Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division has been set up to push the boundaries a little and now houses the manufacturing brand’s special Skunkworks department too. The SVO Technical Centre is based in Ryton in England near Coventry.
The most intriguing news to come out of SVO so far is that the branch seems set to embark on the task of producing a full-on extreme Range Rover; not so much a rumour as a strong hint as the information comes direct from the horse’s mouth; SVO boss John Edwards speaking to Auto Express recently.
The plan to give the Defender a big send-off with a limited edition extreme version is no big secret anymore, but an extreme off-road Range Rover is new and just might end up replacing this idea or better still, become an additional plan.
The SVO Technical Centre has so far been associated with luxury and high performance models, but moving into producing more extreme versions of Land Rover derivatives might be more sensible and logical than you first think.
In the recent past, the Range Rover especially has been associated with the school-run and being parked up in the Kings Road in Chelsea, so a timely reminder that the model is actually a pretty capable vehicle as it is will not go unnoticed.
Edwards told Auto Express that there are four different types of car that the division would like to get stuck in to: “on-road performance cars, all-terrain performance cars that we haven’t done so far, luxury derivatives and what we’re calling collector’s editions, like the (Jaguar F-Type) Project 7.”
One of the most intriguing things about the prospect of an extreme Range Rover would be how SVO handle the expected luxuriousness of the model in relation to the vehicle having more capability.
Edwards hints that the model could lose staples like the luxury leather seats in favour of more rugged and durable materials. One would imagine that there would be some serious thought placed on the right wheel choice as well.
This could prove to be the answer for all those Range Rover users tempted by an extreme terrain that are worried about the genuine capabilities of what they have in their garage – we’ve come to associate Land Rover with having two directions; one being the stripped down off-road capable workhorse vehicle and the other the luxury brand that we all want to in, be driving through a snowy seasonal landscape delivering presents to far flung relatives.
Expect further news in 2015 and watch this space.
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