Sport SVR

Robb Report (USA) - - LIONS OF THE DESERT -

With a cross sec­tion of top crossovers and SUVs ar­rayed at the Aria and avail­able to test, it was a chance for se­ri­ous gear­heads to play Goldilocks. Was the ride too hard or the brak­ing too soft? Han­dling too hot or cabin trim cold? For some, the Range Rover Sport SVR was just right. While the Bent­ley could be found too pol­ished for the back­coun­try and the Jeep un­der­dressed for evenings out, this Range Rover car­ries the same grav­i­tas on gravel as it does on Rodeo Drive. Our alu­minum-bod­ied ex­am­ple wore the mar­que’s San­torini Black with car­bon fiber for the hood and ex­te­rior ac­cents, while the in­side was ele­gant in ebony.

Jaguar Land Rover has given the model its Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle Rac­ing (SVR) des­ig­na­tion due to the nu­mer­ous per­for­mance up­grades that make it the fastest in Land Rover’s lineup. The big­gest boost comes from a 575 hp, five-liter su­per­charged V-8—with 516 ft lbs of torque—tem­pered by a ZF au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The com­bi­na­tion can cy­cle through eight speeds quick enough to rocket the Rover from zero to

60 mph in 4.3 sec­onds be­fore it maxes out at 176 mph.

When the time came to slow it down for some off-road­ing, the Range Rover SVR moved adeptly through all types of to­pog­ra­phy with help from Land Rover’s Ter­rain Re­sponse 2 pro­gram­ming and its sur­face-spe­cific modes of Grass/Gravel/Snow, Sand, Rock, Mud/Ruts, and, when con­di­tions call for it, Rock Crawl.

Even af­ter hours of travel, the drive ex­pe­ri­ence never de­te­ri­o­rated—a tes­ta­ment to the im­proved chas­sis and sus­pen­sion that pro­vide bet­ter grip, pitch, and body con­trol over var­ied ter­rain. Of course, also adding to the com­fort fac­tor are the in­te­rior’s heated Wind­sor leather seats, heated steer­ing wheel, and in­creased rear-pas­sen­ger legroom—just in case three bears want to ride in the back.

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