Presented with nothing else to do, the SVR’s optional head-up display shows only two numbers: your speed and the legal limit. Basic information, you might think, but a vital reminder given the rarity with which these numbers marry up organically.

The combination of Range Rover variant and JLR’s bombastic V8 is a familiar one, and that fact makes the new-found ferocity of the SVR’s performance even more startling. Where the standard motor is a prodigiously swift, relentlessly sonorous item, the SVO treatment has delivered a rabidness for which the extra 40bhp hardly accounts.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Despite giving away 700kg in kerb weight, the SVR Sport's one-way 0-60mph time at Millbrook was just 0.2sec behind Jaguar's F-Type R

Indeed, in S mode (a convenient wrist nudge of the gear selector to the left), the SVR’s caterwauling acceleration doesn’t just make for a satisfying comparison with its stablemate; instead, it rivals that of the all-wheel-drive F-Type R with which this car shares its ECU.

Despite giving away a preposterous 700kg in kerb weight, the Sport’s one-way 0-60mph time at Millbrook was just 0.2sec behind Jaguar’s claim for its quickest coupé yet.

Of course, the SVR enjoys a traction advantage over that model, but even when measured against the Porsche Macan Turbo we figured last year (itself at least 300kg lighter), the Range Rover is still 0.3sec to the good – and a full second quicker over a standing kilometre.

As startling as they are, the figures provide only a pencil sketch of what is undeniably an oil and canvas experience. As it is in the F-Type R, the V8 is truly on song from a little after 3000rpm to about 6000rpm. As the in-gear numbers attest, its efforts tend to trail off slightly before upshifts, but that’s barely apparent when you’re subjected to the brutish, unflagging shove of the thing. It’s part tectonic plate and part Bowler Wildcat.

And then, when you’ve had enough, plainer sailing is just an additional gear selector waggle back towards you. In D mode, the SVR reverts closer to type: the accelerator is duller, ratio swaps slushier and the butterfly valves firmly shut until beyond 4000rpm. It isn’t schizophrenic enough for you to forget the underlying frenzy entirely, but that is as it should be. 

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