British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover today announced a model offensive for India, which will see the brand launch at least 10 models in 2018-19 (April-March) with an aim to capture a larger piece of the luxury vehicle sales pie.
While the company has not revealed the model plan for the year, we can tell you at least four models will be from JLR’s SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) division.
The refreshed Range Rover Sport SVR and the updated Range Rover SVAutobiography will lead the SVO model line-up as they are set to be introduced in the first quarter (April-June) of 2018-19.
The recently updated Range Rover Sport SVR comes with a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 that now produces 575hp at 6,000rpm, and 700Nm of torque from 3,500rpm – improvements of 24hp and 19Nm, respectively.
The SVAutobiography is RR’s luxurious long-wheelbase SUV that was unveiled at the LA Motor show last year. The SUV is built on Range Rover’s longer 3,120mm wheelbase to provide rear passengers with more legroom (about 1,200mm) and seats that can recline by 40 degrees. Globally, there are three powertrains on offer – a 339hp, 4.4-litre SDV8 diesel, a 404hp, 2.0-litre petrol-electric and a 565hp, supercharged 5.0-litre V8 (like the SVR).
JLR will launch the fastest road-going Jaguar, the F-Type SVR, in India in the second quarter (July-Sep) of 2018-19. The model packs in a good mix of performance and comfort, as we recently found out in our drive. It is powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 borrowed from the Project 7, making 575hp and 700Nm of pulling power. The model is equipped with an eight-speed auto gearbox, a four-wheel-drive system and has high usage of carbon fibre in its body shell.
Coming to the fourth SVO model, JLR is expected to bring the recently unveiled new Range Rover SV Coupe to India in the third quarter (October-December) of 2018-19. The SUV, which made its public debut at the 2018 Geneva motor show, is Land Rover’s most expensive model positioned at the top of the range, allowing the company to better compete with the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga. Limited to just 999 units, the model is powered by a 575hp, 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol.
In a recent interaction with Autocar India, Mark Stanton, director, SVO division, said, apart from offering high levels of performance, the SVO models are designed keeping everyday usage in mind, instead of being just track-focused.
Apart from the four models, JLR is also expected to introduce facelifts of the standard Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, both of which received a mid-cycle refresh last year. While the former receives a refreshed grille with a gloss-black surround in a front bumper, the latter gets new LED headlamps and subtle changes to the grille.
The carmaker is also looking at its newest plug-in hybrid in its line-up, the Range Rover PHEV, but the model is unlikely to come to India until JLR is sure of the policy for hybrids. The current policy heavily taxes hybrids, which could price RR’s hybrid almost out of contention.
JLR India registered a volume growth of 83 percent in the recently concluded financial year 2017-18 (April-March), selling 4,609 units, which the company says was due to new product launches, along with a steadily expanding retailer footprint, and enhanced service and brand experience programmes for consumers.
The company says the 10-model product plan for the current fiscal is aimed at sustaining the strong growth momentum achieved in the previous year. The carmaker had sold 3,954 units in the calendar year 2017, assuming a share of 10 percent in the luxury vehicle segment.