Jaguar Land Rover has made a lot of gains since reinventing its identity as an aggressive brand willing to take on the big boys of the business. Now the company is looking to take things a step further by turning to its Special Vehicles Operations division to build halo models to further distinguish its models. The 500-employee-strong department isn’t sitting pretty these days. It was largely responsible for turning the F-Type Project 7 into a production sports car. Now, it’s setting its sights on another model, namely the Land Rover Defender SVR.

Land Rover boss John Edwards told Autocar of the company’s plans to turn the current-generation Defender’s 2015 swan song into an opportunity to celebrate the model. One way to do that is to send the model to SVO to see what kind of personalization it can come out with for the outgoing SUV.

The move would certainly give the Defender an appropriate send-off before Land Rover reportedly turns it into a dual-purpose, sub-brand that will be marketed differently from the Range and Discovery brands. The decision to send the Defender to SVO follows in the footsteps of the Range Rover Sport SVR, which Land Rover unveiled at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance. That bad-boy came with a unique design that included styling cues and interior amenities no other Range Rover had. It also packed a supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 that produced 542 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful Range Rover ever built.

Now imagine the possibilities when the Defender goes through the same SVO process. I certainly have a hard time believing it would be as decked out as the Range Rover Sport SVR, but I’m not closing the door on SVO coming up with a program well-suited for the Defender’s utilitarian character.

Note: Land Rover Defender pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Land Rover Defender SVR.

  • 2015 Land Rover Defender SVR
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    75000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Land Rover Defender SVR Speculation

2013 Land Rover Defender High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 471002

It is highly doubtful that SVO will make the Defender SVR a performer in the same vain as the Range Rover SVR. Instead, the performance arm will likely take the Defender’s off-road credentials and push them to insane new heights. Things like a retuned suspension with longer travel, additional torque and heavier-duty undercarriage bits all seem like the most logical additions.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

2015 Land Rover Defender SVR High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 573538

Competitors

Mercedes G-Class

2013 Mercedes G-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 448959

There aren’t a lot of models that have an all-frills SUV like the Land Rover Defender. But Mercedes has the G-Class, which is about as close as you can get.

The Defender and the G-Class share a lot of similarities, not the least of which is their retro styling befitting their timeless characteristics. You can knock both brands for sticking with old-school appearances for the Defender and G-Class, but I can argue back that their retro, 70s designs are what make them special in the first place. The G-Class, in particular, remains largely unchanged since it made its debut back in 1979. That’s a distinction that the even the Defender can’t brag about.

Unlike the Defender, the G-Class is offered with a wide range of engine options, beginning with a 3.0-liter, V-6 diesel that pumps out 211 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. From there, a 5.5-liter, V-8 engine is also offered for higher trim models like the G500. This V-8 produces an impressive 388 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing for the Mercedes G-Class begins at $111,900 for the base G350 BlueTEC model and goes all the way up to an incredible $346,500 for the AMG-powered G65.

The G-Class can admittedly get very expensive very quickly, but with the things Mercedes is offering with the G-Class, it’s hard not to fault it for putting a six-figure sticker on its resident all-utility SUV.

It’ll be really interesting how Land Rover packages the upcoming Defender sub-brand to compete against the G-Class.

Source: AutoCar

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