Range Rover’s mid-range Velar SUV gains 404kW supercharged V8 from SVO division
Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO division has revealed its latest model, shoehorning a 404kW 5-litre supercharged V8 under the Range Rover Velar’s sleek bodywork. Called the Velar SV Autobiography Dynamic Edition, its curious naming strategy suggests an even hotter SVR might still be on the way – a theory supported by the fact this will only be on sale for a 12-month period.
The design is more subtle compared to the brutal Range Rover Sport SVR, with changes compared to the standard Velar comprising larger front intakes, wheels and a set of new quad exhaust outlets. The Velar’s body-coloured panelling extends right down the car’s flanks, and is offset with a set of standard 21- or optional 22-inch alloy wheels hiding uprated brakes behind. It does without any bespoke body panels though, nor the usual SVO badging at the front, making it one of SVO’s slightly more understated models.
The engine, as mentioned above, is Land Rover’s ubiquitous 5-litre supercharged V8 petrol unit connected to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. It doesn’t produce quite the same 422kW as the larger RRS SVR, with power instead pegged at 404kW, but it’ll still hit 100km/g in 4.5sec, and top out at 273km/h. These numbers are actually identical to the more powerful RRS SVR, thanks to its lower weight figure, which Land Rover has not yet released.
The Velar’s air-suspension has been re-tuned specifically for the SV Autobiography, comprising stiffer air springs, beefed up anti-roll bars and a different set-up to the constantly variable dampers – all designed with an eye on keeping the body control and movements in check. The steering, all-wheel-drive split and locking rear differential have also been tweaked, and the car is now able to send up to 100 per cent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels under certain circumstances.
The interior has undergone minimal changes, with little more than some knurling to the two dash-mounted multifunction knobs, and new seating and trim finishes. As the most contemporary and minimalist interior of any Range Rover product so far, it’s good to see that the pressures of the SVO’s customer base have not overcome the Velar’s tight aesthetics.
But these changes have not been made to transform the Velar into some type of Macan GTS-chasing performance SUV, rather to increase its performance while not compromising on the standard Velar’s composure, capability and refinement. This same mentality was placed on the design, inside and out, going someway to explaining why this Velar does without the full-fat SVR badging.