Off-road features abound with SVO’s latest masterpiece

Back at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations boss John Edwards hinted at the possibility of the Land Rover Discovery getting its own SVO treatment. He didn’t dive into any specifics, opting only to say that if SVO did create one, it would be somewhere in the middle “between Paris Dakar and Camel Trophy,” two famed off-road races. I can’t tell if just-unveiled Discovery SXV is capable of competing in both races, but give credit where it’s due: JLR’s SVO unit came through on its word.

The Land Rover Discovery SVX is the result of what happens when a goal is set and that goal is accomplished. On paper, it’s billed as the most powerful version of the Discovery ever created, and the numbers certainly speak for themselves as the Discovery SVX is capable of producing 525 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque, thanks in large part to the SUV carrying a much bigger 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine compared to the smaller 3.0-liter V-6 mill that all other Land Rover Discovery SUVs come in. It’s not just about the engine either. SVO understood that for the Discovery SVX to reach its full off-road potential, it needed significant changes to its mechanical and handling faculties. The division did just that, and a whole lot more. Certainly, the results speak for themselves.

Continue reading for the full story.

Is this still a Land Rover Discovery?

Jaguar Land Rover's SVO Unit Comes Through On Its Word With The Discovery SVX High Resolution Exterior
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Technically, it still is because it maintains a significant part of the Discovery’s aesthetics. But if you add all of the changes up, you can be excused for thinking that it’s a different model entirely.

The Discovery SVX also features new off-road features, including a Hydraulic Active Roll Control system that was put into the SUV to help it navigate around the most perilous of off-road conditions

It already has a Range Rover engine underneath its hood and on top of that and the significant increase in power, the Discovery SVX also features new off-road features, including a Hydraulic Active Roll Control system that was put into the SUV to help it navigate around the most perilous of off-road conditions. Owners hardly need a system like it when they’re driving their SUVs on highways or urban streets, but out there in places where roads are a lot less forgiving, a system like the HARC (I made the acronym up) is important for the SUV to maintain wheel articulation, off-road traction, and all-around body control.

Jaguar Land Rover's SVO Unit Comes Through On Its Word With The Discovery SVX High Resolution Exterior
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Jaguar Land Rover's SVO Unit Comes Through On Its Word With The Discovery SVX High Resolution Exterior
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Move beyond the HARC system and the Discovery SVX also gets a raised air suspension, stronger dampers, and a set of 20-inch alloy wheels, all of which are wrapped up in all-terrain tires from Goodyear Wrangler. In line with the technical upgrades, SVO also gave the Discovery SVX center and rear locking differentials and a number of other off-road-specific systems like Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control, and All-Terrain Progress Control.

Discovery SVX also gets a raised air suspension, stronger dampers, and a set of 20-inch alloy wheels, all of which are wrapped up in all-terrain tires from Goodyear Wrangler

Hard as it is to imagine what all these features could look like on the road, JLR’s SVO division is making it easier for us by actually creating a specific car that houses all of them. Even better, there are apparently plans to bring the car into production next year. Land Rover said that the Frankfurt-bound model is a “production preview,” which essentially means that this is what we’re going to see with the actual production model, except for some very minor changes. Maybe an extra fog lamp or two.

Jaguar Land Rover's SVO Unit Comes Through On Its Word With The Discovery SVX High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Either way, the automaker also hasn’t said how many units of the Discovery SVX it plans to build. Rest assured though, however many they are, I don’t see them sitting in the inventory too long.

References

Land Rover Discovery

2017 Land Rover Discovery High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Land Rover Discovery.

Press release

Land Rover has revealed the Discovery SVX – the ultimate Discovery for off-road enthusiasts seeking epic adventures.

Discovery SVX, launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show, adds extreme all-terrain capability to the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) product triangle. SVX will sit alongside the acclaimed Range Rover Sport SVR and Range Rover SVAutobiography, which are hallmarks for outstanding on-road performance and supreme luxury respectively.

Discovery SVX will be the first Land Rover hand-assembled by expert craftsmen at the SVO Technical Centre in the UK when production begins in 2018.

SVO designers are embedded within the Land Rover team and have worked with our engineers to unleash their own passion for adventure to create another truly desirable and versatile vehicle in the Land Rover line-up.

John Edwards
Special Vehicle Operations Managing Director

Discovery SVX embodies the design excellence and engineering integrity that are core values of every Land Rover, building on the legendary Land Rover all-terrain capability and adventurous spirit to deliver the ultimate in off-road performance and desirability.

Since its launch in 2016 the fifth-generation Discovery, built on Land Rover’s strong, safe and light aluminium architecture, has won admiration as the world’s best full-size versatile SUV. That makes it the perfect base for SVO’s first SVX vehicle. New Discovery is the first modern Land Rover to wear the SVX badge.

SVX takes Discovery versatility to new levels through further development of its formidable off-road ability. It will be offered exclusively with Jaguar Land Rover’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol powertrain, tuned to deliver 525PS peak power and 625Nm torque, along with suspension modifications to enhance driver confidence when tackling the toughest terrain.

Hydraulic Active Roll Control (H-ARC), is new to Discovery on SVX. It gives increased wheel articulation and improved body control, enhancing extreme off-road traction while also reducing body roll for smooth and sure-footed on-road driving.

Discovery SVX has improved approach, departure and breakover angles, achieved by raising both the lightweight aluminium monocoque architecture and the four-corner air suspension system, employing long-travel dampers and revised knuckles, and fitting larger 815mm diameter 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres on forged aluminium alloy wheels.

Tyres with higher side-walls reduce contact pressure and improve performance on soft surfaces. Combined with a more aggressive tread pattern, this improves grip in muddy conditions.

Discovery SVX is also equipped with active centre and electronic rear locking differentials which work with the specially tuned Terrain Response 2 system to optimise traction on all surfaces.

Complementing these hardware upgrades are unique software calibrations for the eight-speed automatic transmission with twin-speed transfer box, and Discovery’s dynamics systems including Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Adaptive Dynamics, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and variable ratio electric power-assisted steering (EPAS). Discovery SVX also features a model-first Pistol Shifter in place of the Drive select rotary shifter to offer the driver optimum control of gear selection in off-road manoeuvres.

To visually reflect Discovery SVX’s inherent robustness and go-further ability, Land Rover designers have referenced features of iconic Discovery off-road challenge vehicles, such as those used for Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge events, to give SVX a distinctive, aggressive and purposeful appearance inside and out.

The combination of design excellence and engineering integrity inherent in every Land Rover is the foundation of everything we do. The Discovery SVX reinforces Land Rover’s unrivalled reputation for building vehicles with true all-terrain capability for customers who desire the ultimate in off-road performance.

Gerry McGovern
Land Rover Chief Design Officer

The production preview SVX at Frankfurt IAA features unique front and rear bumpers with protective skid plates and exposed Rush Orange-finished metal recovery eyes – each rated to enable recovery of more than six tonnes, an anti-glare bonnet finish and an integrated rear-mounted electric winch system.

Discovery SVX also stands out through its exclusive satin Tectonic Grey paint finish, a unique colour and material combination of Lunar and Light Oyster with Rush Orange accents inside, and ‘X’ logo perforations on the SVX-branded seats. Unique Narvik Black side vents with V8 badging, a Narvik Black Dynamic grille, Silver roof rails and a roof-mounted unit with two additional light pods for improved low-light visibility complete the transformation.

The first Land Rover SVX from SVO makes its world debut on the Jaguar Land Rover stand at Frankfurt IAA, 12-24 September, alongside a comprehensive range of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles including SVO stablemates the Range Rover Sport SVR, Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic, Jaguar F-TYPE SVR and Jaguar XE SV Project 8.

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