For sheer fun, few fast SUVs dished up the big grins the previous Range Rover Sport SVR induced. But its all-new replacement, the Range Rover Sport SV, is an altogether different beast. Far more technologically advanced, Land Rover says the new SV is defined by its 467kW power output, 290km/h top speed, 3.8sec 0-100km/h sprint and the fact it can corner at up to 1.1g – the latter a remarkable figure as it was recorded on all-season tyres. For context, that means the big, heavy British super-SUV can corner as hard as a Porsche Cayman GT4 on track. What’s more, this incredible on-road ability is also blended with off-road capability that exceeds the standard Range Rover Sport.
There’s a big price hike that comes with all the newfound capability of the 2023 Range Rover Sport SV.
First deliveries are due in the fourth quarter of this year, but Land Rover Australia has already opened the order book for the sole variant available for now – the SV Edition One – which is set at $360,800 plus on-road costs.
At that price, it’s over $100,000 more expensive than the previous Range Rover Sport SVR, although compared to its closest rival, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT (from $366,200), the Sport SV is bang on the money.
That said, it’s worth pointing out that the Range Rover Sport SV shares its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 with the considerably cheaper BMW X6 M Competition (from $247,900) that’s almost as quick (0-100km/h in 3.9sec).
And there’s a catch. Land Rover says that for the first year of production, the Sport SV is “only available for select clients to order by invitation”. Is that you?
Considering its towering asking price, the 2023 Range Rover Sport SV Edition One comes loaded with standard kit, including most of the hardware that makes the fastest-ever Rangie so capable.
That includes new 6D Dynamic air suspension and weight-saving measures like the full carbon-fibre bonnet, advanced Brembo brakes, full body kit and a quad-pipe performance exhaust.
It doesn’t, however, include a couple of notable items that have been relegated to the options list: 23-inch full carbon-fibre wheels that shave an incredible 36kg off the kerb weight alone; and Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs with callipers in which the pistons are mounted in an unorthodox X-pattern.
You do get 22-inch wheels as standard, plus all-new redesigned sports leather seats with 22-way electric adjustment up front, dual-zone climate control, a premium audio system, full LED headlights, wireless phone charging, keyless entry/start and much more.
A new Ultrafabrics PU interior trim is also available, featuring lightweight, seamless, ‘3D Knit to form’ textile that brings weight savings over traditional leather and is said to be between 20 and 30 per cent lighter.
In total, with options including the carbon-fibre wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes, the Range Rover Sport SV weighs 76kg less than the P530 V8 variant (not currently available for order in Australia).
Among the incredible new tech is a Body and Soul Seat (BASS) that works with the phenomenal 29-speaker 1420W Meridian sound system to allow occupants to ‘feel’ the music, thanks to embedded transducers within the seats that sends high-frequency pulses through your body.
The result is better definition at lower volumes, even on bass-heavy tracks.
In terms of hardware, the SV gets air suspension, Terrain Response 2 and Trailer Stability Assist.
All Land Rover models are backed by a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty in Australia and come with five years’ roadside assistance – provisions which align it with more mainstream brands in the marketplace.
Capped-price servicing packages are also available across the first five years of ownership. Land Rover has yet to announce how much it will cost to maintain the Range Rover Sport SV, but service intervals are expected to be every 12 months/20,000km.
The 2023 Range Rover Sport has been awarded a maximum five-star crash safety rating by ANCAP, based on testing conducted in Europe last year.
As you’d expect, there’s a vast array of passive and active safety features on the Sport SV, the latter including advanced driver assist systems such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control with steering assist, lane keep assist, rear traffic and collision monitor as well as a 3D surround-view camera.
The flagship also includes a park assist function and head-up display as standard.
The 2023 Range Rover Sport SV comes with Land Rover’s latest 13.1-inch Pivi Pro infotainment system that incorporates wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charging and Bluetooth connectivity.
Ahead of the driver is another fully customisable digital instrument cluster.
As we’ve already found in the regular Range Rover Sport now available in Australia, the large screens have been thoughtfully integrated into the cabin and don’t look as though they’ve simply been tacked on.
The centre screen employs a curved design down its face, while the instrument cluster is angled cleanly behind the steering wheel.
Praise should also be offered for the system’s response speed and ease of use.
In order to take full advantage of the Range Rover Sport’s InControl software system, buyers need to add an Online Pack with Data Plan ($320), which includes a 12-month Cloud Car subscription, three-year Connected Speech licence and a 12-month Data Plan and Amazon Alexa subscription.
The 2023 Range Rover Sport SV is powered by a ‘P635’ BMW-sourced 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 that delivers 467kW from 6000-7000rpm and 750Nm of torque from 1800-5855rpm (800Nm with launch control).
Like the rest of the range, the twin-turbo’s might is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Against the clock, Land Rover claims the Range Rover Sport SV can launch from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, on its way to a 290km/h top speed.
That’s pretty swift for a 2435kg SUV, but some way off the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT that takes just 3.3sec for the same 0-100km/h dash and tops out at 300km/h, handing it ultimate country club bragging rights.
Like the rest of the Range Rover Sport line-up, the new Sport SV can tow up to 3500kg.
As you might expect, the 2023 Range Rover Sport SV doesn’t exactly major on efficiency.
According to the British car-maker, on the WLTP test cycle the SV averages 11.7-12.5L/100km.
That’s actually an improvement over the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT that can only manage 14.1L/100km.
With a bigger 90-litre fuel tank (lesser Range Rover Sport models get an 80-litre tank), the Sport SV should be capable of covering close to 800km between refuels, depending on how it’s driven…
Sadly, we haven’t had the chance to climb behind the wheel of the 2023 Range Rover Sport SV yet, but have spent some time as human ballast beside one of the 11 SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) engineers responsible for honing its handling.
Taking four-and-a-half years to develop, from day one the SV model had to be more than simply a tuned version of the core Range Rover Sport and that explains why, at great expense, the 6 Dynamic air suspension was introduced.
Replacing conventional anti-roll bars, the system mirrors what McLaren does with its supercars. But unlike the fellow Brit brand, the SVO-developed 6D system controls both roll and pitch and drive generated from accelerating and braking.
Experiencing the system working on a four-lane highway and typical bumpy country road in Comfort mode, 6D works subtly to curb both roll and pitch and dive and, from the passenger seat at least, is immediately effective.
Even with the Sport SV’s much quicker steering rack and standard rear-wheel steering, rapid lane changes never feel alarming.
Upping the pace in Dynamic mode, the dampers stiffen, the steering weight increases, the exhaust uncorks and the mid-gear acceleration is impressive. As is the noise, although the 6D acts in Dynamic as it does in Comfort mode, only subtly dialling back body movements.
In Comfort and Dynamic, the Sport SV rides 10mm lower than the regular Sport, but stab the steering wheel-mounted SV button and the suspension drops a further 15mm and the 6D system works at its maximum capacity.
Dropping to this level adds camber front and rear to increase the contact patch of the all-terrain tyres for ultimate cornering grip that’s needed to generate the maximum 1.1g lateral acceleration.
Incredibly, for a big and heavy SUV, the ESP can be turned off fully – but only if a roof rack isn’t mounted.
It’s in SV mode, even as a passenger, where the transformation of the Sport SV’s handling is obvious. Cornering is flat, acceleration less dramatic and braking forces less painful – the 6D reduces the propensity of rear axle lift under the heaviest of braking, meaning the rear discs play more of a role stopping the car.
At high speed, the new standard-fit Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 tyres grip far harder than you’d ever imagine, while the Porsche-style ‘staggered’ tyre arrangement – narrower 285/40 rubber up front and wider 305/35 tyres at the rear – effectively banishes the Rangie’s natural desire to understeer when pushed hard.
Lift off and the nose tucks in and power oversteer is on the menu – but in a less ragged, less physical and less demanding manner than demanded by the previous Sport SVR.
Over bumpy roads it gets even more impressive, the Range Rover Sport SV remaining composed and comfortable-ish, even in the most aggressive SV mode, while being impossibly fast.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the 2023 Range Rover Sport SV is it’s even more capable in the rough than the core petrol or diesel models, thanks to its new 6D Dynamic air suspension.
Like other Sport models, the SV can wade at a depth of up to 900mm and match the base SUV’s approach, departure and breakover angles of 22.5, 24.9 and 21.5 degrees respectively.
Where it beats the less expensive Range Rover Sport is the 6D Dynamic suspension’s ability to offer far greater axle articulation, on account of doing away with regular anti-roll bars.
Throw in the muscular 750Nm torque peak, retuned Terrain Response 2 system and an off-road cruise control, and the SV should go much further off-road than any other fast SUV you care to name – even on the 23-inch carbon-fibre rims that Land Rover has tested extensively in tough conditions.
The 2023 Range Rover Sport SV gets subtle SVO enhancements inside that improve what already is one of the finest and most luxurious SUV cabins in its class.
For example, the all-new Sport SV seats that feature integrated head restraints add more support without compromising comfort, while the crystal glass gear-shift paddles and the SV button within the revised sports steering wheel all advertise you’re not driving the diesel version.
From then on, the Sport SV is very much like the rest of the Range Rover Sport line-up – and that’s a very good thing.
It’s a cabin that looks and feels a cut above some of its rivals with fine attention to detail and lots of crucial incidental storage place.
Witness the open cubby underneath the centre console that features a wireless charging pad to top up your phones.
We’ve already mentioned how easy and intuitive the tech is and love the separate panel for the climate control that includes physical rotary dials to alter the temperature.
Those coming from the previous Range Rover Sport will appreciate the extra second-row legroom (+31mm) and knee-room (+17mm), while the rear seats themselves are raised and angled for better comfort.
There’s also integrated sun shades in the door cards and the fitment of optional ($4150) 11.4-inch rear entertainment screens to entertain those in the rear. Air vents and a separate climate control panel are also provided.
Cargo space has also improved to 835 litres (+55L), combining with a flat floor, a handy luggage divider, storage hooks and more.
As we’ve already found in the D350 First Edition, a full-size 23-inch spare wheel stows under the boot floor, so we’re expecting the same to apply for the SV.
You’ll have to wait for our definitive review once we get the chance to drive the 2023 Range Rover Sport SV ourselves, but from the front passenger seat it’s clear the new model is a very different proposition to the loutish SVR it replaces.
In fact, the new car feels like the full-size Range Rover SVR we always hoped SVO would create.
The SV’s more sophisticated, grown-up and comfortable approach to extracting its performance will no doubt attract a broader range of buyers than before, while its sheer speed and entertainment behind the wheel (we hope) should appease those who loved the slightly raucous SVR.
If you want a quicker SUV, snap up the Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT. But if you want the better, more complete performance SUV that feels tailormade for Australian road conditions, you’ll want the Range Rover.
2023 Range Rover Sport SV Edition One P635 at a glance:
Price: $360,800 (plus on-road costs)
Available: Now, by invitation only
Engine: 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Fuel: 11.7-12.5L/100km (WLTP Combined)
CO2: 267-282g/km (WLTP Combined)
Safety rating: Five-star (ANCAP 2022)
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