2018 Range Rover Sport SVR: First Drive Review

It just sits back a bit on its haunches and explodes forward. The Sport SVR also surprises with the way it turns in. It behaves like a car half its size and weight, darting where you point it without any restraint.

2018 Range Rover Sport SVR First Drive

You could argue there is no more pointless expenditure of time and effort than trying to turn an SUV into a supercar. Truck-like mass and a high center of gravity work against the very idea of a vehicle that’s meant to go fast, be it in a straight line or around corners. Yet thousands of automotive engineers are, at this very moment, doing their level best to prove Isaac Newton wrong. Why? Because supercar SUVs make money. So, in a world where an SUV is being touted as the savior of Lamborghini, we can perhaps forgive off-road pioneer Land Rover for the 2018 Range Rover Sport SVR. It’s business.

Updated for the 2018 model year, the Range Rover Sport SVR is a loud and fast SUV that’s quicker than a Ferrari Daytona, a seminal supercar. Nail the gas pedal and the supercharged V-8 under the hood thunders like a Spitfire strafing an airfield. The 5,093-pound SUV comes out the blocks hard and keeps going hard, breezing past 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, Dontari Poe on wheels. Then it hunkers down on its air suspension en route to an electronically limited top speed of 176 mph. 176 mph in a Land Rover! The world’s gone mad’

The $114,595 SVR gets the exterior and interior tweaks that are part of the upgrades for every 2018 Range Rover Sport, augmented by fresh go-fast visuals that include more aggressively styled front and rear bumpers, a new grille, and new wheels. But no one will notice because they’ll all be staring at the SVR’s vented carbon-fiber hood. Especially if it’s on a car fitted with the optional $5,200 Carbon Fiber package, which leaves the weave on the central section of the hood exposed under clearcoat.

Land Rover PR flacks talk earnestly of the new hood delivering reduced weight and improved cooling, but SVO engineering boss Mark Stanton cuts to the chase: ‘We offered a carbon-fiber engine cover on the previous model, and so many people ordered it, we figured we’d put the carbon-fiber where it could be more easily seen.’ Oh, and you can still get a carbon fiber engine cover on the new model as well ‘ it’s a $2,040 option. Ka-ching!

Inside, the Range Rover Sport SVR has the gorgeous new twin-screen infotainment system that debuted on the Range Rover Velar and is part of the 2018 model year refresh across the Range Rover Sport lineup. Unique to the SVR, though, are snuggy Supersport front seats that are 66 pounds lighter than the standard items, and liberate a little more legroom for rear seat passengers.

  • Publisher: Motor Trend
  • Date: 2018-04-12T01:00:09-07:00
  • Author: amackenzie
  • Citation: Web link

While you’re here, how about this:

2018 Range Rover Sport SVR: Have your cake and off

Just because it’s the sportiest Range Rover by a country mile doesn’t mean it isn’t also at home on country lands.

I’m staring at a seriously steep slope, sopping wet from late-winter rain with two very deep ruts carved into the mud. My 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR is wearing aggressive summer tires that are barely at home in the rain, let alone grass and mud. There’s no way this’ll work.

The whole Range Rover Sport line receives a mid-cycle refresh for the 2018 model year, with most of its changes concerning in-car tech. It does look a little different, thanks to slimmer LED headlights and a slightly tweaked front end. The rear end gets integrated tailpipes, which look nice and don’t mess with the Sport’s off-road-friendly departure angle. There’s also a take-it-or-leave-it carbon fiber hood with exposed weave in the center.

The biggest update comes by way of the Touch Pro Duo screens that adorn the center stack. The top touchscreen deals with traditional infotainment duties (media, navigation, phone) while the lower half covers climate and other vehicle settings. They don’t take long to get used to, although I do lament the loss of physical switches. Thankfully, vehicle modes have a standalone dial if you prefer something a bit more tactile.

For this Sport SVR, Land Rover massages its 5.0-liter supercharged V8, too. Output is up to 575 horsepower (from 550) and 516 pound-feet of torque (from 502). Despite a curb weight north of 5,000 pounds, the SVR will hit 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds, which borders on black magic when you feel the acceleration come on.

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  • Publisher: Roadshow
  • Twitter: @CNET
  • Citation: Web link

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