2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR Review
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Does the world need wicked-fast luxury SUVs with hefty pricetags?
Does Land Rover sell at least one? Yes, yes it does.
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR’s whole raison d’être is to be the supercharged bad-boy SUV on the luxo-box block.
Range Rover shoppers who want green cred can select a different RR Sport, but the intender who wants old-school acceleration and has six figures to spare will be thinking SVR.
That’s because the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 underhood puts out 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Eight speeds of automatic transmission get that power to all four wheels.
I didn’t have much of a chance to stretch its legs during my time with the SVR, since most of my driving is of the urban kind. But that kind of power is plenty to motivate an SUV that weighs over 5,000 pounds when attacking an on-ramp.
Similarly, I didn’t get much of a chance to push the SVR on the kind of curvy road that can challenge a vehicle, but based on the limited sample size, I got the impression the SVR could at least hold its own. A double-wishbone suspension sits up front, and a multi-link setup is out back. The suspension is adaptive and also height-adjustable.
Handling is a secondary concern, anyway. Really, so is the swift acceleration. You buy the Sport SVR to show that your bank account is larger than your … well, to signal that it’s large. You buy it to look cool, and to be able to swiftly accelerate away from the hoi-polloi if need be.
Rolling luxury is the name of the game here. Why else would the optional Meridian premium audio system cost over 4 large? The 22-inch wheels are an extra 3 grand and change, and the blue paint job my test vehicle had will set you back over $1,500. Thirteen-hundred dollars for a head-up display strikes me as just a tad dear. A $3,185 driver pack adds blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control with steering assist, high-speed emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and park assist.
Other options include soft-door close, cooled front seats, ebony headliner, activity key, and black veneer.
Six-figure base pricing does net you a lot of features even before you starting ticking options boxes. Things like red brake calipers, power gesture-activated tailgate, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, heated rear seats, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, tri-zone climate control, keyless entry and starting, navigation, 10-inch infotainment screen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition, and adaptive speed limiter.
Not only is the SVR speedy, but it’s purdy; at least as attractive as a boxy SUV can be. The sloping roofline, black on blue-on-black color scheme, and red brake calipers are suggestive enough of the SVR’s abilities that you will feel a bit like the D-list celebs who tend to look upon such vehicles the way cats gaze upon catnip.
Inside the SVR is a fairly standard JLR setup – lots of haptic touch buttons, two big displays, materials that are nice if not special, especially given this price point. The controls are a bit confusing at first, but quickly learned.
Weight and power are enemies of fuel economy, and the SVR is a gas gulper, with a combined mpg of just 16.
The SVR, like many a Range Rover, does not come cheap. But for the deep-pocketed driver who wants SUV utility along with luxury and performance, the SVR delivers on at least two of those counts.
It doesn’t feel particularly special compared to other vehicles in the JLR fleet. You’re paying for the performance, here.
Perhaps too much. That said, being plus 500 in both horsepower and torque can cure a lot of ills.
Hedge-funders and Beverly Hills residents will love this thing. For the rest of us, the smooth power of a supercharged V8 might not be enough to overcome sticker shock, but it doesn’t hurt.
[Images © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC]
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