Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 16th 2017 Contents howtospendit|3
July 16 . 2017
It isn’t cheap, but it sure is fancy
It is the official vehicle of the Brit-
ish Royal family. Cuban revolution-
ary leader Fidel Castro swore by it.
Rapper Jay z has one in his envia-
ble car collection. Nothing exudes
wealth and luxury like the Range
Rover brand, and at the highest
end of the luxury spectrum sits the
Range Rover SVAutobiography. This
isn’t your grandpa’s SUV.
The Autobiography is intimidating.
It stands out–not in the way a bul-
ly stands out, but majestically. The
metallic paint glistens on the body
of this beast. Entering the car is but
only the start of the experience. The
door opens. The side-steps deploy si-
lently, making the entry smooth and
Sitting in the SVAutobiography
the first thing that immediately hits
you is the smell of the hand-stitched
leather and wood-grain finish. There
is leather everywhere. At the front, the
dashboard finishes and instrumenta-
tion panel resemble that of the cockpit
of an airplane. It’s easy to get confused
among all those buttons, but they’re
intuitive: once you figure one out, the
process becomes much easier. As we
ease out of the showroom, the pull of
the steering is soft, but firm.
It’s a rainy day, so without even no-
ticing it, the windshield wipers and fog
lamps come on automatically. As the
test drive begins, just for the heck of
it, we adjust the hydraulic suspension
and raise the height of the vehicle a
few centimeters. We’re just a few guys
(a journalist, sales representative and
manager) having fun with some RE-
ALLY expensive gadgets.
Depressing the pedal, the car races
off as the horses under the hood begin
to gallop. We go from 0-60 kmph in 5.1
seconds—and you feel it. The forward
thrust pushes you back in the seat.
It’s not jerky or rough, just forceful.
We head out of the busy city centre
and up to the Queens Park Savannah.
Negotiating the turns around the Sa-
vannah is smooth.
There is hardly any roll-over pres-
sure as we take the corners. It’s a
very stable car. Inside the car is si-
lent. There is no sense of the noise
and turmoil going on around us from
the inside. Then the music gets turned
up. 28 Meridian speakers shatter the
silence of the interior. Music from 28
speakers is not for the faint of heart.
The surround sound effect gives you
the feeling of being inside a movie
theatre. We’re heading up Lady Chan-
cellor Hill. This will be the real test. Is
this car a show horse or a go horse? We
navigate the first incline with ease. But
anyone who’s ever been up Chancellor
Hill knows that the higher you go, the
steeper it gets.
The SVAutobiography mounts the
hill with consummate ease. You bare-
ly even notice the 8 speed automatic
transmission shifting gears. It climbs
effortlessly. As the weather clears and
we descend Chancellor Hill, we open
the panaromic roof and the feeling is
one with nature.
Everything in the car feels fluent.
Making our way back around the
Queen’s Park Savannah and back
to the showroom we encounter mi-
nor traffic. The hum of the engine is
silent. Going through the traffic we
accelerate sharply whenever the op-
portunity presents itself. In just under
25 minutes, this tour-de-force comes
to an end.
The SVAutobiography isn’t for
those who pinch pennies. If you’re
concerned about the price, you prob-
ably can’t afford one. At $2.7 million,
the sticker shock is enough to make
you keel over. “We sell two of these
a year” the sales representative says,
with an easy smirk on his face. “This
is the highest end of the luxury SUV
spectrum. When you pull up in this,
you don’t have to say anything. You’re
already spoken for”.
Probed about the typical profile of
the buyer of this mechanical bull, the
sales representative adds: “It’s mostly
businessmen. You get politicians who
buy it too. Lately though, we’ve no-
ticed a shift to a younger demographic,
The most impressive thing about
the SVAutobiography is not just the
luxury. That’s nice, but not super spe-
cial. What really stands out is how the
vehicle marries luxury with true off-
Range Rover, the brand, really
stands out in that regard. It’s also
a car to drive, not just be driven in.
Sure you can sit in the backseat and
enjoy the massaging chairs, but that
much power at your fingertips is truly
Sunday Business reviews the Range Rover SVAutobiography
Type of vehicle: Full-sized SUV
Engine: 550 PS 5.0L V8 Supercharged Engine
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
0-60MPH: 5.1 seconds
Brakes: Four-Wheel discs with ABS
Price: $2.7 million
Annual maintenance: $6,800 per 10,000 kilometers
Cost to fill tank: $500
Fuel economy: 19 miles to the gallon.
Drive type: 4 Wheel Drive
Wheel: 22’’ Alloy
Insurance cost: 10% of car value less any discounts
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