Ben Saunders takes Range Rover Sport SVR to challenge Arctic version of Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit

Article by Andrew Christian, on November 30, 2015

Ben Saunders is known for his exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctic, usually on snowshoes. Just recently, he dared to make another trip to the Arctic, but this time he drove behind the wheel of the Range Rover Sport SVR on a full-scale on-ice replica of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.

Land Rover documented Saunders' transformation from a newbie ice driver into an expert driver in Arjeplog, Sweden, where that carmaker carved a replica of the Silverstone circuit on the frozen Lake Udjaur.

Of course, his transformation was made possible with instruction and guidance from no other than Minna Sillankorva, a former rally champion who is now a Land Rover Experience instructor. Saunders admittedly remarked that it was his first time driving on ice, but he described the experience as the most fun he has ever had on four-wheels.

He remarked that the performance of the Range Rover Sport SVR during the time was breathtaking, noting that the vehicle's stability in the corners was astounding despite the slippery conditions.

His ride, the Range Rover Sport SVR, is Land Rover’s performance flagship that’s powered by a V8 engine capable of providing up to 550PS.

Being Land Rover's most powerful and fastest vehicle to date, the Range Rover Sport SVR could sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. It boasts of being the first model to don the SVR designation, which soon will be worn by high performance models of Land Rover and Jaguar.

This Range Rover Sport SVR is loaded with a number of technologies aimed at improving its all-terrain performance. These technologies include the latest generation of Land Rover’s advanced Terrain Response 2 system -- which systemically modifies some vehicle settings to match the conditions – and a permanent four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case.

The Range Rover Sport SVR also features a 50/50 torque split front-to-rear to enable it to better adapt to any terrain. Additionally, the Range Rover Sport SVR is able to maintain optimum traction thanks to an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the center differential that distributes torque between the front and rear axles.

When needed, this system can channel up to 100 percent of torque in either the front or rear axle. Moreover, the vehicle features the Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential, which makes sure that torque is transmitted to the rear wheel with the most traction, thereby making the Range Rover Sport SVR more agile.

Furthermore, the Range Rover Sport SVR features Land Rover’s Torque Vectoring by Braking system, which employs brakes to imitate the effect of a torque-vectoring differential. Thus, this system could constantly balance torque distribution for all four wheels during cornering, thereby enhancing steering responses, improving grip and reducing understeering.

Moreover, Torque Vectoring by Braking monitors the SVR through the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) module. For instance, when the SVR is accelerating through a corner, the system employs yaw sensors to detect whether understeer is starting.

Then it will apply braking to rectify the SVR's path while transmitting torque to the outside wheels to maintain traction and steering control.

According to Mike Cross, Chief Engineer Vehicle Integrity, Land Rover prides itself on the all-terrain capability and composure of its vehicles, and even tests them on hot and cold climates to ensure their effectiveness. He described the new Range Rover Sport SVR as the most dynamic model Land Rover has produced.

Press Release

Range Rover Sport SVR Takes On Arctic Silverstone Circuit Carved Onto Frozen Lake

Land Rover Ambassador and polar explorer, Ben Saunders, swapped his snowshoes for winter tyres to put the Range Rover Sport SVR through its paces at a unique yet familiar test track near the Arctic Circle.

A new film released by Land Rover charts the world famous adventurer's journey from ice driving novice to experienced veteran in Arjeplog, Sweden, on a full-scale replica of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit carved in the snow on Lake Udjaur.

With instruction from Land Rover Experience instructor and former rally champion, Finland's Minna Sillankorva, Ben tackles the unique challenge of driving on ice behind the wheel of Land Rover's performance flagship, the 550PS Range Rover Sport, complete with its thrilling V8 soundtrack.

Mike Cross, Chief Engineer Vehicle Integrity, said: "We pride ourselves on the all-terrain capability and composure of our vehicles, putting them through intensive hot and cold climate testing. The Range Rover Sport SVR is the most dynamic model we've ever produced and combining these qualities showcases the unique talents and expertise of our dedicated engineers."

Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest and most powerful Land Rover ever produced and accelerates from 0-60mph in just 4.5 seconds. It is the first model to wear the SVR designation being adopted by future Land Rover and Jaguar high performance models.

Ben Saunders, who has led expeditions to both the North and South Poles, said: "Obviously, I had an amazing day. It was my first time driving on ice and the most fun I've had on four-wheels. The performance of the Range Rover Sport SVR is simply breathtaking and its poise in the corners was astounding given the slippery conditions."

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