The New Range Rover Sport SV Is the Fastest, Most Dynamic Model in the Marque’s History

The 2024 Range Rover Sport SV covers zero to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds on its way to 290 km/h.

By Lawrence Ulrich 21/02/2024

Land Rover just can’t help itself. Facing a pedigreed squad of SUV interlopers —think the UK’s own Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and Aston Martin — the original purveyor of posh British SUVs isn’t about to cede the high-dollar ground. Sprinkle in exotic Italian spice in the Ferrari Purosangue and Lamborghini Urus, and German beef such as the Porsche Cayenne, and the market message is unmistakable: SUVs top the wish list of even the most discriminating buyers, more than sports cars or even traditional sedans.

Enter Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport SV. This 626 hp gloss on the all-new Rover Sport becomes the fastest, most dynamic model in Land Rover’s mud-spattered history. The slant-roofed SV wasn’t only developed to climb tougher off-road obstacles than the competition, but also ascend to market heights as yet unexplored by the Rover Sport.

The 2024 Range Rover Sport SV.

This 2024 “Edition One” model starts from $360,800, and it tops $500,000 with optional carbon-ceramic brakes and dramatic carbon-fibre wheels—standing 23 inches tall—that, together, trim about 45 pounds of unsprung weight at each wheel. Yet the cost of the Sport SV remains less than that of a Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, or Aston Martin DBX707.

My drive along the western spine of Portugal begins at Vermelho, a 13-room boutique hotel designed by Christian Louboutin, who fell in love with the tiny village of Melides and bought a fisherman’s house on the nearby Alentejo coast. Any visitor would swear this villa had stood for centuries, and had been restored for maximal modern charm. In fact, the shoe magnate’s hotel is an entirely new, ground-up design. The Rover Sport SV engages in a similar trompe l’oeil effect, with a shapely form that alludes to a sturdy off-road history, but that largely masks the speed-centric mechanicals below. After a too-brief stay at Vermelho, my luggage-friendly Rover SV is spearing past the vineyards of the scrappy Alentejo wine region, and blurring the bark-regenerating cork oaks that provide stoppers for the world’s wine industry. Next stop, sun-soaked Algarve, the southernmost anchor of Portugal.

Where other 2024 Rover Sports get a turbocharged inline-six engine with hybrid assist, the SV adopts a 4.4-liter V-8, squeezed by twin turbochargers to 626 hp and 750 Nm of torque. That V-8 pairs smartly with an eight-speed, paddle-shifted automatic transmission. A selectable active-exhaust system underscores a philosophical change versus the previous Rover Sport SVR.

Rover engineers fondly recall that departed model and its supercharged V-8 as “a bit of a sledgehammer.” What I mainly remember (aside from middling handling by Cayenne standards) was that hammer’s effect on passengers’ eardrums. That SVR’s gratuitously rowdy exhaust note was like having the band Motorhead banging away in the back, including belching exhaust backfires at every throttle lift: A diverting experience for about 20 minutes, but soon tiresome in a Range Rover ostensibly aimed at refinement. En route to the Algarve, the Sport SV’s downsized V-8 still snarls when prodded, packs decisively more punch, yet never draws undue attention to itself.

“There’s a bit more finesse to the engineering, yet the bandwidth of the car has gone way up,” says Matt Becker, the former chassis maestro for Lotus and Aston Martin, who brought his talents to Land Rover a few years into the Sport SV’s five-year development.

The Sport SV storms to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, and keeps churning to 290 km/h. More importantly, it raises its dynamic game to roughly Cayenne or BMW X6M levels—if still shy of crossover SUVs such as Ferrari’s Purosangue or Aston’s DBX707 that weigh several hundred pounds less. That zero-to-100 km/h burst is more than two seconds faster than the Rover Sport’s 335 hp starter model, and a full second quicker than even the 542 hp Rover Sport PHEV P550e.

The interior of the 2024 Range Rover Sport SV.
The swank aesthetic, akin to that of a chic London hotel or lounge, defines the interior, where the Rover denudes the cabin of every possible hard switch.

Unleashed on Portugal’s rustic two-lane roads, the Rover is more engaging than a 5,532 kg SUV has any right to feel. Adjustable air springs lower the rakish body by 10 mm to 25 mm versus standard models. And the Rover can tackle serious off-road situations, aided by those height-cranking air springs, a Terrain Response system, and gadgets such as a camera-based wading-depth sensor. I sample all that on an all-terrain course that includes perching the Sport SV on a 29-degree side slope; and steeps that require the (easy) removal of a front aero splitter to avoid scraping the handsome chin.

Back on asphalt, the Rover’s newfound agility flows from another wellspring of tech. The SV steers faster than any Rover before, with a 13.5:1 ratio that’s 30 percent quicker than other Rover Sports. The brand’s first-ever hydraulic suspension links all four corners and their semi-active dampers. Those hydraulic connections eliminate any need for weighty anti-roll bars, and almost magically suppress body roll, pitch, and dive.

A standard rear-steering system can pivot rear wheels at up to 7.3 degrees to trim a turning circle at parking-lot speeds, or help the Rover rotate through fast corners. As speeds climb, rear wheels can turn in phase with fronts to boost stability. Staggered 23-inch tires include thicker 305 mm slabs in the rear to balance that fast-acting front and avoid twitchy reactions. A selectable SV mode biases power toward the rear, and optimises the throttle, transmission, steering, and rear-steer functions.

The 2024 Range Rover Sport SV.

Jamal Hameedi, director of SVO Operations, says the package proved its worth at Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit: On that benchmark vehicle-development gauntlet, the Sport SV can knock out eight gruelling laps before its tires are shot, versus just two laps for a standard Rover Sport.

After a rip along the Vicentine Coast, I admire this 2.5-ton rabbit at rest. Inside and out, the Sport SV advances the Reductive Design philosophy that Gerry McGovern, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief creative officer, has embraced. The SV adds tasteful jewellery to the Sport’s Botox-smooth skin, in a way that Coco Chanel might approve of. “Range Rover” script is rendered in carbon fibre at the front and rear. White ceramic “SV” roundels are finished by hand. A carbon-fibre hood caps the blunt prow, with enlarged apertures for induction and brake cooling. A reworked rear bumper and diffuser surround four exhaust outlets, wrapped like jumbo burritos with more carbon fibre.

A swank aesthetic, similar to that of a chic London hotel or lounge, defines the interior, where the Rover denudes the cabin of every possible hard switch. Incredibly, there are only two traditional switches, an engine start-stop button and a trunk release hidden near the driver’s knee; three if you count a matte black console shifter for the transmission. The rest springs to life via a 13.1-inch centre screen astride the dashboard, and a 13.7-inch driver’s display that dangles from an awning above. The displays are managed by Rover’s Pivi Pro 4 infotainment, including screen-based volume and temperature sliders that are awkward to operate in motion, especially over bumpy ground. That aside, Pivi Pro 4 finds Rover (finally) becoming fully conversant in modern touchscreen interfaces. Like an intriguing first date, there’s a getting-to-know-you period with the infotainment system, but nothing to make you run screaming to the exit.

A close-up of an optional carbon-fiber wheel available on the 2024 Range Rover Sport SV.
The optional carbon-fibre wheels—standing 23 inches tall—and carbon-ceramic brakes combine to trim about 45 pounds of unsprung weight at each wheel.

The cabin is fashionably draped in a choice of two-tone Windsor leathers; or animal-free textiles that recall technical fabrics favoured by Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, appropriate for the opera house or rugged outback. Another interior gizmo will spark debate. The “Body and Soul Seats” (or “BASS”) function activates four transducers in the front seats. They send energy pulses into front occupants’ torsos, synced to the melodious thrum of a 29-speaker Meridian audio system. Guided by an AI algorithm that analyses media in real time, those vibrations are limited to musical cues in roughly the 60-to-150 Hertz range. Think basses, kick drums, perhaps the odd oboe. System designers emphasise that this isn’t some newfangled version of a cheap subwoofer in a teenager’s Subaru.

“Anyone can make a bloaty, ‘thump-thump’ noise in a car,” says Duncan Smith, group leader for electronics and interior, citing 24,000 hours of system tuning. “The bit we’re really proud of is the fidelity. We wanted to stay true to the soundstage and what the artist intended. This is an extra immersion in music, an extra layer of communication.”

The interior of the 2024 Range Rover Sport SV.
The cabin can be fashionably draped in a choice of two-tone Windsor leathers or animal-free textiles.

Rover claims that BASS measurably boosts heart-rate variability and skin-contact sensitivity, which correlates to reduced anxiety or improved cognitive response. A series of six “Wellness Tracks,” developed with Coventry University’s National Transport Design Centre, are meant to alternatively soothe or engage occupants.

Cueing up Dave Brubeck’s jazz classic “Take Five” as I drive, the sinuous double bass of the late Eugene Wright pulses discreetly into my back. Higher notes strike higher up my spine, and lower notes ping around my kidneys, right in time with the music. The effect gains intensity during a trip through Daft Punk’s bass-heavy electronica. At first, I dismiss BASS as a gimmick, an update of the risible “Sensurround” that made theater seats quiver during 1974’s Earthquake disaster flick. But perhaps Rover is onto something, and other automakers will follow suit.

Sensations are definitely maximized when I pull into the Algarve International Circuit, better known as Portimão, for a lapping session. The Rover is no one’s idea of a track car. But this tailored brute proves surprisingly graceful on one of my favorite European layouts, where Lewis Hamilton posted a pair of Portuguese GP wins during Formula 1’s pandemic run. Even on all-season Michelin Pilot Sport tires, the Rover puts up 1.1 g’s of lateral grip. That rises to1.2 g’s on Michelin Pilot Sport S 5’s, a new summer tire the Sport SV will offer later this year. That’s a level of grip once exclusive to featherweight supercars, now yours in an off-road-capable Range Rover.

Driving the 2024 Range Rover Sport SV on track.
The Rover is no one’s idea of a track car, but this tailored brute proves surprisingly graceful during lap sessions at the Algarve International Circuit.

But what really gets me is the brakes, and not just the platter-size rotors that measure 440 mm up front. With traditional brakes, the calipers’ pistons are arranged radially. The bright idea here, hatched by Italy’s Brembo, was to arrange pistons in an “X” shape that concentrates braking forces closer to the centre, boosting efficiency. Engineers urged me to mash those brakes at will, insisting they are nearly impervious to fade and overheating. I wasn’t granted enough consecutive laps to test the theory. But where some “performance” SUVs lose stopping power after three or four hot laps, the Rover was braking impressively after six full-bore trips around Portimão.

The 2024 Range Rover Sport SV in Portugal.
The 2024 “Edition One” Range Rover Sport SV starts at $360,800.

Now, don’t shoot the messenger, but did I mention that you can’t buy a 2024 Range Rover Sport SV? Land Rover gave prospective owners an inside track, allowing them to see and spec the cars in places like Pebble Beach and Dubai. There will be a 2025 model, though Rover is officially mum on production numbers and timing. It’s the new game in luxury, strangling supply, juicing demand, or justifying big showroom markups on the basis of exclusivity. The latest player just happens to be the raciest of Rovers.

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The Boldest, Most Exciting New Timepieces From Watches & Wonders 2024

Here are the highlights from the world’s biggest watch releases of the year.

By Allen Farmelo, Carol Besler, Paige Reddinger, Oren Hartov, Victoria Gomelsky, Cait Bazemore, Nick Scott, Justin Fenner 10/04/2024

Watches & Wonders, the world’s largest watch show, is in full swing in Geneva. The highly anticipated cascade of new releases is marked by confident individual brand identities — perhaps a sign that watchmakers are done scrambling through the violent collision of restricted supply and soaring demand for high end watches. All seem to be back on solid footing.

Steady confidence is a good thing. Consider Jaeger-LeCoultre offering up traditionally styled grand complications or Vacheron Constantin revamping the classic Patrimony with smaller cases and vintage-inspired radially brushed dials. Consider TAG Heuer celebrating the 55th anniversary of the square Monaco with a skeletonized flyback confidently priced at US$183,000, or Moser similarly showing off a fascinating skeletonized tourbillon in its distinctive 40 mm Streamliner at US$86,900. IWC has leaned hard into their traditionally styled Portugieser line, including an astounding Eternal Calendar complication. We find the storied French houses of Cartier, Chanel and Hermes blurring the lines between jewelry and watchmaking with the technical prowess and artistic whimsy that originally earned these brands their exalted place in the hearts and minds of sophisticated aesthetes. Confidence abounds in 2024.

We could go on and on with examples, but the watches below will demonstrate that for 2024 the big watch brands dared to be themselves, which appears to have given them the confidence to take some seriously compelling horological risks. We have separate coverage of off-show releases and, of course, Patek and Rolex, so keep and eye out for those.

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A Gucci Garden Blooms in Sydney

On a rainy Sydney night, the drinks talent from Maybe Sammy mixed with guest bartenders from Giardino 25 in Florence, for a night of liquid magic.

By Belinda Aucott-christie 13/04/2024

Since hanging out its shingle in 2022, Giardino 25, the all-day café and bar located in Gucci’s palatial, multidisciplinary space in Florence, has been a boon to stylish tipplers. Taking inspiration from one of its previous tenants (a longstanding florist), the garden-themed joint (Giardino is the Italian word for garden) serves delicious aperitivi and dangerously addictive cocktails.

 

Umbrian native Martina Bonci is in hair-to-brogue Gucci for her artful bartending session at El Primo Sanchez. 
Aurora cocktai at Giardino 25, Florence.

Giardino 25 took bloom this past Tuesday at a pop-up at El Primo Sanchez in Paddington. The Maybe Cocktail Festival in Sydney is a series of 20 events scattered throughout the city curated by the award-winning Sammy’s Cocktails team. The festival aims to spur knowledge-sharing and foster excellence in Australia’s drinks scene.

“Last year we held 16 events and they were all packed,” says Stefano Catino, director of hospitality at Public, the management company behind Maybe Sammy venues and bottled drinks, “so this year we’ve curated extra events and flown out even more international bars and bartenders.”

“Nineteen of the 21 events are free to attend, which is very important to us,” he continues. “The cost of living is high, and it’s very expensive for Australians to travel overseas, so this festival allows people to drink cocktails from an amazing bar in Rome or try a Tommy’s Margarita from the gentleman who created it without the cost of a plane ticket.”

Dressed head to toe in Gucci,  and using the bar as her personal catwalk, Giardino 25’s special guest, Martina Bonci, looked every bit the star behind the bar. “We have brought our mix of classic Italian influences and innovation,” she told Robb Report, “so guests in Australia get a little slice of what we do in Florence.”

Among her tantalising pours were powerful dirty martinis decorated with shimmering gold leaf and Aurora, a transparent twist on the Negroni.

Reflecting on her whirlwind trip down under, Bonci said their visit to Bondi Beach and the cocktails at Maybe Sammy were the highlights.

“The bartenders at Maybe Sammy are world-class,” she explained. “There is a good reason they win awards and have a respected reputation overseas. And El Primo Sanchez has such a fun atmosphere—we had a great night.”

Martina Bonci, Bar Manager at Gucci Giardino 25, has been honored twice as ‘Best Bartender in Italy’ by both the Bargiornale and Blue Blazer Awards. 

Bonci, who came to prominence in a long string at Milanese hipster joint Gesto and is known for her use of agave, favors drinks dripping with seasonal fruits and citrus flavors. Having tried her creations, we do, too.

She made a serious impression on Sydneysiders, who would do well to make a pilgrimage to see her in action on home turf. As if any of us need another reason to visit Italy.

The Maybe Cocktail Festival, continues this weekend in Sydney, with the public welcome to attend a Bartenders Brunch at Sydney’s Alpha on Sunday from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm, hosted by George Calombaris. 

View the program: Maybe Cocktail Festival @maybe_cocktail_fetsival

All images courtesy of Gucci.

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Patek Philippe Brings Back Collector Favourites at Watches & Wonders 2024

Both the Nautilus Chronograph and Aquanaut Travel Time receive a welcome return.

By Josh Bozin 10/04/2024

If you’re a watch fan, there’s every reason to believe that a Patek Philippe Nautilus, Patek Philippe Aquanaut—or both—would be high on your wish list. Both collections are of historical significance, helping pave the way for the influence of the steel sports watch category—and subsequent chokehold on the market today.

So, when Patek Philippe unveiled its newest releases at Watches & Wonders in Geneva, it was a pleasant surprise to see the return of two of the best past iterations of the Nautilus and Aquanaut collections.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph

First, we get a new Nautilus Chronograph, with the return of the revered 5980, now replete with a new case in white gold and a denim-like strap (a contentious issue among watch pundits). Discontinuing all Nautilus 5980 models earlier this year, including the collector-favourite 5980/1AR in Rose Gold, left a sombre feeling among Nautilus fanatics. These celebrated chronographs, renowned for their distinctive porthole-inspired design and air of sporty elegance, are some of the most sought-after watches in the Patek Philippe catalogue. Thus, the revival of the 5980, now in white gold, is a cause for collectors’ celebration.

The new offering retains its chronograph function with mono-counter tracking 60-minute and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock on the dial, but now comes on a new denim-inspired, hand-stitched fabric strap with a Nautilus fold-over clasp in white gold—some will love it, some won’t.

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe

The Calibre CH 28‑520 C/522 powers this new Nautilus with its flyback chronograph, all of which is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The dial is also incredibly eye-catching, with a beautiful opaline blue-gray hue accentuated by white gold-applied hour markers with a white luminescent coating. It is priced at approximately $112,000.

Also returning to the fold is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time, now with its own bluish hue dial—similar to its Nautilus counterpart. After discontinuing the Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A this year, as well—a watch often regarded as the greatest Aquanaut to date—Patek Philippe surprised all with the new 5164G in white gold. Its greatest attribution is the clever Travel Time GMT function, which clearly rivals the Rolex GMT-Master II as perhaps the travel-friendly watch of choice (if acquiring one was that simple, of course).

For those who prefer the Aquanaut’s sportiness and easy-wearing rubber strap, this newest iteration, with its Opaline Blue-gray dial and matching rubber strap with a deployant clasp, is undoubtedly an icon in the making. The new 5164G has a 40mm case and features the Calibre 26‑330 S C FUS movement, which can also be viewed via the transparent sapphire crystal caseback.

Expect to pick up the new Aquanaut Travel Time for around $95,250.  

Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time

 

Follow @robbreportau for all your Watches & Wonders coverage, and more!

 

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Rolex Kicks Off Watches & Wonders 2024 with a New GMT-Master II

The new stainless steel GMT-Master II has already been dubbed the “Bruce Wayne”.

By Josh Bozin 09/04/2024

It may not be the GMT that watch pundits were speculating on—or that collectors were hoping for—but the new Rolex GMT-Master II with a new grey and black ceramic bezel adds dazzle to the revered Rolex collection, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary.

The idea of a new Rolex GMT launching at the world’s biggest watch fair is cause for a little madness. While the watch community eagerly awaited what was thought to be the discontinuation of the highly sought-after GMT “Pepsi” and the return of the GMT “Coke,” the luxury Swiss watchmaker had other plans.

Instead, we’re presented with a piece that, on paper, hasn’t changed much from previous GMT releases. That’s not to say that this isn’t an impressive release that will speak to consumers—the new GMT-Master II ref.126710GRNR, dubbed the “Bruce Wayne,” is definitely a sight for sore eyes.

Rolex
Rolex

This new GMT retains the same dimensions and movement as the other watches in the GMT collection, along with its 40mm size case and the option to fit either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. The obvious changes, albeit subtle, come in the way of its mostly monochrome return; a fact that will appease traditionalists. If you’re opposed to the attention-drawing “Pepsi”, “Sprite”, or “Batman” iterations, this model is a stealthier pick—much like pseudonymous Bruce Wayne.

The other noticeable change is the “GMT-Master II” now applied in green text and a 24-hour hand in green; perhaps a nod to the 2007 Basel World GMT release.

Like many Rolex timepieces, this will generate great hype and attention, so don’t expect allocations to come easily.

Rolex
Rolex

Model: GMT-Master II
Reference Number: 126710GRNR

Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Colour: Black
Lume: Chromalight on hands and hour markers
Water Resistance: 100m
Bracelet: Oyster or Jubilee

Movement: Caliber 3285
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Winding: Automatic

Price: $17,150 (Oyster); $17,500 (Jubilee)
Availability: Now. Non-limited edition

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Moments in Time

Silversea’s Kimberley adventures transport passengers into a different dimension.

By Vince Jackson 09/04/2024

Whoever refuted the theory of time-travel has clearly never set foot in the Kimberley, a geological relic where craggy landscapes forged hundreds of millions of years ago remain untouched, and dinosaur footprints are still etched into the ochre terrain. And while traversing one of the planet’s last great wildernesses in a 4X4 holds rugged appeal, a more refined way to explore the Western Australian outback is by cruise liner. 

Enter the Silver Cloud, one of Silversea’s most luxurious vessels, available for 10- or 17-day expeditions. Upon arrival via private executive transfer, expect a level of intimacy that’s often conspicuous on other cruise experiences. With a maximum of just 200 guests, attended to by 212 staff, the Silver Cloud can lay claim to the greatest passenger-to-crew ratios operating in the Kimberley. Twenty-four-hour butler service is standard for every suite, along with ocean views—no matter if you plump for a modest 22 m² Vista Suite or supersize to a 217 m² Grand Suite.

Yet bigger is not necessarily better on water; the ship itself is compact enough to manoeuvre into isolated coves and waterways that larger vessels—or, indeed, four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers—are unable access. Each sunrise brings the promise of an unforgettable adventure, whether hopping on a Zodiac at Koolama Bay to witness the cascading thunder of the 80-m-high, twin King George Falls, or embarking at Swift Bay to scramble over rocky standstone and view the disparate rock-art forms on display at the sacred Wandjina art galleries—some reckoned to be up to 12,000 years old.

Another example of the Kimberley’s ability to propel you back through time.

Prices from $15,500 pp (10 days) and $23,900 pp (17 days); June 9-19, and August 8-25 or August 25- September 11 respectively; silversea.com

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