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Geneva 2018: Gerry McGovern on the Range Rover SV Coupé

06 March 2018 | by Nick Hull

Launched as part of Land Rover’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the Range Rover SV Coupé pays homage to the original Range Rover. The dramatic two-door silhouette alludes to the original vehicle, launched as a two-door in 1970.  We caught head of design Gerry McGovern just before Geneva Show for a few quick thoughts on this latest concept from his studio

CDN: What is the aim of the SV Coupé? 

McGovern: “With SV in general the aim is to offer customers more choice. We’ve seen in the marketplace where other people have taken our products and they’ve changed them, taken 90 per cent of our intellect and changed them, invariably made them less appealing, and charged a premium for it. The reason they’ve got away with it is because we haven’t done it so far. It has frustrated me for a long time.”

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“Within Special Vehicles we now have the ability to give people that choice but do it in a way that maintains that integrity of the brand and equally importantly the integrity of the engineering and safety of the vehicle as well. Quite often they’ll fit wheels that the car is not designed for, suspension systems have been known to collapse, in a lot of cases the warranty is void etc.

So that’s on one level. We want to go way beyond that.”

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The SV Coupé will be hand-assembled at the SV Technical Centre at Oxford Road, Coventry, with just 999 examples being produced. What kind of price are we talking about? 

McGovern: “With SV Coupé the starting price is £220,000. We’ve shown it to customers at some private events in London and the average transaction price they would be ordering it is £300,000. If people have a four-door Range Rover they won’t buy this coupé instead but will have both. They didn’t bat an eyelid at £220,000…” 

How does SV Coupé fit into the overall Special Vehicles operation? 

McGovern: “It’s really about amplifying elements of the Land Rover brand so that, for example, with SVX it’s about amplifying the off-road capability of the Discovery. It’s the most capable. With SVR it’s about amplifying the performance of the vehicle, the balance of great off-road capability with great on-road capability as well.” 

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With Range Rover Autobiography it is amplifying the luxurious execution, the refinement and sophistication of the product. SV Coupé is a derivation of that, it pays homage to the original car as a two-door.”

It is based on the full Range Rover, not the Range Rover Sport?

McGovern: “Yes, that particular car does lend itself to that coupé-like appearance because you get this really nicely proportioned rear quarter with the falling roof. It’s a stunning looking machine. It is very clean, the grille is exaggerated, it gives it that look of authority. The 23-inch wheels on it help too.”

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McGovern mentions that the split duotone finish is a nod to the coachbuilding philosophy of the car. Likewise, on the interior the front seats are in a light ivory colour with a dark colour in the rear. 

McGovern: “The front seats take on more importance, hence it’s the opposite of a chauffeur-driven arrangement. Again, it is amplifying that sense of peerless luxury.”

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“I think there’s a real appetite out there for bespoking our vehicles but people want them done by the experts. I’ve criticised the tuners in the past, it has always amazed me how we allow them to take our intellectual property for their own gain. But customers buy the vehicles and pass them on [to tuners]. We’ve made it easy in the past, we won’t make it easy for them anymore.”