Land Rover’s SVO skunkworks has developed a devilish Discovery … and the local distributor is not saying no.
NEW Zealand could come under attack from a wilderness-tuned off-roader with a truly wild engine.
Land Rover New Zealand has indicated high interest in the Discovery SVX, unveiled at the recent Frankfurt motor show and potentially available to us from late 2018.
“We are just working through the SVX with the factory and evaluating suitability,” product spokesman Michael Jones said.
Developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicles Operation (SVO) division, the model broadly follows in the tyre tracks of that skunworks’ previous specials, the Range Rover SVR and Range Rover SVAutobiography, both of which represent in this market.
Although it stays true to the historic Discovery ethos by being more off-road attuned than the previous SVOs, the mud-plugger enhancements are overshadowed by the horsepower.
Under the bonnet is a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 pumping out 386kW of power and 625Nm of torque – making it the only V8-powered version of the fifth-generation Discovery.
Drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with twin-speed transfer box. Unlike other Discovery models, the SVX features a Pistol Shifter as opposed to the wider line-up’s rotary gear selector for “optimum control of gear selection in off-road manoeuvres”.
There’s a specially-tuned Terrain Response 2 system along with active centre and electronic rear-locking differentials, helping to optimise traction on all surfaces.
Approach, departure and breakover angles are improved as result of it having a higher ride height and four-corner air suspension system – the latter featuring long-travel dampers and revised knuckles.
Filling the arches are large 20-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in 275/55 R20 tyres, which feature higher sidewalls to reduce contact pressure and improve performance on softer surfaces. The rubber’s aggressive tread also improves grip when driving through mud, Land Rover assures.
Externally, the SVX features unique front and rear bumper treatments with protective skid plates, along with exposed ‘Rush Orange’ metal recovery eyes – each rated at six tonnes. There’s also an anti-glare bonnet finish and a rear-mounted winch system.
The Tectonic Grey matte exterior paint finish is contrasted with a Narvik Black Dynamic front grille, and silver roof rails. Two light pods mounted on the roof help to improve visibility in low-visibility situations.
Inside, the Discovery SVX gets a unique colour and material combination, combining a Lunar and Light Oyster colour scheme with Rush Orange accents, along with ‘X’ logo perforations on the SVX-branded seats.
Mark Stanton, JLR SVO director, says the Discovery SVX is “designed to reward off-road driving enthusiasts with the next level of all-terrain capability, without compromising comfort and practicality.”