Harder than hell: Discovery SVX rolls out

Land Rover Discovery SVX is an extreme 518bhp off-roader

Land Rover Discovery SVX is an extreme 518bhp off-roader

To transform the Discovery from a machine that's primarily aimed at on-road performance to one that can cope with the toughest off-road situations SVO has concentrated mainly on the SVX's suspension and a model-first for the Discovery is Hydraulic Active Roll Control which endows the SVX with increased wheel articulation and reduces body roll.

It has Jag's 5.0 liter supercharged V8 with 517 horsepower (525 ps) and 461 lb-ft (625 nm) of torque.

The Discovery SVX has greater approach, departure and breakover angles - achieved by raising its lightweight aluminium monocoque body and four-corner air suspension system, employing long-travel dampers and revised knuckles, and fitting larger 815mm diameter 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres on forged aluminium alloy wheels.

The SVX, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show today, is billed as the ultimate all-terrain Land Rover Discovery.

We've taken a non-SVX Discovery across boulder fields, through rivers and over boggy heathland without bother on next-to-no off-road driving talent.

The looks have been beefed up too, adding different front and rear bumpers with protective skid plates, and various elements finished in Rush Orange, including the exposed metal recovery eyes and a rear-mounted electric winch. Land Rover insiders say the Discovery's semi-rugged reputation makes it an ideal candidate for the first SVX makeover - not least because earlier generations of the auto were used in the extreme Camel Trophy off-roading competitions in the nineties. Customers can register their interest now, but prices aren't set to be announced until next year.

The Discovery SVX is also equipped with active centre and electronic rear locking differentials and incorporates traction control to maximise grip on all surfaces. It's the first vehicle to wear an SVX badge, which denotes even more all-terrain capability than standard Land Rovers. The rotary controller for the transmission is replaced
by a new "Pistol Shifter" to allow more precise control of gears off road.

The Discovery also now includes a 12.3-inch digital instrument screen as standard on HSE and HSE Luxury models, and all cars get a 10.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with 4G wifi connectivity on SE models and above.

Land Rover has also introduced some changes to the standard Discovery range. Meanwhile, a new Cabin Air Ionisation system improves interior air quality.

The SVX version will be hand-built at the JLR SVO Technical Centre and although full performance data and pricing is still to be announced it can be expected to be well ahead of £65,000 price tag attached to the current range topper.

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