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in a very impressive manner, resisting roll under hard cornering
and gripping well, but it still feels big and heavy; the basic laws of
physics haven't been subverted. It conquers a road using its superior
repower, through sheer abundance of power and adhesion. It
certainly never feels light or agile in the way that a lower, lighter
car with a similar power-to-weight ratio would. But for something
this size to deliver this level of outright performance is still a truly
The SVR's only real problem is that it is perhaps a bit too modest
for the sort of person who is likely to be drawn to its brutish
performance. Apart from some subtle badging and those vast alloy
wheels, there's little to distinguish it from any other well-equipped
Range Rover Sport. And while the cabin enjoys the unlikely presence
of some racing-style bucket seats, it otherwise feels functionally
identical to its lesser brethren.
The SVR is the rst performance product from Jaguar Land Rover's
recently launched Special Vehicle Operations division, and it's telling
that the company chose to go-faster one of its o -road products
before any of the more obvious Jaguar saloons or coupés. Rival
manufacturers are scrambling to develop their own performance
SUVs, and many more will follow. But they will have to be very good
indeed to beat the SVR at its own game.
BEST BITS: Performance, noise, sheer improbability.
WORST BITS: Running costs are on the (very) steep side.
IT DELIVERS STARTLING PACE WHEN
UNLEASHED, RAISING ITS NOSE
AND HEADING FOR THE HORIZON
LIKE A RACING SPEEDBOAT
You'll have to wait for this one. Maserati's � rst SUV won't be
launched until 2016. When it comes, it will feature a range of
petrol and diesel engines, including a range-topping V8 that
should get it close to the performance of its mega-powered rivals.
BMW X5 M
Another road-biased rival, which uses the same twinturbocharged
V8 engine as the M5 and M6 to deliver some
serious performance. Running costs are similarly high, but there
is also an X6 M if you want (marginally) more sporty styling.
PORSCHE CAYENNE TURBO S
The Cayenne was the original performance SUV, and the
third-generation Turbo S model is still the fastest in terms of
outright pace. However, it's not as civilised as the SVR during
gentler use - and not as good if you need to head o� -road.