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Motoring: An SUV that drives like a racecar

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

If you are looking for a vehicle with high-tech gadgets the SVR is not for you, but if you are looking for a vehicle with an unforgettable driving experience head to the local Range Rover dealership.


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | December 7th, 2015



Land Rover’s Range Rover was the world’s first luxury SUV. It combined elegant styling with comfort, and was capable of going where other luxury vehicles couldn’t even dream of going.

The latest offering from Range Rover however is a bit different. It still exudes elegant styling with lots of luxuries to pamper you, but this one isn’t so much for going where there are no roads, this one would be happiest on the de-restricted sections of the autobahn.

The model I’m talking about is Range Rover’s latest offering and it’s the highest performance variant of their already entertaining sport model. It’s called the SVR, and it is the fastest and most powerful vehicle to ever come out of Land Rover’s factory in the Midlands, UK.

This 2,335-kilogram vehicle can sprint from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in just 4.7 seconds, and is electronically limited to a top speed of 260 km/h. In short, it’s faster than the new Ford Mustang EcoBoost, and that is a two-door sports car.

It’s not just the numbers either, this SVR sounds magnificent when you open up the throttle, and the feel from the chassis, and steering is wonderful as it hunkers down and slingshots up the road.

The power is relentless. Under the hood is a supercharged 5.0 litre V8 motor that produces 550 horsepower and 502 pound per foot of torque.

Power is fed to all-wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel mounted pedal shifters so you can play with gear ratios as you wish.

This drivetrain might sound familiar because it has the same mechanicals that you find in the sleek and sexy 2016 Jaguar F-Type R all wheel drive, which is the most exciting road car I’ve driven all year.

Though, the SVR is a lot heavier than the F-Type R, but don’t think that the extra weight dulls the performance. The performance actually feels even more amusing in the SVR because you just don’t expect a fairly large SUV to perform the way it does.

The performance is not just for straight roads as the SVR can handle bends too. Put it in Dynamic-mode and you can toss it into corners at ridiculous speeds and it just sticks.

Just because it is fast, don’t think it has completely lost what has always made a Land Rover Range Rover the king of all SUVs; it still has its off-road abilities.

Though with its aggressive front bumper and high-speed road tires, it is not ideal for going where tarmac doesn’t exist, it still has off-road programs.

It also has height adjustable shocks; therefore you can raise the whole vehicle up by 2.5 inches; this would help clear sleeping rabbits and skunks without disturbing their ears.

Similar to every Range Rover before it, the SVR is also a luxurious environment. Climb in and you’re treated to comfortable, racing bucket- style seats front and back. The interior is beautiful and you get almost every luxury and infotainment item you’d ever wish for.

Though this vehicle sounds perfect, it’s not.

First of all, the quality of image from its camera system is a lot poorer than what its competition offers, and it’s the same story with its touch-screen infotainment system, which is quite old and not up to par with what else is on the market.

If you’re after gadgets, there are better vehicles out there, but if your purpose for buying your next vehicle is pure driving excitement, than the SVR is unbeatable.

This vehicle is also great on gas. I averaged 13.7 litres per 100 kilometres in my test week, which is better than many performance cars I have tested. It does drink premium fuel, so the cost of operation will be high, but if you can afford an SUV that has a base price of $124,990, then you can probably afford the gas, too.

I am fortunate enough to drive a lot of new vehicles every year, and this year, it’s this big, fast Range Rover SVR that has won my heart. I only wish I could afford to park one on my driveway permanently.
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