The superfast SUV segment is like a Marvel movie. So extreme that everything’s a caricature, making it great and stupid and wicked entertaining. That makes the Mercedes G63 AMG the ultimate supervillan, and the 2016 Range Rover Sport SVR is speeding toward it in an Iron Man suit.
I haven’t forgotten the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Range Rover Sport Supercharged, BMW X-Ms, other AMGs, and the myriad of flying people movers the aftermarket has cooked up in their secret diabolical laboratories. They’re all cool with some impressive powers of their own, but none so extreme as the mighty maniacal AMG G-Wagens.
In case you’re not up to speed, let me lay out the G’s unique design thesis for you: Engines with so much power and performance they’re used in some of the world’s greatest sports cars… hitched to a utility chassis designed about three days after man invented the wheel. And off-road suspension. The resulting vehicle is too good on-road to be any good off-road and somehow simultaneously vice-versa.
But now we’ve got this Range Rover Sport SVR, and by virtue of being almost as loud (louder?) in every possible way, it’s the first vehicle that might actually compete with the G-Wagen in that truck’s only true objective: Attention whoring.
The fact that an AMG version of the G-Wagen was even created proves Germans have a sense of humor, the fact that so many were sold in America Mercedes had to bring the crazier version (with a V12 instead of a V8) proves rich people really want to make an entrance.
Land Rover must have noticed this and, determined to get a piece of everything in the Expensive SUV Realm, adopted the idea to one of their own platforms.
Starting with the model everybody buys when their main objective is looking cool (Sport), moved up to the performance-variant (Sport Supercharged), dialed up the boost, opened up the exhaust… all the way up… drizzled the body in carbon fiber and will send it to you for a premium of about thirty grand over the regular Rover.
Thus a Range Rover Sport SVR is born. Read my full on-track and on-road review right here, or take the TL;DR version. It’s like a Range Rover, but louder.
If that sounds like an undersell, it’s only because the regular-old Range Rover Sport Supercharged is really great. Impressive abilities off-road, more speed than you need to impress the most diesinking of trophy chicks in the passenger seat, and swagger in spades.
Now that you know the characters, I’m finally going to get to the point. The Range Rover Sport SVR and Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG represent peak-batshit in what is easily the most ridiculous mass-market automotive segment that exists. They appeal to the same audience. They cost about the same amount of money. They are natural born nemeses.
Now that I’ve spent a little time in both, I think the Rover has better driving dynamics and build quality, but the Benz feels faster and I’m almost positive it’s louder.
Which one really is the better extreme SUV? …Well that’s what makes it such an epic rivalry! What do you think?
Image by the author; graphics via Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz