A Range Rover is, by itself, a sign of wealth and achievement. Exclusivity on four wheels.
But with this year's redesign of the Range Rover, the decision was made to go beyond the exclusivity of the standard vehicle. Toward a more...um...exclusive exclusivity.
And thus we have the Range Rover SV. "SV" stands for Special Vehicle Operations. I know, that should be "SVO", but that was Ford's performance division, and most closely associated with a hot-rodded 1984-86 Mustang. No, SV is different.
Range Rover says SV "exists to amplify the core characteristics of our iconic vehicles" and that in the case of the Range Rover SV, it means "even more luxury and even more personalization." There are currently two available themes---Intrepid, a more aggressive, dark style...and Serenity, which focuses purely on luxury.
Our test vehicle was the Serenity. Under the hood is a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 making 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with noble plated gearshift paddles, connected to an all-wheel drive system with a twin-speed transfer box, and, being a Range Rover, is fully capable off-road, with selectable driving and off-road modes, hill launch assist, low traction launch and an electronic active differential. It also has air suspension, dynamic response and adaptive dynamics, because---well, serenity.
The Range Rover SV is a long-wheelbase model. And its standard equipment list is as long as the vehicle itself. Premium LED headlamps, soft close doors, special SV exterior accents, a sliding panoramic roof, rear privacy glass, semi-aniline leather seats, heated and cooled seats, four-zone climate control, a 13-inch touchscreen with a Meridian sound system, 13-inch monitors for rear seat entertainment and mohair floor mats with leather binding.
The base price? $208,000. But we're just getting started. Those 23-inch forged style wheels are $3,700. The SV Serenity exterior accents add $1,800, and the Corinthian Bronze contrast roof is another $1,500.
Our Range Rover SV Serenity also had the SV Signature Suite---taking ultimate advantage of the long wheelbase by removing the third row of seats and positioning the second row further back, allowing for limo-like legroom and a long, flowing center console with a touchscreen for music and climate functions, as well as cupholders and a folding table that stay hidden until needed. That alone is $19.740.
The pearl oyster carpet is $1,950, the SV deep pile carpet mats $1,350, the tailgate event suite with leather cushions another $1,200.
The SV Serenity caraway-colored near-aniline leather front seats are $3,300.
A tow hitch receiver ($750), advanced tow assist ($450), a heated windscreen ($350) and the "Handover Pack" (a box with two key rings) is $25.
With $1,475 destination and delivery, the as-tested price of the 2022 Range Rover SV LWB is (pretend you hear a drum roll)---$255,590. As in you hand someone a quarter million dollars and they tell you you're $5,590 short. Plus tax and license.
For those for whom the Range Rover SV was created, that won't be a deterrent. In Northern California alone, there are plenty of those people. And although I can't imagine ever having the means to own one, I'm glad they exist. Only a few years ago, this would have been a concept car only---or strictly a coach builder one-off, the type of thing a manufacturer wouldn't risk. Cars get better when the people who make them reach and dream.