Land Rover to introduce a performance brand

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 4, 2011

Land Rover is thinking about launching a new lineup of performance models. In an interview with Inside Line, Global Brand Director John Edwards said that Land Rover has room for performance products and that they’re considering producing a sporting sub-brand. The supercharged versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are already in existence. A high-performance variant of the Evoque based on the Si4 is being developed.

When these models are merged under a common nomenclature, it would provide Range Rover with the equivalent of the "R" sub-brand that sister company Jaguar has. Sources say that the Evoque chassis can easily handle extra power. An output of about 300hp is expected. However, Edwards declined to comment whether this car exists. He explained that the Evoque is in its early development and there are many options being considered.

He said that the company wants to demonstrate that this car is “capable” as well as “pretty.” He added that the Chinese market’s growth is a big factor in this decision. Within the next few years, China is likely to be Land Rover's biggest market. He said that the Evoque may be more luxurious or it could have other additions. The company is currently studying what features “will work best in China.”

As if to highlight that it has all-terrain capability, the new Range Rover Sport SVR comes with the alloy 21-inch tires and fitted with the 275/45 R21 all-season tires. The exterior meanwhile has been designed to make sure that it not only delivers a strong visual impact but also improves both the cooling and even the aerodynamic efficiency.

Improvements in the design include the bumper in the front having larger air intakes. The reason for this is to increase the amount of airflow that goes to the two intercoolers and thus lowers the temperature of the pressurized air coming from its supercharger just before it goes to the engine. Speaking of engines, powering the SVR is the supercharger 5.0-liter V8 engine which is capable of producing output of 550 hp with maximum torque of 502 lb.-ft. (680 Nm).

When compared to the supercharged V8 engine inside the Range Rover Sport Supercharged version, output is better by 40 hp with torque higher at 41 lb.-ft. (56 Nm). The SVR also has the two-stage active exhaust which is controlled electronically and ensures that it has a good sound to accompany the excellent performance especially when running at high speeds.

In terms of performance, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is at 4.5 seconds, with 0 to 100 km/h sprint achievable at 4.7 seconds. All of these are accomplished while continuing to offer a refined daily drive. The driveline in the SVR has been improved as under the standard 4-wheel-drive system, its 8-speed transmission gets extra torque especially when under lower gears.

It offers a Dynamic Mode wherein its sportier qualities are heightened as a result of the gearshift logic being more incisive and throttle response sharper. When compared to the Sport Supercharged, shifting times under the SVR are lower by as much as 50%.

With the transmission offering what is known as the adaptive shift strategy, it is able to monitor a number of factors like the lateral cornering forces, acceleration inputs, brake inputs, and kickdown requests. It can even monitor the slope of gradients.

Once it does this, it then selects one of the 25 programs that have been pre-determined and makes the necessary adjustments to current road conditions and the behavior of the driver. For those who prefer sportier driving, more aggressive gearshifts, as well as delays in upshifts, are activated. Going to the interior, the sports seats not only give it visual differentiation but also better support especially in spirited driving.

The company revealed that the SVR underwent exhaustive testing with the prototype versions finishing almost 1,000 laps in the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany with its best lap recorded at 8 minutes and 14 seconds.

Topics: land rover

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