The new Sport SVR lapped the 20.8km Nordschleife circuit in 8 minutes and 14 seconds. The time puts the new flagship performance SUV in quick company, narrowly behind sports car such as the Alfa Romeo 4C (8:04) and Renault Megane RS265 (8:07.97), and ahead of Australia’s own Holden SS V Redline Ute (8:19.47).
Importantly, the SVR’s time also beats an unofficial 8:24 lap recorded by key German rival, the BMW X6 M.
The company says the record was set by a Land Rover driver in a standard production example of the powerful SVR variant.
The Sport SVR lays down the gauntlet for Bentley's forthcoming SUV, which is set to become the world's most powerful SUV when it launches in 2016, likely with the brand's twin-turbocharged W12 engine under its bonnet.
Revealed at last month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, the Range Rover Sport SVR is powered by Jaguar Land Rover’s most potent engine: a 404kW 5.0-litre supercharged V8 also found in the Jaguar XFR-S, XKR-S and F-Type R sports cars.
Development of the Range Rover Sport SVR is being carried out by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations team, which set out to create the most performance-oriented Range Rover Sport ever.
The company says the SVR’s handling characteristics are being honed on the demanding Nurburgring circuit as its undulating layout represents the ultimate test for high-performance vehicles.
“The Nurburgring is a benchmark for vehicle development and testing, and cars become stronger, more durable and faster over its 13 miles and 70-plus corners,” explained JLR chief engineer for vehicle integrity Mike Cross.
“We wanted to see whether an SUV could behave like a performance car in this challenging environment. The results are spectacular and the Range Rover Sport SVR has demonstrated outstanding on-road performance capabilities.”
The Range Rover Sport SVR will reach Australian shores around March 2015, when it will top the line-up that is currently headed by the $181,930 Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic.