In the video at the bottom of this page, Jaguar Land Rover's chief vehicle engineer Mike Cross poses one simple question: "Could a Range Rover behave like a performance car at the circuit they call the Green Hell?"

 Range Rover Sport SVR

Admittedly, the question is a bit like asking whether Blenheim Palace could behave like Usain Bolt at the 100-metre, but the stats speak for themselves: The Range Rover Sport SVR ran the 13-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife in 8min 14sec – the fastest lap for a production sport-utility vehicle, no less.

For a big, fat, posh Range Rover, that's really quite indecently fast. It’s faster than an old Porsche Cayman S, faster than the Lexus IS-F, faster than an old BMW M3, Jaguar XKR and many, many other performance machines. It's also – if you believe in a single standardised measurement (which there isn't, really) – just one second off a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

This speed is made possible thanks to the top-spec version of JLR’s rather lovely 5-litre supercharged V8. In the SVR, it produces 542 horsepower – the same as the Jaguar F-Type Coupe R – and, we assume, the same 502 pound-feet of torque.

Land Rover tell us they've not only made it fast, but pointy, too, honing the handling characteristics of the SVR at the ‘Ring, "because the undulating circuit's challenging layout represents the ultimate test for high performance vehicles".

The results, we're told, are ‘spectacular', though LR assures us the SVR hasn't compromised its all-terrain ability or comfort, and it features the same 850mm wading depth as other RR Sports.

We'll have some more news on it in a couple of weeks, before it hits showrooms next year. Tell us, is this the kind of car you want to see Land Rover building? 

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