Range Rover Sport SVR (2014) unveiled: the world’s fastest SUV? | CAR Magazine

Range Rover Sport SVR (2014) unveiled: the world’s fastest SUV?

Published: 11 August 2014 Updated: 26 January 2015

What happens when you bestow a sports car engine and chassis tweaks upon a hulking big SUV? This: the new 2014 Range Rover Sport SVR, unveiled today and due to cost a heady £93,450.

It is claimed to be the world’s fastest 4×4, thanks to a supercharged 5.0-litre V8 nabbed from the Jaguar XKR-S and boosted to 543bhp and 502lb ft of torque. Unsurprisingly, the figures quoted at this week’s Pebble Beach world debut are other-worldly for an SUV: top speed is limited to 162mph and the 0-60mph sprint would embarrass many Porsches, at just 4.5 seconds.

Range Rover Sport SVR: specs and lap records

The SVR is, unsurprisingly, the fastest Land Rover ever and is the first fruits of the new Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team at Jaguar Land Rover. This department has been modeled upon the AMG go-faster division at Mercedes-Benz and will make high-performance and bespoke creations for the British manufacturing group.

SVO take one regular 5.0 V8 Range Rover Sport and do a series of upgrades to make sure the SVR wears the trousers to back up its aggressive-looking mouth.

Power swells by 40bhp and 41lb ft from the regular RRS and Land Rover has given the four-wheel drive chassis a thorough work-out to make sure it can keep up. So the ZF eight-speed automatic is recalibrated and new 22-inch alloys fitted with 295/40 R22 Continental SportContact 5 tyres are available as an upgrade over standard 21in all-seasons rubber.

And we suspect the Range Rover Sport SVR will sound fantastic; it’s the first Land Rover ever to be fitted with a switchable, two-stage active exhaust straight from the factory. Woofle or scream upon demand.

The design of the Range Rover Sport SVR

You won’t mistake the SVR for anything else. As well as the availability of 22in rims and those SVR badges, the fastest Range Rover has an array of muscular body add-ons. The front end has more air intakes than a wind farm, a remoulded bumper being peppered by air scoops to feed V8 and brakes while the Range Rover lettering across the bonnet is picked out in a menacing matt black.

There’s little brightwork visible on the Range Rover SVR, too, and the side ‘gills’ are reprofiled. Notice, also, the bright blue Brembo brake callipers, hiding beefed-up stoppers to scrub off all that two-tonne-SUV-meets-supercar performance. And at the rear, a pair of exhaust pipes nestle either side of the sort of diffuser more normally seen on a hot hatchback on Brighton seafront.

Inside the SVR, a pair of very serious-looking winged sports seats are bolted in place of the more luxurious pews more normally found in a Range Rover Sport. Slithers of carbonfibre trim also provide clues about the performance on offer although the RR is, of course, made largely from aluminium not composite.

Is the SVR really the world’s fastest SUV?

So Land Rover claimed last month when it lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 8 minutes 14 seconds. However, in an interesting softening of language, the company now says this is ‘one of the fastest times ever recorded by a production SUV,’ suggesting a rival (Porsche, perchance?) had a thing or two to say about the matter.

Bragging rights aside, there’s no doubt the Range Rover Sport SVR will be one of the quickest 4x4s ever when it rolls into UK dealerships in spring 2015, wearing a price tag not far shy of £100,000.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words