THE ORIGINAL Range Rover was designed to be a comfortable workhorse car for famers who didn’t want their family to suffer the discomfort of a Land Rover Series II or III. But the latest Range Rover SVAutobiography is a £150,000 status symbol for oil barons and oligarchs alike – and probably won’t be putting a foot near a freshly ploughed field.
Priced from £148,900 – Land Rover will be only too happy to lighten the wallet of buyers who wish to spend more still on personalizing their car – the SVAutobiography is twice the price of a regular Range Rover.
What makes it so special? Well, how about the option of an extra pair of “jump seats” that attach to the boot’s lowered tailgate and are said to be perfect for a day at the races, where they afford a superior view and mean there’s no need for sitting on a damp picnic rug?
Or perhaps its appeal lies in the two-tone paintwork, a finish exclusive to owners of the SVAutobiography that marks their car out from the Range Rover rabble? Then again, maybe drivers are drawn to its engine – the most powerful available in the Land Rover family.
It is available with a 5-litre, supercharged V8 petrol that develops 542bhp, the same engine that powers the Range Rover Sport, the fastest Land Rover yet. Drivers who don’t feel completely profligate can choose to order their SVAutobiography with a hybrid V6 diesel-electric powertrain (from £159,600), or a V8 diesel engine (from £156,000), both being exclusively in long wheelbase guise only. The long wheelbase V8 supercharged model costs £164,600.
Most likely, it’s all this and the fact that the interior is said to be as posh as a Range Rover gets, which means very posh indeed. It is available in regular and long wheelbase form, and comes with a drinks chiller compartment for back seat passengers and tables that power up into position.
The new model is made by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division. Expect to see the luxurious SVAutobiography at events throughout “the season” after it goes on sale in the summer.