Silverstone Grand Prix

4x4, News

Range Rover Sport SVR tackles frozen Silverstone

Land Rover has tested a Rover Sport SVR on a frozen Silverstone replica track, near the Arctic Circle.

Land Rover Ambassador and polar explorer, Ben Saunders swapped his snowshoes for winter tyres to put the Sport SVR through its paces at a unique yet familiar test track. The full-scale replica of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit was carved in the snow on Lake Udjaur. With instruction from former rally champion, Finland's Minna Sillankorva, Saunders tackled driving on ice behind the wheel of Land Rover's performance flagship, the 550PS V8 Range Rover Sport, the most powerful Land Rover to date, which is capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.

Ben Saunders, who has led expeditions to both the North and South Poles, said: "Obviously, I had an amazing day. It was my first time driving on ice and the most fun I've had on four-wheels. The performance of the Range Rover Sport SVR is simply breathtaking and its poise in the corners was astounding given the slippery conditions."

Features to enhance all-terrain performance, such as Land Rover's advanced Terrain Response 2 system, and permanent four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case, and a 50/50 percent torque split front-to-rear helped the polar explorer keep his Range Rover Sport SVR on track.

'Optimum traction' is further maintained with the aid of an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the centre differential, as well as the Torque Vectoring by Braking system which uses the SVR's brakes to constantly balance the distribution of engine torque between all four wheels during cornering. This system monitors the vehicle via the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) module as it accelerates through a corner, where sensors detect the onset of understeer.

Mike Cross, Chief Engineer Vehicle Integrity, said: "We pride ourselves on the all-terrain capability and composure of our vehicles, putting them through intensive hot and cold climate testing. The Range Rover Sport SVR is the most dynamic model we've ever produced and combining these qualities showcases the unique talents and expertise of our dedicated engineers."

Sports Car, News

Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJ-R9 LM tested against new XJR

Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andy Wallace relived his 1988 victory by taking to the Silverstone circuit in his Jaguar XJR9-LM.

Wallace also took new 550PS, 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 Jaguar XJR for a spin, during back-to-back day and night sessions. Driving at night on the Silverstone circuit gave Wallace the opportunity to test the new LED headlights on the new XJ, which are a first for Jaguar.

"Driving at Le Mans back in 1988, it was so hard to see at night," said Wallace. "We were travelling at around 240mph and it was too fast to see the road ahead. We used the lights more to catch glimpses of landmarks as they whizzed past, so we knew where we were.

"These days, modern road cars have incredible lights. LED technology allows you to see three times the distance we could back then, while active steer and bend also help target the lights to the places you want to see.

The 2016 XJ has had, what Jaguar calls a 'thorough exterior design refresh' and the full LED headlights with unique double 'J-Blade signature' daytime running lights are one of the key additions, and are unique in the Jaguar range.

Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, XJ said: "The XJ is now more dynamic and distinctive than ever, and taking the high-performance XJR to Silverstone gave an excellent demonstration of how the new LED lighting fitted to the car can benefit the driver."

The LED headlights provide a colour temperature closer to that of daylight than the Bi-Xenon lamps they replace, improving visibility and driver comfort and also delivering a significant improvement in energy efficiency.

The most advanced lights ever seen on a Jaguar or Land Rover product, they also accentuate the 'quad lamp' design - a feature that also appeared on the XJR9-LM.

The new Jaguar XJR SWB 5.0P S/C costs from £92,405 OTR.