Select Page

Here's Why Jaguar-Land Rover Should Build More SVR Models – TopSpeed

by Nov 8, 2022Blog0 comments

JLR’s performance division, SVR, is impressive, but the automaker needs to come up with more models under it, and here’s why
There has always been something a bit alluring about fast Jaguar-Land Rover (JLR) Products. You know the drill, BMW has M, Mercedes-Benz has AMG, and so on. JLR, while a bit late to the game, has had some knock-out performance models of its own. Early on, special high-performance models were designated with an R badge. R models introduced Jaguar’s supercharged era. It wasn’t until the R-S badged cars that Jaguar really turned up the heat. Present-day high-performance JLR products are badged SVR coming from the SVO or “Special Vehicle Operations” department. This team is responsible for making any Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle more capable, faster, and overall more premium. It’s unclear what direction SVO will head toward, but we are excited nonetheless.
Related: Why the New Land Rover Defender Is Not For Modifying or Serious Off-Roading
Jaguar/Land Rover remains committed to the V-8 engine sourced from BMW. This is great news for those who crave the monstrous eight-cylinder models the companies have been making for quite some time. Out is the old 5.0-liter supercharged unit, and in comes BMWs' N63 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. In the new Range Rover, this engine makes 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. For Land Rover products, the new BMW engine makes sense as turbocharged engines tend not to shove all their power out instantly in the way supercharged engines do. A progressive, but strong build of power tends to suit larger vehicles especially when off-road driving comes into play. For some, the 5.0 supercharged will be missed in applications like the Jaguar F-Type R and SVR, or Range Rover SVR. These vehicles have become known for their savage exhaust note and instant shove of power. Perhaps there is a trend in the industry moving away from this type of product as Jaguar had to introduce all-wheel drive to the R and SVR F-Types so that customers could better handle the power. The company also toned down the exhaust note, and finally for the new P450 version, eliminated much of the engine’s pop and burbles. This new quieter, but equally powerful BMW V-8 may be the solution it is looking for to better suit its demographic’s needs. Yes, the fact that Land Rover has returned to a 4.4 V-8 after all these years and reunited with BMW is kind of a neat return to form.
Related: Jaguar F-Type Production Hits the End of The Road
JLR is no stranger to electrification. The I-Pace has been around since 2018 and Jaguar has been very involved with Formula E racing. Land Rover launched the new Defender as a mild hybrid vehicle combining a 48-volt electric motor with its new inline-six engine. This powerplant could provide a promising platform for a performance SVR-oriented variant by upping the boost within the gasoline engine and making updates to the electrified motor. It only makes sense that the two companies will utilize more hybrid and eventually all electric power in their vehicles. Since SVO and the SVR nameplate don’t have a long lineage dating back decades, the introduction of electrified SVR models may not be as ill-perceived by high-octane fueled enthusiasts as other famous go-fast cars like Mercedes-Benz receiving much pushback with the new four-cylinder electrified C63. An all-electric or hybrid SVR could be a great way to showcase JLR’s commitment to both the performance-minded buyer, and reducing the carbon footprint.
Related: 10 Reasons Why The BMW iX Should Be Your First Luxury EV
Although “R” designated Jaguars date back to the 1980s, the XKR and XJR models of the late 1990s brought subtle, almost sleeper style and performance to the regular models in a way the drivers had never seen from the company. These models, in particular, are important in arriving at the SVR vehicles we know and love today in that they ushered in the supercharged V-8 era. An S-Type R was later introduced, bringing the power to the quirky styling of the S-Type. Only slight exterior changes were made such as larger exhaust tips and a new set of wheels, maybe a mesh grille was seen here and there. A 400-horsepower supercharged 4.0 V-8 propelled R-model Jags forever changing the way of its performance future. R models live on as the current flagship of Jaguar is the F-Type R, matching the last SVR’s output of a whopping 575 horsepower from its 5.0 V-8.
Related: 2023 Range Rover Sport: Performance, Price, and Photos
The first R-S model appeared in 2008 with the XKR-S a 4.2-liter supercharged V-8 that's good for 420 horsepower. Back then, the R-S didn’t add any power to the car but was more focused on other attributes like brakes, suspension, and the removal of the top speed limiter. We saw a heavily reworked XKR-S and the introduction of the XFR-S both given a snarling 550 horsepower supercharged 5.0 V-8. These models appeared to be a transitionary phase between R and SVR, they paved the way for the newly organized SVO team to create even more power-packed vehicles. The F-Type, however, skipped the R-S name, and thus the F-Type SVR was born, a 200 MPH beast and arguably one of the most intense sports cars of its time to drive. SVO wasn’t just for Jaguar, though; the first iteration of the Range Rover Sport SVR was a showstopper as was the Range Rover SV Autobiography with its opulent amounts of power and luxury.
Related: Why the 2023 Range Rover Sport Is the Best Luxurious Off-Road SUV
SVR models show an internal enthusiasm for the brand and prove that JLR products can be capable, but more importantly exciting to drive. Many performance brands from competitors have diluted their performance offerings (including JLR to some extent). Although we never saw an SVR-badged XF, that could be a fantastic alternative to the BMW M5. The F-Type R and SVR models were huge hits within the enthusiast community. The F-Pace SVR remains one of the most interesting and arguably best-looking performance SUVs on the market. Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport SVR has been a knock-out, perfectly blending sports car speed with opulent luxury on the interior. Typically, companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz avoid making top-tier performance versions of their flagship models. You can only buy an M760i, there is no M7, likewise there is no S63-S. This is the perfect opportunity to build an XJ SVR. Long live Jaguar and long live the SVO department.