With the Discovery SVX, Land Rover proved that not only the Defender is worthy of the full-on off-road treatment. Presented at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and hiding 5.0 liters of supercharged V8 under its hood, the SVX also happens to be the most powerful Land Rover currently available. And guess what? The company won’t stop here, and Jaguar is apparently also interested.
But first, a quick history lesson. The year was 2008 when Land Rover celebrated its 60th anniversary with the limited-edition Defender SVX. Though rare, you might have seen the massively capable four-by-four vehicle in the James Bond movie Spectre. But although the Defender SVX was engineered for adventure, it made do with an unbecoming 2.4-liter inline-4 turbo diesel.
For the next-generation Defender, Land Rover confirmed that the SVX badge would make a return, without going into the technical details of the upcoming model. Speaking to Autocar, design head Gerry McGovern also said that the Discovery Sport would also be a hit in SVX specification. On the flip side, the official suggested that the Range Rover lineup will not get the SVX treatment.
The second flip side comes from Jaguar’s design director. According to Ian Callum, “we don’t talk a lot about the [off-road] ability of our cars because they’re road-biased. But they could have that capability as we have the tech in the group. I see the opportunity – if Land Rover can do SVR, we can do SVX.” That being said, the F-Pace SVR could soon welcome the F-Pace SVX.
Land Rover enthusiasts might not be happy to hear that the 2019 Defender won’t be the utilitarian machine its predecessor was, a scenario confirmed by McGovern. “We have to stop thinking about function in a durable way. When you’re buying into the brand, you’re buying a premium product.”
And especially when it comes to the SVX badge, all the sophisticated trim and leather and everything adds up to the price of a vehicle. The Discovery SVX, for example, is assembled by hand and it’s expected to cost at least £80,000.
Returning to the 2019 Land Rover Defender, the all-new model is expected to go into production at a plant in Slovakia. A sister factory to Land Rover’s Solihull facility in the United Kingdom, the plant in Nitra is confirmed to handle the production of two different aluminum-bodied SUVs. One of them is the Discovery, and the other is rumored to be the all-new Defender.