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How the Range Rover Sport SVR beat the Nürburgring


August 13, 2014

The 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest Land Rover model

The 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest Land Rover model

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Last month, Land Rover claimed a new record for a production SUV as its 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR ran the 20.8 km (13 mile) Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in eight minutes and 14 seconds. Now the company has lifted the bonnet and revealed the specs behind how a two and a half tonne Chelsea tractor is able to do a lap time like a stabbed rat.

A product of the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations team, the all-terrain Sport SVR is billed as the "most dynamically focused Land Rover vehicle ever produced" and is the first Land Rover model to bear the SVR badge. Land Rover says that it put a lot of work into the looks of the Range Rover Sport SVR to reflect its track-worthy nature, but at first glance, it still comes across as a fairly standard Range Rover profile with a strong lateral line that makes it look a bit smaller than its 115.1 in (2,923 mm) wheelbase.

However, a closer look finds the pronounced high-level spoiler in the rear and the new style package that aims at better aerodynamics and feeding cooling air to the engine and brakes. Unfortunately, the front has a neither-fish-nor-fowl appearance with a smallish grille overwhelmed by the air scoops beneath.

Made mostly of aluminum, Land Rover says that the Sport SVR's chassis has been retuned for greater agility. It’s covered by an all-aluminum unibody that is 39 percent lighter than the previous version, yet is stronger and stiffer and is available in a choice of seven color palettes. In front, the new dark-finish grille is designed to contrast with the LED headlamps, and beneath are large air intakes of the sort that usually aren't associated with the wax jacket set. Situated either side of the new grille, these feed into the air coolers for the engine’s superchargers.

Under the bonnet is that supercharged, all-aluminum, longitudinal V8, 32 Quad cam Dual Independent Variable Cam Timing, high-pressure direct injection, 5-liter engine that blasts 550 bhp (404 kW) and 502 ft lb (680 Nm) of torque – that’s a 40 bhp (29 kW), 41 ft lb (55 Nm) boost over the standard supercharged V8. Fuel economy is, not surprisingly, far from the top of the class, but is typical for a Range Rover with 14 mpg (16.8 L/100 km) city and 19 mpg (12.3 L/100 km) highway.

Behind this is the 8-speed ZF 8HP70 gearbox, which is controlled with flappy paddles or gear lever, and it can operate as a full automatic, occasional manual, or full manual. Using eight close ratios and rapid, precise fuel cut-offs, the gearbox reduces shift times by up to 50 percent while upshifting. In addition, it uses adaptive shift strategy to select from 25 pre-determined programs to adapt to the driver for sportier shifting. And, there’s Torque Vectoring, which uses the brakes to act as a torque-vectoring differential.

It’s not a bad set up for a car with permanent four-wheel drive with standard locking center differential, Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system, optional locking rear axle differential, a two-speed transfer case, and low-range option for off-roading, as well as a re-calibrated Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential.

Put this all together on the tarmac at the Nürburgring and you get 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds (0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds), and a top speed limited to 162 mph (260 km/h). Given that the Sport SVR weighs in at 5,148 lb (2,335 kg) in its socks, and that performance makes the word "impressive" give way to "alarming."

Holding all that weight and power up is the front SLA suspension, with twin lower links and air springs/CVD with ARC, and the integral link suspension with air springs/CVD with ARC in the rear. Steering is electric power assisted rack and pinion, which cuts down on the weight over hydraulics, and there are 15 in (380 mm) ventilated disc brakes in the front and 14.4-in (365 mm) ventilated discs in the rear.

Inside, the track motif for the Sport SVR is carried over with contrasting leather sports seats boasting a distinct racing look and feel and full 14-way electric adjustment. Land Rover says that the trim is available in Ebony Black, Ebony Black and Cirrus White, Ebony Black and Pimento Red, and Ebony Black and Tan.

"The Range Rover Sport SVR is a natural progression beyond the core vehicle's outstanding on- and off-road capabilities and leading-edge design," says John Edwards, Managing Director of Land Rover Special Operations. "Its exhilarating performance will satisfy a particularly demanding customer set. A thorough range of revisions specially developed by Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations combine to make this premium derivative even more distinctive both inside and out, as well as taking its dynamic capabilities to the next level without impacting on comfort, refinement or all-terrain versatility. The Range Rover Sport SVR is truly the world's most capable performance SUV."

The starting price for the 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR is a bracing US$110,4754.

The video below shows the 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR taking on the Nürburgring.

Source: Land Rover

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

There used to be a motto in grand prix racing: simplicate and add lightness. Land Rover has done what it can with the latter, but 'simplicate'?! Anyone choosing to take one of these across some parts of the world without a service vehicle to keep it running and them from dying is a fool.

In the early days, Land Rover refused to use coil springs because a leaf spring could be more easily repaired in a village forge that was more accustomed to keeping primitive farm equipment working than fancy heavy gauge coiled wire in one piece. This vehicle has aluminium wheels. With one spare you are only two hidden rocks away from becoming a three-wheeler. You can bash a pressed steel wheel back into shape, You cannot do that with one of these.

With 19 mpg, Land Rover would do us and the planet a favour if it stripped out all the fancy technical stuff and replaced the 5 litre lump with a much smaller, more economical one driving an eight speed box. The power should then go via a locking differential through to the rear wheels only. The lower two ratios in the gearbox should be extra low for the occasional deep snow etc. that this vehicle might meet.

As for all the stuff that has been stripped out, each item can be offered as an option by those who seriously need genuine cross-country performance. This should not be a complete package because some items might be considered more trouble than they are worth. Personally I would not touch torque vectoring via the brakes with a barge pole until I was convinced that should it fail, I could disable it without any detriment to my ability to continue on my journey. I imagine such a buyer would also like to have all the pretty stuff, such as special trim etc., removed so that the vehicle will actually look sensible when the wheels are deep in mud. Either that, or go the whole hog and paint the thing pink.

As for taking this thing round any race track at ridiculous speeds, why not buy something specifically designed to go fast? Doing it in one of these is absolutely pointless.

Mel Tisdale

Did they really have to speed up the footage though???

Jason Catterall

". . .Doing it in one of these is absolutely pointless.

. . ." that's just the fun of it. I drive Ranhes for about 30 years and know then thus know them very well. I LOVE these cars and this one is already on my wish list. My current Range has 200,000 miles and still going strong, doing its 120 with a problem in full confort and air conditioning. I am not one who fears to dirty it up and go off-road regularly. The only thing I shy away off is going into the woods as branches scratch the paint. Mud is no problem. Why is it wrong to go off road in all comfort and go fast in all comfort in the same car. And 19 mpg is a huge step forward, fast and a miser, right now I am happy if I get 8 to 9 mpg! But it is worth it !


Oh joy: cue some money-ed up chav shooting round a blind bend in a 2,3 ton lump of metal at 160 mph - that's exactly what the world needs more of.


At tapasmonkey: But does that really ever happen? I'm pretty sure we'll all still be safe no matter who they sell these to! LOL!


No one NEEDS a sporting SUV, but the fact that they ooutsell their non-sporting variants tells us that buyers WANT one.. Car manufacturers ignore this fact at their peril.

Torque-vectoring using the brakes works brilliantly and very reliably in many other cars and has done so for decades.

All the time Porsche and BMW make sporting SUVs, Range Rover would be be commiting commercial suicide to not have at least one in their range.

Basic Land Rover models are also available if you object to the refinement, performance, handling and interior luxuries of this version...

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