The Range Rover Sport SVR is an exercise in abject surplus, but that’s entirely the point

Range Rover Sport SVR
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Excess All Areas

Let’s be honest. Unless you’re an automotive megalomaniac, nobody really needs the Range Rover Sport SVR. A 550bhp SUV that will hit 100km/hr in under five seconds and pull up to 1.3g (claimed) in corners is overkill by any measure.

That five-litre supercharged V8 under the bonnet endows the Range Rover Sport SVR with performance that is best described as epic. The motor pulls cleanly all the way to a redline just shy of 7,000rpm and it seems to have an inexhaustible supply of thrust from anywhere in the rev range.

The SVR’s V8 is also imbued with all manner of borderline obscene bangs and pops. The fact those noises are made by a slab-sided, 1.78m-tall SUV only makes it more incongruous and therefore, hilarious.

The way it drives, though, is no laughing matter. The SVR’s chassis isn’t all too far removed from more pedestrian Range Rover Sport variants. Land Rover has seen fit to preserve its ride height, and tipping the scales at 2,333kg, it’s no bantamweight.

That makes the way the Range Rover Sport SVR handles even more uncanny. Pitch it hard into corners and while there’s an initial heave, the SVR soon settles, devouring long, sweeping bends with ease. It’s even flickable, which, like its exhaust note, is vaguely amusing, since it’s an SUV doing the flicking, not a lithe coupe.

Crucially, the Range Rover Sport SVR does all that while losing little, if any, of the base variant’s on-road manners. With the exhaust’s valves shut, the powerplant becomes but a distant purr, and while there’s a little more tyre noise and suspension patter, it’s as isolated as you would expect any Range Rover to be.

So, do you need the Range Rover Sport SVR? Well, definitely not, but do you want one? Oh, yes!

Land Rover

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Published 2nd April 2017
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