Even before the next-generation Land Rover Discovery hits the ground, Land Rover’s engineers have something special planned to sit as the flagship of the range.
The same Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team responsible for the fiendishly fast Jaguar F-Type SVR and Range Rover Sport SVR will be put to work to create the ultimate Disco, but this time speed isn’t a priority.
Instead, the top model will be known as the Discovery SVX, with the X denoting an uprated go-anywhere ability.
While the all-new Discovery is set to be unveiled before the end of this year, the SVX will appear 12 to 18 months later.
Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO division describes itself as taking a three-pronged approach to development of the brand’s vehicles, focussing on performance, luxury, and capability.
While the F-Type SRV delivers extreme performance, and the Land Rover SV Autobiography takes care of ultimate luxury, a rough-and-tumble version of Land Rover’s already impressively off-roadable range has yet to emerge.
The Discovery SVX, as well as offering the expected changes to suspension, underbody protection, and off-road hardware, is expected to offer a typically upmarket approach to off-road adventures, focusing on high-tech solutions.
In 2014 the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept offered a look at one such item, with the transparent bonnet feature that used a full-width heads-up display to offer driver’s a look at the area obscured by the vehicle’s front corners.
While the SVX may not provide a full-windscreen view, a range of additional cameras and obstacle detection are likely to be offered to increase off-road visibility. Remote Control Drive, allowing a user to navigate a tight course from outside the vehicle, could also potentially be added.
While a more capable Discovery SVX is likely to be the next SVO project, that’s not all that’s on the cards, with a replacement for the Land Rover Defender also likely to be offered in SVX specification.
With tough terrain markets like the Middle East, South Africa and parts of the USA in mind, a new Defender SVX is also likely to appear in Australia as a tougher cousin to 'school-run focussed' Discovery.
Exact launch timing for the next Discovery is likely to be fimed up later this year, LR will likely keep a tight lid on the SVX for the time being so as not to undermine the new model’s thunder at launch.
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