Is the Range Rover SVR the ultimate SUV?
Juicy, loud and monstrous. Just brilliant.
This review was written almost six months ago, so optional extras, specifications, and pricing may have changed slightly.
The Range Rover Sport SVR isn’t your ordinary Range Rover. It seems the team at SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) have made quite an exciting machine. I didn’t get to drive the SVR on the road, I just got to walk-around it and play with the exhaust – it’s quite amazing how much fun you can have with an accelerator pedal. The SVR is a beast, but not just because it’s powered by a V8, even from the outside, it has a mean-looking stance. It just gives you that look from the front end and says, ‘back off!’ – I love it.
The SVR starts at £101,850, and finishes around £150k. Yup, that’s a heavy price tag. One of the most important parts of buying a new Range Rover is making sure it stands out. Range Rover offers 27 different paint options to choose from, and 7 of them are included in the price. The remaining 20 are ultra-metallic and special effect colours which range from £7,140 to £8,790. All 20 special colours are also available with a satin matte finish, that’ll cost you an extra £2,550.
There’s an SVR carbon fibre exterior pack that costs £4,270, which includes a gloss finish carbon fibre lower bumper intake surround, main grille surround, fender vent surround, mirror covers and a tailgate finisher. You can also add a body-coloured carbon fibre bonnet for £1,715 - opposed to the standard aluminium bonnet. Alternatively, you can buy both packs with an exposed centre section of the bonnet that has a carbon fibre gloss finish for £8,065. You can very quickly see how the price rises...
When a customer buys a new Land Rover, they’re invited to a complimentary half-day Land Rover experience with the official Land Rover off-roading team - bearing in mind the customers don’t use their own car for the experience - what percentage of customers would you say are interested in taking part of it? 50%? 40%? How about just 19%...You would have thought at least 25%, considering it means they don’t get their own car dirty. Clearly not.
From factory, there are several diesel and petrol engines to choose from for the normal Range Rover Sport. No, I’m not going to bore you to death about what diesel engines are on offer, let’s talk the real deal. There are currently six petrol engines available, the P300 (2.0L 300bhp), the P400 (3.0L 400bhp), the P400e (2.0L 404bhp PHEV) and the P525 (5.0L 525bhp). The sixth engine powers the SVR, and it’s called the P575. And as you guessed, it kicks out 575bhp. It’s the same 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine as the P525, but with 50 more bhp and it produces 516lb-ft. The power is sent through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, giving it a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 176mph.
You’re probably thinking an SUV powered by a V8 will be juicy – it is. The fuel economy is about 20mpg combined, and that’s not at all surprising considering it weighs 2,377kg. 77kg’s come from its 104-litre fuel tank. But let’s just think about it, if you’re looking at buying an SVR, fuel economy will be the last thing on your mind. Just think of all those Nectar points you'll get from filling it up.
The SVO team based in Coventry, haven’t just tweaked the powertrain by upping the power, it’s got more than that. The chassis, steering and suspension has been re-tuned, giving the SVR a better dynamic driving experience. As standard, it also sits on 21-inch 5 split-spoke alloy wheels, which are also lightweight with a satin polish finish. You can upgrade to 22-inch wheels if you wish. And finally, not forgetting the best and most important part, the exhaust. It comes with an active exhaust system with electronically controlled valves which are controlled via the lower centre dash screen, giving a throaty roar noise out of the quad tail pipes. Your neighbours are gonna love you.
You must be thinking it needs bigger brakes to stop the two-tonne SUV. Nope, it doesn’t even get ceramic-brake discs, nor can you buy that as an add-on, pity. It gets the same brake system as the rest of Range Rover Sport range. Six pot Brembo calipers at the front, painted in either black or red, which are clamped around 380mm vented discs. As for the back, there’s single pot calipers, with 365mm solid discs.
It’s quite a shame Range Rovers, or even the Land Rovers aren’t used for what they were born to do - handle and cope with extreme rough terrain environments. Most customers who own a new or a used Range Rover will either use it for school runs or general pleasure, as well as for business. Not many customers take their vehicle ‘off-road’, which is what the brand is originally known for. Normally I’d talk about what off-roading systems are onboard. But if you’re reading this, you won’t care. The only things you’ll be interested in is how fast it goes and what it sounds like. That’s it. So I won’t bore you with off-road details, but if you’re a farmer, contact me for the info.
The SVR interior gets three separate screens. The 12.3-inch instrument cluster being one. Then there’s two high definition 10-inch infotainment screens called Touch Pro Duo. The screen along the top dash is the main infotainment screen and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The screen below that allows you to adjust the driving modes, climate control, seats, media, and settings.
As standard there’s a heated SVR leather steering wheel, lightweight performance seats with an embossed SVR logo on the headrests, a Meridian surround sound system, aluminium gearshift paddles, configurable ambient lighting and heated front and rear seats. You’ll be glad to hear there’s carbon fibre add-ons for the interior, too. There’s a carbon fibre gloss finish trim pack for the lower centre dash, air vent surrounds, steering wheel bottom handle and the door trims, all for £1,675. Bargain. If you really want to push the boat out, there’s also a carbon fibre engine cover that costs...are you ready? £1,620. At this point, if you’re going to buy a carbon fibre engine cover, which is of course, removable, would it not make sense to take the standard engine cover off altogether? Seeing as you won’t even see the engine cover most of the time. Oh, I forgot, the Range Rover is a status icon...my bad.
In the boot there’s 522-litres and 1,686-litres with the rear seats down. Unfortunately, you can’t have an extra pair of seats in the boot, like you can with most of the Land Rover and Range Rover models. But is it really an issue? No, not in an SVR.
To sum this car up, it’s an SUV which can go off-road, powered by a V8 which makes a thunderous noise, while still being a prestige luxury vehicle. If you’re heavily into SUV’s and you want to stand out, then this might just be the car for you.