When Porsche announced the Cayman GT4, I didn’t need to be convinced that it was a good idea. In fact, even without driving it, I would have gambled the house that it would be worthy of any superlative you could throw at it because a hardcore version of an already unfeasibly joyous sports car is hardly going to be bad. It’s like adding chocolate to cheesecake. You can’t really go wrong.
I was less convinced by the idea of the Range Rover Sport SVR when it was announced. An SUV just isn’t the right basis for a hardcore performance vehicle, right? Just like chocolate wouldn’t go so well with steak. Both are great, but not together. And I should point out that I really do love the Range Rover Sport. On most days it features in my lottery garage as the everyday runabout, albeit in diesel form, because here’s the rub: every sports SUV I’ve ever driven, including the V8 Range Rover Sport and Macan Turbo, I’ve got out of at the other end thinking “sure, it’s great for an SUV, but even if I had limitless cash I’d just buy the diesel and have a few choice ‘proper’ sports cars as well.” Ultimately, Sports SUVs have always made about as much sense to me as tackling miniature topiary with a chainsaw.
Then I got free rein with the SVR. By the time I’d rounded the first corner with gusto, I was wondering if I’d fallen through a gap in the Matrix where weight suddenly didn’t affect handling. It’s truly surreal. Get the braking right for a balanced front-end and it tucks into a corner with the sort of voracious precision that you’d expect of a properly well-sorted sports saloon. Feed the power on at the right moment, and the back-end steps out with plenty of warning through the wheel, so you respond accordingly, keep your foot planted and before you know it you’ve executed a neat skid before the car pulls itself right and carries on with a manic, outraged bellow from the exhaust. All of this in a Range Rover Sport that weighs 2335kg.