Look back at the birth of the original Land Rover | How Land Rover has driven adventure and scientific exploration | GQ Editor Dylan Jones discusses inspiration with Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern | Exploring the potential impact of electrification and connected vehicles | Tackling the 999 steep steps up to Heaven’s Gate in China
SPECIAL VEHICLES The SVO
SPECIAL VEHICLES The SVO team have built many vehicles for feature films, not least the series of James Bond movies, most recently Spectre an SVO badge brings, Edwards cites the new longwheelbase Range Rover SVAutobiography. “A lot of money is spent on the interior and the vast majority of that is focused on the second row. We talk about first class travel and in many ways this effectively makes it the best chauffeur car you can get because of the physics and geometry of the vehicle. The enhanced seats and deployable tables are all about comfort, luxury and refinement.” SVO’s highlights so far, are numerous, but include the bona fide sub-brand’s best-seller, the Range Rover Sport SVR, first introduced in the summer of 2014. “It’s an outstanding car that makes you smile every time you drive it,” says Edwards. The work Special Vehicle Operations has undertaken for the James Bond franchise is another high point, in particular for the recent film Spectre. “We spent a lot of time finding out what the film’s stunt drivers needed. What sets our employees apart is that they dream about cars and have a ‘can-do’ attitude. They understand the brief and do whatever they can to respond to it, however crazy it might seem. We ended up providing the film with several ‘Bigfoot’ Defenders, the Range Rover Sport SVR and the Jaguar The highly luxurious and capable Range Rover Sentinel boasts the highest levels of protection an SUV can offer, including the ability to withstand armourpiercing and incendiary bullets as well as grenade blasts 88
C-X75 as well. Developing “OUR EMPLOYEES these vehicles is always fun and attracts an awful lot of attention UNDERSTAND THE to our brands.” BRIEF AND DO Back to the real world, Special Vehicle Operations WHATEVER THEY CAN plays an important personal TO RESPOND TO IT, security role too. The division continues to create ultra-secure HOWEVER CRAZY vehicles, such as the impressive Range Rover Sentinel, a heavily IT MIGHT SEEM” armoured circa four-tonne SUV JOHN EDWARDS, that’s still exceptionally capable. “The great thing about the Range Rover Sentinel is that not only will it protect you if you get into trouble but it will also allow you to get out of trouble too through its drivability,” says Edwards. “Some customers have some great stories on how effective it has been for them, but for obvious reasons we can’t share them or talk about those customers I’m afraid!” The team has also recently built a specially-adapted Land Rover Discovery for disaster relief, currently being trialled by the Austrian Red Cross. Among its many clever features, the ‘Project Hero’ concept features a roof-mounted drone that can take off and land on the vehicle in motion, allowing rescuers to reach more remote areas, capture photos and even record audio messages to send back. “It literally becomes the eyes and ears of the advance party,” adds Edwards. The relationship-building that went into the secret pre-launch reveal of the Range Rover Coupé to select MANAGING DIRECTOR OF JAGUAR LAND ROVER SPECIAL VEHICLE OPERATIONS John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations customers – before any journalists or dealers – is an additional stand-out moment for Edwards, and something he wants to nurture in the future. “We described it to our retailers without showing it and asked them to pick one customer each. After signing a non-disclosure agreement the customers were invited via a discreet rear entrance of a prestigious London hotel to see the car. They loved being on the inside track. They’re discerning and demanding, but if you build a strong relationship they keep coming back. We strive to ensure that relationship with our customers is special, as we’re building very special products.” There’s that word ‘special’ again. Maybe there’s something in it? FIND OUT MORE Discover more at landrover.com/SVO 89
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.