Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR at the Nürburgring

Nürburgring lap times, it should come as no surprise, have become the ultimate bragging rights for performance automakers. So much so, in fact, that the records have been categorized. The Porsche 956 has held the outright record at 6:11 since 1983, the Pagani Zonda R is the fastest production-based track car at 6:47, the Radical SR8 LM the fastest (albeit barely) street-legal vehicle at 6:48 and the Porsche 918 Spyder the fastest fully street-legal series production vehicle at 6:57. But beyond that, automakers have begun to stake their claims for individual vehicle types, like the Renaultsport Mégane 275 Trophy-R that set the record for the fastest front-drive hot hatch at 7:54.36 just last month. And now Land Rover has claimed the record for the fastest SUV ever to lap the Nordschleife.

The record-setting SUV, of course, is not a rough-and-tumble Defender or a stretched-out Range Rover L, but the brand's upcoming new performance flagship, the Range Rover Sport SVR. The vehicle was previewed recently at Goodwood where it showcased the might of JLR's ubiquitous 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in the same 542-horsepower spec as the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake we recently drove at the Nürburgring as well.

The Range Rover Sport SVR managed a hugely impressive lap time of 8 minutes 14 seconds, which puts it well ahead of the previous Range Rover Sport Supercharged that lapped the track in 8:55 back in 2009 and the Holden VF SS V Redline that claimed the record last year for the fastest utility vehicle at 8:19. Not bad for a vehicle with a 2.8-foot wading depth and a two-speed transfer case.

Of course with so many GT-Rs, Lambos and Porsche Turbos lapping the track, it couldn't claim the fastest AWD lap, but it is nearly three seconds faster than the Renaultsport Mégane R26.R that held the previous front-drive record before Renault and Seat started going at it earlier this year. And in the same spirit of competition, maybe we'll see Porsche bring its new Cayenne Turbo or Mercedes one of its AMG sport-utes to the Ring in an effort to take Land Rover's crown. After all, if we don't pay attention to this kind of irrelevant one-upmanship here in the blogosphere, who will? Scope out the footage and statement below, as well as the additional images we've uploaded to the gallery above.

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RANGE ROVER SPORT SVR: FASTEST PRODUCTION SUV AROUND NÜRBURGRING

- Range Rover Sport SVR: Fastest and most powerful production Land Rover ever laps legendary Nordschleife circuit in Germany in 8 minutes 14 seconds.
- Achieved without compromising the vehicle's class-leading all terrain capabilities or high levels of comfort.
- To see the Range Rover Sport SVR in action on the Nürburgring CLICK HERE

Whitley, UK, 30 July 2014 – The Range Rover Sport SVR has lapped the famous Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in Germany in 8 minutes 14 seconds, making it the fastest production SUV around the Nürburgring. The impressive feat was carried out by a Land Rover driver testing a standard production example of the potent new performance flagship.

The new SVR, which made its dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June returned to the Nürburgring this month to continue an exhaustive testing schedule. The Range Rover Sport SVR is powered by an uprated version of Land Rover's 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, which has been tuned to deliver 550PS – a 40PS increase over the existing V8 Supercharged derivative.

The handling characteristics of the SVR have been honed on the demanding Nürburgring Nordschleife because the undulating circuit's challenging layout represents the ultimate test for high performance vehicles.

Mike Cross, Chief Engineer Vehicle Integrity, said: "The Nürburgring is a benchmark for vehicle development and testing, and cars become stronger, more durable and faster over its 13 miles and 70-plus corners. We wanted to see whether an SUV could behave like a performance car in this challenging environment. The results are spectacular and the Range Rover Sport SVR has demonstrated outstanding on-road performance capabilities."

Development of the Range Rover Sport SVR has been carried out by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations team, with the aim of producing the most performance-focused Range Rover Sport ever. This has been achieved without compromising the vehicle's class-leading all terrain capabilities or high levels of comfort. The Range Rover Sport SVR features a twin-speed transfer case to provide a choice of high and low gear ratios and the same 850mm wading depth as other models in the Range Rover Sport line-up.

The Range Rover Sport SVR will arrive in Land Rover showrooms in 2015.