Sometimes in this role I get to do some things that are an incredibly fulfilling experience. Driving the Range Rover Sport SVR is one of these experiences. SVR vehicles are built by the Special Operations section.
“At Special Vehicle Operations our passionate team push the boundaries of performance, luxury and capability to meet and exceed the expectations of the most Discerning Land Rover customers.” Michael Van Der Sande Managing Director – Special Operations
Simply stunning is how you could describe the SVR, with a distinguishing appeal that extends far beyond the normal Sport look. SVR’s muscular stance is detailed by a mesh grille with SVR badging, exposed gloss black carbon fibre composite bonnet and new side fender vents in Narvik Black. The look is completed with Pixel LED headlights and distinct signature Daytime Running Lights.
At the rear there are four large, chrome tipped exhaust pipes and the distinctive SVR badge. The large 21inch wheel, 275/45 R21 tyre combination fills the muscular bulging wheel arches. Other exterior features of the SVR include: Automatic headlights, follow me home lighting, Centre high mounted stop light, rear fog lights, headlight power wash, roof rack mounting provisions, heated rear window, acoustic laminated windscreen, rain sensing windscreen wipers and integrated exhaust.
The new lightweight, special SVR partial Windsor leather, quilted electronic seats are extremely comfortable with integrated headrest, adequate squab length and plush side bolsters for hips and shoulders. My immediate impression siting in the SVR is that this really feels like home.
The steering wheel itself houses a number of controls, with two stalks behind the wheel sitting proud of the steering wheel spokes to allow good visibility. There are paddle shift selectors and the 12inch customisable instrument panel allows the driver to select the view that best suits them.
This optional heads up display utilises lasers to avoid ‘washout’ and is configurable to your preferences. Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent.
Rear seats are individually sculptured to provide maximum comfort for two passengers. While there is plenty of head and shoulder room, the leg, knee room is a little restricted. Occupants have controls for the multi-zone air-conditioning as well as USB ports etc.
In contrast the boot space is quite large with a load tie down system along with the 60/40 split rear seats provides a flexible load area. It provides around 780L in 5 seat configuration, and the shape allows useful space for all the luggage.
Like all Range Rovers there is a long list of standard features equalled by a long options list.
The sloping centre stack allows easy access to the A/C controls and above that is the large 10 inch touchscreen. This houses the InControl Touch Pro’s next-generation hardware and software systems. It features a 10” Touchscreen, Touch Pro Navigation and a Range Rover Audio System. It also displays the surround car camera system as previously mentioned.
There are also little luxury touches throughout like the ambient interior lighting, a chilled section for cool drinks, one touch anti trap electronic windows, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 2 zone climate control air conditioning system, dual lockable glove boxes and grab handles everywhere.
Drive and Engine
The SVR is powered by the awesome 5.0L SCV8 and produces power of 423 kW/700Nm. This is delivered to the wheels through an 8 speed transmission. To assist with driving stability and safety the SVR also possesses Terrain Response 2 with Dynamic Program, Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking and Dynamic Response along with Sports electronic air suspension. The SVR will accelerate from 0-100kmh in 4.5 seconds and top out at 283km/h.
Start the engine, hear and feel the burble and head off. Firstly you notice that there is nothing pretentious or demanding about the SVR as it potters easily around town.
Find a nice piece of tight twisty road, switch to dynamic, plant the right foot, and all hell breaks loose. The real purpose of such a vehicle is transporting the family from point A to point B in luxury, comfort and style while providing a truly engaging experience for the driver.
Driving the SVR requires dramatic reshaping of perspective. Like the Audi SQ7, this is a 2500kg behemoth that feels like it’s a BMW M2. Driving fast the SVR is smooth, provides direct response to driver inputs, composed and almost impossible to unsettle.
There is no delay, simply an explosion of torque that shoves you into the seat and off you go. There is direct response through the accelerator and the electric power assisted steering. Range Rovers design philosophy is that all vehicles must perform to their standards, so I guess that means that the SVR has similar capabilities as other Range Rover Sport vehicles.
As you would expect the Range Rover Sport SVR is packed with all forms of driver assistance systems. These include: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Low Traction Launch, Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Roll Stability Control (RSC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Electric Parking Brake (EPB), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Gradient Acceleration Control (GAC), and Gradient Release Control (GRC).
Additional driver assistance systems include: Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Low traction launch, Rear and Front Parking Aid and Rear view camera.
Safety features include: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist, Front airbags, with passenger seat occupant detector and seat belt pre-tensioners
- Superb driver engagement
- On/Off road capability
- No Apple/Android connectivity
- Rear seat knee room restricted
The Range Rover Sport SVR is simply stunning. It will transport four occupants in complete luxury and comfort, along with all their luggage, while providing an engaging experience for the driver. Rather than outright speed the point to point drive is more important. It has true 4WD capabilities, that to be honest very few, if any owners will ever explore. Along with awesome performance it possesses balanced ride and handling. It can be easily driven around every day as if hiding what lies beneath, yet will blast into action whenever asked without any hint of fuss.
If I could afford it I would buy the SVR without hesitating.
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Facts and Figures: 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR
- Engine: 5.0L SCV8 Petrol producing 423kW/700Nm
- Transmission: 8 Sp AT 4WD
- Warranty: 3 Yrs / 100,000 km 3 Yrs Roadside Assist
- Safety: TBC
- Origin: England
- Price: From $237,828 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.