I can still hear the throaty gurgle of the 5.0 litre V8 Supercharged Range Rover Sport SVR as it rests, waiting to pounce. A pleasant sound, almost calming, which at the touch of the accelerator pedal explodes into an orchestra of engine notes as we accelerate from standing to a hundred-and-too much in just a few seconds of absolute driving bliss. The thought of the fuel bill being the only reason we don’t pause and repeat this fabulous auditory thrill at every opportunity.
The SVR, or Special Vehicle Operations, version of the Range Rover Sport is a thrill to all the senses. The muscular stance perfectly compliments the performance and handling afforded by an aluminium monocoque shell. The SVR demands to be driven with the engine’s music playing at full blast. Unfortunately the fun pedal of the 416kW V8 consumes a bucket of fuel every 100km in the urban cycle, and probably a bath-full (untested) when playing the sweet sounds.
The interior is as plush as it gets, while still being sports car orientated with leather-clad bucket seats. The soft touch leather dash is a pleasure to behold while the carbon fibre trim appeals and suggests further racing credentials. Everything about the SVR is Range Rover class and luxury just with added sportiness rolled into a magnificent package of exhilarating driving pleasure.
- 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds
- Top Speed: 250 km/h
- CO₂: 294g/km
- Urban Fuel Economy: 18.0l/100km
- Extra Urban Fuel Economy: 9.9l/100km
- Combined Fuel Economy: 12.8l/100km
We actually managed to get the consumption under 9 while driving around the local motorways. I remember all the folks in the modern 1.0 litre 3 cylinder petrol turbo engine vehicles passing us during this eco driving. How they stared. The scowls on their faces as we punched battleship sized holes in the air, while their small, economical and affordable cars of the future zipped past barely emitting a sound or harmful exhaust gas. Or maybe it was the roar of the V8 when we opened the extra exhaust pipes and tapped the accelerator allowing the exhaust to backfire loudly that elicited the looks of disdain, either way, we were having way too much fun to care.
Which brings me to the purpose of this vehicle. You’re unlikely to get the SVR version if you’re going to drive from Cape to Cairo on an expedition. Of course it is just as capable as any of the other Range Rovers or Land Rovers available today but in my opinion it would be a foolish choice. It’s quick as a flash but not in supercar territory in terms of performance. It’s enormous in size and luxurious to boot so perhaps the intended customer is a well heeled individual who just wants to stand out from the crowd.
The interior oodles class and the engineers spared nothing when designing the comforts for the passengers. The rear seats even have airline like reading lights so you can catch up on the President’s Keepers while being driven around by your own servants. The problem with this idea though is if you had an SVR you would want to sit in the drivers seat and be in control of this masterpiece of engineering, wouldn’t you? I know I didn’t tire of driving this mechanical beast although I’ll need to frequent that Saxonwold Shebeen to get that CEO position at ESKOM (or SAA or Transnet etc.) if I ever want to afford my own.
Which brings me back to who is this vehicle for? It’s clearly built for persons who enjoy driving, who appreciate the luxury of the interior combined with the ability of the special vehicle operations unit’s special cars. Where these people overlap with those who can afford the same I am not sure.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a premium vehicle with offroad ability while demanding to be transported in palatial luxury and having the insane power of the 416kW V8 available virtually instantly, then perhaps the Range Rover Sport SVR is the perfect fit for you. Take one for a test drive, design and order your own off the website or just stare longingly at a dream vehicle on the Land Rover official website.
Range Rover SVR
Rear seat passengers are not forgotten although why you would choose to sit at the back escapes us
Range Rover SVR steering wheel
Multi-function steering wheel clad in leather and carbon fibre finishes
The centre console in the Range Rover SVR is wrapped in soft leather finished with carbon fibre accents. Look for the extra exhaust button!