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Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR 2016 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Paul Gover road tests and reviews the Range Rover Sport SVR with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Paul Gover road tests and reviews the Range Rover Sport SVR with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

The British high-performance outfit turns out its fastest-ever 4WD.

The Aussie appetite for go-faster cars, especially at the top end of the new car action, just keeps growing.

There were, for example, 364 Mercedes-AMG deliveries in June. Now I have a Range Rover Sport SVR sitting on my driveway.

I have liked the Rangie Sport in the past, even the diesel variant with boosted torque and reduced price relative to the supercharged V8.

I'm not sure what to expect from this SVR. It's one of the early products from a new high-performance wing at Jaguar Land Rover in Britain, built alongside the ultimate — for now, at least — Jaguar F-Type.

JLR is booming these days thanks to classy cars and renewed global enthusiasm for the twin British brands.

Jaguar has even sold all-new but all-old lightweight E-Types, what's called a "continuation" run from its original 1960s production tallies, for more than $1.5 million each.

For Land Rover, the SVR is a big deal, an HSV-style operation to boost performance and equipment beyond the levels of the base car.

The SVR with supercharged V8? That'll be $224,110, thanks.

In the case of the Range Rover Sport, the SVR enhancements bring an uprated supercharged V8 (405kW/ 680Nm), tweaked air suspension and an active sports exhaust — boosted inside by what's called a "symposer".

Conspicuous SVR gear includes 21-inch alloys, Brembo brake calipers painted blue, special leather on the embossed sports seats and steering wheel, what's called "Morzine Headlining" and illuminated tread plates on the door sills.

Don't think the SVR upgrade comes cheap. A basic Range Rover Sport is yours from $90,900 with a V6 diesel.

The V6 petrol opens at $128,510 and the cheapest of the petrol V8s is $168,210.

The SVR with supercharged V8? That'll be $224,110, thanks.

And the car outside? It's $258,080 before on-roads, thanks in part to the $10,700 23-speaker Meridian audio, 22-inch alloys at $4800, fixed glass sunroof at $3400 and carbon-fibre in the cabin for $3000.

Hmmm. I know I'm going to like the SVR, but that much? Still, John Edwards, the boss of SVR, promises it's the fastest Land Rover ever. He has always kept his word to me.

Jaguar Land Rover Australia spokesman Tim Krieger says demand for the SVR has been huge. "It's exceeded our expectations. Demand has been incredibly strong. We've stuck our hands up for as many as we can get," he says.

So, no pressure then ...

On the road

It's a chunky big hunk, this SVR-mobile.

It looks more hunkered and tough than a regular Range Rover Sport, the exhaust rumbles and then roars and pops and bangs, the suspension is firmer but still compliant and it gets around corners incredibly well for something in the 2.5-tonne range — and I'm not talking about the tow rating.

It will happily tow three tonnes for the horse lovers out there, can do brilliantly well on gravel tracks or snow-covered roads thanks to the Land Rover engineering and the multi-mode all-wheel drive package, and will head off road when you insist.

I can feel — and smell — the extra-premium cabin materials, the engineering under the skin is all first class and the Meridian audio is positively marvellous.

It's really a straight-line sprinter, a car that's best for showing off.

Why, then, am I not laughing out loud? There are queries about the price, the rivals, the need for a Sport with SVR fettling — and fuel economy. Range Rover claims 13.7L/ 100km but concedes it could run to 20.5L in the city.

It might be a little thing for likely owners but Land Rover still doesn't have a capped-price service package in Australia.

I'm reminded of the first time I drove a BMW X6 and decided it was too much of a good thing, and the answer to a question no one had asked. BMW proved me wrong with massive sales success but I'm still not moved by the X6, even when wearing an M badge.

It's the same with this SVR. I can see how an F-Type sports car can benefit from Edwards's work but I think the Range Rover Sport is just fine without enhancement and hits a sweet spot with a regular petrol engine.

I can feel the extra speed and grip in the SVR but it's really a straight-line sprinter, a car that's best for showing off and proving to your (moneyed) mates that you have trumped their royal flush with four aces.

Pricing Guides

$94,445
Based on 82 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$69,990
Highest Price
$168,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
3.0 SDV6 A/B DYNAMIC 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $128,920 – 148,170 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2016 3.0 SDV6 A/B DYNAMIC Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 Autobiography 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $116,930 – 134,420 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2016 3.0 SDV6 Autobiography Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 HSE 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $83,800 – 109,990 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2016 3.0 SDV6 HSE Pricing and Specs
3.0 SDV6 HSE Dynamic 3.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $96,990 – 107,900 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 2016 3.0 SDV6 HSE Dynamic Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8

“Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. In the car world that can be fun but it isn't always the case.The RR SVR is special and definitely quicker in every way. Its 0-100km/h blast takes 4.7 seconds and it can go on to 260km/h on the right road in the Northern Territory. There is much to like and enjoy among the finery in the cabin. But ...A Range Rover Sport will get The Tick every time but I can't see the point in paying $258,080 — before on-roads — for the SVR just because you can. So no Tick.”

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