The boss of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division (SVO) has confirmed that it’s not just high-performance, luxury and small-production run models like the Project 7 in his product plan – more extreme off-road models are on the way, too. Our exclusive image shows how an off-road focused Range Rover SVO could look.
“There are four different types of cars we want to do at SVO,” John Edwards explained. “There are 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 Project 7.
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“On-road performance is fairly easy; you just think about ‘M’ and ‘AMG’ and think how can we apply the same thinking. All-terrain is slightly different; clearly much more appropriate for Land Rover than Jaguar. Land Rover has that all-terrain capability built into all its products, but we need to give customers the permission to use it.”
Edwards told us every Land Rover has outstanding off-road performance, but it’s about making that performance “useable” and the cars “abusable rather than too precious”.
He gave a series of examples to show what he means by a range of more overtly off-road models: “For example, the material for the seats; it’s leather versus a material that’s very durable and very hi-tech. It’s about ground clearance, it’s about wheel and tyre combinations, it’s about underbody protection, because actually the capability of the cars is class-leading anyway in most cases.”
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Edwards stopped short of confirming exactly which models would be first to receive a rugged makeover, claiming that the idea was still being debated internally, but he hinted that the Range Rover family is near the top of his list. “It’s clearly going to be more obvious on a Defender than a Range Rover, but in a funny way there’s more of an opportunity on a Range Rover," he said.
“When we did the G4 Challenge five or six years ago, there was a strong but niche demand for a G4 Challenge Range Rover. We never thought there would be, but there was. A car that has the roof rack, lights, tyres and underbody protection. There really are people who want to use the car for what it’s designed for.”
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