With the SVAutobiography, which will debut at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, the company is reasserting itself as the maker of the world's most luxurious SUV.
The competition at the exclusive end of the market is about to step up a gear -- SUVs from Bentley and Rolls-Royce are both on their way, but for the moment, Land Rover has the segment to itself. So, with its latest luxury Range Rover -- the most exclusive and comfort-focused in the marque's history -- the company has done the sensible thing: redefine the benchmark.
Available in standard and long wheelbase forms and, for the first time ever, a 550PS supercharged V8 engine, the differences between the SVAutobiography and a standard mode are clear from the start. It boasts a two-tone exterior paint scheme as standard, features a unique front grille design, and even the lettering style on the badges is specific to the model.
However, it's what's inside that will be of the most importance to potential owners and if any of them already have a Rolls or a Bentley in the garage, the Range Rover's cabin will make them feel right at home. For example, the pedals and most of the switchgear has been machined from solid aluminum.
In the rear, it's a sea of leather and plush mohair carpeting. The passenger seats recline and now even the tables are motorized -- press a button and they deploy. Between the rear seats is a bottle chiller and the rear pillars now have integrated, milled aluminum coat hooks. Land Rover has even reconsidered its arm rests so that they're easier to use, more comfortable and echo the machined aluminum theme that permeates the cabin.
The Range Rover is hugely popular as a point-to-point vehicle and owners have for years taken advantage of its split tailgate as somewhere to sit, off the ground, to admire the view and eat an impromptu picnic. And even here, Land Rover has done all it can to elevate the practice into something bordering on exclusivity with something it calls ‘Event Seating'. Handmade from Windsor Leather and supported by an aluminum frame, two seats with hanging footrests can be attached to the tailgate for even more comfort and packed away into a special bag when not in use.
Of the new car, revealed in images on Monday ahead of its physical debut in New York, John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said: "Range Rover originally defined the luxury SUV segment and the new SVAutobiography, developed by Special Vehicle Operations, takes Range Rover to another level of comfort, craftsmanship and refinement."