pops. Now the Italians even have a word for it, ‘Musica’ so in English this would translate to a ‘symphony and the 4 trumpets at the back sound glorious.
Driving the SVR off road through mud, rivers, ruts and over rocks is handled with the mastery that we have come to expect from all Land Rovers and this is no exception. Unleash this beast on the open road and you can easily become a terrorist of speed or simply waft along taking the parents out for sunday lunch listening to classic FM. Either way you’ll be surrounded by refined luxury and average well over 22mpg. However, take the long way home from work, turn the music off, press the fire and fury button and the SVR transforms into a land roving monster devouring every bump, twist and surface thrown in its way. The last time I experienced a car with so much pace on bumpy B roads I was driving a Bowler Wldcat and you can’t fit your parents in that and take them to lunch!
There is so much to like about the 2018 SVR but for me the suspension stands out above everything else. Yes it wallows around on track but this is not a car that will ever go on a track or probably in a river but it will if you want. Its a refined, luxurious SUV with that quintessentially british Land Rover moniker that does everything to extremes.
So If you believe that discretion is the best part of valour-best avoid the orange, opt for the painted bonnet option and leave the fire and fury button for the long way home. Then again, we only live once so play that symphony and enjoy every minute.
Words by Paul Tarantino