Say goodbye to the supercharged V8.
The upcoming Range Rover Sport SVR has been spied doing laps of the Nurburgring, all but confirming that it will be powered by a BMW engine and not the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 used in its successor. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the Defender SVR is also expected to use the BMW twin-turbo S63 V8.
How do we know? The previous SVR had a very distinctive soundtrack, even at light throttle. It was a glorious blend of Gatling gun and polite supercharger noises; we'd go as far as saying that it was the only reason to buy an SVR, as the X5M of the same era was a better car in every other department. When it came to noise, the Range Rover SVR was in a class of one.
As you can hear in the video below, the SVR is still V8-powered, but if you've ever been near any M car that uses BMW's famous twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, the noise will be quite familiar.
It's a pity, but we doubt Jaguar Land Rover could extract more from the supercharged V8. Currently, it's only available in one model, namely the Defender. The chunky off-roader boasts the same 518-horsepower output as the second-generation SVR. In its most potent state, the 5.0 V8 still only produced 567 hp, which remains a significant amount, but also insignificant when viewed against the backdrop of the ongoing horsepower wars.
Even in its lower state of tune, BMW's twin-turbo V8 (N63) produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft, easily smashing the previous SVR's figures. The question is whether BMW will grant Land Rover access to the full-fat S63.
The deal between Land Rover and BMW works because both companies benefit. BMW makes money from an engine that has already paid its development cost many times over since it has been around in some form since 2008. Jaguar Land Rover saves money by buying an existing engine that meets all the necessary global legislation and can move those savings across to the department tasked with developing next-generation electric Jags.
But when it comes to the SVR, there is a conflict of interest. A new Range Rover SVR would be a direct rival to the recently facelifted BMW X5 M, now only available in Competition spec. If both cars run the same reliable German engine, why not go for the more interesting British car?
We're guessing that BMW M will supply Land Rover with the S63 V8 because the British brand poses no threat to its financial security. North America is one of the largest markets for Land Rover, and even so, it only sold 60,000 cars here last year. That's all models combined. Last year, with the X5 alone, BMW sold 82,000 units in the USA...
The SVR poses no threat to the X5M, at least not in the sales department. Whether Land Rover will build a better performance SUV using BMW's own parts remains to be seen.
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