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Published Date: 01/05/2016

Land Rover SVO badge

If you've ever experience a Land Rover vehicle, you'd be forgiven for wondering exactly how they can be improved.

A special branch of Jaguar Land Rover is tasked with exactly that challenge, creating some of the most incredible vehicles you can find on the UK's roads.

Special Vehicle Operations (or SVO) works out of both the Gaydon design centre and a specific technical centre at Ryton near Coventry, with 150 specialist technical and engineering staff on hand to enhance and refine Land Rover vehicles beyond the already stellar specifications.

The SVO team works to three targets. The first, dubbed 'ultimate luxury', can be seen expressed in the Range Rover SVAutobiography. This £150,000+ vehicle (depending on engine) offers the kind of opulence that you'd only usually associate with specific luxury car brands, packing in ultra-plush carpets, powered folding picnic tables, reclining rear seats with individual climate control and even leather-trimmed 'event seats' that allow you to sit on the split tailgate in no less comfort.

Alongside luxury, Land Rover is best known for off road capability and the second branch of SVO, 'ultimate off-roading', will be seen in future SVX-badged models. These are yet to be officially revealed, but like the other arms of SVO they will be hand built vehicles optimised for the harshest of conditions.

Most obvious is the SVR target, or 'ultimate performance'. The influence of SVR has already been seen in the Range Rover SVR, equipped with a 550PS (542hp) 5-litre, supercharged V8 that's capable of propelling it to 60mph in just 4.5s and on to 162mph. The performance focus includes Dynamic Response system with uprated air springs and variable dampers to keep the car flatter through corners, along with the throaty active sports exhaust.

While any Land Rover product is a class-leading example of the marriage of performance, luxury and off-road capability, an SVO Land Rover shows how a specific focus can create something even more special.

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