Production

Special Vehicle Operations is Jaguar Land Rover's biggest success story of 2020

Jaguar Land Rover sells high-powered and customized versions of its models for discerning customers.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Want it faster? With more of a growl coming from the exhaust? Incredibly spacious? What you want are Jaguar Land Rover's range of Special Vehicle Operations (SV) models.

You're not alone, that aspect of JLR's business retailed over 9,500 high-performance and luxury SV products in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, up 64 percent from the previous year.

Range Rover Sport SVR Media Drive, March 2018 Models in the Special Vehicle Operations product line wear SV badging. Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"Despite a challenging sales environment for the automotive industry as a whole, we're delighted that the demand for Jaguar and Land Rover SV products continues to grow strongly, just five years after the division was first launched," said Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. "We currently have our broadest-ever range of models offering enhanced performance and luxury, each with its own distinctive personality that resonates with our customers."

The strong demand is well distributed. There are seven SV vehicles offered that have driven the growth, including the long wheelbase Range Rover SVAutobiography, which offers airline-style Executive Class seating, and the driver-focused 550-horsepower Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic.

JLR's best-selling SV SUV is the 575-horsepower Range Rover Sport SVR, which saw sales growth in its fifth year of production.

The company launched the 550-horsepower Jaguar F-PACE SVR and Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition in 2019.

To capitalize on markets primed for these models, JLR has rolled out SV Specialist Centers in the areas and dedicated SV areas at retailers. The company says that these retailers are specially trained to meet the needs of the SV customer base. SV Specialist Centers have already launched at 100 retailer sites globally, with more to follow.

"We've focused on satisfying demand for existing SV vehicles, while simultaneously expanding into new sectors with models such as the Jaguar F-PACE SVR, which instantly became our second highest volume vehicle," said Mark Turner, Commercial Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. "Developing the SV presence in the global Jaguar Land Rover retail network and on social media, in conjunction with SV Bespoke, is also having a positive effect on our business."

There's another page to the menu. The Special Vehicle Operations SV Bespoke department is available to customize the vehicles from tailoring paint color and finish to interior and exterior trim choices. This area of the business has seen a 20 percent growth in bespoke commissions and Premium Palette paint finishes for a selection of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

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The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport fits into the middle of a sea of SUVs and isn't terrible memorable.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

I'm a car journalist and a single guy. This might seem like a weird way to start my review of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, but hear me out.

Our swipe-right Tinder-Bumble-Hinge-Whatever dating culture has transformed how folks meet. See, there's always something else around the corner, so if you don't like the first date you're on, there's an endless supply of other potential partners. That also means that no matter how much you might like someone on the first date, there might be someone else you like better just a swipe away.

And while some of those first dates are truly memorable, others are forgettable. You end up with random people in your contacts with cryptic clues in their last name fields: Jessica Tinder or Erica Doctor or Samantha Doesn't Like Dogs DO NOT ANSWER.

My weekly car loans are the same way. Some are really special, like the time I had a Ferrari 488 GTB in Los Angeles and cruised down the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset before parking on the Santa Monica Pier and having dinner.

Or the 600+ horsepower Cadillac CTS-V that I road-tripped across Europe. One night I was forced to sleep in the back seat at a French rest area because the Chunnel train had been shut down because migrants snuck into the tunnel.

And then there are cars that are totally forgettable. There's nothing wrong with them — those cars I remember. They just don't make an impact. Kind of like how I remember all my really bad and really good first dates, but all the ones in the middle just don't register. Cars like the Buick Envision, the Chrysler 300, and the Fiat 124 Spider. They were all fine cars I guess, but nothing about them stands out.

The only thing I can remember about the Chrysler 300 is that Snoop Dogg called Chrysler when it came out in 2004 and left a voice mail that said, in part, "What I gotta do to get that brand new 300 up outta you?"

That is a true story.

So, cars are like first dates. But what about the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport? Well, it falls in that forgettable middle category because it's not horrible and it wasn't great. It's also going up against some serious competition including the Mazda CX-30, the new Kia Seltos, the Hyundai Kona, the Nissan Kicks. Those are some A-grade, Super Like-level cars.

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport The interior of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is not a stunner, but it is sufficient.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

But, just like there's a partner for everyone, there's also a car for everyone, and there are definitely folks that will love the Outlander Sport. I actually really like the exterior design. There's lots of LED lights front and rear, and it's been nipped and tucked and looks kind of aggressive and fun, especially in the Sunshine Orange Metallic color that my test car was in.

This was the especially loaded version, with my test car weighing in at a whopping $28,920. That's a lot of cheese and you can (and likely would, if you're looking at this car) get out for a lot less money. It starts just shy of $24,000. It wasn't luxurious by any stretch, but it had all the features that a young 20-something Mitsubishi-buyer might want.

In the top trim I had, there was automatic high beams and automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning and a radio. It also had the hottest seat warmers I've felt in a car. If you or your significant other likes having toasted buns, they will absolutely love the Outlander Sport.

But it also had middling fuel economy (25-27 mpg combined depending on the trim level you get), an uninspiring 168-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, and a continuously variable transmission that… transmits.

The warranty is terrific, which is good for folks who are especially budget-conscious. The model come with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on the powertrain plus a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper, with five years of roadside assistance added in.

The Outlander Sport isn't huge, but it's roomy enough for the occasional Costco or beer run (though it's worth noting that the competition has a bit more room). The tester came with all-wheel drive and a spare tire. There are knobs to adjust the single-zone climate control. It's a car, and it turns on when you press the start button and you can drive it places.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets the job done. And sometimes, like with a first date, that's all you really need.

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This unique Bentley was designed as part of a contest.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

What's the best Bentley color option? Now, you don't have to choose. A unique Bentley Mulliner Bacalar combines seven different colors for one unique look.

The car was designed by a contestant named Eleanor who submitted the entry as part of a recent online competition for Bentley colleagues and their families to design their own Bentley Mulliner Bacalar. The Barchetta-style Bacalar marks the reintroduction of the marque as a bespoke automaker. This particular pant job will reproduced in real life on the exterior a limited run of 12 models.

From rich reds through vibrant mid-tones through to energetic blues and purples, these are the seven colors that make up the rainbow paint job with descriptions provided by Bentley:

Dragon Red II

Bentley Bentayga

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

An arresting and distinguished metallic red, evoking a sense of speed and presence. The first iteration was used to launch the original Continental GT V8 in 2012, and in its second version Dragon Red II remains a deep and rich colour regardless of the tone of the light that illuminates it, and was used as the launch colour for the Bentayga V8.

Orange Flame

Bentley Speed

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Orange Flame matches other vivid palette colours such as Citric and Magenta in its ability to make the boldest of statements. Mixed with Mica pigment and powdered aluminum, Orange Flame is painted in a single layer, topped with a clear coat, cured and then finished with a 'mirror finish' polish. It provides exceptional contrast across the muscular curves and sharp lines of the Bentley range, and was used to launch the Bentayga Speed.

Yellow Flame

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A unique colour created for the recently launched, limited edition Bentley Mulliner Bacalar – Bentley's return to coachbuilding – providing an incredibly striking example of how the luck 12 Bacalar customers could specify their car. Using a 'colourstream' pigment containing rice husk ash, a byproduct of the rice industry, this specially developed paint reflects a striking transition of colour that intensifies the drama of the form and contours of the Bacalar exterior.

Apple Green

Bentley Continental

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A fresh, modern hue in the green spectrum, Apple Green is a bespoke Bentley colour that provides a striking pop of confident colour.

Jetstream II

Bentley Continental

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A light, very fine, almost powder blue metallic finish that can transition between a cool silver in warm light to and a soft, elegant blue in cooler light. Both sporting and luxurious, this shade is perfect for those looking to make a bold statement and pairs incredible well with Bentley's Blackline Specification, replacing exterior chrome brightware with black versions.

Sequin Blue

Bentley Continental GT

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

One of Bentley's most iconic colours, Sequin Blue was originally a special request from a customer to match the colour of a sequin from her favourite ball gown. This is a bespoke rich metallic blue with a deep shadow and 'flop' (how a metallic paint reflects different amounts or hues of light depending on the lighting angle), and has a sumptuous fluidity and unrivaled ability to draw attention to the exterior shape and form. Sequin Blue launched the third-generation Continental GT in 2017, and is one of the top 10 most popular paints for customers.

Azure Purple

Bentley Bentayga

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Azure Purple is a dark, rich shade with blue undertones which was created when Bentley was asked to match the unmistakable colour of the beautiful African Violet flower. A confident and flamboyant colour, it has been used by customers of both Bentayga and Continental GT.

The interior of the vehicle was also chosen as part of the competition but has not yet been publicly shown. Both winners were chosen by Bentley's Director of Design, Stefan Sielaff.

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