Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2015 Range Rover Sport SVRLand Rover announces its entry into the boutique performance world. Brian Cooley drives the 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR and checks the tech.
You know you're in trouble when a new model comes to market raving about its last time around the Nurburgring that most enduring of irrevelanices to the average car buyer. This one does exactly that but also a lot more. Let's drive this all new 15 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR. Check the deck. [SOUND] Now the key thing to bear in mind about a Range Rover Sport is that it's not the sport version of a Range Rover. A Range Rover Sport is its own distinct model. And carries some of the design cues from the Evoke, particularly What they call this diminishing DLO. It's a side windows that get narrower as you go to the back to the car. When car makers make a hotter car they always give it a more aggressive chin. With bigger holes in it to get air in it. Different wheels. You get some lower body cladding. Here and out back you got four exhaust Pipes that are very nicely chiseled, and what they call a splitter for airflow management down the middle. This is the first of a new line of cars from Land Rover that are kinda like BMW M, if you will. They come from the Special Vehicle Operation of Land Rover, but Ford already has a trademark on SVO. So their SVO is badged SVR [MUSIC] Now Range Rover, for that matter Land Rover interior has always struck me as some of the most handsome. It's in great layout. Ergo is good. Handsomeness is everywhere And, I could do without this two toned stuff. You also notice we have pseudo sport, pseudo racing seats in both the front row, and in the back row. Because those immovable headrests are always there, it can make it a little hard to put the back seats down, so that's bit of a sacrifice for sport pretension versus practicality. And as you can see, the fold flat is kinda pseudo flat This is not optimized for cargo, nor is there a third row available. Now we've seen this head unit before in Jag Land Rover products. It's a unique interface to them. One of my biggest gripes is the slowness of its touchscreen response, and the fact that you have to do voice. Input of navigation destinations in little itty bitty pieces, 2-3-5. [MUSIC] 2-3-5 I mean, just compare how fast it is to tell your phone to take you somewhere then to tell this thing to do so. Okay Google. Drive to 235 Second Street, San Francisco, California. [MUSIC] My third gripe is how many screens interrupt what you're seeing here. I can't tell you how many warning or notification screens I got that just blot out what's on the main screen that I care about. And even when I turn the volume knob after a moment or two it brings up a confirmation screen that I don't need. My ears tell me how loud it is. That's just gets in the way of what I care about. And again, overlaying all of this is so much lag and delay. It's not measured in seconds, parts of seconds, but that's not okay in a car. Much brighter spot is up here in the upper left, InControl Apps. Now, here's where you get app Platform. You can decide what you want on which of these screens, very much like you do on your phone or your tablet. And it's all managed here through the Jag InControl Apps app on your phone that is very much a projector app to get things here up here. But obviously, not your whole phone, their own curated basket. The apps all come from this control panel on your phone, you've got some new ones that are called out here, like Rdio and Glympse are apparently recent. You can add Sygic Navigation if you don't like what Land Rover's got, as well as a few other apps, most of which aren't exactly globally famous. And then down here you can see the ones I do have installed like Parkopedia, Stitcher, Rdio. And this is where you set out the layout of the apps, on the car. These are flip through screens on the vehicle. I mock them up here first, and then they get pushed out to the car. Now the cameras on this vehicle are interesting. You've got a variety of views and settings. Parked right now I've got the junction view. I also have a curb view that looks out to the sides, off the front wings. I can set up new combinations of cameras that you don't see on any other car. So they're very Camera-centric on this vehicle. Too bad that camera in the rear, at least is so awful. I did so bad, I'm pretty sure it's defective and I'm not gonna knock it. Because nobody would ship a camera with that bad, registration of colors and fussiness into a production car. [NOISE] Now, up here in the engine bay is some fairly familiar Jag Land Rover stuff. A five liter, supercharged V8. But, because you get an SVR badge on it, it puts out more. 550 horse, that's 40 more than without that badge. 41 more pound feet of torque gets you up to 502. And, of course, it goes up to an eight speed automatic only, but it's a sport automatic with faster shift. And that powers all four wheels, either in a track-ish mode or in an off-road mode depending on where you have your terrain response knob set. Now this vehicle's heavy, 5100 pounds despite the extensive use of aluminum. It still gets up to 60 though in four and a half seconds or better. So where do you give? On the MPG of course. It's rated at only 14 19. But if you're buying a vehicle like this, you didn't buy it in a shootout between it and a Prius. You know, the first thing that impressed me as I got in this Range Rover Sport SVR was not what it did when it moved, but what it did when it comes to a stop. This vehicle has the best auto start-stop technology ever. It starts the engine almost in the time it takes to lift off the brake pedal. That's very nicely done, and it helps you get the most Most out of that, pretty poor MPG. The next thing you notice is definitely about going... Fast. That is the most rowdy exhaust major maker right now. Jag and Land Rover are obsessed with obnoxious exhaust systems and they're fun. The power of course is predacious. This Ford automatic, they say is definitely tight. [UNKNOWN] It's quick. [NOISE] All in the fundamental take away I get, comparing this to one of the hot Cayennes or an X5M, is that it's less severe, and yet it handles like a very capable car when you rev it, though, I I imagine if I went head to head it's not as sharp as those two turns. Okay, let's price our Range Rover sports SVR. This is not going to be a cheap date, as you can imagine. All in about 117,3 the way I would do it. What they've done here in this category, is to hit to, I think, more bases than their competition. It's also a very comfortable daily driver, not all the competitors are, they can be high strung. And it's got serious off-road cred. More cars driven CNET style standing by now on CNETOnCars.com. Click On the Road. [MUSIC]