For starters, you know it’s fancy right off the bat because its name contains 34 letters. Most important, however, is the “SV”. We’ve seen Land Rover, we’ve seen Range Rover, and in the past few years, we’ve seen the “Autobiography” moniker applied to the top-shelf, ultra-luxurious models. That’s the case here, too, but the SV name—derived from Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO (Special Vehicles Operations) division—imparts a spicy undertone to the Autobiography’s otherwise sandalwood-smooth scent with a not-so-genteel application of power and handling.
The Autobiography’s Life Story, Told BiographicallyFor an extra whiff of, well, speed, Land Rover has bestowed upon the SVAutobiography the very same 550-hp 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 used in the high-performance Range Rover Sport SVR. The previous ne plus ultra Range Rover, the long-wheelbase Autobiography Black, made do with a 510-hp version of the same engine. We’d say an extra 40 horsepower and 41 lb-ft of torque (the SV has 502 lb-ft!) would be a useful upgrade on its own, but Land Rover didn’t stop there. The long-wheelbase-only SV also inherits a new exhaust system with “a subtly enriched engine note,” Brembo front brake calipers, and a new front grille featuring a Graphite Atlas (gray) finish and polished chrome garnishes.
According to Land Rover’s figures, the SVAutobiography takes the same 5.5 seconds to reach 60 mph as a LWB Range Rover Autobiography, but we’re thinking that’s conservative considering the extra power. (A short-wheelbase Range Rover we tested with the 510-hp V-8 ran to 60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds.) Top speed, on the other hand, remains 140 mph.
Buy a Monocle—It’ll Help with the DetailingOther than the added go, Land Rover also gives SVAutobiography buyers a selection of unique color options, including a slick two-tone treatment combining a Santorini Black upper body with one of nine lower-body color choices. Equipped as such, the SVAutobiography takes on a strong, Rolls-Royce-ish aesthetic; you don’t need us to tell you it looks classy as all get-out. Inside, occupants are treated to all the same luxuries found in the non-SV Range Rover Autobiography, including rear-seat entertainment screens; 20-way power front seats; a 1700-watt, 29-speaker Meridian sound system; four-zone climate control; power-adjustable rear seats; a suede-cloth headliner; adaptive cruise control; and more.
And then there are the finer points. There is knurled, milled-aluminum detailing on the pedals, armrest adjusters, and rotary shift knob. Making the action of turning off the engine stop-start fuel-saving feature that much more pleasurable, Land Rover has given the surround containing that button the same gorgeous aluminum treatment. The rear seat features power-deployable tables, as well as a beverage cooler, deep-pile mohair mats, and solid aluminum coat hooks. An optional aluminum sliding load floor brings the cargo area to you, essentially, and can be outfitted in a choice of wood veneers, while the driver clutches an exclusive knurled-finish SVAutobiography key fob.
Put simply, the SVAutobiography’s interior is a sight to behold, and we’re inclined to side with Land Rover’s not-at-all hyperbolic statement that its new range-topper is “the most luxurious and powerful series-production Range Rover in the model’s successful 45-year history.” Even so, the SV actually represents something of a bargain. At around N50 million, it settles comfortably into the same territory as a well-optioned Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and it’s only a few thousand Million Naira dearer than the Range Rover Autobiography Black it replaces as Land Rover’s flagship. Heck, a Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls-Royce Ghost—those two brands’ “starter” sedans—cost more. If a Range Rover that mixes big power with comfort and convenience features you didn’t even know existed is what you seek, look no further. There may be no reason to wait for a Rolls-Royce SUV.
For now, personally I think this is the pinnacle of luxury SUVs in Naija, or what do you think?
More photos after the cut....