SVX: It’s not a Subaru, it’s Land Rover’s new off-road performance sub-brand

Land Rover Defender Heritage

Jaguar Land Rover is very gung ho about its Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) unit, which manages everything from customized cars to special-edition performance models.

So gang ho, in fact, that it’s apparently planning a sub-brand within this sub-brand.

It may share a name with a certain 1990s Subaru sports car, but SVX is actually a proposed line of niche models from Land Rover that would offer maximum off-road performance.

The SVX badge will be used for models with “added capability,” SVO boss John Edwards told Car and Driver in a recent interview. It will make up a third category alongside road-oriented SVR performance models and more luxurious SVAutobiography editions.

There’s no telling exactly what “added capability” entails, but Edwards said the new models will be inspired by off-road races like the Camel Trophy and Dakar Rally. That hints at a type of vehicle that can not only conquer all types of terrain, but do it quickly.

Current Land Rovers are already pretty good off road, but speed is not their forte. The new Range Rover Sport SVR is the fastest SUV in the world, according to Land Rover, but the focus on on-road performance compromises off-road ability somewhat.

Also unclear is which model will be the first to get the SVX treatment, the next-generation Defender, which isn’t expected until next year at the earliest. However, there have also been rumors of a performance version of the outgoing model, which would make a fitting sendoff.

One thing that’s certain is that, unlike the SVR brand, SVX will be limited to Land Rover only. So, sorry, there won’t be a rally-inspired version of the new all-wheel drive 2016 Jaguar F-Type.

There is no set timetable for the launch of SVX, although Edwards said to expect the first model in this new line “relatively soon.”

Ford Raptor, you’re officially on notice.