Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Why you should be excited about the RR SVR

No matter how many times Mike Cross - Jaguar Land Rover's chief vehicle engineer - provokes the new Range Rover SVR into a whopping great drift, the fact that I'm having to look at our direction of travel through one of its conservatory-sized side windows remains unsettling.

This is a two-tonne SUV, on the lock stops with the rear end penduluming from side to side. Admittedly, we've seen this kind of hoonery in fast Cayennes and BMW X5Ms. But this is a Range Rover.
However this isn't your standard Range Rover Sport. It's the first production car from JLR's Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) division and the first product to have a SVR badge pinned on its bumper.

SVO is a newly formed squad tasked with developing ultra-fast derivatives of existing Jaguars and Land Rovers. It's a long-overdue fracking exercise into the well of money from which brands like Overfinch, Kahn and Prindiville have been profiting from for years. But now Land Rover is doing itself, bowing to the demands of people who want faster, slightly more blingy Range Rovers and don't mind paying a premium for it.
Car image

The Range Rover Sport has never been an understated thing, but thankfully the aesthetics of the SVR haven't taken it too far the wrong way. The way of Cheshire, if you know what we mean. There's a new front bumper that's binned the fog lamps to make room for larger air intakes to improve cooling, a redesigned grille, flared wheel arches with faux air vents, underfloor carbon fibre air ducts for brake cooling, a new rear bumper/diffuser combo and a functional rear spoiler that's helped nudge the top speed to an electronically limited to 200kph.

Inside, the leather cabin remains as luxurious as before but now with added carbon. The centre console, dash, steering wheel and door panels are covered in the stuff. But the biggest change is that the RRS's big, pillowy captain's chairs have been tossed out and replaced with firmer sporting seats that mimic the design of F-Type's. The rear seats have also been decked out in a similar fashion.

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