Range Rover SV Coupe and Jaguar F-Pace SVR make Canadian debuts
Luxury in a nondescript Vancouver warehouse
Range Rover SV Coupe: “The pinnacle of luxury”
Fresh of its world tour that last had it at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, the Range Rover SV Coupe made its Canadian debut today in a nondescript warehouse in Vancouver’s gradually gentrifying industrial district.
Indeed, as soon as you lay eyes on Range Rover’s latest flagship offering – the “pinnacle of luxury”, according to the Land Rover folks at the event, and with a $335,000 price tag, it had better be—you can see why Land Rover didn’t want the surroundings to take away from their vehicle. Not that they had anything to worry about, really; when I attended the SV Coupe’s world debut at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, I had to wait an hour or so just to get an uncluttered shot, so thick was the crowd around it. This was Geneva, remember, where precious metal from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Aston Martin and Pagani all make their debuts. Even with all that going on around it, the SV Coupe still drew a crowd.
Not hard to understand why, really. At first blush, you can see it as part of the Land Rover/Range Rover family; the trademark headlights are present, as is the mesh grille, big wheels and jeweled door inserts. That’s all accounted for.
It’s strange, though; the more I looked at it, the more I sensed a departure from your typical Range, just without really knowing what. How something so gargantuan to the eye can still impress you with its subtlety is quite the trick – and here are a few ways they’ve done it.
For starters, look at the Range Rover script, taking its traditional spot across the length of hood’s leading edge. Typically finished in chrome or black, what you see here has a bit more of a shine, because it’s actually finished in rose gold – that’s standard spec, and there are other jeweled choices. Now look at the wheels; they’re large, yes, but then lately, Range wheels have always been large—just not this large as their 23” measurement makes them the biggest wheels ever fitted by the factory. Keep going; the patented door grille extends from the window all the way to the rocker panel, and then there’s the two-colour exterior jobby, which reached all the way around the car in a horseshoe pattern. The paintjob you see here is called “Modernist”, at it joins other paint presets with names like “Valloir/Flux”, “Liquid Metal” and “Obsidian/Desire”. Then there are the doors themselves; measuring about six feet in length apiece, they’re so long that they have sensors built in to make sure they can open, as well as a button close by in case you can’t reach them. In case you were wondering, yes; we’ve seen this before, on none other than the Rolls Royce Wraith. That’s some pretty heady company.
Speaking of Rolls: I remember when the Phantom Drophead Coupe debuted with a yacht-like lacquered wood tonneau cover; well, the SV Coupe has a similar treatment on the cargo bay floor – it’s completely finished in a walnut/sycamore combination (other combos include the reddish “Santos Polisander” and “Black Ash”) that positively oozes class, while the floor slides out so you can prop your picnic basket and bottle of Chateau Neuf de Pape on it—as well as the seat of your $10,000 Escada jeans—with nary a problem. Oh, and the valet will appreciate how the dual tailgate shared with other Range products makes loading your LV suitcases that much easier. Dandy.
The wood treatment doesn’t stop there; you’ll find acres of the stuff in here, with its most prominent fixture being on those huge doors. It may look like there are numerous cuts of wood there, but its actually one big sheet, the biggest ever installed in a Range Rover. Everywhere you look, the opulence continues; the diamond-printed rear seats are darker than the fronts in an effort, Range Rover says, to make it feel more coupe-like, all the controls and sound system bits are perfectly jeweled and the latest version of Land Rover’s ultra-slick dual infotainment screens (and digital gauge cluster) brightens up the whole affair.
Under the hood, the power’s there, too; that’s 557 horsepower and 516 supercharged torques, fed to all four wheels via a paddle-operated 8-speed auto, enough to get the first full-size Range Rover coupe since, well, the first-ever Range Rover to 100 km/h from rest in just 5.3 seconds.
Or, in other words, the rate of acceleration you’ll need from your getaway vehicle after stealing the moolah required (some food for thought: the Rolls Cullinan starts at $375,000 in Canada, the Bentley Bentayga, about $210,000) to get yourself into one of the 999 examples they’re going to build.
F-Pace gets SVR treatment
Also making its Canadian debut was the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, so named for the Special Vehicle Operations division that has fettled this hottest-selling of Jags.
It sees the arrival of a V8 for the first time in an F-Pace, though Jaguar says that the F-Pace was designed to accommodate a V8 from the get-go. Here, it’s supercharged and makes 550 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque, both numbers that are down on the F-Type and Range Rover Sport SVR models. Still good enough to get the AWD F-Pace SVR from 0-100 km/h in a scant 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of over 280 km/h. That’s right up there with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S, both vehicles that cost a whole heck of a lot more than the F-Type’s $89,900 asking price. I guess it’s hard to ever call a mid-sized luxury crossover a “good deal”, but based on the performance figures alone, that’s exactly what this F-Pace appears to be.
Plus, if it manages to do its work with the same drama as its bonkers F-Type SVR sibling, then you get the benefit of a boatload of fun to go with your performance. Indeed, like said F-Type, the F-Pace SVR gets quad exhaust outlets with modifiable exhaust notes, a lighter exhaust system, a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic (that gets a more traditional lever as opposed to the rotary dial shifter found in other F-Paces; it’s sportier, according to Jaguar), diamond-print two-tone sport buckets, real carbon fibre trim and aluminum shift paddles. Styling-wise, the SVR gets 21 or 22-inch lightweight wheels, hood, front fender, side, and rear fender air intakes as well as yellow brake calipers sandwiching larger front and rear discs.
In addition to the brakes and wheels, improvements have been made to the handling thanks to stiffer front and rear springs, a specialized anti-roll system, and the standard fitment of a rear electronic limited-slip differential.
That’s all well and good, but like the F-Type SVR, how the F-Pace fares amongst the competition is going to boil down to the fireworks that powertrain is able to display. We’re waiting with bated breath.
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