Land Rover Discovery SVX Is Off-the-Charts Off-Roader


CARS.COM — Land Rover used the 2017 International Motor Show Germany in Frankfurt to reveal a “production preview” of the Discovery SVX (not to be confused with this SVX) — and it’s a doozy. Blandly vanilla Discovery SUVs may not look the part but are extremely off-road-capable already, and the Discovery SVX is an off-road-focused version.

Related: 2017 Land Rover Discovery Video Review

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The Discovery SVX will be hand-built by the talents in Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, responsible for the Range Rover Sport SVR, Range Rover SV Autobiography and Jaguar F-Type SVR. It’s appropriate, then, that the biggest change takes place under the hood, where a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 now lives. That gives the Discovery SVX 518 horsepower and 461 pounds-feet of torque. It appears the SVO folks thought the Discovery’s other engine options were underpowered, but that’s certainly been addressed here.

Other goodies include a new-to-the Discovery SVX Hydraulic Active Roll Control, or H-ARC, which will help with off-road driving by increasing wheel travel and providing greater body control, and also improve on-road driving by reducing body roll. The Discovery SVX will also have improved approach, departure and breakover angles (note: the vanilla versions’ angles were already very good) thanks to larger tires and lifted body and air suspension. There’s also a specially tuned version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system, which can change transmission, traction and suspension settings automatically in response to varying terrain.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is calibrated specifically for the Discovery SVX, which also features the usual Land Rover gizmos like hill descent control, electronic traction control, adaptive suspension and All-Terrain Progress Control — essentially off-road cruise control. The automaker has also replaced the transmission’s rotary gear selector with a pistol-grip-style shifter to make off-road driving easier. The final touch is a set of orange tow hooks rated for 6,000 kilograms, or about 13,228 pounds.

While even an M1A1 Abrams tank can get stuck off-road, it’s going to take a lot to stop the Discovery SVX.



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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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