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Range Rover takes fight to BMW and Bentley with new SV model

Paul
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A new top-of-the-range Range Rover model will hit the road early next year, with a stack of new tech and luxury features.

But you might have to start saving now – because its starting price is expected to be a whopping 171 grand – that’s about a third more than today’s ultimate SVR model!

Range Rover is hoping to woo buyers with a raft of new engines sourced from BMW, topped off by the 4.4-litre twin-turbo unit currently seen in the M5 CS, which gives an extra 59bhp over the supercharged V8 lump in the current SVR. The eight-speed automatic transmission has also been reworked exclusively for the SV, to help shove the car from 0 to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds. That compares with the current car’s 4.5 seconds.

The air suspension comes across from the Range Rover Sport, but the big difference under the car is a new hydraulic damper system similar to what you’ll find on a McLaren 720S, no less.

This has brought what Land Rover’s engineers believe as big handling benefits, as it’s allowed them to ditch the previously installed roll bars, while also improving body control as well as the car’s off-road capabilities.

On the tarmac too, you should see big differences, the suspension and dampers almost totally eliminating the body roll and pitch you’d usually associate with such a big lump of metal.

In standard road drive mode, the SV is 10mm closer to the asphalt than a regular Range Rover Sport, and ‘SV’ mode lowers this by a further 5mm.

The design of the 23-inch carbon fibre wheels comes from the same firm as makes those which sit under the Ferrari Stradale and Ford GT. They’ve achieved a design which cuts 35kg from the kerb weight of the previous forged aluminium-shod SVR.

Carbon fibre – lots of it - is also used in the brakes, which at 440mm wide are the biggest ever seen on a production car. The discs are also designed to be able to distribute brake force more evenly across their surface, and are also claimed to improve handling through corners when the car is being driven in ‘SV’ mode.

Two leather trim options are being offered, along with one animal hide-free choice. Meanwhile, the on-board music system features an unbelievable 19 speakers. These feature clever tech designed to limit the amount of reverberations you feel in your back when the bass is cranked right up.

An ‘Edition One’ model will kick off the production run and be available for 12 months and will feature matt bronze, metallic silver or black paint finishes. But don’t bother getting on the phone to your bank manager – all of this first year’s production has already been snapped up.

After that, the SV Bespoke program will let buyers pick from a range of interior fittings and external paint finishes.

Commentators reckon the new SV will finally see the Range Rover marque regain much of the ground lost to non-British built rivals in recent years, and those early sales suggest that’s already on the way to being achieved.

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