Clearly, given the nature of its raw performance, the SVR would be nothing without commensurate enhancement of the Sport’s chassis. But we’d argue that it would have been rendered equally defunct were the car not still discernibly a Range Rover.
The careful treading of this fine line, somewhere between unstoppable force and immovable object, is a core part of what makes the new model such a compelling vehicle to drive. That said, not even Land Rover, with its favourite suspension spring medium – namely air – to play with, can entirely conceal a whopping tightening of the dynamic screw. Consequently, the suspension’s usual mighty consumption of bumps comes now with a certain constriction.
This you’ll notice before anything else, because to get to the higher speeds where the trade-off proves rather inspired, you must first traverse the low speeds at which it feels incrementally less accomplished.
However, even in town, ride comfort remains of a standard that would make the German engineer of an equally fast saloon weep into his currywurst. And as you still sit high above it all, the car’s capacity to absorb the world underneath you unheralded is still largely intact, but the ability to then make it disappear behind you in fierce, scathing bursts is all-new.
With the adaptive settings left unaltered, the SVR’s heightened potential feels much as SVO promised: a firmer, flatter, pointier Range Rover Sport. That literal description hardly explains the molten pleasure of the thing, though.
Tantalisingly, none of the characteristic heft or directional certainty has been dialled back in the pursuit of a conjured-up leanness. Instead, the car just feels quite brilliantly ‘more’ than it was before, as if it were using the extra power to try harder at being dynamically sweeter.
The roundedness of it all obviously speaks to the quality of the tuning job done, and were it the limit, we would have declared ourselves massively contented. But the meat of SVO’s mission statement resides in the SVR’s Dynamic setting - select this mode and the car is a different animal.
That we enjoyed it most on track - not the Hill Route, either, but Millbrook's flatter handling circuit - says it all. With the suspension at its firmest, the SVR hunkers down into Cayenne-aping mode, yet it shuns the Porsche's aloofness. Instead, channelled through its consistent, muscular steering, the SVR becomes thoroughly exploitable.