The Range Rover Sport is a car like no other, and there’s a good chance you already have a subjective view on it. Objectively, it offers an impressive mix of talents. On the one hand it’s luxurious and cossetting, on the other it’s quick and surprisingly entertaining.
Its diesel engines are clearly the most sensible way to go but there’s something special (and irresistibly OTT) about a 500bhp+ supercharged petrol engine, and the Autobiography trim 5.0 S/C actually represents good value alongside its contemporaries. At nearly £20,000 less than the standard Range Rover, and with a seven-seat option to trump its slightly bigger brother, the Sport is well priced within its own company, too.
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The Range Rover Sport SVR is the first car to emerge from JLR's 'Special Vehicle Operations division' and promises the same sort of performance as the likes of an X5 M and ML63 AMG, that is, a lot.
It uses the engine from the F-Type, meaning it has a 5-litre supercharged V8 up front that is good for 542bhp and 502lb ft from 2500rpm. Despite weighing 2335kg, the SVR can actually manage 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds.
The engine is a powerhouse – it’s also responsive and lively at the top end – and the gearbox is basically faultless in this application. The vocal new exhaust system makes the SVR sound like an F-type’s older brother, which is deeply amusing to an unintelligent motoring journalist.
What sets the SVR apart from other performance SUVs, though, is its off-road ability. Land Rover hasn’t completely forgotten its heritage with this new model – it will still cope with thick, wet mud, rocky streams and slippery inclines, even on those summer tyres. It really is a remarkable trick. Dan Prosser, Road Test Editor, evo Magazine