Jaguar Land Rover to produce more hardcore SVX-badged off-roaders
21st Oct 2017 8:00 am
Following the launch of the Discovery SVX, designers on both sides of JLR want more rugged models.
Both Jaguar and Land Rover’s design bosses see the potential in more models from their respective global line-ups wearing SVX badges, signifying hardcore off-roading intent. The design bosses on both sides have agreed on this point after unveiling the Discovery SVX, made by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division, at the Frankfurt motor show.
Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern told our sister publication Autocar UK that the new badge would be appropriate for Discovery models and “arguably Defender” when that arrives later in the decade, but less so for a Range Rover.
Jaguar design director Ian Callum, who publically debuted the E-Pace SUV at the September show, has said the badge could be possible on a Jaguar too.
“We don’t talk a lot about the [off-road] ability of our cars because they’re road-biased,” he explained. “But they could have that capability as we have the tech in the group. I see the opportunity – if Land Rover can do SVR, we can do SVX.”
The hardcore Discovery SVX fills the gap in Land Rover’s range left by the now discontinued Defender, according to McGovern. The “ultimate capability machine will be Defender”, he said, but noted the Discovery is “equally capable”. He added: “This is doing that [job] until it arrives.”
McGovern revealed the plush premium execution of the Discovery SVX – what he described as “premium durability” – was a direction the Defender was likely to follow.
“We have to stop thinking about function in a durable way,” McGovern said. “When you’re buying into the brand, you’re buying a premium product.”
He highlighted that materials can be both premium and durable, such as the satin paint finish, and while the SVX badge had moved the Discovery in a more extreme direction, it had also made it more premium.
“It’s not cheap,” McGovern said. “There are sophisticated surfaces, the premium durability. You think of stripping down to basics [for extreme off-road vehicles] but I don’t think people want that anymore.”