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Meet SVO's £149,000 Range Rover
Struggling to get your head around the numerous strands of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations? Then try and find room in your head for another. This is the Range Rover SV Autobiography.
‘Autobiography’ is a familiar name in Rangey world, traditionally the plushest iteration of a car that’s hardly working class in the first place.
With the SVO team wielding their CAD pens, though, the poshness has reached new levels.
Eyes will immediately be grabbed by the two-tone colour scheme, slightly cloyingly dubbed ‘Duo-tone’. It consists of a ‘Santorini Black’ upper body and then your choice of lower body hues, though equally you can stay traditional and just have the one colour all round.
Inside, it’s lovely materials abound, right down to the fiddly stuff like cupholders and socket covers. There are machined aluminium pedals and a leather-bound handbook.
There are three engine choices: a diesel-electric hybrid, a V8 turbodiesel and, most desirably, a 542bhp supercharged V8 petrol, a la Range Rover Sport SVR, albeit with more comfort-minded tuning for the Autobiography.
But then unlike the SVR, this is a Rangey that’s all about the back seats, where opulence is cranked right up to 12, especially in the optional long-wheelbase version. How do ‘powered deployable tables’ sound? And ‘deep twist pile mohair carpet’?
Making our eyebrows reach their highest peak, though, is an option lurking even further back. For years the split tailgate of a Range Rover has hosted many a foie gras and gravlax-quaffing session, and a fine job of posh person-perching it’s done too.
The SVO bods have seen room for improvement, though, crafting what they call ‘Event Seating’. No ordinary flip-up picnic seats, this pair of pews is skinned in Windsor leather and has hanging foot rests.
If you’re sold, then you’ll want to know the price. It’s big. £148,900 big, which is more than McLaren’s new supercar is expected to cost. But then you can’t gobble canapés atop its rear deck…