REVIEW | Why this Range Rover Sport SVR is aptly named 'Stimela sa Sebusuku'

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• The Range Rover Sport SVR is one of the fastest SUVs in South Africa today.

• Jaguar Land Rover's custom division, SVO, has been tasked with creating 27 special edition RR Sport SVRs.

• This specific model is painted in a colour called 'Stimela sa Sebusuku'.

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If you've ever journeyed in a train before, you'll recall the 'cluck-cluck' as the iron wheels meet the railway, how the large chunk of metal soldiers on, and you being just a passenger cocooned in utmost comfort. And if you were travelling at night, you'd tell your friends that you'll be taking the "Stimela sa Sebusuku", which is isiZulu for 'Midnight Train'.

Land Rover South Africa recently launched 27 unique units of its Range Rover Sport SVR in the country, and our test unit is one of 20 painted in a colour called Stimela sa Sebusuku. Which, when you look at the SUV, makes sense, considering it's as black as night and as big as they come.

But this special, one-of-27 RR Sport SVR's is not just about brute force. It's a statement made by the automaker to highlight its ability to create bespoke vehicles for its customers.

Commemorating the train

In earlier years, South Africa was as desolate as they come, and citizens relied on public transport for travelling purposes. Among these were trains, which were, perhaps, the most popular mode of transport. And trains weren't just used to transport people from point A to B, but also goods, including assisting the all-important role that mines played - and still plays - in SA.

Built by Jaguar Land Rover's custom division, SVO (Special Vehicle Operations), the RR Sport SVR is imported from the UK following the South African arm's request for these 27 units to be built. But it is these 20 'Midnight Train' units that are especially special to Land Rover South Africa, considering that the railway line formed the backbone of the South African economy for so many years.

As such, the exterior is decked in a deep, metallic black that resembles that of a train. It emphasises the SUV's big, athletic nature, not mincing about what this vehicle's intent is.

Inside, the RR Sport SVR receives unique touches to set it apart. But, says Land Rover South Africa, these touches indicate what SVO can do and that customers can personalise their Jaguar Land Rover vehicles to their hearts' content.

The automaker's local arm said: "The interior has received bespoke SV treatment with a set of red anodised shift paddles and a unique colourways combination of Ebony and Pimento Windsor Leather in the seat upholstery. This vehicle showcases the near-endless colour spectrum available to customers as bespoke commissions."

The SVO option is available to owners of the Range Rover Sport SVR, Range Rover SV Autobiography Dynamic (SVAD), and Jaguar F-Pace SVR.

If you could customise a Range Rover Sport SVR, what would one of options be that you'd select? Email us with your decision or use the comment section below.

Range Rover Sport SVR
2021 Range Rover Sport SVR
Range Rover Sport SVR
2021 Range Rover Sport SVR
Range Rover Sport SVR
2021 Range Rover Sport SVR

Supercharged power

A train requires a lot of power, and the RR Sport SVR makes good on that promise. Under the bonnet hides a large-capacity 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine that produces 423kW and 700Nm of torque. The power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, allowing the 2310kg performance SUV to reach 100km/h from standstill in 4.5 seconds. And though top speed is rated at 283km/h, we refrained from exploring this brute's performance potential.

However, given the force and thrust that accompanies each jab of the throttle, we have little reason not to believe Land Rover's claim.

The Range Rover Sport SVR's drivetrain can be set to several preferences, including Eco and Dynamic. Eco alters the drivetrain to one of its meeker settings, allowing the SUV to sip as little fuel as possible. Well, 'a little' is a relative term, but managed to cover almost 500km on a full tank of fuel. For those interested: it would cost you around R1800 to fill up the RR Sport SVR's 104L fuel tank at R17.32/litre of fuel (April 2021, inland).

In Dynamic mode, the SUV unleashes all its fury and will astound with its impressive levels of performance. It launches off the line in empathic fashion and can easily breach 200km/h. Though heavy, it remains one of the loudest, fastest, and most imposing SUVs roaming South African roads.

2021 Range Rover Sport SVR

In summary

The Range Rover Sport SVR is bonkers. It's an SUV that, quite literally, defies the laws of physics, yet one can't help but be impressed by what it offers. Speaking justly, it should not be able to do what it does, which can be daunting to the driver who is yet to understand the intricate balance between speed and weight.

But more than that, this SUV is an ideal post child for what SVO can do. And local customers looking for something special need not look further than this.

All aboard!

Base price: R2 627 400

Range Rover Sport SVR
2021 Range Rover Sport SVR
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