Think of the new Range Rover SV Coupé that has made its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show as a luxury SUV sports coupe with supercar performance and you'll miss what the SV Coupé is all about. This is a bespoke, limited-edition, elite automobile, and the US$295,000 price tag only gets you the base version. The SV Coupé is a limited edition blank canvas for bespoke personalization and those who have already put their money down after being shown the car behind closed doors at VIP previews are apparently averaging over $100,000 per car on options.
The diversity of the offerings of the existing bespoke Range Rover program has been considerably ramped up for the SV Coupé and the only thing they won't do is bad taste.
People that can afford this vehicle don't want to be driving the same car as everybody else, and for that very reason every major European auto show has halls full of aftermarket customization suppliers offering body kits, aero kits and carbon weave everything. What's more, nearly all such manufacturers have a top-selling range of kit for the Range Rover.
The Land Rover and Range Rover DNA is fascinating. The Range Rover was derived from a car deeply loved by a diverse range of customers, including Sir Winston Churchill and the British Special Air Service. Its brand values appeal to people with a vested interest in getting the job done well, and it's interesting to note that in real life, many screen action heroes drive them too: Kevin Costner, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis, Sean Connery, Don Johnson, Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas, Michael J. Fox, Daniel Craig and Jack Nicholson, just for starters.
For some unfathomable reason, the Range Rover is also one of those vehicles that drivers love to personalize, and apart from creating perhaps the ultimate Range Rover with the SV Coupé, the company is also targeting its own elite and massive aftermarket.
With a completely new, very desirable, 999-cars-only, two-door blank canvas to work with, the only "customization experts" to get their hands on an SV Coupé will be Range Rover's SVO Technical Centre in Warwickshire, and it can be expected that this is just the beginning of a range of programs designed to offer bespoke customization from within the company.
It is somewhat ironic that the SV Coupé has just two doors, because that was the only way you could buy a Range Rover when the brand was born in 1970. The first four-door Range Rover arrived in 1981, and the two-door was phased out in January 1994. A quarter century later and this two-door variant essentially gives the brand a new lease of life.
Indeed, it looks so good that there's little chance of just 999 two-doors being made, and demand will likely be so great that it will invariably spawn new variants.
The SV Coupé runs a supercharged 416-kW (558-hp) 5.0-liter V8 engine through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with rotary drive selector and paddle-shift, for a 266 km/h (165 mph) top speed and a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 5.3 seconds. Maximum torque is 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) and the SV Coupé has a maximum towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.
The suspension is "tuned to provide a more driver-focused edge than the standard Range Rover" and there is some really interesting functionality in the ride height department beyond simple suspension tuning.
By comparison with the standard Range Rover, ride height is 8 mm lower, but at cruising speeds above 65 mph (105 km/h), it automatically lowers another 15 mm for reduced frontal area, greater stability and reduced fuel consumption.
At rest, the car settles a further 35 mm (for a total of 50 mm below normal) for easy ingress/egress of driver and passengers. When traversing rugged terrain, the air suspension offers an extra 40 mm above normal ride height up to 80 km/h (50 mph), 75 mm up to 50 km/h (31 mph), an additional 30-40 mm automatic increase if the car detects an obstacle, and if the driver decides that still more is needed, there's a driver-selectable 30-40 mm increase above that.
It all adds up to greater off-road ability, and a remarkable 900 mm (2.9 ft) wading depth. In truth, an optioned $400,000 SV Coupé stands little chance of fording streams or getting its boots dirtier than gravel roads, but it's the comfort of knowing it can do the business if required that is being paid for.
The SV Coupé runs permanent four-wheel drive and has a two-speed transfer box, Active Locking Rear Differential and Range Rover's Terrain Response 2 system that automatically optimizes vehicle settings for any given driving conditions.
As gorgeous as it is in the flesh, it is the area of customization in which the SV Coupé excels and reaches its stated aim of bringing "a new level of individual expression to the Range Rover portfolio" and "building on the success of Special Vehicle Operations' existing bespoke Range Rover programme".
At this point, it's probably best for those interested in the endless smorgasbord of colors, materials, leathers, veneers and and interior appointments to head on over to the SV Coupé 's new web site.
Source: Land Rover
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