Land Rover’s way of tempting you out of buying a Macan

Land Rover’s compact luxury crossover SUV, the Range Rover Velar, is finally getting a seriously fast version in the form of the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition. It has 473 horsepower, as much as the bigger Range Rover Sport SVR, and 502 pound-feet of torque, enough for a 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.3 seconds. With a top speed of 170 mph, it’s also one of the fastest Land Rover products you can buy today and it doesn’t fail to let you know all about how grunty it is.

You’re now looking at the top-of-the-range Velar. The most expensive version money can buy and the one that will get you to your destination the fastest. Its 5.0-liter V-8 isn’t new either. What’s interesting here is Land Rover’s decision to use the SVAutobiography name for the hottest Velar instead of the SVR name that adorns the angriest Range Rover Sport and the Jaguar F-Pace.

The Land Rover Range Rover is also available in SVAutobiography trim and, like the Velar, it’s more subtle than the SVO-developed SVR models. That is if you can call turbine-like 22-inch wheels and quad exhausts a note of subtlety. What’s certain is that the $111,402 price tag is no way shape or form subtle being just $3,000 shy off the price of a Range Rover Sport SVR.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Exterior

  • Big intakes up front
  • 20 or 21-inch wheels available
  • Roof is black no matter the color
  • Quad exhaust pipes
  • Sporty rear bumper
  • Blacked out grille
  • More subtle styling than the Range Rover Sport SVR
2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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The Range Rover Velar is Land Rover’s latest model, having been introduced just a couple of years ago. It follows the brand’s latest design language in that it displays an evolution of the lines we’ve seen on the first Evoque, similar to the facelifted 2018 Range Rover Sport. Size wise, it fits in between the Evoque and the Sport as it shares the 113.1-inch wheelbase with the Jaguar F-Pace.

In comparison, the Sport has a two-inch longer wheelbase that equates to two extra inches in overall length too.

Designed by Land Rover’s current Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern, the Velar is "the most car-like Range Rover so far, but no less capable for it," according to McGovern’s own words. This is something that’s even more poignant with the SVA version thanks to the larger wheels and modified bumpers. Still, it boasts a ground clearance of 8.38 inches, slightly less than the 8.94 inches of ride height on the full-size Land Rover Range Rover.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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The SVA isn't as shouty as the Sport SVR and that's either a good thing or a bad thing.

It’s a good thing if you reckon that a Land Rover is supposed to be a reserved car, a car with a certain presence and class that doesn’t resort to a plethora of air intakes or a dark stripe on the hood to make itself stand out because it doesn’t need to. It’s a bad thing if, well, you’re a fan of the more outlandish Sport SVR and you kept your fingers crossed for Special Vehicle Operations, the team behind the SVR models, to clear their schedule just enough to be able to tackle the Velar too.

That doesn’t mean the Velar SVA is a total sleeper. You can’t just park it next to your average P380 (that’s the one with the 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6) and hope people think they’re birds of a feather. Oh, and the SVA also gets a few unique exterior color options unavailable with any other trim level.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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In the front, the three large air intakes in the bumper take center stage. The main one in the middle is slightly smaller than on a Sport SVR but, like on that model, there are two inlets placed on either side of the main one. Each outboard cut through features an upside-down L-shaped bar that traces along the outer edge of the inlet. The indicators are placed within the bar above the inlets.

The grille has a dark frame on the SVA with the oval-eye mesh also blacked out.

The slim LED headlights that wrap around the sides of the SUV and then get narrower above the front wheel arches are typical of modern Land Rovers. Another typical detail is the presence of the Range Rover named spelled out above the grille on the edge of the hood. As the bumper, the hood itself is clean and only features two inlets placed in the upper corners and two mild strakes. The bumper itself is happily devoided of dramatic character lines.

The Velar’s sporty profile makes it a perfect receiver of the SVA treatment. The first thing you notice are the big (20 or 21-inch) wheels with turbine-like spokes that are neatly covered by muscular wheel arches. Another powerful detail is located in between the wheels as the rocker panels have a recessed middle area between two rather thick bulging lines that move your eyes across from the front end to the tail end.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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Unlike other Land Rover products, this one has retractable door handles. They jump out at the press of a button, either on the bodywork or on the key fob, and they help the Velar to be the most slippery Range Rover ever with a 0.32 coefficient of drag. The pillars, roof, integrated roof spoiler, and exterior rear-view mirror are all blacked out regardless of the color you choose. Talking about color, the one you see in these images, namely Satin Byron Blue, is unique to the Velar SVA.

In the back, the biggest change is the presence of those quad rectangular exhaust tips that are part of a new, lightened, exhaust system.

They exit through the black lower bumper. Above, you’ll find the quad U-shaped taillights incorporated in the dimmed bar that crosses the rear fascia. Again, the name ’Range Rover’ is spelled in between the light units. Overall, the Velar in its most aggressive trim looks clean and neat, quite possibly prettier than a Macan especially with those alloys.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 113.1 inches
Length 189.1 inches
Width 80.0 inches
Height 65.6 inches
Approach angle 28.4 degrees
Breakover angle 22.5 degrees
Departure angle 28.5 degrees

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Interior

  • Sportier seats are standard
  • Same for sporty steering wheel with flappy paddles
  • Carbon fiber accents
  • Two 10-inch digital screens dominate the center console
  • Top screen can be tilted forwards by 30 degrees
  • Knurled finish on the gear selector
  • Cargo space unaffected by the new exhaust
2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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Everything new and modern in Jaguar-Land Rover’s yard is present inside a Velar.

The SVA version comes with sportier seats with extra lumbar support, a knurled pattern on the HVAC and infotainment knobs and sporty steering wheel with paddle shifters.

You can also ask for some carbon fiber trim pieces if your heart desires. Beyond that, and the new startup image work for the 12.3-inch gauge screen behind the wheel, everything’s basically the same as before.

There are two more screens that take up most of the room on the center console, although Land Rover interior designers found some space in a narrow area above to fit the twin air vents. These screens, 10-inch each in diameter, show you everything the infotainment system has to offer. The one flush in the middle panel can tilt forward by 30 degrees. It moves because it’s the one you’re likely to operate more often to toggle through your phone agenda, your media items, the news, the weather, and navigation. The lower screen tackles stuff like climate control and the Terrain Response system. You have two round dials to operate the lower screen, Land Rover calling this two-screen arrangement "Touch Pro Duo". "It’s graphically rewarding and easy to use and it supports design’s vision of getting rid of buttons and switches," according to Kevin Stride, the company’s Vehicle Line Director.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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Thanks to a 4G Sim, the Velar can trace the nearest gas station as well as share its location. It also has an internal hotspot for up to eight devices to connect to. The cohort of safety features (like Autonomous Emergency Braking, adaptive cruise control with queue assist, traffic sign recognition, and piloted parking) are also there. Also, Land Rover considers you can take the Velar off-road and, as a result, it comes with Hill Descent/Gradient Release Control as well as Terrain Response 2 on the SVA which automatically alternates between drive modes according to the surface you’re traversing.

As you can see, leather reigns supreme inside the Velar SVA and you can choose from four colors, all with the same quilted pattern on the seats.

Talking about the seats, the ones up front are 20-way adjustable and, obviously, are both heated and cooled, plus feature massaging functions. But leather isn’t the sole option inside this compact SUV. "Some people don’t want leather anymore,’ reports Gerry McGovern. ‘There are materials that do a better job without having to slaughter animals." That’s where Kvadrat comes into play. They created a textile which is a 30% wool and 70% polyester blend.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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Talking cabin space, the Velar can fit five people and there are 22.31 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk. Towing capacity, according to Land Rover, is 5,511 pounds which isn’t too shabby for a compact SUV but not class-leading either. An improvement over the standard Velar is the bigger fuel tank which can now host up to 21.7 gallons of gas compared to just 19.8 gallons inside the tank of the Macan.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Drivetrain

  • Bigger, uprated brakes
  • 15.6 pounds lighter exhaust system
  • 170 mph top speed
  • Powered by 5.0-liter V-8 with 542 horsepower
  • 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds
  • 64,000 man hours spent to fine-tune the control systems
  • Power sent to all wheels through 8-speed automatic transmission
  • No Velar SVR planned by Land Rover
  • Only one model year in sight for this version
2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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The AJ133 5.0-liter, supercharged V-8 is the engine under the hood of the understated Velar SVA. You’ll also find it on the F-Type R, the F-Type SVR, the F-Pace SVR (which shares the JLR D7a platform), the XJR, the Land Rover Defender Works V-8 and a number of other models. It’s a tried and tested engine and, maybe, part of the reason for Land Rover’s decision to only make the Velar SVA for one year is the fact that Ford supplies these engines and the deal ends in 2020.

Obviously, Land Rover plays the exclusivity card here but, no matter the reasons, it’s cool to see another SUV with this engine.

In the Velar SVA, it puts out 542 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque.

The power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be manually operated with those flappy paddles. Top speed is 170 mph and the Velar SVA will hit 60 from a standstill in just 4.3 seconds - as fast as a 2011 Aston Martin DBS or Audi R8.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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According to the Land Rover, engineers spent 64,000 man hours to fiddle with the car control systems. As a result, the air chambers for the air suspension are firmer, the anti-roll bars upgraded, and the variable damping system, steering, and active rear differential revised.

The brakes are also bigger than before,15.5-inch discs in the front and 15.6-inch discs at the rear.

The exhaust system is louder than before and 15.6 pounds lighter. This means that the whole car now weighs about 3,960 pounds, still about 50 pounds heavier than the F-Pace SVR which also is 6 mph faster with a top speed of 176 mph. With that being said, the Velar SVA is as fast as a Bac Mono with 280 horsepower or an Ariel Atom 500 V-8 which is, well, impressive considering both those cars don’t weigh anything.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Specifications

Engine 5.0-liter, supercharged, V-8 engine
Bore x stroke 3.64 inches × 3.66 inches
Output 542 horsepower at 6,500 rpm
Torque 402 pound-feet of torque between 2,500 and 5,500 rpm
0 to 60 mph 4.3 seconds
Top speed 170 mph
Transmission Eight-speed automatic with paddle shifter, torque vectoring
Steering assisted, rack-and-pinion
Suspension Independent air suspension with integral link setup at the rear and adaptive dampers at all four corners
Brakes ventilated discs all around
Weight  3,960 pounds

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Pricing

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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This kind of performance and luxury doesn’t come cheap. For the record, the Range Rover Sport SVR costs $114,595 while the F-Pace SVR will set you back $80,985. Meanwhile, a Velar P380 R-Dynamic HSE starts at $75,025 and you can option it well beyond $80,000.

In the U.K., Jaguar Land Rover announced an MSRP of £86,120 or $111,403 or barely $3,000 off the bigger Range Rover Sport SVR which reaches does 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds or just 0.2 seconds slower than a Jaguar F-Type R which is 1,543 pounds lighter! The Sport SVR also offers more cargo space - 17.26 cubic feet - so it’s hard to make the case for a Velar, unless you simply like the raked roof and the hideaway door handles of the latter more...

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Competition

Porsche Macan Turbo

2019 Porsche Macan Exterior
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The Macan is Cayenne’s smaller brother introduced in 2014 and refreshed three years ago. The Turbo version comes fitted with the 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 that’s good enough for 395 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 406 pound-feet of torque between 1,650 rpm and 4,000 rpm. Mated to a seven-speed PDK transmission, the Turbo reaches 62 mph in 4.8 seconds from a standing start and goes all the way to 165 mph. You’ll have to pay at least $80,876 for one with no extra options.

If you want more oomph, you can opt for the Performance Package which sees the price climbs by almost $7,200. For that money, you get the same 3.6-liter V-6 engine but with 40 extra horsepower for a total of 434 and 443 pound-feet of torque. This sees the 0 to 60 mph time drop to 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds to 62 mph) and the top speed spike up to 1 mph shy off 170. The brakes are also bigger, 15.35 inches in diameter up front, up by 1.18 inches. What is more, according to Evo, "the Porsche Active Suspension Management system has also been retuned specifically for the Performance Package, chopping 0.6 inches from the ride height." Air suspension is also available as an option.

The Performance Package (which includes the Sport Chrono package as well) really transforms the Macan Turbo into a true rival of the Velar SVA, one that makes more sense from a financial point of view. Yes, we don’t know the U.S. MSRP of the Velar SVA so I’ve been using the U.K. base prices to have a broad idea of what to expect but, even so, the Macan Turbo with the Performance Package is almost $23,000 cheaper than the Velar. Is exclusivity alone worth as much as a Honda Civic with a fair amount of optional extras?

Read our full review on the 2019 Porsche Macan Turbo

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Exterior
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Land Rover SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) should’ve developed a proper SVR version of the Velar if they wanted to adequately stack up against a Quadrifoglio but, then again, the Audi SQ5 (even with the 3.0-liter TFSI unit) is no match, so I picked the Stelvio instead as the ultimate rival. Why the ultimate? Well, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the fastest SUV on the Nordschleife with a lap of 7:51.7, faster than a BMW M4, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren or a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4.

How does it do that? If you pop open the hood you’ll notice it’s powered by a 2.9-liter, 90-degree, 24-valve, twin-turbocharged V-6 that’s related to the V-8 engines found in some Maseratis (Levante and Quattroporte) and also some Ferraris. That engine puts out 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The result is a top speed of 177 mph and a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.6 seconds. Oh, and the combined fuel economy is 19 mpg. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only one available.

The Stelvio is underpinned by the Giorgio platform and, thus, shares many parts - including the carbon fiber driveshaft - with the Giulia. The same AlfaLink suspension is present as well, with double wishbones in the front and a multi-link architecture at the rear. The Stelvio features Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel-drive system which is normally rear drive but sends up to 50% of power to the front in low grip conditions. It weighs only 3,660 pounds, 300 less than the Velar.

Read our full review on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Final Thoughts

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition
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The Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition is an interesting proposition from Land Rover, but only a particular kind of clientele would want it. Why? Well, because it’s more exepensive than both a Macan Turbo and a Stelvio Quadrifoglio (which costs in excess of $80,000) and doesn’t offer better performance.

In fact, you could say that you’re just better off going for the slightly bigger Range Rover Sport SVR that’s offering a bigger cabin, more cargo space and slightly better performance for an almost tiny $3,000 premium. In my view, a Velar SVA (I won’t spell out the whole name again, sorry) buyer is the kind of person that looks for exclusivity when paying big bucks for a car.

The one-model-year-only thing will surely raise a few eyebrows and there are rich people out there that appreciate the understated styling and want to show up in something different than a Macan while the Quadrifoglio just doesn’t cut it when you jump inside and look around the interior in terms of quality and technology and then there’s the fact that Land Rover as a brand has a certain aura of ruggedness and luxury surrounding it that Alfa doesn’t.

  • Leave it
    • More expensive than both the Macan Turbo and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio
    • Hard to make a case for it and not just go for the Range Rover Sport SVR

Further reading

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

2018 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography.

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