JLR confirms extreme off-roader to be built in West Midlands

Land Rover Discovery SVX

Vehicle manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled its most extreme production off-roader ever – and it will be built in the West Midlands.

Debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the new Land Rover Discovery SVX is billed as the most adventurous member of the Discovery family.

The vehicle, which will be produced at JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations centre in Ryton, near Coventry, has increased ground clearance, a specially tuned terrain response system for hardcore off-road capability and is powered by JLR’s 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol powertrain, tuned to deliver 525PS peak power and 625Nm torque.

It will be available for customers in 2018.

In addition to the SVX, JLR is using the German show to debut its new Jaguar E-PACE compact performance SUV (set to be built at its new factory in Slovakia), the Jaguar XE Project 8, the most powerful Jaguar ever built with 600bhp for supercar performance; the Jaguar XJR575, the fastest-ever version of the flagship XJ saloon; the I-Pace electric racecar and the more practical Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

While the SVX will grab the headlines, Land Rover has also said the regular Discovery family will now have the option of a Wolverhampton-built 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine option to its S, SE, HSE and HSE Luxury models.

Jeremy Hicks, managing director, Jaguar Land Rover UK said: “The new Discovery SVX embodies the ultimate in adventure and capability of the Discovery family. Customers love the Discovery’s versatility and capability and we are delighted to offer UK customers even more choice with the addition of the Si4 300hp engine.”

John Edwards, managing director, Jaguar Land Rover SVO, said: “SVO designers and engineers are embedded within the Land Rover team and have unleashed another truly desirable and versatile vehicle in the Land Rover line-up.”

In a further effort to promote its electric vehicle capabilities, the company has announced that a racing version of its new Jaguar I-Pace, due for commercial launch next year, will compete in a pioneering single-make series – Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY – supporting the FIA Formula E world championship in 2018.

Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY

Dr Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The technology we are developing on the track allows us to deliver thrilling electric vehicles to our customers. The pace of change is exhilarating and we want to go above and beyond for our customers.”

The company has already said that from 2020 there will be an electric, plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid version of every model in its product range.

The company also said its August sales figures showed an encouraging customer response to its innovative product portfolio.

Retail sales in the calendar year to date were 401,565 (up 8% on 2016). This was led by the Jaguar F-Pace, with support from well-established models such as the flagship Range Rover (up 11%) and freshly launched models such as the long-wheelbase Jaguar XFL in China.

Sales in China continued their strong trend, up 28% year-on-year, while North America (up 13%) was also positive.

Sales in Europe and in the UK remained stable – up 1% and 4% respectively.

Revenue for the last quarter (April to June 2017) was £5.6bn, up £244m, with pre-tax profit reaching £595m, up from £399m in Q1 2016, including a £437m one-off credit relating to recent changes improving the sustainability of the company’s defined benefit pension plans. However, this was offset by the expected seasonality of sales in Q1 following a strong Q4 of 2016/17, plus the continuation of launch and growth costs.

In the 2017/18 financial year, JLR said it planned to invest more than £4bn in new products, innovative technologies, and increasing manufacturing capacity.

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