It’s 2am.This is the latest I’ve stayed up in the last month or so. Sleep comes easy you see. Not today! Today, sleep has taken a back seat. Turns out staying up isn’t particularly difficult when you have a Range Rover Sport SVR to drive. You see, this car has a massive 5.0L supercharged petrol engine that churns out a whopping 550PS of power and 680Nm of torque! That’s around 50PS more than the Jaguar F Type V8 convertible I drove a while back. It’s a full 250 more than the regular RR Sport I drove on our special feature in Rajasthan.

It’s like having a regular RR Sport, and then plonking another RR Sport engine into the same car. Gosh!

I went out with this car last evening, but Bombay’s traffic disappointed me. While I was able to experience very short doses of the SVR’s power, I wasn’t able to let it loose. Hence the 2am stint. The SVR is a very deceptive car. It’s 4.9m long, nearly 1.8m tall and over 2m in width. I’m surprised you don’t need a different (maybe LCV) license to drive this thing. It’s imposing in a way that only a Land Rover is. While every other car manufacturer is out trying to make their SUV’s more and more sedan like, Land Rover just sticks to the basics and makes them big and boisterous.

But big and boisterous doesn’t go well with a lot of power, does it?

An increased centre of gravity means you’ll never feel quite as comfortable chucking an RR Sport around. That’s exactly what I thought as well. On the Eastern Freeway’s twisty bits, I saw myself approaching the corner slowly, but almost always exiting it much faster. The RR Sport really is a solid handler. Flick the steering wheel as you enter a tight right hander and you do feel the weight shifting itself from one side to another. You get this feeling that the car is kind of losing it, but then it manages itself and you’re back on track for a full throttle exit. It’s no 911, but it’s handling is predictable.

I can’t fathom how Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division has managed to do this. But some how, they have! They’ve managed to tame a hooligan. Take a 2 tonne plus car and make its handling predictable when you drive it fast.

And fast you will drive it. For two reasons. One because it doesn’t take much effort to get this car moving quickly. Two because the sound of that 5.0L supercharged V8 is addictive. I’ve got a tunnel coming up. I’ve engaged the anti-social exhaust mode via a button on the dash and taken over the shifting duties via the pedals. As we enter, I stamp on the throttle and the car lunges forward. I’m thrown back into my seat, an invisible, powerful force holding me back. This is accompanied by the roar from the exhaust. It’s not a shriek, it’s a full bodied roar – echoing from the sides of the tunnel. And then I get off the throttle, and it gets still better. The exhaust bellows, and shouts and creates a racket as the exhaust gasses find their way through. It’s bloody brilliant!

It’s a lovely car on the inside too! This version comes with a black and copper interior. And it’s loaded to the brim! There’s a digital instrument cluster – it’s a beautifully detailed, high resolution LCD screen. There’s soft touch leather all around. It’s plush and luxurious. The seats are specially designed for the SVR, and offer ample support. As with every other JLR vehicle, the central console houses the infotainment system, and like every other JLR vehicle, it’s a waste of centre console real estate. It’s clunky, unintuitive and slow.

Lower down in the console, you have some intricately designed and superbly finished knobs and switches. The quality really is top notch. The AC dials display temperature within the dial itself, and they look pretty neat come nightfall. Between the two seats, you have the gear lever and the terrain response selector. The gear lever controls an 8 speed automatic transmission that offers smooth, fast shifts. In my experience, this gearbox is the best in the JLR stable. The F-Type I drove came fitted with the same shifter, and even then, it had surprised me with its quick shifts and preciseness.

The SVR also comes kitted with Land Rover’s latest Terrain Response system. We’ve tested the 1st generation system that came kitted with the Disco Sport, and that performed brilliantly. The system takes a number of inputs from the vehicle’s engine, gearbox, differential and chassis systems to maximise drivability and traction.

Yes, the SVR is a sports car, but it’s also a Range Rover – so it’ll take you places few other cars can, and in luxury.

The outside is where the car really shines. Just look at it! I thought the RR Sport was a good looking car. But the SVR dials everything up to eleven. The metallic blue paint job looks stunning. The head lights and tail lights are all new, and brilliantly detailed. There’s SVR badging everywhere, just in case you forgot you’re driving in the most powerful Land Rover on sale at the moment.

I was particularly impressed by the head lights. They’re adaptive projector units that swerve with the steering wheel to illuminate the bend ahead. But the level of detail they’ve been crafted with is stupendous.

I spent two days with the RR Sport SVR, and it blew my mind! To use it to it’s fullest, you would need to take it to a test track, but even as a car, it’s the pinnacle of what Range Rover can currently do. That’s what attracts me to it the most. The fact that in a way, this is the flagship model of the Range Rover stable – and it lives up to it’s flagship tag!