Eight minutes and 14 seconds.
The world of high-performance SUVs is kind of an oxymoron. Although automakers have tried to build true performance SUVs, they’ve always been straight-line performers that cannot handle themselves through a corner at speed. That’s all changing with the new Range Rover Sport SVR. The new high-performance SUV is not only the fastest and most powerful Land Rover ever produced, but it can also handle itself exceptionally well on the track and comes standard with an 8-minute, 14-second Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time.
The new Range Rover Sport SVR is the first model to be produced under the new Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations banner. The new division will produce bespoke vehicles for the automaker on a limited basis with additional performance.
“The Range Rover Sport SVR is a natural progression beyond the core vehicle’s outstanding on- and off-road capabilities and leading-edge design. It’s exhilarating performance will satisfy a particularly demanding customer set,” said John Edwards, Managing Director of Land Rover’s Special Operations. “A thorough range of revisions specially developed by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations combine to make this premium derivative even more distinctive both inside and out, as well as taking its dynamic capabilities to the next level without impacting on comfort, refinement or all-terrain versatility. The Range Rover Sport SVR is the world’s most capable performance SUV.”
Helping make the new Range Rover Sport SVR the fastest and most powerful Land Rover model ever made is the latest version of the all-aluminum 5,000-cc supercharged V-8 engine. The SVO team gave the engine a new Bosch management system and retuned the supercharger’s electronic bypass valve, resulting in greater amounts of boost pressure. A new two-stage active exhaust system with 60 mm diameter pipes helps to reduce backpressure and serves up pure, roaring V-8 engine sounds. The valves open as the RPMs rise and throttle load increases for a dramatic sound from the four tailpipes with an exhilarating crackle during overrun. For those that don’t want to be noticed, the exhaust can be switched to a quiet mode at any engine speed.
The newly-tuned, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine in the Range Rover Sport SVR gains an additional 40 horsepower and 41 lb-ft. of torque over the standard supercharger engine for a total of 542 horsepower (550 PS) and 510 lb-ft. of torque. That pushes the new SVR to 60 mph to 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 162 mph.
While maximizing performance is the main focus on the Range Rover Sport SVR, the luxurious ride, off-road capabilities, and even fuel economy were maintained. The eight-speed ZF 8HP70 automatic transmission was optimized for performance with its eight close-ratio gears that reduce shifting times up to 50-percent. The transmission utilizes an adaptive shift strategy to monitor the driver’s behavior and choose one of the 25 program presets to suit the driver and road conditions. Both automatic and manual modes are available and controlled via paddle shifters or gear lever. Downshifting will automatically blip the throttle during high-speeds for seamless shifting and a Corner Recognition system will hold onto a gear through a turn for better stability and exiting speed. The SVR also takes advantage of a newly calibrated Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential and Torque Vectoring by Braking to improve handling on the track.
The Range Rover Sport SVR is capable of achieving a whopping 1.3 G of lateral acceleration, giving performance-minded drivers the more athletic and nimble chassis they desire. This comes with the help of the lightweight aluminum monocoque and liberal use of the lightweight metal in the suspension. A cross-linked, four-corner air suspension with Adaptice Dynamics and continuously variable magnetorheological dampers instantly adjust to changing road conditions for maximum handling. Everything from the rear subframe bushes to the anti-roll bars help improve on-track performance. But, the Range Rover Sport SVR is also more than capable off-road as well with its height being adjustable from 50 mm to 235 mm. Wheel travel is also a hallmark with the front traveling up to 260 mm and the rear 272 mm with a best-in-class 850 mm wading dept. That’s all paired up with Six Terrain Response 2 settings for superb off-road prowess.
This all comes with the same luxurious feel expected from a Land Rover/Range Rover model. The Range Rover Sport SVR’s transmission’s torque converter allows for smooth shifts while a permanent four-wheel drive system comes with a two-speed transfer case with low-range option and 50/50 torque split. Torque can be sent to either axle up to 100-percent using the electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch in the center differential to help maintain the off-road capabilities customers have come to expect.
The final touch for the chassis are standard 21-inch wheels and a Brembo brake setup. The standard 21-inch alloy wheels are unique to the Range Rover Sport SVR and come with 275/45 R21 tires while wider 22-inch, multi-spoke alloys can be had as an option with 295/40 R22 Continental SportContact 5 high-performance tires. Behind those wheels sit six-piston Brembo brakes serving up some extra stopping power.
The design of the new Range Rover Sport SVR showcases the added performance and capabilities of the high-performance SUV. The Jaguar Land Rover SVO division gave the SUV a more aggressive design draped in seven colors with the exclusive Estoril Blue being featured with a Santorini Black roof as standard. The front fascia wears larger, trapezoidal air intakes to cool the engine and brakes, dark Range Rover badging on the hood with new vents, dark-finished grille, and striking LEDs. Redesigned aluminum fender panels and vents paired up with side mouldings and extended wheel arches give a touch of visual muscle. The Range Rover Sport SVR boasts a new rear bumper with gloss black diffuser and quad exhaust tips, roof spoiler with integrated brake light, and new Range Rover Sport SVR badging. Special High Gloss Black and Stealth Pack headlights with black casings complete the commanding exterior design of the new SVR.
Inside there’s a wonderful mix of luxury and sport to be enjoyed. The Range Rover Sport SVR features two leather sport seats up front with 16-way adjustability and rear seats with a similar design outfitted in Windsor leather with ribbed, quilted centers, piping, and Ebony Black top stitching with the Range Rover Sport SVR logo. The color combinations extend to Ebony, Ebony and Cirrus, Ebony and Pimento Red, and Ebony and Tan while turned aluminum details and optional carbon fiber create a unique and sporty atmosphere.
The new Range Rover Sport SVR isn’t your average high-performance SUV with over 1,000 laps on the 13-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife under its belt. Orders for the new Range Rover Sport SVR will begin in October of 2014 with deliveries starting in the first quarter of 2015. Pricing will start at £93,450 and be available through the Land Rover dealership network.
Range Rover Sport SVR Specifications
Displacement: 5.0 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Maximum Horsepower: 542 / 550 PS
Maximum Torque: 501 lb-ft. / 680 Nm
Type: Eight-speed ZF 8HP70 automatic
Drive: Permanent four-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case w/ low-range option
Differential: Electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch in center differential, recalibrated SVR Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential
Acceleration 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 4.7 seconds
Top Speed: 162 mph (260 km/h)
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes:
Wheels: Standard 21-inch alloys; optional 22-inch alloys
Tires: 275/45 R21 (std.); 295/40 R22 Continental SportContact 5 (optional)
Brakes: Brembo six-piston calipers
Range Rover Sport SVR Gallery
Source: Range Rover