The Discovery SVX goes some way to tiding over the Land Rover product range with an extreme and purely off-road-focused vehicle that has been missing since the Defender went out of production early last year.
The capability of Land Rover’s products off-road is not in doubt, yet the off-road image and lifestyle the brand portrays has lacked the posterchild to give the brand the authenticity it made its name on, and still trades off.
A new Defender is still not due for at least a couple of years to give the brand that authenticity again, so the Discovery SVX arrives to perform that role in the meantime.
It’s not just breathing space, though – it’s quite the model in its own right. When we first heard of SVX, we were expecting the full ‘Camel Trophy treatment’ – big snorkels, huge lights on the roof, chunky off road wheels and tyres. Instead there is something far more restrained; it’s a Q car among off-roaders.
Does this approach give any extra clues as to how the next Defender might look? Land Rover is known to have ditched the DC100 concepts of a few years ago as any kind of blueprint, which was a modern reinvention of the company’s icon, chunky, overtly off-road styling and all.