Range Rover unveils its SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
The Range Rover Velar, unveiled two years ago to fill the gap between the Evoque and Sport models in the Range Rover family is now, besides a selection of four- and six-cylinder diesel and petrol engines, also available with V8 supercharged power in range-topping SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition form.
Developed by Land Rover Special Vehicles and Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition features a rorty 405kW 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine and beautifully crafted interior and exterior enhancements.
This new edition, capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 274km/h, also features a range of design enhancements and will be available for one year only.
Why not just SVR?
But why not just called SVR, like its Range Rover Sport SVR cousin or the Jaguar F-Pace SVR?
Well, according to Jaguar Land Rover the Jaguar SVR derivative "delivers renowned Jaguar performance and handling", while the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition “delivers the performance combined with the heightened luxury and refinement expected of a Range Rover product. The two vehicles have different characters and customers can make a choice depending on their preference”.
Distinguishing the most powerful and luxurious Velar yet from its lesser siblings is a new front bumper with larger air intakes to feed the supercharged V8 engine and cool the uprated braking system.
It also features a new grille and lower side mouldings, a transmission tunnel undertray for improved airflow efficiently, and a revised rear bumper featuring integrated quad exhaust finishers.
Bespoke exterior and interior
The lettering on the bonnet and tailgate has been enhanced with a knurled finish on the metal element of the two-piece letters and this model is also the only Velar available in Satin Byron Blue – a unique metallic paint finish from Special Vehicle Operations – and all models feature a contrast Narvik Black roof as standard.
Inside, the combination of trim finishes includes multiple colours of twin-stitched, perforated and quilted Windsor leather and the SVA Dynamic Edition has 20-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats with memory and massage functions as standard.
Other special touches include a unique sports steering wheel, sophisticated knurled finish for the rotary gear selector and Touch Pro Duo infotainment circular control dials.
Engineers at SVO spent 63 900 hours fine-tuning the calibrations for the AWD system, Active Rear Locking Differential, eight-speed transmission, steering and air suspension to deliver a more focused driving experience while still maintaining Land Rover’s renowned all-terrain expertise.
Revisting Rover heritage
For the launch Land Rover re-enacted a famous episode in its venerable history going back back to the Roaring Twenties when racing the famous Le Train Bleu (“The Blue Train”) which whisked the rich and famous from English winter wastelands to the warmer climes of the French Riviera, was a favourite pastime for wealthy motoring enthusiasts.
Many attempted to beat the train on its 1 200km rail trips between Calais and Cannes, but alas the steam-powered service proved too tough an adversary for the motorcars of the day. Until January 1930, when a relatively humble Rover Light Six, with a 2.0-litre engine and 97km/h maximum speed laid claim to be the first car to win one over on the opulent train.
The first attempt by Rover factory test driver Frank Bennet and motoring journalist Harold Pemberton to challenge the train failed but their second effort the following morning in the opposite direction proved successful.
With favourable weather the Rover and its two occupants dashed through France and arrived back in Calais after 20 hours; a convincing 20 minutes ahead of the Blue Train. History was made.
A North West adventure
As the flagship Range Rover Velar is a descendant of the Rover Light Six, the launch of the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition included a romantic trip on Rovos Rail, with carriages and service equally as impressive as the famed Blue Train.
The journey followed the rail line towards Groot Marico in North West Province, and the route included loops around the towns of Swartruggens, Derby and Magaliesburg.
On the undulating course the setup similarities with the F-Pace SVR was evident, including the updated AWD system – with a transfer box capable of withstanding the higher loads generated by the raucous 5.0-litre engine – and advanced Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system imperceptibly distributing engine torque to the wheels to suit the conditions.
While it did feel heavier and slightly less wieldy in the corners than its Jaguar SVR counterpart, the optional air suspension system (not available on the Jaguar) bequeathed it with much improved ride quality.
Its bespoke variable exhaust set-up, with a soundtrack loud enough to stir the little towns out of their sleepy existence, has valve technology to optimise the Velar’s unmistakable V8 rumble. The system is also 3.5kg lighter than the standard design and its increased gas flow helps unlock some of the flagship model’s increased performance.
Upgraded anti-roll bars reduced body roll during hard cornering and the Continuously Variable Dampers, in combination with firmer air springs, worked a charm to deliver great vehicle composure and passenger comfort.
Available with 20-inch or lightweight 21-inch forged aluminium wheels, it can also be specified with optional 22-inch rims with a unique finish and diamond-turned edging or with a Dark Grey finish.
Larger diameter 395mm front and 396mm rear brake discs feature two-piece construction to optimise weight and dissipate heat more effectively while red brake calipers with Land Rover lettering also feature. Gloss Black calipers are also available for a more discreet appearance.
The Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is available in six exterior colours; Firenze Red; Santorini Black; Eiger Grey; Fuji White; Indus Silver and Satin Byron Blue, and is priced from R1,743,325 including VAT and CO2 tax.