Not so long ago, the “Special Vehicle Operations” unit was responsible for putting cherry pickers on the back and snowploughs on the front of Land Rovers – glamorous it wasn’t, says Andrew English in The Daily Telegraph. But these days no one can afford to ignore the profitable business of indulging the super-wealthy. Now the SVO will take a basic £75,850 Range Rover, for example, and turn it into this SVAutobiography Dynamic, separating your wallet from £132,800 in the process. For that you get a motor that looks like “the wheels a James Bond baddie might own” with an interior like a “tart’s boudoir”.
It’s a “very comfortable carriage” for four, says Steve Cropley in Autocar, and to drive it gets better the faster you go. The engine “revs smoothly with a delicious V8 growl”, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is an “excellent ally”, and when you power out of corners you’ll find it hard to believe that the car weighs two-and-a-half tonnes.
SVO wrote itself a tricky brief, says Ben Miller in Car magazine: to up the dynamism of the already impressive Range Rover Sport SVR and improve on the luxury of “the world’s favourite four-wheel-drive land yacht”. Yet it succeeded and the result is “the fastest, most dynamic” Range Rover yet. “Handsome, awesomely capable, a joy to drive and shot through with charm, the SVAutobiography Dynamic is a great car.” The standard Autobiography with the supercharged V8, however, is nearly £30k less expensive. This model is strictly for “indulgent types”.
Price: from £132,800
Engine: 5,000cc, V8, supercharged, four-wheel drive
Power: 542bhp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 502lb ft at 3,500rpm
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 5.1 seconds
Fuel economy: 22.1mpg/15.4mpg (EU Combined/Urban)
Carbon dioxide emissions: 299g/km