Range Rover Sport SVRThe Range Rover Sport SVR, the first of Jaguar Land Rover’s new SVR high performance brand, has been launched ahead of the £93,450 SUV’s Pebble Beach unveiling.

The hot 550hp Range Rover – the most powerful Land Rover ever – has a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine that helps it to a raised electronically limited top speed of 162mph, and from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds.

Range Rover Sport SVR

Ensuring it has the noise to match, Land Rover has given the Range Rover Sport its first ever active exhaust. The two stage system boasts a “racecar-like soundtrack”, with an “increasingly urgent staccato sound as peak performance is unleashed”.

The chassis has been given a sporting makeover too, but without ruining its off-road ability; there’s 260mm wheel travel at the front and 272mm at the rear. It can wade through water 850mm deep and tow up to three tonnes.

There’s a truly monster set of 22-inch wheels available on the options list; the 295/40 Continental SportContact 5 tyres wrap 22-inch rims. The standard 21-inch wheels have an all-season tyre with enhanced all-terrain capability to exploit that high-spec chassis.

Range Rover Sport SVR

Speaking of visual impact, the Range Rover Sport SVR has plenty. The enhancements have been designed solely by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations department; it has a new front bumper, rear high-level spoiler, black diffuser and four exhaust tailpipes. There are new wheelarch extensions to accommodate those 22-inch wheels.

The air intakes in the front bumper are large, to direct airflow into a pair of charge air coolers. These reduce the temperature of pressurised air and ensure consistently high performance in all conditions. It’s all offered in a choice of seven colours, with the pictured Estoril Blue being reserved just for the Range Rover Sport SVR.

Oh, and the lower section of the deeper front bumper can be removed for off roading. Neat.

Range Rover Sport SVR

Inside, there are new sports seats front and rear; although the rear seats are designed for four, they can seats five – but as they’re all-new and now recline, the third row seats of regular Range Rover Sports have gone.

Refreshingly, turned aluminium trim is standard, although carbon figure is still available. There’s also a choice of four colours for the Windsor leather seats.

Range Rover Sport SVR

Land Rover has, however, slightly clarified its 8 minutes 14 seconds Nurburgring Nordchleife lap time; it now says this is “one of the fastest times ever recorded by an SUV”, instead of categorically being the fastest. It has now completed almost 1000 laps around there.

Why has Land Rover built the Range Rover Sport SVR?

John Edwards, Managing Director of Land Rover’s Special Operations, said: “The Range Rover Sport SVR is a natural progression beyond the core vehicle’s outstanding on- and off-road capabilities and leading-edge design. Its exhilarating performance will satisfy a particularly demanding customer set.

“A thorough range of revisions specially developed by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations combine to make this premium derivative even more distinctive both inside and out, as well as taking its dynamic capabilities to the next level without impacting on comfort, refinement or all-terrain versatility.

“The Range Rover Sport SVR is the world’s most capable performance SUV.”

Orders for the new Range Rover Sport SVR open in October; first deliveries are due in Q1 2015.