Land Rover's record-breaking SUV is snubbing the French in favor of the US, but don't get too downhearted.
The car has set a record lap time around the Nurburgring circuit. Photo:AFP
The company's long teased and anticipated Range Rover Sport SVR had been due to make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. But on Monday Land Rover announced that the car is heading to Pebble Beach in Monterey, California first.
But before European SUV fans take the decision to heart, bear in mind that Land Rover has a lot riding on the success of this souped-up version of its already sporty premium off-roader and that its primary market is going to be North America, not Northern Europe.
The Range Rover Sport SVR is the first production car to be developed by the company's special operations division and its performance has been honed at the Nürburgring, where on Thursday it set a lap time of eight minutes and 14 seconds, making it the fastest SUV in history to complete a circuit of the 20.9km circuit.
And if it can set a time that fast while retaining the standard model's impressive off-roading abilities, it will be a very hard act to beat, whether the car has a Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Audi or Cadillac emblem on its hood.
When the car goes on sale in early 2015, buyers will get an SUV with a 5-liter V8 supercahrged engine, tuned to deliver 550PS (that's 40PS more than a standard Range Rover Sport) and a suspension and chassis set up that has been honed via exhaustive testing at the Nürburgring that culminated in the record lap time.
Land Rover will unveil the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Kick-Off Party, which gets under way on Thursday, August 14.