Fast Ve­lar is com­ing

New per­for­mance flag­ship will go on sale in Oc­to­ber priced from just under £100k

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - SAM SHEEHAN

A 542bhp V8 for SVR ver­sion

Land Rover will launch an Svr-badged per­for­mance ver­sion of its Range Rover Ve­lar later this year to take on the BMW X6 M and Mercedes-amg GLE 63 Coupé.

The Ve­lar SVR is part of a grow­ing sta­ble of mod­els from Jaguar Land Rover’s Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tions di­vi­sion that are seen as im­por­tant for both boost­ing prof­itabil­ity and ex­pand­ing brand reach.

The up­com­ing model is due to go on sale in the UK in Oc­to­ber and will sup­plant the 375bhp P380 as the flag­ship Ve­lar. It will use a su­per­charged 5.0-litre V8 petrol en­gine, also used in the Range Rover Sport SVR.

As such, the V8 mo­tor is ex­pected to chan­nel 542bhp and 502lb ft of torque to the Ve­lar’s wheels via an eight­speed au­to­matic gear­box.

That out­put would leave it short on mus­cle com­pared with the X6 M and GLE 63 Coupé, but the alu­minium-based Ve­lar SVR will weigh around 400kg less than its com­peti­tors, en­sur­ing a 0-62mph time of about 4.2sec. This would rank the Ve­lar di­rectly along­side the BMW and Mercedes-amg.

New spy pic­tures of a nearly pro­duc­tion-ready devel­op­ment car, caught close to Land Rover’s Gay­don head­quar­ters, show that SVO’S en­gi­neers are fi­nal­is­ing the Ve­lar’s set-up. Devel­op­ment cars were spot­ted test­ing at the Nür­bur­gring late last year, sug­gest­ing a track-honed per­for­mance set­ting has been de­vel­oped for the car’s air sus­pen­sion to re­duce body roll and en­hance high­speed sta­bil­ity.

Visu­ally, the changes ap­plied to the SVR ver­sion of the Ve­lar are dis­creet. Be­neath the cam­ou­flage, the devel­op­ment car’s rear bumper looks to have gained a dif­fuser be­tween two new ex­haust ex­its and it also has new, lighter wheels. Inside, the SVR is ex­pected to fea­ture more deeply bol­stered seats.

Land Rover sta­ble­mate Jaguar is pre­par­ing an F-pace SVR, which is due on roads this June and will find it­self in a sim­i­lar cat­e­gory to the Ve­lar SVR. The hot F-pace is tipped to get the same V8 but in a more po­tent, F-type SVR spec, so it will pro­duce 567bhp and give the car a 0-62mph time of less than 4.0sec.

De­spite their sim­i­lar­i­ties, the F-pace SVR and Ve­lar SVR will fo­cus on dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the mar­ket. The Jaguar will pri­ori­tise on-road per­for­mance and the Ve­lar will re­tain more of its off-road abil­ity – nec­es­sary traits to en­sure they don’t hi­jack each other’s sales.

Prices for the Ve­lar SVR are ex­pected to start at just under £100,000. This would make the per­for­mance vari­ant about £25,000 more ex­pen­sive than the cur­rent top Ve­lar, the 375bhp R-dy­namic HSE P380.

Ve­lar SVR is tipped to cover 0-62mph in around 4.2sec

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