Like an icebreaker plowing through the Arctic’s frozen tundra, the Range Rover surges through England’s foggy veil. Instead of the crack of splintering bergs, a 5-liter supercharged V-8 bellows into the void. Dancing through tight, technical bends, the mass of metal treats its occupants to plush tranquility. Surely, the only way to cover ground more majestically is on the back of a magic carpet.
The Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic is the latest juxtaposition of performance and refinement to come from Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), Jaguar Land Rover’s in-house tuning division. Fortified by a £20 million, 20,000-meter facility in Gaydon, England, SVO’s artisans and advanced machinery produce some of today’s finest automotive experiences. Here, the Range Rover achieves SUV enlightenment.
“Special Vehicle Operations was created to enhance the existing DNA of Land Rover vehicles,” said Mark Stanton, the director of SVO. “We take the volume 10 of JLR products and dial them up to 11 or 12.” In the case of the Range Rover SVA Dynamic, “volume 11” is achieved via 550 hp and 502 ft lbs of torque, distributed to all four wheels through a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. Complementing the vehicle’s startling straight-line speed—zero to 60 mph takes just 5.1 seconds—is a host of suspension, braking, and design modifications.
Exterior touches do not betray the understated beauty of a Range Rover. The side vents, hood finisher, grille, front-bumper accents, and tailgate trim are each shaded in a rich graphite tone. A choice of 21- or 22-inch alloy wheels and three accompanying finishes contrast brilliantly with the red brake calipers. Four bright chrome exhaust ports offer discerning onlookers a hint of the vehicle’s performance pedigree.
Land Rover bills the Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic as the driver’s alternative to the long-wheelbase SVAutobiography, but that focus doesn’t mitigate luxury in the slightest. Front passengers are treated to 20-way adjustable, diamond-quilted leather seats with contrast stitching. A perforated ebony leather headliner harmonizes with the black veneer dashboard and door panels. The knurled finish on the rotary shift controller, ignition button, and pedals assures tactile delight. A vivid 10.2-inch touchscreen complements a digital instrument cluster and head-up display for cutting-edge convenience.
As Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and other ultra-premium marques wade into Land Rover’s full-size SUV territory, SVO has responded with the most thrilling, elegant Range Rover yet. At $170,995, the Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic significantly undercuts its rivals while offering far greater all-terrain capability and decades of segment expertise. (landroverusa.com)