DYNAMIC DRIVE TO TOP OF THE ‘RANGE’

Range_Rover_SV_Autobiography_front
That streaming juggernaut Game of Thrones may have gone the way of other small-screen sensations such as Star Trek but not all turf wars have been won. Even in the hard-pushed automotive industry, European SUV makers continue to go hammer and tongs for the upper-luxury crown.

The battle for the luxury sports utility vehicle market has recently been joined by the British ‘crown jewel’ – Queen Elizabeth has one – the SV Autobiography, which sits on the Range Rover throne.

A creation of the Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in the English Midlands, in Dynamic form, the remit was to produce a Range Rover of unmatched performance and comfort with a penchant for processing elegantly down Pall Mall or subduing the rugged going of the royal estates.

Finish is at the hands (literally) of craftsmen of unequalled pedigree. The result is a luxurious stately home on wheels tugging at the purse strings of $400K on the road. Needless to say, it was treated with due respect on test.

STYLING
Not surprisingly the Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic has a regal stance: head held high, shoulders back. Design upgrades that highlight the vehicle’s performance character include an exclusive Graphite Atlas mesh grille with chromed inserts.

Range_Rover_SV_Autobiography_rear

The front bumper and lower air intake finisher get the same treatment, along with modified side and rear accents. At the back, the modified rear bumper integrates metal tailpipe finishers, while a unique 22-inch wheel design joins the 21-inch option.

Five exterior colours include Firenze Red, which is exclusive to SVO’s performance flagship. A unique SVO-branded key fob with a dark brushed aluminium finish complements the rear badging.

A red flash incorporated in the SV Autobiography emblem signifies the dynamic nature of the model.

INTERIOR
To call it a passenger cabin would be selling the inside short. It’s more of a gentlemen’s club lounge, swathed as it is in quality hide and other exotic materials.

A series of exclusive updates include Executive Class seating in the rear, finished in quilted perforated semi-aniline leather trim. Colours available include Ebony, Ebony/Pimento, Ebony/Cirrus and Ebony/Vintage Tan. The SVO model also debuts two veneer choices, Steel Weave Carbon Fibre and Grand Black, with finishers in dark brushed aluminium.

This touch of luxury extends to leather-wrapped lower pillars, SV Autobiography-branded illuminated tread plates and exclusive start-up graphic in the instrument cluster. The SV Autobiography logo can be found also in the front centre console.

Convenience comes courtesy of a concealed refrigerator between the twin rear seats big enough to takes two wine bottles or four 600ml bottles. The right-hand rear seat folds to accommodate long items.

Range_Rover_SV_Autobiography_interior

A power operated veneered cargo space floor, for the first time, can be optioned, making loading and unloading luggage easy.

INFOTAINMENT
Electrically deployable rear tables and integrated 10-inch touchscreen rear entertainment screens ensure passengers can use the 4G WiFi connectivity to the full.

A total of 19 front, side and rear speakers fill the cabin space with sound of unmatched clarity, complemented by a dual channel sub-woofer through Trifield technology. It’s all controlled through Touch Pro Duo.

An exclusive new Zenith clock, inspired by the Elite 6150 watch, features on the rear centre console, its knurled bezel complementing the finish on the start/stop button, gear selector and pedals.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The output from the potent 415 kW 5.0-litre all-aluminium V8 supercharged engine is up from the previous unit, with 700 Nm of torque on tap between 6000 and 6500 rpm.

SAFETY
An outstanding feature of the SV Autobiography Dynamic are matrix LED headlamps with signature daytime running lights, making up a unique adaptive front lighting system.

By splitting the main beam into vertical strips, the set-up maximises visibility while casting a shadow in front of oncoming traffic to prevent dazzling oncoming plebs.

More common active safety features include anti-locking brakes, vehicle stability control, front, side and overhead airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and anti-whiplash head restraints.

An in-built security system can detect unwanted vehicle access and use by an ignition that prevents the engine from starting if the correct original key from the manufacturer is not used.

DRIVING
Dynamic by name . . . dynamic by nature. Thanks to the stonking 5-litre supercharged V8 motor, the Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic will accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in a spritely 5.4 seconds.

Combined town / country fuel consumption on test hovered between 12 and 13 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres, but who’s counting?

SVO engineers have developed a chassis calibration to match with an alternative to the standard Comfort mode. This lowers the ride height by eight mm and is designed to heighten driver engagement without compromising comfort. Despite 22-inch wheels, the ride is uncommonly smooth and quiet.

As befits a vehicle with an unparalleled off-road pedigree, the SV Autobiography Dynamic also incorporates a suite of technological features to make sure it is capable of taking on the most extreme conditions under foot.

Inside a palatial passenger cabin, occupants have the pleasure of everything that opens and shuts, much of it at the touch of a button. A fixed centre console extends the full length of the cabin and allows passengers to close the back doors using conveniently located buttons in the rear.

Executive Class rear seats are central to the appeal of the luxurious new model. Deep seating, with new interlayers, delivers top-class comfort. With a capability to recline by 40 degrees electrically, hot stone massage function, heated calf and footrests, rear seating serves up a peerless passenger experience.

Following the Range Rover tradition, the tailgate is a two-piece with a hinge-down section just made for sitting on. Optional leather chairs, with built-in aluminium footrests, can be attached. They fold up into their own special bag when not in use.

SUMMING UP
In a class of its own, the Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic is a unique experience with its combination of craftsmanship and automotive technology. If only it could come up with the winning Lotto numbers, maybe I would go out and get one.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL LINE-UP
Range Rover 3.0 Vogue (automatic) $199,828
Range Rover 2.0 PHEV Vogue (a) $210,000
Range Rover 5.0 Autobiography (a) $268,528
Range Rover 5.0 Autobiography LWB (a) $278,728
Range Rover 5.0 SV Autobiography Dynamic (a) $341,028
Range Rover 5.0 SV Autobiography LWB (a) $398,528
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Range Rover dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS:
(Range Rover SV Autobiography 5-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine, automatic, AWD SUV)
Capacity: 4998 cc
Configuration: 5-litre V8 supercharged, eight-speed automatic
Maximum Power: 415 kW
Maximum Torque: 700 Nm
Fuel type: Petrol
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 12.8 litres per 100 km
CO2 emissions 294 g / km

DRIVELINE:
Drivetrain: eight-speed automatic, All-wheel drive

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4999 mm
Width: 1983 mm
Height: 1836 mm
Wheelbase: 2922 mm
Kerb weight: 2271 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 105 litres
Turning circle: 12.3 m

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

WARRANTY:
3 years / 100,000 kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.