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Hot Range Rover Sport laps up the ’Ring

Timely: The suspension of the Range Rover Sport SVR – the fastest Range Rover ever built – was tuned at the home of hot cars, the Nurburgring.

Range Rover claims fastest SUV lap of Nurburgring with its blown 404kW Sport SVR

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Land Rover logo30 Jul 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

LAND Rover is claiming the fastest lap for a production SUV at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, saying its upcoming supercharged V8 Range Rover Sport SVR covered the 20.6km course in 8 minutes 14 seconds in testing.

The problem is that no one seems quite sure what the previous swiftest SUV lap time was, although unofficial reports suggest a Porsche Macan Turbo did it in 8:15.00, with a Porsche Cayenne Turbo allegedly two seconds slower, at 8:17.00.

Porsche has not made any formal Nurburgring claims for its SUVs, although it readily owned up to the scintillating 6:57.00 lap by its hybrid 918 Spyder last year in the fastest lap for a street-legal car.

The most powerful production Range Rover ever built, the Sport SVR (Special Vehicle Racing) is propelled by the same 404kW 5.0-litre V8 engine as the Jaguar F-Type S Coupe.

This engine is 29kW more powerful than the current Range Rover Sport power king, the 375kW supercharged V8 HSE Dynamic.

Car fans were given a foretaste of the SVR at last month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed where a camouflaged vehicle was put through its paces for the first time in public.

Land Rover says the Nurburgring lap was set by a Land Rover test driver in a standard production vehicle that is scheduled to go on sale around the world, including Australia, next year.

The company says it used the Nurburgring course to hone the SVR sports flagship’s suspension because the undulating circuit’s challenging layout represents the ultimate test for high performance vehicles.

“This has been achieved without compromising the vehicle’s class-leading all terrain capabilities or high levels of comfort,” it said.

Land Rover’s chief engineer for vehicle integrity, Mike Cross, said: “The Nurburgring is a benchmark for vehicle development and testing, and cars become stronger, more durable and faster over its 13 miles (20km) and 70-plus corners.

“We wanted to see whether an SUV could behave like a performance car in this challenging environment. The results are spectacular and the Range Rover Sport SVR has demonstrated outstanding on-road performance capabilities.”

Land Rover hinted at the fast lap-time last month when it released video of the SVR testing at the circuit with its Nurburgring test centre manager Phil Talboys at the wheel.

The new-generation Range Rover Sport was launched in Australia in November last year.

So far this year, Land Rover has sold 1312 Range Rover Sports in Australia, putting it third in the large luxury SUV sales ranking behind BMW’s X5 (2033) and Mercedes-Benz’s (2033).

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