ANY reference to “special operations” in the automotive world brings to mind the creation of clever in-car gadgets and options akin to those produced in the James Bond film franchise’s Q Branch which kitted out the British spy’s array of impressive vehicles.
‘For the rest of us, whose car-finance prospects might be hanging in the balance in light of this week’s Banking Royal Commission report, more readily accessible offerings may be required.’
While Bond’s brand of firepower may not be on offer in today’s version of car manufacturer’s personalisation divisions, outfits such as McLaren Special Operations (MSO) and Rolls-Royce Bespoke are producing cars which combine the pinnacle of technology and performance with uber levels of luxury and comfort.
The MSO could be catering to customers keen on personalizing a track-capable set of wheels while Rolls-Royce may be fitting out, say, a Phantom, to function as a rolling art space, office and entertainment suite. Clearly here, we’re talking about people whose discretionary-spend capabilities leave them without a financial care in the world.
For the rest of us – whose car-finance prospects might be hanging in the balance in light of the fallout from this week’s Banking Royal Commission report – more readily accessible offerings may be required.
Which is why it is nice to know that Land Rover has come through with the goods in the popular SUV market, applying the bespoke touch to its Velar, a car last year judged the world’s most beautiful mid-size SUV. The new Range Rover Velar SV Autobiography Dynamic Edition sports a more refined look and drive feel, along with across-the-board bespoke settings from how the vehicle is powered to its raft of safety features. More responsive suspension should improve the overall ride feel, while the brakes are bigger and better – and designed to cool down more quickly for those who like to put some punch into their acceleration and braking.
The extra stopping power is well dressed, too, with distinctive forged aluminium wheels decorated with Land-Rover stamped red callipers. Even larger 22-inch rims can be optioned in for further personalisation, featuring a unique “Silver Sparkle” finish and diamond-turned edging. Black callipers can replace the red ones for those who’d prefer to tone things down.
The Velar SV Autobiography Dynamic Edition looks more composed than its predecessor thanks to a range of revised trim finishes and improved aerodynamics. The most outstanding changes are the new front bumper – with larger, air-sucking intakes to cool the V8 supercharged petrol engine – to a very pretty exhaust set-up at the rear.
The result gives the vehicle a more purposeful appearance and distinctive silhouette. Inside, a twin-stitched, perforated and quilted Windsor leather unique to this Velar comes in four colour ways. The front seats offer heating and cooling as well as memory and massage functions as standard.
Other special touches in the cabin include a unique sports steering wheel and tactile aluminium gear shift paddles. The metal extends to sports pedals and tread plates illuminated with Range Rover script. In terms of the ride (which is yet to be tested), Land Rover says electronic tuning coupled with upgraded anti-roll bars reduce body roll during hard cornering, while a revised damper set-up delivers more composure and comfort.
At rear, the bespoke exhaust sounds as good as it looks, apparently, utilizing some sort of valve technology to optimize the exhaust note into a V8 rumble. A 82-litre fuel tank is reportedly capable of a range in excess of 483 km. The Velar SV Autobiography Dynamic Edition is available in six colours – including a metallic Satin Byron Blue finish from Special Vehicle Operations’ Premium Palette range – with a contrasting Narvik Black roof included as standard.
Over all, Land Rover says Special Vehicle Operations has produced in the Velar a car with performance personality and go-anywhere capability – which is what you want in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The new model be available in a limited run – and for this year only – priced from $A175,322 before on-road costs.