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Range Rover Velar goes V8

Blown 5.0-litre V8 gives Range Rover Velar 405kW in new flagship variant

Land Rover logo6 Feb 2019

LAND Rover has created its most powerful Range Rover Velar variant by squeezing a 405kW/680Nm version of its Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) supercharged 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet and reworking the powertrain, brakes, suspension, aerodynamics and other essentials accordingly.
 
Available on order in Australia at $175,322 plus on-road costs for delivery starting from the third quarter of this year, the new Velar flagship – awkwardly called Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition – also becomes the most expensive Velar, sitting well above the R-Dynamic HSE that is priced at $127,082 in 280kW petrol six-cylinder form and $126,554 for the 221kW diesel.
 
This new, most powerful Velar can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds and speed on to 274km/h. This puts it in the ballpark of Porsche’s Macan Turbo (4.4 seconds) but slower than the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S and Alfa Romeo Stevio Q (both 3.8s).
 
The engine in the Velar is essentially the same one as the blown V8 in the new $139,648 F-Pace SVR from sister company Jaguar, although the Velar can claim to be more powerful, pipping the 404kW Jag by 1kW.
 
Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations managing director Michael van der Sande said the challenge of developing the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition was to increase performance without compromising the composure, capability and refinement inherent in the Velar.
 
“We've done this and, in the process, created an SUV that strikes a brilliant balance between go-anywhere practicality, dynamic performance and relaxing comfort – it truly is an SUV for any occasion,” he said.
 
The fresh Velar variant gets a new-look front, with bigger air openings and redesigned grille to allow for the demands of the bigger engine.
 
One-inch-larger 21-inch alloy wheels become standard, although buyers can specify 22-inch boots.
 
Brake discs have been enlarged to 395mm at the front and 396mm at the rear, with red-painted four-piston callipers at the front. Black callipers are optional.
 
Land Rover SVO says its engineers spent 63,900 hours honing the ride, handling and responsiveness of this vehicle, recalibrating the AWD system, active rear locking differential, eight-speed transmission, steering and air suspension.
 
The company says the vehicles sounds like no other V8 SUV, with a variable active exhaust system providing a unique rumble and added performance while also saving more than seven kilograms in weight over the standard system.
 
Inside, the main attraction is a perforated and quilted Windsor leather available in four colour combinations – Ebony, Cirrus, Vintage Tan and Pimento – on the 20-way-adjustable front seats.
 
The SVO steering wheel is said to have a specially contoured rim. Controls, including the rotary transmission knob, have a knurled finish.
 
The vehicle has the same boot capacity as the standard variants, along with 40:20:40-split rear seats and an 82-litre fuel tank for a driving range of 483km.
 
Six exterior colours are available: Firenze Red, Santorini Black, Corris Grey, Fuji White, Indus Silver and – unique to this variant – Satin Byron Blue.

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