Quite simply, the 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR is the most powerful Range Rover ever made. It’s also the most not-subtle Range Rover ever made. From its eye-popping Estoril Blue exterior (with cool 22-inch black rims surrounding red brake calipers) to its angry, straight pipe-like exhaust note, this luxury performance SUV loudly announces its arrival visually and sonically.
But don’t worry, like the true Jekyll and Hyde vehicle it is, you can go under the radar too. Put the SVR into Comfort mode, turn off the active exhaust, crank up the Beethoven and sink back (a little bit) into the full-grain leather sport seats and people just think it’s a bright blue ordinary Range Rover. But always lurking underneath is the ground-pounding power of 575 horses, generated by its supercharged 5.0L V8 engine.
The 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR comes out of Land Rover’s SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) division. It’s an in-house research, development and performance division – think Jaguar’s version of AMG. They’ve created the SVAutobiography Range Rover models, offering the ultimate blend of performance and luxury, along with SVR Range Rover Sport models which are serious, hardcore street racers.
It’s just thrilling to mash that accelerator into the floor and launch an angry, 6,600 pound SUV to 60 miles per hour in just over four seconds. As this is a Range Rover, you can achieve similar performance numbers on any surface. A lot of cars will do 0-60 in under five seconds on the road, but what about in the mud or going up a hillside? Aside from the brute power, the SVR loves curves too. You get an Electronic Active Differential with Torque Vectoring by Braking. This means the brakes slightly slow the speed of the inner two wheels when turning. This is joined by Dynamic Stability Control and an overall Adaptive Dynamics system that monitors and adjusts the suspension and other components 500 times a second.
The power is seamless and seemingly endless. The 5.0L V8 alone gives you tremendous low-end torque and power, but when the supercharger kicks in it really throws you back in your seat. The supercharger also delivers a very even power band without the initial lag of a turbo. The power is accompanied by a very angry-sounding active quad-exhaust system that can scare small children and animals when revved.You’ve got 575 horsepower and 516 ft-lbs of torque to play with, transferred to the full-time AWD system via an 8-speed automatic transmission and a twin-speed transfer box. You can put that transmission into Sport mode and shift manually with the gear selector or the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The essence of the Range Rover Sport experience is that you can access and use that power regardless of the road surface or terrain. If desired, all off-road functions are automated via the Terrain Response system. No need to select between dirt, sand, snow or mud; the Range Rover does it automatically and adjusts its all-wheel-drive system accordingly. (You can also do it manually and there are presets for various terrain types.) The vehicle also has All-Terrain Progress Control, kind of like off-road cruise control. Set it for 1-18 mph and focus on steering and the terrain while the Range Rover maintains the set speed regardless of incline.Driver aid technology (some of which was included in the optional, $3,185 Driver Assist Pack), includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist. You also get blind spot monitoring, automatic braking and lane keep assist. There’s even an automated parking system which will park the vehicle (forwards or backwards) into a normal parking lot spot. As far as entertainment, you can wake the neighbors with the optional ($4,540) 1,700 watt Meridien Signature Sound System.
The Sport SVR model gives you typical Range Rover luxury but with a harder, sportier edge. If it’s luxury you seek, the Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic trades the supercharger (it still has 515 horsepower) for a more luxurious, bespoke interior. However this Sport SVR as tested did have some nice amenities like four-zone climate control, soft door close (a $610 option) and some beautiful finishing touches inside, especially the full grain leather seats and SVR branding.
This vehicle warrants the addition of an extra category: Utility. The Range Rover Sport SVR is a true sport utility vehicle, since when you’re done racing Corvettes at stoplights, you still have a large, very usable full-size SUV. With the optional third-row seats, you can take six of your friends around with you. If you need to lug stuff around, with the rear seats folded flat, you have almost 52 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Of course you have serious, proven Land Rover off-road capability including the ability to “wade” through water up to 33.5 inches deep.
The 2019 Range Rover Sport SVR comes with a base price of $114,800. The final price of the specific tested vehicle, loaded with a generous array of upgrades and options, was $131,520. There are few competitors in the market with more power or with better off-road capabilities, and barely any in this class – or in any class, for that matter – with an equal or better combination of the two. The Range Rover Sport SVR delivers a feature-packed, high performance SUV in a stylishly luxurious package.