Called the SV – dropping the ‘R’ suffix of the previous car – it is the latest project from JLR’s Special Vehicles team and is “the most dynamic and technologically advanced” version of the sports SUV yet.
Based on the latest-generation Range Rover Sport, the new halo SV is one of Land Rover’s final new combustion cars. JLR, under its Reimagine transformation plan, will launch a Range Rover EV next year, before the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Range Rover Sport, Evoque and Velar go electric from 2025.
Pushing out 626bhp from a 4.4-litre BMW-sourced engine, which is twin-turbocharged and mildly hybridised, the SV trumps the previous SVR’s 542bhp, achieved from a supercharged 5.0-litre V8.
With peak torque of 590lb ft (briefly available under launch control conditions), the SV can go from 0-62mph in 3.6sec, and all the way to 180mph. It drives four wheels via an eightspeed automatic gearbox. There are subtle design changes over the P530 model, including wider front and rear tracks, increased camber, a new front bumper and grille treatment, side skirts, and a rear bumper with four round exhausts said to be more “honest” than the previous SVR’s square tailpipes.
The new front treatment is partly necessitated by the increased cooling requirements of the V8 engine – and the brakes. For the first time on a Land or Range Rover, Special Vehicles is offering carbon-ceramic brakes with eight-piston calipers – standard on the limited-run launch-edition model – as well as the first carbonfibre wheels in 23in offered by an OEM.
Fitted with the optional carbonfibre wheels (saving 36kg) and carbon-ceramic brakes (34kg lighter), the car’s unsprung mass is reduced by 70kg over the regular Sport, says Special Vehicles. With standard cast-iron rotors and forged alloy wheels, also 23in, the car’s unladen weight is 2560kg.