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A Range Rover is capable of tackling demanding off-road routes, unlike other SUVs. In addition to all-wheel drive, it allows the differentials to lock, it has electronic systems that optimise traction on all types of terrain, and it has suspension that can raise the bodywork so as not to do any damage when passing over obstacles.

The Range Rover Sport SV featured in this test has 635 PS, does 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph, and Land Rover engineers fitted it with carbon-fibre wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes and supercar suspension to prove that a car with off-road characteristics can also be fun to drive.

Why it can be called an SUV-ERCAR

Range Rover Sport cars are called this because they are the most spirited and dynamic models within the Land Rover brand in terms of styling and, in the case of the most powerful engines, also in terms of performance.

The range is topped by the Range Rover Sport SV, which takes over the legacy from the Range Rover Sport SVR for the role of 'SUV-ERCAR', i.e. SUV supercar.

Range Rover Sport SV - Road test - Photos

This is a type of car that over time other manufacturers have also tried to make, as in the case of the various Porsche Cayenne Coupe GT, BMW XM, Lamborghini Urus, Ferrari Purosangue, Aston Martin DBX. These are cars that are focused more on performance, on sportiness, and less on off-road capabilities.

The Range Rover Sport, on the other hand, even in its most extreme SV version, wants to maintain its off-road DNA, while also acting as the flagship for the luxury of the brand it represents.

It is the sportiest and most luxurious

In fact, the SV is also the richest, most prestigious Range Rover Sport, in terms of the choice of materials inside the cabin, or the equipment. The seats, for example, have a system that makes them vibrate in tune with the music so that it can be perceived by touch as well as hearing.

And they have carbon-fibre backrests, a material that can also be found outside the cabin, starting with the large bonnet shell, inside the engine compartment, on the front Range Rover logo, on the grille surround, in the cut-outs on the front bonnet, on the aerodynamic appendages and in the exhaust tailpipe trim. For the SV logo on the tailgate, however, the material changes, as it is made of ceramic.

Range Rover Sport SV - Road test - Photos

As written above, the 23-inch wheels are also made of carbon fibre, with which a total of 34 kg of weight is saved on all four wheels compared to metal alloy wheels, and the carboceramic discs also weigh 36 kg less than a traditional system. In total, therefore, 70 kg is saved in unsprung masses, which is fundamental for improving driving pleasure.

Still speaking of mass, let me remind you that this car has a declared weight of around 2,300 kg, and that being an SUV that knows how to go off-road it has a high ground clearance. The centre of gravity is therefore high, which is why the engineers wanted to use suspension with a hydraulic cross-circuit, which connects the four corners of the car in an "X" pattern that counteracts lateral bending when cornering without using electronic anti-roll bars that, as on other SUVs and large cars, change rigidity to keep the car flat.

This suspension technology is also used by McLaren 750S, for example, to contain longitudinal sinking due to pitching under braking and acceleration.

Range Rover Sport SV - Road test - Photos

If you drive sporty, it doesn't back down

Driving the Range Rover Sport SV allows you to attack corners with a confidence that would not come naturally to an SUV of this size. In addition, the rear wheels are steered, which together with a torque vectoring system makes the car more agile in tight corners and gives it more stability at speed.

The steering response is fluid and linear, justifiably not too direct and fast considering the car's size. The eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox confirms the pleasantness of behaviour that characterises it in other applications, while the brakes, although they have plenty of power and resistance thanks to the carboceramic system, could offer the driver a more solid pedal response, making it feel more firm underfoot.

Not least because between bends you soon reach speeds that are challenging to 'slow down'. The engine is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 with 635 PS and 550 Nm of torque, to reach a maximum of 180 mph and accelerate to 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Range Rover Sport SV - Road test - Photos

When cornering, lateral acceleration of more than 1 g is developed even with the original equipment tyres, which are homologated all-seasons (even more if you choose sportier summer tyres).

And there's also the self-locking rear differential that collaborates with the all-wheel drive electronic programme that is activated with the SV button on the steering wheel, which optimises all the systems I mentioned for sporty driving and amplifies the sound of the exhaust system (which, in any case, is less noticeable than the engine in the previous Range Rover Sport SVR, which had no turbo but a volumetric compressor).

What it costs

The price of the Range Rover Sport SV starts at around £171,600 and can go as high as £200,000 for the car described in this article, equipped with the carbon fibre package. The 53 examples of the Edition One for the UK have already been sold, but you can order the versions that will be on the list after the launch.

Gallery: Range Rover Sport SV - Road test

Range Rover Sport SV

Length 497 cm
Height 182 cm
Width 203 cm
Weight 2.315 kg
Cargo Volume 835 L
Engine 4.4-litre V8 bi-turbo petrol
Transmission ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox
Drive Type four-wheel drive
Output 635 PS
Maximum torque 550 Nm
Speed 0-100 KPH 3.8 seconds
Maximum speed 180 mph