If the Range Rover Sport SVR really is faster than a Porsche Macan Turbo around the Nürburgring – which is what Land Rover now appears to be claiming – then I will eat my own hair.
Admittedly there’s not much left of it to munch on nowadays, but even so; how on earth does Land Rover expect us to believe that a 2.5-tonne leviathan like the Sport SVR can outrun a 500kg lighter rocket ship of a sporting SUV from Porsche, even if the über-Rangie does have the 542bhp engine from the XK RS?
Sorry folks, but I timed a Range Rover Sport against the far bigger, far heavier, quantifiably LESS rapid Cayenne Turbo around Brands Hatch last year for a video and the RR was three seconds slower than the Porsche. So even if the SVR version does have sportier suspension and a bit more poke and so on, there is no way that it could live with, let alone beat, a Macan Turbo around the 'Ring.
But maybe the more relevant point to make about Land Rover’s claim in this instance is – does anyone actually care how fast a Range Rover Sport is around the Nürburgring?
Do prospective owners of Range Rover Sports wander into JLR showrooms nowadays wanting to buy the fastest SUV in the universe? Is the raw performance of the RR Sport the thing that sells it to its audience? If so, why does it weigh 25 per cent more than most of its relevant competitors?
No, what sells the Range Rover Sport isn’t its performance, or its (somewhat dubious) ability to lap the Nordschleife in eight minutes and 14 seconds.
What sells this excellent machine to its loyal and loving customers are its looks, its magnificent cabin, its reputation, its ride quality, its soothing and effortless performance and, most of all I’d suggest, its brand strength. None of which has anything to do with the ruddy Nürburgring.
Now please, will the otherwise highly capable folks at JLR stop trying to kid themselves and get back to talking about what matters, not what doesn’t matter one single iota to any one, anywhere.