CHICAGO—When you think of Land Rover, what comes to mind? For me, it’s two things: ancient off-roaders trekking about the African savannah in the nature documentaries of my youth, and modern, well-appointed luxury SUVs. Nearly 50 years later, Land Rover is trying to meld the two worlds with a large, two-door SUV that can drive through three feet of water. It’s the Range Rover SV Coupe, and it starts at $295,000. A limited edition—only 999 will be sold—the luxury SUV is intended to evoke the early days of Range Rover (think two-door Series I-III), but it comes with several ultra-luxurious twists.
We got our first glimpse of the SV Coupe at the last Geneva Auto Show, but when I found out there was one on display at a Land Rover dealership not far from my house—even with a price tag one digit too large for my tastes—my curiosity was piqued. I spent about a half-hour there being introduced to a pre-production SV Coupe in a look-but-don’t-touch encounter.
Under the hood is a 5.0L supercharged V8 that cranks 557hp and 516lb-ft of torque. With a max speed of 165mph (265kph), it can do 0-to-60 in five seconds flat (the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio does it in 3.6 seconds). You’ll sit about 0.3in (8mm) lower than a standard Range Rover, dropping an additional 0.6in (15mm) once you hit 65mph (104kph). The SV Coupe also features always-on AWD with a two-speed transfer box and active locking rear differential, just in case you want to see how well a $300,000 car does off-road.
The car I got close to is actually priced at $360,000, and after a couple of minutes examining it, the price tag is… understandable. Let’s start with the Range Rover badge on the front, which is trimmed in rose gold. (Yes, that’s actual gold, and that’s just the start.) The interior of the door is a sycamore-walnut veneer and the seats are covered in diamond-quilted, semi-aniline leather all sourced from a single, century-old tannery (presumably from cows that were lovingly killed). Other touches include things like an optional refrigerator in the center console and the designer’s signature backlit on the floorboard.
If that’s not enough opulence for you, there’s plenty on the exterior. In addition to the precious-metal badge, the SV Coupe comes with an optional two-toned paint for the doors and liftgate in either gloss or satin finish, creating a horseshoe effect. Speaking of the doors, they are massive, as one would expect from a two-door SUV. But no need to reach for the handle once you’re comfortably ensconced in the diamond-quilted leather seats—just press the power close button on the center console, and the doors will gently swing shut.
The SV Coupe also includes all of the in-car and driver-assist tech available from Land Rover, including a heads-up display, 23-speaker 3D sound system, 10-inch InControl touchscreen infotainment display, and a 12-inch HD instrument panel display.
There are more luxury touches in the SV Coupe than there are models in the Jaguar-Land Rover lineup; head over to the Land Rover USA website if you want the full sumptuous monty. If you have the means to contemplate the purchase of a Lamborghini Urus or Bentley Bentayga, but want something from a manufacturer with just a smidge more experience building SUVs, you should check out the Range Rover Coupe SV. At least with the two-toned paint job, other drivers won’t confuse it with a two-door Ford Flex.
The Range Rover SV Coupe comes in seven design packages and is now open for preorder, with vehicle delivery starting first quarter of 2019.
Listing image by Land Rover