Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography: hot rod V8 Velar is here at last

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division has shoehorned a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 with 550hp into the sleek, stylish, World Car Design of the Year-winning Velar. Because of course they have. Welcome to the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography – here to fill that SV Coupe-shaped hole in your life.

Looks to kill

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

If it comes from SVO, then you can normally tell it a mile off. The V8 Velar is no exception. ‘Optimised aerodynamics’ translates into air-gorging inlets to feed the V8 and cool the upgraded brakes. They work together with quad exhaust outlets as big as their bark to mark the SVA out as something altogether more aggressive. The ‘beautiful’ Range Rover just got sinister.

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

There is a whiff of sophistication, mind. The Range Rover lettering on the bonnet and tailgate is now knurled like the dials in a Bentley.

This ‘Dynamic Edition’ is the only Velar available in Satin Byron Blue – a bespoke Special Vehicle Operations colour from the Premium Palette.

V8 supercharged muscle

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

The star of the show in the SVAutobiography is the engine. There isn’t a car that engine features in where it isn’t the star of the show. With its 550hp and 502lb ft, the Velar SVA will dispatch 62 mph in a supercar-baiting 4.5 seconds before going on to a top speed of 170mph. No doubt all of the above performance rides a bloodcurdling bow wave of V8 ruckus from the lighter variable exhaust.

Stopping power

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

There should never be go, without stop. The 550hp 170mph Velar has the anchors to keep those monstrous numbers in check. Up-rated high-performance brakes hide beneath 21-inch forged wheels. The discs are 395mm at the front and 396mm at the rear. The red brake callers have four pistons at the front. You can get 22-inch diamond-turned wheels as an option if you want a bit more bling for your buck.

Enhanced dynamics

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

Putting all that performance to ground is the advanced intelligent driveline dynamics system, which can put as much as 100 percent of the Velar SVA’s power to the rear wheels if the situation calls for it. Continually variable dampers work with firmer air springs and an upgraded anti-roll system to keep the supercharged Velar on the flat and level.

First class cabin

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

It is a Range Rover, after all, so the cabin has to be second to none. As well as a 550hp supercharged V8, your Velar SVA will come with quilted, perforated and twin-stitched leather. Unique also to the SVA is a sports steering wheel and yes, the metal knurling continues on the inside with the infotainment dials and rotary shifter. All the other luxuries you’d expect of a top-end Range Rover are present – 20-way adjustable massaging heated and cooled seats included.

Hot rod baby Rangie

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

All in all, the Velar SVAutobiography has the air of a skunkworks special about it. It seems almost naughty that you can now get the middle-sized Range Rover with 550hp of supercharged V8 muscle. It now has the performance to match those sleek and sporty looks, now upgraded themselves in SVA trim.

It rather begs the question… if you can get in an SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition Velar for £86,120, why would you pay out near-on £100,000 for an SVR Range Rover Sport? The performance is almost identical and in spite of the Sport’s recent facelift, the Velar retains that next-generation feel to it.

Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography V8

What is worth remembering is that the Jaguar F-Pace SVR also now exists. It’s got that same incredible engine, will get to 62mph 0.2 seconds quicker and top out at 174mph… all for £10,000 less. Still, the heart wants what the heart wants. We quite want this new hot rod Rangie…

Land Rover kills the Range Rover SV Coupe

Range Rover SV Coupe dead

The most expensive version of the ‘best 4x4xfar’ is now to be the least-made 4x4xfar, as the £240,000 Range Rover SV Coupe hits the chopping block.

Today, Land Rover confirmed the news, saying “the Range Rover SV Coupe will not proceed into production”. Although there was allegedly plenty of demand for this most decadent of Range Rover variants, not a single car has been built and delivered to a customer.

Land Rover insists that demand was healthy for the 999 cars that were to be made. While sales are reportedly nothing to do with the cancellation, Land Rover has declined to disclose exactly how many were spoken for.

Range Rover SV Coupe dead

In reality, the SV Coupe, like the C-X75 hypercar of five years ago, is likely a victim of JLR cost-cutting and belt-tightening. The ‘big cat’ was cancelled too, in favour of a focus on volume and profit margins rather than these more expensive (to develop and buy) models.

At present, JLR is gearing up for a £2.5billion saving over the next year and a half. As well as cancelled fancy models, as many as 4,500 redundancies are expected to contribute to the savings.

You’d imagine the big Rangie to cost much less development-wise than something like the C-X75. You’d be wrong, given that all but two of the body pieces are changed over the standard car. The bonnet and the bottom of the tailgate, if you were wondering.

Pushing the boundaries

Range Rover SV Coupe dead

That doesn’t mean it’s the end for JLR Special Vehicle Operations. Many more cars are said to be in the pipeline.

“Our Special Vehicle Operations division is continuing to develop exciting cars that push the boundaries of luxury, performance and capability… we have many more new models in development,” said a spokesperson.

We wonder whether they will be quite as gratuitous as the two-door Rangie. We hate to say it, but…

Happy birthday, Land Rover Discovery: 30th Anniversary Edition revealed

Land Rover Discovery 30th Anniversary Edition

Land Rover has unveiled a 30th Anniversary Edition of the Discovery to celebrate three decades of its capable family 4×4.

There will be 400 examples of the Anniversary Edition, based on the Sd6 SE and available exclusively in the UK. It will feature a full-length panoramic glass roof, Meridian sound system and 22-inch wheels.

Anniversary Editions will be available to order in Corris Grey, Loire Blue, Indus Silver or Santorini Black, priced at £59,995.

“We have added extra value for our customers with the 30th Anniversary Edition, making what is regarded as the ‘Best Large SUV’ on sale today, even better,” said Rawdon Glover, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover UK.

“The Discovery family represents the pinnacle of versatility, and we are proud to celebrate that lineage. Discovery has evolved in its 30-year history to consistently bring technology, capability and relevance to the ever-changing motoring community.”

Land Rover Discovery 30th Anniversary Edition

The Discovery, now in its fifth generation, is a cornerstone model for Land Rover. After the rugged original Land Rover and the (what became) luxurious Range Rover, the Disco served to bridge the gap.

And bridge it has, for the better part of 30 years, and over the course of more than 1.7 million sales.

Read more:

Royal Range Rover for sale Auto Trader

You could own Prince Philip’s Royal Range Rover

A Royal Range Rover is up for grabs on Auto Trader, having had the Queen, Prince Philip and even the Obamas ride aboard

Land Rover Defender

New 2020 Land Rover Defender spied in testing

Land Rover Defender

It’s the return of an icon. The next generation Land Rover Defender has been spotted – in heavy camouflage – testing on public roads. Three years after the original model was discontinued, we finally get some clues to how the next Defender may look.

In recent years,  the Defender never flew out of showrooms like the Evoque, Freelander or even Discovery. Then again, it has become something of a hipster fashion accessory.

In terms of brand identity, though, the Defender is Land Rover. The lack of one in the current line-up is only tolerated, we suspect, because it’s common knowledge that a successor is on the way. Land Rover began by simply building the Land Rover. It was both model and marque, and the 2020 Defender is the direct descendant of that first machine. 

What do we know about the new Defender?

In terms of aesthetics, it’s as you’d expect. We don’t need to whip the camo off to deduce that the new car maintains the boxy silhouette of the originals, with some 21st-century LR styling tropes and modern garnish for good measure. Short overhangs, blistered wheelarches and thick tyre sidewalls are already good signs to us.

It’ll be somewhat different on the inside, however – rugged and functional, but identifiably a Land Rover for the modern age. 

From the spy shots, we can deduce the new car will have a more sophisticated suspension set-up. Blasphemy to the LR faithful, perhaps, but you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll deliver the off-road goods unlike anything else. We can also expect a range of wheelbases and body styles, just like the old model. Pick-ups, three-doors, four-doors – the lot.

Engine-wise, there won’t be any surprises to anyone familiar with JLR’s current lineup. A stellar range of 2.0-litre petrols and diesels will doubtless make their way beneath the bonnet. Don’t rule out hybridisation or even full electrification, either.

Land Rover says…

LR itself hasn’t offered any comment on the photos, but it’s made no secret of its determination to write a worthy new chapter in the 70-year-long story of the original Land Rover.

“Jaguar Land Rover runs a wide range of engineering and technology development programmes” said a Land Rover spokesperson.

“We are unable to comment on the specific nature of these programmes. However, we can confirm that the Defender programme is progressing well and has reached an exciting stage of its development.”

What is exciting is that new Defenders should be on customers’ driveways by 2020. We imagine a reveal deep into next year is on the cards.

“We can confirm that customers around the world will be taking delivery of and enjoying Defender again from 2020,” said a spokesman.

Land Rover Defender

Read more:

JLR classic infotainment

Back to the future: classic Jaguars and Land Rovers get touchscreen tech

JLR classic infotainment

Jaguar Land Rover has announced a range of retro-styled infotainment systems for its classic models, following the lead of Porsche. It brings sat-nav and digital music to cars that were designed long before such technology existed. 

Jump in an E-type or Land Rover with the new infotainment fitted and you’ll be hard pressed to spot it straight away. Unless, of course, you’ve just been in an identical car without it. Needless to say, it’s not a simple case of plonking a Tesla-style tablet where the beautiful dashboard of a classic Jag used to be.

What is it and what do you get?

JLR classic infotainment

Nestled cleverly in existing dead space on the dashboard, the 3.5-inch high-definition touchscreen is minimally invasive, with analogue – and vintage-style – control knobs either side. It features DAB, FM and AM radio, plus Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav and smartphone integration.

The system costs £1,200 and is available now. As for fitment, the JLR Classic Works in Warwickshire is the obvious go-to. However, if that’s a bit too far, selected retailers will be trained to fit it.

Is it wrong to fit modern tech to classic cars?

JLR classic infotainment

Much like an old country cottage, the rustic heart-over-head appeal of classic cars is often too much to ignore. When you get inside, though, the lack of modern accoutrements can turn the rose-tinted dream into a bit of a nightmare.

That’s not to say that you’d slather your lovely rustic property in solar panels (so to speak).The integration of modernity should be subtle and tasteful, and there’s an inherent appeal in clever, sympathetic installations. This JLR system is just that.

Purity and true-to-period presentation are all well and good when bragging in the pub. When it comes to one’s own usage, though, most would be hard pressed to turn down a few modern luxuries. We wouldn’t say no.

Read more:

Land Rover Discovery offset plate

New Discovery rear end ‘transformed’ by a £1,200 number plate kit

Land Rover Discovery offset plate

It’s fair to say that the offset rear plate on the new Land Rover Discovery hasn’t won universal acclaim. Unlike the tailgate, opinions are split. But if you fancy a new Disco, but can’t look beyond the rear plate, an East Midlands firm has the answer.

For the not insignificant price of £1,200, East Midlands Customising will carry out a rear number plate conversion that “loses that horrible looking rear end”. Not our words, Lynn, but the words of the person in charge of the firm’s Facebook page.

This isn’t the first time an aftermarket company has had a go at fixing the Discovery’s wonky plate. Last year, German tuning company Startech unveiled a solution it calls ‘Discovery of Symmetry’. The price for this ‘perfect symmetry’: 809 euros, or £727 at the current exchange rate.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, the East Midlands approach has attracted 187 ‘likes’, 114 comments and 120 shares, suggesting that Land Rover might need to consider an in-house refresh of its own.

Slim, fast

New Discovery

Design director Gerry McGovern might disagree. In 2017, he told Auto Express: “You know what part of the problem is with that offset plate? It depends on what number plate you put on it. And it was designed for a slimmer number plate.

“What we’re seeing is, and we’re going to rectify it, is a lot of our dealers are putting deeper number plates on the cars. And that compounds the problem. You get a load of yellow with the blue stripe at the side and it doesn’t quite fit.”

Land Rover claims that the asymmetric plate recess “provides a visual link to Discoverys of the past”, going on to suggest that the single-piece tailgate is “the ultimate 21st Century solution for modern families.”

What’s the betting that the Land Rover Discovery will emerge from a future mid-life facelift with the number plate moved to the centre? For the tuning companies and modifiers who make a living out of fixing Land Rover’s ‘problem’, it’s best left on the, er… left, where it adds character.


Kahn Chelsea Truck Co. World Cup Edition

World Cup Defender special: it’s all kicking off

Kahn Chelsea Truck Co. World Cup Edition

What better way to celebrate the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup that with a £70,000 custom Land Rover Defender? That’s the view of vehicle modifier Chelsea Truck Company, part of Kahn Design.

It’s hard to argue with the description that the World Cup Edition sets itself apart from ‘virtually anything on the road’, with the Honey Mustard paintwork certainly not subtle. It makes the recent Kahn Vengeance Green Superhero look almost subtle.

The eye-searing colour is applied to Chelsea Wide Track bodywork, with the stretched wheel arches the most obvious feature.

Stainless steel mesh fills vents in the bonnet, there’s a custom X-Lander front grille, and a new bumper with integrated lights. The headlights themselves are replaced with shadow chrome units, and it is also impossible to ignore the gloss black 20-inch Mondial alloy wheel.

Inside the usually spartan Defender interior, almost everything has been covered with leather. That includes the sports seats, the instrument binacle, and the central glove box. A Kahn Design steering wheel made from billet aluminium is not the biggest trinket, as that prize goes to the Churchill Time Clock.

Beneath all the exterior adornments and interior details, the World Cup Edition is powered by the same 2.2-litre TDCI diesel engine as found in a regular Defender. Adding all the additional bits doesn’t come cheap, with the lucky buyer needing £69,995 to take home the World Cup edition.

Kahn Design founder and CEO Afzal Khan also has plans to try to encourage members of England’s football team to give it their all at the World Cup.

Should England lift the trophy, Mr Kahn has promised to gift midfielder Eric Dier the number plate ‘NO 4’, said to be valued at £500,000. Defender Danny Rose would also have a choice of number plates, said to reward him for his openness about his battles with depression.

England play their first game of the 2018 World Cup against Tunisia on Monday 18th June. That might give us some indication as to whether the promise of number plates helps England score.

Jaguar E-Pace

Jaguar Land Rover launches car subscription service

Jaguar E-PaceJaguar Land Rover has launched a car subscription service aimed at high-mileage drivers. The new venture is called Carpe and is available in the UK now.

Prices for the all-inclusive, unlimited-motoring packages start from £910 (excluding VAT) per month for a standard Jaguar E-Pace (pictured above). A Range Rover Sport HSE is the priciest car on the scheme, at £2,200 a month, again ex. VAT.

The package runs for 12 months and users don’t need to put down a deposit. JLR says it’s being aimed specifically at high-mileage UK drivers who are busy and spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

Turning over the cars each year will help keep mileages in check (despite the scheme coming with no mileage restrictions), and also ensure users don’t get bored driving the same car year after year. Cars don’t have to be off the shelf, either – they can be individually specified.

Included in the subscription deal is servicing, maintenance, insurance, roadside assistance and delivery.

InMotion Ventures is running the Carpe subscription service for JLR. Its MD Sebastien Peck said: “We know there is an appetite for unlimited motoring packages and demand is growing rapidly for subscription services that better meet individual needs.”

He said Carpe is perfect for those who like premium cars, but not the inflexible contracts that come with them. “We aim to give our customers as much flexibility, freedom and choice as we can.”

Want to find out more? Check out If it’s a success, adds JLR, it might consider expanding its tailored subscription packages further.   

Land Rover Discovery

Land Rover Discovery production moving from Britain to Slovakia

Land Rover DiscoveryIn a surprise move, Land Rover is to end production of the Discovery SUV in Britain and switch it to Slovakia instead.

The move, which currently isn’t public, is being reported by multiple outlets, who quote sources as warning there may be job losses at the Solihull plant near Birmingham as a result. Around 10,000 people currently work there.

The Discovery will move to Slovakia in early 2019.

It’s reported the firm will concentrate the Solihull plant on a new generation of Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models instead – and the factory will also be equipped to build a new generation of electric cars. Steve McCabe, Birmingham City University business expert, told the BBC this was a “silver lining”.

Jaguar Land Rover’s only current all-electric car, the Jaguar I-Pace, is built under contract by Magna Steyr in Austria. 

“But at the same time, we can talk about the statistics and the numbers of jobs lost, but for many families this news will be truly devastating,” said McCabe to BBC News.

“The decision to move the Land Rover Discovery to Slovakia and the potential losses of some agency employed staff in the U.K. is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally,” JLR said in a statement, reports Automotive News.

Land Rover launched the current all-new Discovery in 2017.