The first Land Rover model to wear the new high-performance Special Operations SVR badge is the 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR. An enthusiast variation on the existing Sport, the SVR brings more underhood might and enhanced handling to go along with an edgier appearance. In commenting on this challenger to the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and Porsche Cayenne Turbo, John Edwards, Managing Director of Land Rover Special Operations, noted: "The Range Rover Sport SVR is a natural progression beyond the core vehicle's outstanding on- and off-road capabilities and leading-edge design. It's exhilarating performance will satisfy a particularly demanding customer set."

More muscle equals more hustle

At the heart of this new SVR-spec exercise is an enhanced version of the Land Rover Sport's standard 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 engine. Identical to the engines in Jaguar's "RS" models, its gets a retuned Bosch management system as well as more boost pressure -- changes that bump horsepower from 510 to 550 and raise peak torque from 461 to 502 lb-ft. That extra kick drops the SVR's 0-60 mph time to 4.5 seconds and raises its top speed to an electronically limited 162 mph. The Sport SVR's paddle-shift ZF 8-speed transmission also has been revamped to deliver even more precise cog changes in roughly half the time and incorporates on-the-fly logic to adapt itself to more aggressive driving styles. It also features standard Corner Recognition capability that prevents unwanted mid-bend gear changes.

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Like the Range Rover Sport, the SVR ships power to all tires through a full-time dual-range 4-wheel drive setup, complete with signature Terrain Response 2 control. However, a specially tuned version of the Sport's already capable suspension brings a new level of enthusiast feel while maintaining the same capability when the pavement ends. Calibration of the electric power-assisted steering, torque vectoring capability, Active-Roll Control and available Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential are all SVR specific while the air suspension with its magneto-rheological Adaptive Dynamics shocks has been upgraded to deliver even greater precision and body control without compromising ride compliance. A recent 8-minute 14-second lap record around the of the challenging 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit led Edwards to deem the Range Rover Sport SVR "the world's most capable performance SUV."

Putting on an even faster face 

A host of unique cosmetic changes complete the SVR Package. It starts with the exterior where a redrawn front fascia with larger air intakes, dark-finish grille, deeper splitter and a hood with functional cooling vents are complemented by a more prominently sculpted and vented fender. The SVR's tail has a revamped bumper with a prominent black diffuser that houses dual-paired exhaust tips and a more efficient liftgate spoiler. Regardless of body color - seven choices in that palette - all versions of the SVR will have a Santori Black contrast top and detailing. Standard wheel/tire fitment pairs 21-inch alloys with 275/45 all-season tires. Inside, the SVR features more deeply bolstered sport buckets up front as well as custom contouring on the 60/40 folding rear bench. Oxford leather in one of four two-tone color schemes covers all perches and the standard aluminum trim accents can be upgraded to carbon fiber.The 2015 Range Rover Sport SVT goes on sale later this fall. Pricing will start at $111,400. 

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