Two-door SUV? Range Rover serve luxury SV Coupe throwback
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You have to pay a premium if you want style over practicality - and that's definitely the case if you're buying the latest Range Rover.
Called the SV Coupe, it harks back to the 1970s original Range Rover by adopting a two-door design that ultimately makes it a less perfect family wagon.
But despite this, the limited run of 999 models will be sold for at least £240,000 (NZ$458,000) - that's £60,000 more than the most expensive model they currently offer and three times the price of a standard Range Rover.
It might seem like a steep fee to pay for what is ultimately a less usable Range Rover, but there is a reason for the near quarter of a million pound price tag.
Each of the 999 being created will be hand built by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division in Ryton, Coventry, and will use the lavish-spec Range Rover SVAutobiography as a starting point.
Half a decade in the making, it was one of the original projects conceived by the customising department of JLR, but the complexity of removing the two rear doors seems to have pegged the project back somewhat.
But now is a better time than any for the British marque to stamp its authority on the luxury SUV sector it has dominated for years.
With Bentley's Bentayga proving quite the hit, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini planning to sell SUVs in the coming months and even a Ferrari 4x4 in the pipeline, Land Rover doesn't want to lose pace against the competition, or its appeal to well-heeled customers with money to burn.
This is the most expensive Range Rover ever produced, and it's also the fastest.
Keeping the same 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine used in the SVAutobiography, SVO's brainiacs have tweaked the motor to produce 558bhp and 700Nm or pulling power.
That means this two-tonne school runner can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 5.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 265km/h. Even Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatchbacks will be left in its wake.
Apart from the obvious lack of doors, even keen-eyed Range Rover fans might be shocked to know that just two body panels from the five-door model have been carried over to the SV Coupe - and they're the tailgate and the bonnet.
Another tell-tale sign this isn't any normal Range Rover is the 23-inch wheels - the biggest ever offered on the 4x4 in its history.
The SV Coupe also get a lowered, sportier, ride height and a roof that slopes down towards the back, similar to the Evoque Coupe and Range Rover Velar, which again is likely to limit practicality with less head room for taller rear-seat passengers.
Those sitting in the back might have less space but they do get treated to contrasting seat colours to those up front - another bold move to make the SV Coupe seem different enough to warrant the premium Land Rover is calling for.
And keeping with the same theme, the SV Coupe also gets split-screen 10-inch displays on the dashboard - the same as those first featured in the Velar.
The new model goes on sale at the end of 2018, some 50 years after the Range Rover first hit the scene.
Gerry McGovern, chief design officer at Land Rover, said: 'The Range Rover SV Coupé is a celebration of the Range Rover bloodline.
'With a dramatic two-door silhouette, this breath-taking four seat coupé alludes to its unique heritage whilst being thoroughly modern and contemporary.
'Beautifully realised, superbly engineered, the Range Rover SV Coupé delivers the most distinguished, luxurious and exclusive Range Rover ever built.'
The SV Coupe was shown for the first time on Tuesday at the 88th edition of the Geneva Motor Show.
Just about every aspect of the new Rangie is open to customisation too, allowing the SVO department to mould the vehicle to the buyer's desire, at a cost, of course.
It means very few of the 999 limited models will actually leave the Warwickshire facility priced as low as £240,000. That's quite a lot of money when a standard Range Rover is £80,000 - and you don't have to squirm to get in the back.
- Daily Mail