Range Rover Velar

joins SVO club

Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, front
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, front, action
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, side, action
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, rear, action
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, off road, front
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, off road, side
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, interior
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, speakers
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, rear seats
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, boot
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, engine
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, badge
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, front, static
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, side, static
Range Rover Velar SVA, 2019, rear, static

FIVE years into its life Jaguar Land Rover's special operations team is adding yet another model to its line up in the shape of a high performance Range Rover Velar.

It's the fourth Range Rover to get the SVO treatment and with a price tag of £86,120 the Velar is only the second vehicle in the Special Vehicle Operations repertoire to come in under £100,000.

That's heady territory but vehicles wearing the coveted SV badge are ultra exclusive in every way imaginable.

Not only do they look different with extra aerodynamic features front, side, rear and underneath but they also pack a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine which results in blistering performance.

In the case of the Velar SVAutobiogrpahy Dynamic Edition that results in 0 to 60 acceleration of just 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 170mph - supercar credentials for an SUV that tips the scales at a shade over 2.1 tonnes.

Formidable statistics indeed - and the SVA outstrips any other Velar by some margin - yet in reality the 550ps from the massive V8 is so manageable the Velar SVA is more luxury grand tourer than red hot 4x4.

And being a Land Rover it has all the off-road ability of the regular Velar, despite the performance modifications and the fact it sits on larger 21 or 22-inch forged alloy wheels.

In fact, the SVO engineers spent some 63,900 hours fine tuning the calibrations to allow the all-wheel-drive system to handle the power from the V8 drivetrain.

Air suspension, an eight-speed automatic transmission, an active rear locking differential and transfer box are all part and parcel of the set up which make this very special Velar tick in the rough stuff alongside the clever traction electronics from Land Rover's Terrain Response system.

Off road over the rugged and demanding tracks at the Land Rover Experience Centre at Les Comes in northern Spain the Velar SVA showed its mettle before proving its dynamic prowess on the open road.

Such is the sophistication of the ‘intelligent' driveline systems that power is transferred imperceptibly from wheel to wheel to suit conditions.

The ride is nigh on perfect given the size of the vehicle and it corners with aplomb while a bespoke exhaust system provides a soundtrack to match.

In sport mode there's a wonderful V8 rumble while the system itself is some seven kilos lighter than that used on the regular car.

As the flagship of the Velar range the SVA has lost none of its practicality and boot space remains capacious at 558 litres extending to 1,731 litres with the rear seats down. Towing is also unaffected by the tweaks and the Velar SVA can pull up to 2.5 tonnes.

Fuel economy is rated at 23.9mpg with emissions of 270g/km yet on our run it out-performed that delivering an average of 25 to the gallon. Off road it was a different question with the Velar managing just eight to the gallon over the demanding terrain in low ratio gears.

To cope with the extra thirst the SVA is fitted with a larger fuel tank of some 18 gallons and that should give a range of around 400 miles between fill ups.

However, the SV treatment is not only about power and performance.

Special attention has been paid to the interior too and the Velar SVA is embellished with touches such as knurled finishes for the controls, a bespoke start up display on the instrument panel, diamond quilted and perforated leather upholstery for seats which can cool as well as heat and a specially designed steering wheel with a very tactile touch.

That feel extends to the aluminium gearshift paddles and with the Velar's high tech double screen central display the cockpit is very classy.

There's also illuminated kick plates, a backlit protective strip on the boot lip and even a special mesh for the hi-fi speakers designed so not to clash with the double stitching and pattern of the upholstery.

It all adds up to a very special environment for a very special Velar and one that can be set off to the ultimate with a bespoke satin finish paint job which is a £6,000 extra.

On paper, the SV version of the Velar is nigh on as potent as the Range Rover Sport SVR. In reality the two are very different.

The Velar has all the power and panache of a true performance car but cossets in such a way it is in a class of its own - a brilliant compromise that is so user friendly.

With its stunning design - the Velar holds a World Car of the Year award for its looks - it already was a car with plenty going for it. The SVO treatment lifts it even higher and makes the Velar SVA one of the most desirable SUVs on the road.

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