New 2018 Range Rover SV Coupe launched at Geneva

7 Mar, 2018 2:00pm James Brodie

Luxury two-door Range Rover SV Coupe unveiled at Geneva Motor Show with £240,000 price tag. Watch the video...

A few years ago, if you wanted a luxurious SUV, a Range Rover was your only choice. It ruled the roost for over 45 years, never really challenged by the likes of the BMW X5, Audi Q7 or Mercedes GL.

But now the age of the super-luxury SUV is upon us with the forthcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga vying for millionaire’s money, the Lamborghini Urus offering a sportier option and even Ferrari preparing its first ever SUV.

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So how does Range Rover react? With this: the limited edition, two-door, £240,000 Range Rover SV Coupe.

Hand built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division at its base on the site of the old Peugeot factory in Ryton, Coventry, the SV Coupe is the most expensive Range Rover ever produced, and it’s also the fastest. Using the Range Rover SV Autobiography as its base, the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine has been tweaked to produce 558bhp and 700NM giving the SV Coupe a claimed 0-60mph time of five seconds with a 165mph top speed.

Although the wheelbase of the Coupe is the same as a standard five-door Range Rover, it’s ever so slightly shorter and lower – with a ride height down by 8mm compared to a standard model. Only two body panels have been carried over: the lower section of the tailgate and the bonnet.

The front end of the car features a deeper, one-piece solid aluminium grille surround, while on either side single vents sit ahead of the frameless doors, rather than on them to accentuate their extra length. The rear side panels are even longer, with Land Rover’s design team, led by creative director Gerry McGovern, opting for a single crease atop gentle haunches – this is, McGovern says, very much a driver’s car.

The long roof panel slopes noticeably down towards the back, more like the three-door Evoque Coupe than the Range Rover Sport, while the back features a more detailed interpretation of the standard car’s stacked rear lights with the rear screen inset slightly to produce a slight bustle to the metalwork beneath.

“This isn’t a vehicle for the shy,” McGovern told us. “It’s a lady or gentleman’s chariot – it has compelling proportions.”

And he’s right. It looks more compact than the Range Rover, more so from the front three quarters. The large, lightweight 23-inch wheels help, which have higher profile tyres than you might expect to protect the ride quality with further tweaks to the air suspension – this may be a sporty car, but it still needs to ride like a Range Rover.

It also needs to offer all the luxury of the Range Rover, and then some. Wood, leather and metal finishes have all been stepped up a notch, although the look of the cabin and the driving position will be familiar to owners who will more than likely already own a Range Rover.

The new split screen InControl Touch Pro Duo, first seen in the Velar, with its twin 10-inch touchscreens features – let’s hope they’ve sorted the brand’s famed infotainment foibles here – along with a Meridian 3D Signature sound system. And although buyers will be taken through a bespoke buying experience and encouraged to tailor their car as much as they want (see below), McGovern’s team have curated some tasteful interior options, like a lighter shade of leather used on the front seats than those in the back. It’s the opposite to cars that tend to be chauffeur driven, another reminder that this is a car made primarily for those in the front.

Not that it’s too shabby in the back. The front seats tilt and slide electrically, but you’ll not be able to make a particularly regal entrance or exit, even with the powered side steps helping you up into the car. Once you’re in, though, there’s plenty of leg and headroom to enjoy and a good view out, as well as the finest materials that Land Rover can muster.

According to John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations, it’s his team’s job to “push the boundaries of performance and luxury, producing cars of distinction.” For that reason, there will only be 999 SV Coupes ever built. But if you’re paying £240,000 for your car – with all possible bespoke options ordered, that could rise by up to 20% according to Edwards – you expect exclusivity.

However, you’ll have to wait. The car and the bespoke design team who’ll help you create your car are ‘on tour’ taking in the Middle East, Russia, China and the US talking to high net worth individuals who are already Range Rover owners. The first car should roll off the specially-built production line in Ryton at the end of the year – with Gerry McGovern already putting his hand up for the first one.

jumbo-bg ‘buys’ an SV Coupe

The chance to buy a Range Rover SV Coupe is, initially at least, by invitation only and jumbo-bg was invited to step into millionaires’ shoes to go through the purchase process. 

We were one of a select few invited to Paris, where we were introduced to our personal host for the morning. iPad in hand, she ushered us into a private viewing chamber where Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations managing director John Edwards and Land Rover creative director Gerry McGovern introduce the new model and pulled the covers off.

Then we’re guided to a luxury booth where David Hopwood from McGovern’s design team and SV bespoke customer liaison Michael King talk to us about the bespoke design process. “This normally takes around two hours,” says King, “With the most difficult choice being the colour.”

Although Land Rover will match any colour you care to bring them – for the exterior or interior – there are examples of the different hues on metallic blocks on the wall. 

“One customer couldn’t decide which colour to choose,” Hopwood tells us, “So they came up with a simple solution: they ordered two.” 

If you are indecisive, there’s a two-tone contoured option with a different paint colour used around the lower rear half of the car, while satin paint is an option, too. And in true Range Rover style, you can choose contrasting roof colours.

With the SV Coupe you can take things further, though – much further. There is a range of semi-precious metals for the external Range Rover badging, different designs for the interior door handles and a range of colours and trims for the leather chairs, seat belts and stitching. We were even asked if we wanted our family crest embroidered into the headrests.

A guide is on hand to help you through the process and promises to try to work with customers rather than just say no if their taste levels drop too low. But for those who can’t decide, the design team have come up with some pre-curated designs. However, “the vast majority of customers want to bespoke their car,” Edwards tells us.

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