Land Rover cancels the 518-horsepower Discovery SVX

Hand-built SVO model was meant to launch SVX lineup

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Rocks in the road won't let up for Jaguar Land Rover. The carmaker just revealed the demise of the production version of the Land Rover Discovery SVX concept. The "production preview" show car took the stage at the Frankfurt Motor Show with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 pumping 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. That's 178 hp and 129 lb-ft more than you can get on the standard Discovery in the U.S. To keep all that power on uneven ground, Land Rover installed a lifted suspension with long-travel dampers, and 20-inch wheels on 275/55 Goodyear Wrangler A/T rubber with knobby tread.

The Discovery SVX would have returned a V8 to the Discovery lineup, an engine not seen since the 2013 LR4 (a Disco in all but name). More important, a production model would have commenced the Special Vehicle Operation division's SVX lineup for specialty off-roaders. The SVX badge hasn't been used since the 2008 Defender, six years before the birth of the SVO arm. For now, the SVO's go-fast SVR and luxury SVAutobiography trims, as well as continuation models, must suffice.

Land Rover told Motor Authority "the final decision was made months ago," which is likely when customers who'd placed orders were told. The carmaker told Autocar that there are no more plans to put the V8 into a Land Rover.

Car and Driver wonders if the V8 itself isn't the problem. Now that JLR's got its first Ingenium straight-six to market in the Range Rover Sport HST, the V8 might have too many gray whiskers to serve in a limited, highlight model. There have been persistent rumors about JLR borrowing BMW's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 for future models, too.

The SVX moniker is certain to reappear somewhere, eventually, once the terrain gets a little more friendly in Coventry. Remember, SVO canceled the Range Rover SVAutobiography Coupe last month, and lost studio director Wayne Burgess to Geely a week later. The Jaguar XE SVR was canned a year ago, and the V8-powered F-Pace SVR appears stuck in a public limbo. Not to mention JLR is losing money hand over fist and is desperately trying to reduce costs. Land Rover told Car and Driver, "We are investigating opportunities to bring Land Rover vehicles with enhanced all-terrain capability to market in the future." As far as SVX goes, the trim could pick up where it left off, with the 2021 Defender.

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