There are plenty of nice luxury SUVs on the market, but the Range Rover stands tall as the most luxurious example of the breed. To maintain this status, Land Rover has taken the V8 from the Range Rover Sport SVR and squeezed it into ultra-luxurious SVAutobiography to create the SVAutobiography Dynamic. The new range topper is part of a wider update which brings new driver tech and, finally, a properly modern infotainment system.
Although it's packing a V8 punch, the SVAutobiography is all about luxury to the point of excess, so that's where we're going to start. Gone is the standard leather seat trim, and in its place is a diamond quilted finish, designed to offset the new perforated leather headliner. The dashboard and door trims are finished in a special black veneer with red highlights, and touch points are now trimmed in knurled metal.
The standard Range Rover isn't exactly lacking in presence from the outside, but Land Rover has still worked to make the range-topping model stand out even more. All the vents, finishers and accents usually capped off in chrome are now finished in a special shade of dark gray, and three unique 21 and 22-inch wheels are listed on the spec sheet. There's even an option to slot Brembo brakes and red calipers behind those wheels, but we wouldn't bother. After all, red is bit boy racer for this high-riding aristocrat, don't you think?
All of these little tweaks mean the SVAutobiography comes close to matching low-flying business jets like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series for over-the-top opulence, without looking like an airport limousine from the outside.
Power comes from the same supercharged 5.0-liter V8 found in the Range Rover Sport SVR. That means 405 kW (543 hp) of power and 680 Nm of torque, enough for a 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of just 5.4 seconds. That's not fast compared to cars like the BMW X5 M or Mercedes GLE 63 AMG, but it is quick for what is essentially an English manor on wheels.
To stop that manor toppling over when it goes barreling into a bend, Jaguar/Land Rover SVO has fitted revised suspension knuckles, links, springs and dampers for an 8 mm lower ride.
Working with these mechanical changes is a dynamic response system capable of independently tweaking the front and rear suspension to reduce roll in the bends. Range Rover's adaptive dynamics system is also used to improve handling, monitoring body movement up to 500 times a second and then adjusting the suspension to maintain a smooth ride, even when the driver is indulging their Formula 1 fantasies.
It's not just at the top of the Range Rover, er, range where Land Rover has been busy making changes. The entire lineup has been treated to a new InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, finally replacing the archaic setup previously fitted with a system designed during the smartphone era. Buyers have also been treated to a new set of semi-autonomous functions, both on and off the road.
Nervous trailer-towers get some help reversing thanks to the new Advanced Tow Assist system, which uses the car's surround view camera to provide guide lines for inexperienced drivers to follow, and warns them if there's a risk of impending jack-knife. There's also a new low-traction launch system to modulate torque during low-speed acceleration on slick surfaces.
As you'd expect, the full range of adaptive cruise, auto-emergency braking and blind spot monitors are also available.
Pricing for the updated Range Rover kicks off at £76,350 in the UK and $85,650 in the US, while the SVAutobiography Dynamic will set you back at least £132,800 or US $170,995.
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