Despite being the most performance-focused model that Land Rover currently produces, the SVR isn’t substantially different to the regular Range Rover Sport in terms of day-to-day driving.
The SVR comes with only one engine: a 5.0-litre, 542hp supercharged petrol V8 that’s essentially the same unit found in top-of-the-line Jaguar performance models, such as the F-Type R Coupe.
Unsurprisingly the 2.3 ton SVR isn’t as brisk as Jaguar’s coupe, but it’s still phenomenally quick for a car of this size – 0-62mph takes just 4.7 seconds, and the SVR will gallop on to a limited top speed of 162mph.
It may have a relatively modest 39hp power hike on the standard car, but it feels more significant than the raw figures suggest, with more enthusiasm throughout the rev range. That’s down to the engine’s phenomenal torque delivery – a whole 502lb ft of the stuff from just 2,500rpm.
And, if the performance doesn’t get you the fruity exhaust note, which transforms into a raging snarl at high revs, most certainly will.
The SVR strikes a fine balance between handling and ride comfort
Fuel economy – you’ll be unsurprised to learn – isn’t particularly impressive, with Land Rover claiming the SVR will only return 22mpg. That said, buyers who can afford this car will most likely be able to stomach the fuel bill, and it’s worth pointing out the standard petrol V8 Sport is no better.
The beefed-up suspension and larger wheels (21 inches as standard, with 22-inch wheels fitted with performance tyres optional) do result in a slightly firmer ride and a bit more tyre noise. Nevertheless, the SVR is still a very well-composed car that works well on the open road.
Let it stretch its legs, however, and the SVR turns into a noticeably different car from the standard model. The firmer suspension and a 40kg weight saving over the standard Sport results in a car that, although not quite as responsive as a Porsche Cayenne Turbo or BMW X5M, does drive with the kind of precision that’s highly at odds with its size!
Yet it’s just as capable off road as the standard car. It comes with a whole array of gizmos for driving off-road, ranging from hill descent control to a Terrain Response system that comes with preset settings for a range of different driving conditions, making the car easy to drive off-road even for novices.