The Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole in the Range Rover Sport SV

by Hagerty
15 March 2024 2 min read
The Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole in the Range Rover Sport SV
Images courtesy YouTube/Hagerty

An initial worldwide run of 2500 First Edition Range Rover Sport SVs – priced at £185,000 each – has already sold out, so the concept is clearly a popular one.

As a vehicle, it might be a little hard to fathom initially, and plenty will ask what is the point, but the aspect of the SV that arguably makes it interesting is that it still has proper off-road capability. While a Ferrari Purosangue might wince at the thought of much more than a muddy car park, the Range Rover Sport SV has been through the same off-road tests as its Land Rover brethren. Even while wearing those carbon-fibre rims. That’s right: The new Range Rover Sport SV can be bought with carbon-fibre wheels. Huge, 23-inch carbon-fibre wheels.

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What’s more, you can have enormous carbon-ceramic brakes with 440mm discs and eight-piston calipers. Add in an anti-roll system that we’ve previously seen on supercars and you have a Land Rover capable of tackling totally new territory for the brand.

Whilst cars like the Porsche 911 Dakar and the Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato seek to broaden their sporty horizons on muddier terrain, the new Range Rover Sport SV is setting its sights on the smooth tarmac of race circuits. Everyone, it seems, is blurring the lines these days.

Range Rover Sport SV sliding

On the international launch, Henry Catchpole drove the SV around the testing twists and turns of Portimão and was frankly astonished at what the Land Rover was capable of. The 6D Dynamics system for the chassis keeps the SV incredibly flat, both laterally in the corners and longitudinally under acceleration and braking. It’s helped by a redesigned rear subframe and, when its new SV mode, a ride height that is 25mm lower than that of a standard Range Rover Sport. There is also a considerably quicker steering ratio and the option of new Michelin Pilot Sport 5 S summer tyres to help get the most from the chassis.

By comparison with that chassis, the powertrain is a bit of a sideshow. The BMW-sourced 4.4-litre, mild hybrid, twin-turbo V8 sounds quite pleasing but is very demure acoustically when compared to the old SVR’s 5-litre Supercharged V8. However, with its 635bhp and 553lb ft of torque, it has plenty of oomph to propel the SV to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds on all-season rubber, or 3.6 seconds on the summer tyres. Probably best to add a few seconds if you plan to make that sprint in off-road conditions…

Range Rover Sport SV cornering leaning

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