Acceleration Times on pavement are great, but what about gravel, snow, and mud?

Land Rover has built its empire with vehicles claiming excellent off-road abilities. More recently, it has built SUV just at home on a road course as the African safari. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR is the highest form of this on-road/off-road combination thanks to its supercharged V-8, advanced full-time 4WD system, air suspension, and high-performance pedigree. Now the automaker has set out to prove the SVR’s capacities.

Hitting 60 mph from a standstill has been the quintessential evaluation mark of a vehicle’s performance for nearly 100 years. Most vehicles have gotten pretty darn good at it, thanks to the advancement in tire technology, traction control, fast-shifting automatic and dual-clutch transmissions, and outlandish power levels coming from forced-induction engines. The 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR will hit 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds thanks to its supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, AWD system, and eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Range Rover Sport SVR shares the Jaguar’s engine and transmission, but with some minor tweaks to the engine management software. The all-aluminum mill kicks out an impressive 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque – enough to send this 5,495-pound SUV flying to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds! Of course, the Brits use kilometers, so the goal speed translates 100 kph, or 62 mph. The extra two miles per hour only add a tenth of a second, meaning a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds.

But the Range Rover Sport SVR is a Range Rover, for crying out loud! How does it perform in less-than-ideal circumstances? To find out, Range Rove put its fastest model on five terrains other than smooth, dry asphalt. Those terrains also coordinate perfectly with the Range Rover’s Terrain Response 2 full-time 4WD system, allowing the Range Rover to strut its stuff. The modes tested include Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud, and Sand.

Keep reading for the results of this unconventional 0-to-62 mph testing.

The Results

Range Rover Sport SVR Testes 0-to-62 MPH on Six Surfaces! High Resolution Exterior
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The Range Rover Sport SVR’s Terrain Response 2 system allows the driver to select one of six terrain settings, along with a full Auto setting. These modes include Dynamic, General driving, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud, Sand, and Rocks. For these tests, Range Rover skipped the General driving and Rocks settings. It set the benchmark 0-to-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds with Dynamic mode on dry pavement. It’s important to note that these tests were all carried out using ‘Rover’s stock 275/45R 21 all-season tires from Michelin. Let’s see how it did in the other conditions.

Grass – 5.5 secondsRange Rover didn’t just test on grass, but wet grass – the type that would prove challenging to walk on down a steep hill. The Terrain Response 2 system was set to Grass/Gravel/Snow, which turns up the traction control system to prevent wheel slip, preloades the center differential, smooth transmission shift patters, and softens the throttle response to help prevent a sudden surge of torque to the wheels.

Gravel – 5.3 seconds – Gravel isn’t as slick as wet grass, but it still provides a challenging surface on which to launch. Again the Terrain Response 2 system was set to the appropriate Grass/Gravel/Snow setting, giving the Range Rover Sport SVR the best available combination of power and traction control intervention to get itself moving.

Snow – 11.3 seconds – Wet grass might be difficult, but the wintery conditions that accompany snow make for near-impossible acceleration testing. Nevertheless, the Range Rover Sport SVR still accelerated to 62 mph in three ticks over 11 seconds. That’s only a half-second slower than a Toyota Prius can do on its best day on the driest and stickiest pavement.

Mud – 6.5 seconds – Mud is a tricky one. Did Range Rover test on thin, soupy mud, thick mud, or the deep stuff that would halt any lesser vehicle? Regardless, Range Rover was able to hit 62 mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds. The test driver selected the Mud and Ruts setting, which raises the air suspension, dials back the traction control system to allow for more tire spin, and minimizes the ABS inputs.

Sand – 5.5 seconds – The problem with sand is that too much wheel spin will dig holes, preventing any forward movement. Sand mode does allow for nearly unlimited wheel spin and makes the throttle more eager, but getting a good launch from a standstill would prove to be a challenge for the driver. Somehow the driver, aided no doubt by the full-time 4WD system, the locked center differential, and transmission programming that holds gears for longer, allowed the 5,495-pound SUV to hit 62 mph faster than a 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata on drive pavement.


Range Rover Sport SVR Testes 0-to-62 MPH on Six Surfaces! High Resolution Exterior
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While these acceleration tests might not be validated by an independent third party or are anyhow indicative of how any normal person should be driving in these adverse conditions, it’s a nice gesture by Land Rover to showcase the Range Rover Sport SVR’s impressive traction systems and powerful V-8. I should end by saying we here at TopSpeed wholeheartedly don’t encourage conducting acceleration tests in these condition, especially on public roads. I’m sure Land Rover meant to include such a disclaimer in their press release, which is shown below.

Terrain Mode 0-100km/h Time
Asphalt Dynamic 4.7 seconds
Grass Grass, Gravel and Snow 5.5 seconds
Gravel Grass, Gravel and Snow 5.3 seconds
Snow Grass, Gravel and Snow 11.3 seconds
Mud Mud and Ruts 6.5 seconds
Sand Sand 5.5 seconds

Read our full review on the Range Rover SVR here.

Press Release

Come rain or shine, grass or gravel, snow or sand, the Range Rover Sport SVR delivers devastating pace.

Merging legendary all-terrain capability with 550PS V8 power and advanced traction technology provides Land Rover’s fastest vehicle with unique real world performance.

Since going on sale in Spring 2015, the Range Rover Sport SVR has showcased the abilities of Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. This model has contributed to more than 285,000 second-generation Range Rover Sports being delivered to customers around the world since its launch in 2014. Many will have been attracted by the 0-100km/h time of only 4.7 seconds, but the official figure only scratches the surface of the Range Rover Sport’s capability

Range Rover Sport SVR Testes 0-to-62 MPH on Six Surfaces! High Resolution Exterior
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When the perfect traction offered by clean, dry asphalt isn’t available, most sports cars immediately suffer from a lack of grip, stability and performance. But no sports car has the benefit of Land Rover’s legendary all-terrain know-how.

In this unique test the SVR completes the 0-100km/h sprint on standard fit Michelin 275/45 R21 All Season Tyres on everything from asphalt and grass to snow and sand, using Land Rover’s innovative Terrain Response 2 technology.

The intelligent system automatically selects the appropriate driving mode to suit traction conditions including: General Driving, Dynamic, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand, and Rock Crawl. The driver can also use a simple rotary controller on the centre console to choose a specific mode.

The times recorded are a testament to the Range Rover Sport’s inherent capability. On a notoriously slippery wet grass surface, the 0-100km/h time increased by only 0.8 seconds, while even on Sand the benchmark sprint took only 5.5 seconds.

Range Rover Sport SVR Testes 0-to-62 MPH on Six Surfaces! High Resolution Exterior
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The ultimate all-terrain performance test in detail

The Range Rover Sport SVR’s first challenge was the start-finish straight at Europe’s fastest racing circuit, Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, UK. In Dynamic mode, Terrain Response 2 sharpens throttle response and changes gear at higher revs. It also stiffens the Continual Variable Damping function within the vehicle’s Anti-Roll Control technology to reduce body roll. With all of these factors optimised, the Range Rover Sport SVR blasted from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds.

In the second test, the high-performance SUV tackled one of the most challenging surfaces any driver will encounter: wet grass. In Grass/Gravel/Snow mode the throttle response is softened to prevent loss of traction and gear changes are smoother and quicker. The Traction Control System also intervenes earlier to prevent tyre slip, while the central differential is preloaded to optimise off-the-line performance. Land Rover Experience East of England provided the perfect setting for this challenge and the Range Rover Sport SVR recorded a breath-taking 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.

A quarry provided the ideal gravel surface, where the Range Rover Sport SVR’s inherent traction came to the fore. With the vehicle systems optimised to suit the loose surface, it registered 5.3 seconds.

To find snow the Range Rover Sport SVR headed to Jaguar Land Rover’s winter test facility in Arjeplog, Northern Sweden. Here, the optimised settings and all-wheel drive system helped the SVR complete the sprint on a combination of snow and ice in 11.3 seconds.

Range Rover Sport SVR Testes 0-to-62 MPH on Six Surfaces! High Resolution Exterior
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The next switch of the Terrain Response 2 dial was to select Mud and Ruts mode. In this setting the air suspension is raised and the Traction Control System allows controlled tyre slip to provide better traction in slippery conditions. In typically British surroundings at one of Land Rover’s all-terrain testing facilities, the performance SUV logged a 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds as its intelligent four-wheel-drive technology came into its own.
Pendine Sands at Carmarthen Bay in South Wales has been linked with speed ever since hosting the first world land speed record run took place there in 1924. That made it perfect to test the next setting on the Terrain Response 2 dial: Sand.

Selecting Sand mode sharpens the vehicle’s accelerator responses to allow a quick build-up of engine torque. The vehicle also holds onto gears for longer and locks the central differential to help maintain momentum. The result of this technological wizardry was a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.

Range Rover Sport SVR Testes 0-to-62 MPH on Six Surfaces! High Resolution Exterior
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The final mode on the Terrain Response 2 dial called for something different. Rock Crawl is designed to assist drivers when negotiating rocky environments and works in conjunction with the Low Range transmission, in keeping with the low-speed nature of the challenge posed by large rocks and boulders.

Rock Crawl mode softens the accelerator response to mitigate against sudden movements and provide maximum driver control. It also raises the air suspension, to optimise ground clearance. Using Terrain Response 2 the Range Rover Sport SVR scaled the rocky 32 per cent incline at the test facility with ease.

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