JLR's Special Vehicles Operation division has gifted the Velar with its ubiquitous supercharged V8 motor to create this, the new SVAutobiography. Along with its 550hp output, the first eight-cylinder and SVO-fettled Velar gets a raft of driveline and chassis upgrades to produce what will arguably be Land Rover's most sporting model yet.
Until the red-blooded Velar SVR arrives, probably sometime later this year, the SVAutobiography will also be quickest car of the line-up, hitting 62mph in 4.5 seconds. As part of its performance enhancing makeover, SVO has given it new forged 21-inch wheels that are said to be the same weight as the regular car's 20-inch ones, and recalibrated the all-wheel drive system with a new rear active locking diff, as well as a retuned eight-speed auto. Slowing down is also now handled by 395mm front and 396mm rear discs.
Land Rover's most road-biased model has also been given upgraded anti-roll bars, firmer air springs and retuned variable dampers to provide tighter body control. Although with this being an SVAutobiography and not the more focussed SVR, the drive modes can also be wound back to provide a more forgiving setup, enabling what Land Rover claims is "uncompromised composure, capability and refinement" on the road, despite all those new bits.
For those who can't identify the burble of an eight cylinder breathing through a bespoke exhaust system (one that's 7.1 kg lighter than standard), there are a few discreet aesthetic changes applied to the new car to signal its costlier SVAutobiography rank. These include knurled Range Rover bonnet letters, enlarged lower sections to the bumpers and more prominent tailpipe surrounds. Also, there's a new Satin Byron Blue paint shade and standard-fit Narvik Black roof.
Inside, this plushest Velar gets perforated and quilted Windsor leather that's unique to the variant, as well as 20-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats, which also feature a memory function as standard. Sporting changes to the cabin include a new steering wheel with aluminium flappy paddles, metal tread plates and an optional carbon fibre trim pack. The Velar's 12.3-inch interactive driver display gets an SVAutobiography startup screen, too.
How much for all of this V8 and leathery goodness? Well, it starts at £86,120, which is quite a lot. So much, in fact, that it places the Velar SVAutobiography well above the realms of the very top Porsche Macan, the £69k Turbo Performance, and makes it almost twice the price of the base Velar. But, as we know from other SVAutobiography models, this is far more than just a pepped-up SUV - it's Land Rover's ultimate expression of brutish power and soft-edged luxury. If you want that in Velar proportions, the newest SVAutobiography ought to be just the ticket.