Announced on the 11th of August 2014, the Range Rover Sport SVR has been among us for a while now. So is it still worth the money?
Big, bad, and satin blue is what this Range Rover Sport SVR is. I’m not going to lie: the moment this thing showed up in the press fleet, I felt a massive urge to get it in front of my camera. We’ve had our encounters with this relatively aged vehicle in the early days of CJ, but never the facelift. Nor a version specced up to the fullest like this car. Given the keys to this car for five days, I spent most of the time grinning from ear to ear. Let me run you through the facts and my experience with words. All while spamming you with the pictures I took. I’ll admit one more thing: I spend way too much time taking photos of this car. Way too much.
Obligatory fact summary
Foremost the Range Rover Sport SVR is a car of superlatives in every way possible. It houses the massive well-known 5-liter, supercharged eight-cylinder in its engine bay. SVO, the JLR in-house department that creates these flagships, gave this SVR the 575 hp and 700 Nm of torque version of that engine, slightly more than the F-Pace SVR we tested earlier (review here). Despite weighing just under 2400 kilograms (fluids and one adult included), Land Rover’s 4WD hauls the Range Rover Sport SVR to a hundred in 4.5 seconds and pulls it up to a massive 283 km/h Vmax. The latter translates into the car leaving the majority of premium, high-powered Germans cars in its wake on the Autobahn. To top it off: it does all this while being able to wade through 850mm of water. Yes, picture this OEM satin blue Range Rover SVR wading through mud and water. That is one of the reasons this Range Rover gets me grinning.
The SVO Blues
The paint I just mentioned is called Velocity Ultra Metallic, and the cool thing is that you can choose the satin finish as an option. This OEM paint on a 4.8 meter long and 2 meters wide SUV makes for quite the eyecatcher. I know that not everyone will appreciate this look, even other drivers sometimes stared at it with visible disliking, but in my mind, it is a match made in heaven. Why? Well, a high powered all-terrain vehicle doesn’t make any rational sense in the first place (other than pure entertainment). Painting it this color shows that you acknowledge that. Opting for the carbon fibre engine cover and bonnet add the proverbial cherry. Don’t take the performance too seriously, take the fun it offers seriously.
Other exterior options on this car included the SVR Carbon Fibre Exterior Package, black gloss roof, and 5-spoke high gloss black rims. The carbon fiber pack has a cool detailing effect on the Range Rover SVR, making the air vents pop that little bit more. Black wheels complete the blue-black look and somehow red calipers fit perfectly. However, you can opt for them in a black finish too. The road presence is massive in this trim and that showed more than anything. People stare (which might have to do with the loud exhaust), folks point at it, other road users move over in haste and you see heads turn all too often.
Attention to fun
On the inside of the Range Rover Sport is where the car’s age shows the most. The infotainment isn’t to blame as it hooks up with Android Auto and Apple Carplay like gem, but it’s the aged design that shows through. For a car as old as it is, I’m not being too harsh on it as the quality is worthy of the segment it operates in. None of the people that accompanied in this biggest SVO product ever complained though. Everyone was in awe about the materials, the presence and comfort.
Performance in cars like the Range Rover Sport SVR isn’t something to take all too seriously. You’re not going to see a heavyweight boxing champion win a ballet competition, but seeing them participate would be entertaining. So the performance numbers I mentioned earlier only tell a small part of how it is to drive this car, or how it is to drive it fast. Sensation-wise the perception of speed is numbed down by the immense comfort the ‘Range’ offers. Huge tires have a similar effect on the feedback the steering gives, but all that is to be expected of a car with these dimensions. This didn’t hinder me, as getting used to its character (and how it dives into its suspensions when cornering) meant that I knew when and what the drivetrain would do. I grinned because of the small amount of body roll in corners. Soon I found myself playing around on twisty roads, roundabouts and roaring down tunnels. Latter is still tremendously fun, despite it not having the inconel exhaust and an OPF.
Making you feel confident is what this machine does and it does it well. The ever present and instant torque from the supercharged V8 is something constantly taunting your impulse control. Choosing between fun and fueling up again is a constant struggle. And then there’s the way it corners like it shouldn’t be able to, it sometimes looks like black magic’s at work on all four corners of the car. Yet there’s always an entertaining uncertainty to whether or not you’re going to get understeer. Entertaining because you forgive this juggernaut for its small imperfections. This whole package is tremendously fun to have as an companion on the road.
So is this relatively old car still something you want to spend your money on? If you’re more into character (read: fun) than numbers, this car should be on your list. It has a slightly higher base price than the competition, but speccing it properly won’t drain your account like speccing a German Premium will. It offers fun more than anything and it does that way better than its rivals do.
Just a few facts
|Engine||5.0L Supercharged V8|
|Tested highway consumption||11.5 L/100 km|
|Overall tested consumption||14.7 L/100 km|
|Base price (BE)||137.500 €|
|Price as tested (BE)||167.218 €|