Updated Range Rover SV gets 615hp V8

Of course, we’re used by now to Land Rover’s preoccupation with model year updates. There are game consoles that have been subjected to fewer updates. And much like game consoles, the annual tweaks to existing cars tend to qualify as fairly minor; the preamble to news of the Range Rover’s 24MY alterations dealt with the introduction of an SV Bespoke commissioning service, meaning that anyone buying an Autobiography or SV can now look forward to curating their ‘truly unique vehicle’ via a seven-step creation process at the pictured ‘SV Bespoke Commissioning Suite’. Or online, if you’ve got better things to do. 

All very nice for Land Rover’s ‘most discerning clients’, but not nearly as interesting as the bullet point relegated to fifth place on the same press release: ‘V8 features mild hybrid technology for an improvement in efficiency, while Range Rover SV is now available with powerful new 615PS version’. Yes, that’s right – a stately, two-and-a-half-tonne Range Rover, will be invested with more power than Nissan thought it wise to install in the outgoing GT-R Nismo. Even in a world awash with absurdly thrusty SUVs, it does rather seem to take the biscuit. 

It is also notable that Land Rover has chosen to not make more of a fuss over an SV spec which (we’re fairly certain) ranks it as the most powerful Range Rover ever. Instead, it merely confirms that the twin-turbo V8 is now available with the ‘enhanced’ output, and only alludes to improved performance rather than detailing it – despite the prominent 85hp hike compared to the 530hp the SV launched with. Lest we forget, the earlier iteration of the same BMW-supplied 4.4-litre unit endowed the flagship Range Rover with a 4.6-second 0-62mph time – even with the same 553lb ft of torque available, the MY24 V8 ought to have shaved a few tenths off. 

Probably the manufacturer is keen not to draw attention away from the changes made to its plug-in hybrid lineup, and in fairness to it, there are sizeable gains here, too. Where previously you could get the Range Rover in P440e and P510e flavours, there will now be the new P460e and P550e, the change in numbers helpfully reflecting the rise in available horsepower. In both cases that is attributed to a new, beefier 160kW (or 218hp, in old money) electric motor, which ought to make the familiar 75-odd miles of pure-electric range a tad more convenient. 

In fact, Land Rover reckons it has shaved 5 seconds off the time it takes to get 62mph without troubling the engine, which is a noticeable improvement in anyone’s book. The motor is still connected to the same comparatively chunky 38.2kWh battery (which is why there’s not been a significant gain in zero-emission range) and said engine is still the really rather good 3.0-litre straight-six Ingenium. Employ the services of everything all together at full tilt, and – in the P550e, at least – Land Rover reckons you’ll break the 62mph tape in 5 seconds, half a second quicker than its predecessor, the P510e, managed. 

Obviously, you can’t have the V8 with an electric motor (though you can now have the electric motor with a long-wheelbase SV, should you wish) but, as the fifth-place bullet point mentions, it does now come with Mild Hybrid tech for the first time, which ought to make for smoother pull aways and marginally lower CO2 emissions. The rest of the hardware seemingly remains unchanged, although Land Rover says that Dynamic Response Pro – which debuted in the latest Range Rover Sport – is now available in the MY24 flagship, and apparently makes greater use of the existing active anti-roll system. 

There’s also something called Country Road Assist, which is basically an adaptive cruise for A roads that makes use of sat nav information and road signs to help assuage the pressure of having to slow down and then speed up again. The new Adaptive Off-Road Cruise Control does much the same thing, except, as the name suggests, when you set it going, you won’t need roads. 

If that all sounds right up your street, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the MY24 range should be available to order fairly swiftly (it’ll be joined at some point by the very first all-electric Range Rover, but we won’t hear about that till later in the year). No word ahead of time on what the new 615hp range-topper might cost, although you can rest assured that it will comfortably dwarf the current £103,720 entry-level starting figure. Alternatively, you could wait a little longer for the introduction of the new Range Rover Sport SV, a model that Land Rover has already prefaced as the ‘fastest, most dynamic and technologically advanced’ RRS ever. Does it go beyond 615hp to get there? We’ll find out soon enough…

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