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Driven: 405kW Range Rover Sport SVR races in
Range Rover unleashes in Australia the fastest, most powerful SUV it has ever made
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11 Jun 2015
By TIM ROBSON
JAGUAR Land Rover Australia has launched its formidably fast new range-topping SUV – the Range Rover Sport SVR – which is the first vehicle to emerge from the British manufacturer’s new Special Vehicle Operations technical centre in the UK.
The SVR generates a huge 405kW of power and an equally massive 680Nm of torque from its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, which it shares with the Jaguar F-Type R sportscar and the forthcoming bigger and more expensive Range Rover SVAutobiography.
Jaguar Land Rover Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner told GoAuto that there is already a backlog of orders for the Sport SVR, with some customers possibly waiting up to six months for delivery.
“Australia certainly has this desire for these sorts of products,” he said. “It is certainly a market that just loves these dynamic SUVs and passenger cars as well. There is a space there for them, and there has been for a hell of a long time.
“It really dials up what the Range Rover Sport should be. Certainly SVR products are a big part of what we’re looking at across not just Land Rover and Range Rover products, but also Jaguar.”
Priced from $218,500 plus on-road costs, the all-wheel-drive Sport SVR commands a $26,600 premium over the previously range-topping Autobiography.
Packing 30kW and 55Nm more grunt than the regular V8-powered Range Rover Sport, the 2350kg SVR’s acceleration from 0-100km/h improves by six-tenths to 4.7 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 260km/h.
The brand’s “most dynamic” SUV is also claimed to have lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in 8:14min, one of the fastest times recorded by a production SUV.
Despite having a retuned ECU and more supercharger boost pressure at high revs, fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions remain unchanged at 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres and 325 grams per kilometre respectively.
The SVO team has fitted the Sport SVR with a switchable bi-modal exhaust which, combined with a retuned engine management system, ignites unburnt fuel on throttle closure for extra noise.
The SVR’s eight-speed ZF automatic transmission has also been tweaked to suit the engine’s characteristics, and includes a new ‘corner hold’ function, where changes are delayed if the transmission control unit senses the car is mid-corner.
A ‘dynamic’ mode switch in the cabin brings all these systems together to sharpen gear and throttle response, as well as firming up the SVR’s recalibrated air springs and dampers.
Other changes to the SVR include a new front bumper with larger apertures for the supercharger’s air-to-air coolers, optional 22-inch rims with higher-performance Continental rubber, 380mm front brake rotors matched to blue-coloured Brembo six-piston brake callipers and stiffer rear suspension bushings.
Blacked-out bonnet lettering, revised bonnet and wheelarch vents, a dark-finish grille, larger roof-mounted spoiler, a black rear diffuser and a quad exhaust array have also been fitted.
A set of 21-inch rims with 275/45-section Continental CrossContact UHP tyres is standard.
Range Rover claims that none of the Sport’s off-road capabilities – including its 272mm of ground clearance, 546mm of wheel articulation and 850mm wading depth – have been affected for the SVR.
Inside, a pair of sports seats has been developed just for the Sport SVR, and includes race harness holes and a piped leather finish. The rear seats are also retrimmed to match the front.
The Sport SVR is the first mainline vehicle to emerge from the SVO technical centre based at Prologis Park, Ryton, near Coventry.
The SVR’s main competitors in Australia include the 419kW Porsche Cayenne Turbo, BMW’s 423kW/750Nm X5 and X6 M twins as well as Mercedes’ 386kW ML63 AMG.
Jaguar Land Rover has sold 1155 Range Rover Sports so far in 2015, up 4.7 per cent on the first five months last year.
It is currently the top-selling model in the Land Rover stable, alongside the Discovery which has recorded the same number of new registrations this year (up 13.5 per cent).
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