Dubbed “the ultimate all-terrain Land Rover Discovery” by Land Rover, it’s hard to argue with that claim; a monster 386kW/625Nm supercharged 5.0-litre V8 petrol donk powers a Disco that features raised body height, significant suspension mods, beefy 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler rubber wrapped around forged-alloy wheels, integrated rear-mount electric winch, and front recovery points.
The good news for Oz-based Landy fanatics is this pumped-up Discovery will be available Down Under, albeit not until the third quarter of 2018. Still, it will be worth the wait – and that gives you time to save for what will undoubtedly be the most expensive Disco (pricing will be announced late 2017), as James Scrimshaw, Product Public Affairs Manager Jaguar Land Rover Australia, suggests.
“The SVX offers killer combination of unrivalled all-terrain capability with compelling design aesthetics,” Scrimshaw says. “It also sits at the pinnacle of the new Discovery family, building on the outstanding versatility offered by that vehicle. We have not finalised pricing but… this will be the ultimate all-terrain Discovery and will be priced accordingly.”
Expect local pricing in the next two to three months – and also expect this uber-Disco to sit above the current high-end TD6 HSE Luxury, which sets you back north of $117K.
A product of the brains trust behind Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the SVX will, Land Rover says, “sit alongside the acclaimed Range Rover SVR and Range Rover SVAutobiography, which are hallmarks for outstanding on-road performance and supreme luxury respectively”.
Luckily for us, SVO has opted to go down the off-road modification route for the SVX, and used the brand’s many years of experience modifying previous Discovery models for the famous Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge events. It will also be the first Land Rover model hand-assembled at SVO’s UK Technical Centre once production kicks off early next year.
The big differences between this Disco and the ‘regular’ model include a system called Hydraulic Active Roll Control (H-ARC), which has been designed to up wheel articulation for off-roading, while better controlling bodyroll on-road.
This combines with plenty of engineering work done to improve approach, breakover and departure angles – achieved through a combination of lifting the Disco’s monocoque body and air suspension set-up, which allowed fitment of those big 275/55R20 tyres.
To make enough room for those tyres and to enable improved articulation, revised knuckles and long-travel shocks were fitted.
On top of these mods, the SVX also cops active centre and rear locking diffs, along with a tweaked Terrain Response 2 off-road system and modified eight-speed auto. For the luddites among us, Land Rover has also fitted what they call a “Pistol Shifter” – a more traditional design gear shifter to “offer the driver optimum control of gear selection in off-road manoeuvres.”
If the raised suspension and big tyres don’t give away the fact the SVX is different, off-road-skewed styling cues, such as model-specific front and rear bumpers (with skid plates), bright orange recovery points, exclusive paint scheme and plenty of SVX logos dotted around the vehicle should.
Yep, it looks impressive, with the only question mark around just how suitable the big and undoubtedly thirsty V8 is for an off-road specific Discovery. Land Rover has some impressive diesel engines that it could have used – and modified, if need be to meet the SVO brand standards.
Another avenue to get your Disco up to SVX spec would be if Land Rover offered certain features, such as H-ARC and/or the suspension/body lift as an option, but that may be wishful thinking at this point.
“This feature has only been announced as part of the unique Discovery SVX specification, it is too early to say if it will make it into other Discovery models,” according to Scrimshaw.
A diesel engine powering this Discovery would make it a more viable off-road tourer, without a doubt. Still, it looks bloody impressive and we can only hope that some of its modifications do trickle down to the ‘regular’ diesel models in the near future.
For those with the dosh, you can register your interest at www.landrover.com.au. Hell, we might even register ourselves – any chance to get this thing dirty, we’ll take it.