Extreme 518bhp Land Rover Discovery SVX shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show

This is the Land Rover Discovery SVX, the first 'extreme off-road' vehicle from the company's Special Vehicle Operations division and, potentially, the first Discovery to top the 100K price mark.

SVX is designed to sit alongside the high-performance SVR and luxury-oriented SVAutobiography editions. Land Rover insiders say the Discovery's semi-rugged reputation makes it an ideal candidate for the first SVX makeover -not least because earlier generations of the car were used in the extreme Camel Trophy off-roading competitions in the nineties.

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The Discovery SVX gets a retuned version of Jaguar Land Rover's 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, producing 518bhp and 625Nm of torque, and mated to a reprogrammed version of the JLR's ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

The biggest gains in off-roading ability are likely to come from the chassis modifications, however. The car gets an active anti-roll bar set-up, called Hydraulic Active Roll Control (H-ARC); this is designed to improve wheel articulation to maximise traction on poor surfaces, although Land Rover also claims that it will reduce body roll in normal conditions too.

The Discovery SVX also features improved approach, departure and breakover angles, thanks to raised ride height, long-travel dampers and new suspension knuckles. The car also gets 815mm-diameter, 275/55 R20 Goodyear Wrangler tyres; these feature a more open tread pattern to help cut through mud and find grip. An active centre and electronic rear locking differentials complete the chassis tweaks.

The main change in the SVX's cabin is the use of a conventional gear shifter instead of the Discovery's usual rotary controller -although there are also bespoke seats that feature 'X' motifs in the stitching.

The exterior treatment has a subtle nod to the Camel Trophy vehicles, with a roof-mounted light pod that would provide greater illumination on and off remote, unlit roads. There are also bespoke front and rear bumpers, with skidplates, along with a unique satin-grey paint finish, exposed recovery eyes that can each cope with a weight of six tonnes, and a black finish on the side vents, front grille and roof rails.

The Discovery SVX will be hand-built at SVO's technical centre in Coventry -and production is scheduled to start in the first half of 2018. Land Rover is taking registrations of interest now, even though the firm has yet to announce a price. Well-placed sources say the SVX will be pitched some way above even the GBP 70,000 First Edition Discovery models -and that could mean that the car has a figure close to the† GBP 100,000 mark.

The Discovery SVX will make its public debut at the Frankfurt Show -where Land Rover is also unveiling a series of tweaks to the model's wider range, including a more configurable 12.3-in digital instrument panel, a 4G WiFi hotspot, a head-up display and an air ioniser.

Land Rover UK is also to introduce a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol Discovery to British customers. The Ingenium-powered model will have 296bhp and 400Nm of torque, and its CO2 emissions should start at 222g/km.


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