The Range Rover Sport SVR reminds me of one of those freakish football players; you know, the hulking 300-pounder who has the swift, spinning grace of a gymnast. Somehow, Range Rover has engineered this mighty fortress to cruise the road with ease and dispatch.
The five-seater Sport model is situated in the center of Range Rover’s lineup. It’s larger than the compact Discovery Sport model, but nowhere near the size of, say, the Autobiography LWB, which once struck me as the grandest of limousines. The SVR version is more about stylish aggression. Slapped awake by a 550-hp supercharged V-8, it hustles down the road with astonishing propulsion. But it’s civilized, too, as surprisingly quick steering allows it to go around town with grace. Leather bucket seats embrace your deserving posterior.
Step pugnaciously on the loud pedal and the Range Rover really snarls. The power is deep and endless. Take it up the swervy roads north of the Merritt, and it just sails. The Sport SVR is very easy to keep on track. You won’t forget, of course, that you’re sitting up pretty high. Yet, it stays grandly composed.
Our tester had all the trimmings, including the Meridian Signature Audio with its 1,700 watts of surround sound power that provided outstanding separation and fidelity, although the touch-screen controls require some adapting. The trimmings do come at a price, though. The tester retails for $121,525, but there are less flashy versions of this model starting at $65,000, beginning with the Sport SE, which includes a thrifty diesel option. Being Range Rovers, all models come with enough traction control choices to sail over mountains of mud and snow, although personally, I couldn’t bear crashing through the brambles in this car and scratching the paint.
RANGE ROVER SPORT SVR
Price (as tested): $121,525
EPA Mileage Ratings: 14 city/19 highway