Competes with: In price, a Bentley Bentayga or Lamborghini Urus; in concept, the SV Coupe will own its very tiny niche.
Looks like: Despite almost all new sheet metal, it is very much the four-door Range Rover minus two doors.
Drivetrain: 557-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8; eight-speed automatic; all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: The U.S. share of the potential 999 built will arrive later this year.
Just when you thought the German makers had sliced and diced the luxury market into the smallest possible niches, here comes Land Rover with the Range Rover SV Coupe, appropriately named because it pretty much squeezes all the utility out of SUV.
Related: More 2018 Geneva Motor Show News
Land Rover says it is “defining a new genre”: the full-size luxury SUV coupe. But it seems to be admitting up front that there will be a tiny market for the big “coupe,” with its supercharged V-8 and supercharged price tag of about $295,995 to start (including a $995 destination charge). The company will “hand-assemble” a limited run of no more than 999 at its SVO Technical Center in the U.K., it said during the unveiling today at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. How many the U.S. would get when it goes on sale later this year was not announced (you can raise your hand for one now at Land Rover’s U.S. website.
Not since the Dodge Ramchargers and O.J. Ford Broncos of the 1990s has the big two-door SUV been a thing in the U.S., and this over-the-top Range Rover should have the niche all to itself — at least until Ford’s more proletarian new Bronco arrives 2020.
The most remarkable thing about the expensive new SUV’s looks is that it is so unremarkable. Despite sharing only the hood and lower tailgate sheet metal with the less exclusive four-door Range Rover, according to the company, you might be hard-pressed to tell them apart from the other Range Rovers, particularly the SVAutobiographies, from across the yacht club parking lot.
The floating roof is a bit more raked for added swagger, but the sides and rear will seem very familiar. The coupe does get its own two-part grille insert and side vents. The chrome-and-black knurled hood and tailgate badging are handmade by jewelers in Birmingham, U.K.
The coupe offers the option of 21-inch, 22-inch or outrageous 23-inch rims — a first for a Range Rover (though not for some Cadillac Escalades I’ve seen). It also gets some of its own colors, with eight regular paints, four two-tone options, 16 optional colors and a variety of available finishes, including an all-new available “liquid metal” paint finish called Liquesence, another first for a Range Rover. You also can get a matte finish, but aren’t we over that?
The two-row, four-seat Range Rover opulent interior is said to be inspired by private jets and yachts. It has been configured for the two-door’s confines, and features a front-to-rear center console and quilted semi-aniline leather. Like the exterior, it offers a range of personalized options including four contrasting color combinations and a range of single-tone designs. Newly offered is a Nautica veneer wood trim of fused walnut and sycamore.
There are a number of available design “themes” that combine an interior package, exterior color and “bespoke” custom trim. Yes, you can get rose-gold badges if that’s to your taste.
The coupe comes with heated and cooled 20-way power front and 10-way power rear seats. It gets the Land Rover media system and a 1,700-watt Meridian premium audio system. There are two 10-inch displays, a 12-inch configurable instrument display and a 10-inch color head-up display.
Under the Hood
It might be the most impractical full-size Range Rover, but it also will be the fastest. Land Rover says the 557-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 putting out 516 pounds-feet of torque will motivate the SV Coupe from zero-to-60 mph in 5.0 seconds; it will top out at 165 mph. The powertrain includes an eight-speed automatic, and standard all-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case and locking rear differential. The drive system’s modes include Dynamic, Eco, Comfort, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl to suit conditions and your mood.
The coupe sits about a third of an inch lower than the four-door, but it still can ford nearly 3 feet of water. The standard air suspension lowers the height by more than another half-inch at highway speeds. The coupe will tow 7,716 pounds.
Gas mileage (if you have to ask, you can’t afford it) is estimated by Land Rover at 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined, so you’ll appreciate the 27.4-gallon fuel tank.
Don’t hold your breath for any of these SUVs to be sacrificed for crash-test ratings. Safety and driver assist tech was not specified, but expect the other Range Rovers’ driver assist and safety technology and options.
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