Will SVO finally expand its reach into serious off-roading?
Land Rover Discovery Will Get Extreme SVX Versionby Mark McNabb, on
Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations is rumored to be working on a hard-core off-road package for the new Discovery. Typically focused on high-end luxury models of Land Rover and Range Rover SUVs, along with high-performance models of Jaguar and Range Rovers, SVO might swing into the dirt. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this rumor, but Auto Express has a soft confirmation from SVO boss John Edwards.
Edwards had a conversation with Auto Express at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. Therein, Edwards revealed some telling hints, saying, “I can’t tell you what the SV version of the Discovery will be like but in my mind it will be in between Paris Dakar and Camel Trophy. Somewhere in there is a product waiting to get out.”
Of course, the Dakar and Camel Trophy are two famed off-road competitions, with the Dakar being a moderate to high-speed race, while the Camel Trophy was more low-speed exploration through inhospitable terrains. Perhaps the upcoming SVO Discovery will be capable of doing both. Don’t expect Land Rover to compromise on passenger comfort, either.
Rumors also suggest this special Land Rover will be called the Discovery SVX, hinting at his all-terrain abilities. No official word has been given, but we’d expect the SVX to come with high-profile meaty tires, underbody skid plates, rock sliders, exposed tow hooks, and perhaps a revised air suspension system allowing for more ground clearance. Off-road lights and a roof rack aren’t out of the question, either.
Expect the interior to feature all-weather floor mats, durable leather seats, and the latest in off-road techno-gadgets from Land Rover. Power could come from the supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine or the torquey 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. Regardless, the ZF eight-speed automatic and full-time 4WD system will be present.
No dates have been announced, but the Discovery SVX could debut as soon as late 2017 or early 2018. That follows Edwards’ comments to AE, saying “We plan to introduce a new halo product every year for the next three or four years,” with an apparent emphasis on an earlier date.
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Why It Matters
The 2017 Land Rover Discovery is already an impressively capable SUV, but with the help of SVO engineers and designers, it could be Land Rover’s most versatile vehicle in modern times. JLR should be commended for branching past the high-end luxury segment with its special editions. Producing something designed for severe off-road use should prove very successful, as shown by vehicles like the Ford F-150 Raptor.
We will certainly be on the lookout for any test mule creeping around, so stay tuned for any breaking news.
Read our full review on the 2017 Land Rover Discovery here.