Even as we welcomed the Discovery to the wheels long-term garage last week, Land Rover unleashed its new range-topper for the model at the Frankfurt motor show. Dubbed Discovery SVX, this extreme variant has been fettled by the guys at JLR’s Special Vehicles Operations to make it even more capable an off-roader. Apart from the tweaks to its suspension and other mechanicals, the SVX also gets a version of the ubiquitous 5.0-litre supercharged V8 that makes 525bhp and 625Nm of torque. Well, we’d be lying if we say we aren’t looking forwarding getting behind its wheel. But until the SVX reaches our shores, the First Edition remains the top banana Discovery in the region.
As you would have already noticed from last week’s photo, our First Edition has a remarkably striking presence. The Farallon Black paint job, along with exterior elements such as the grille, fender vents and the bonnet and tailgate lettering all finished in gloss black give it a rather menacing appearance, which is further complemented by the special 22in Aero V Gloss Black wheels. In the two weeks we’ve had it, we’ve noticed that it attracts quite a lot of attention from passers-by and fellow motorists. Curiously enough, there’s no First Edition badging on the outside. A round aluminium plate with the name and a silhouette of the vehicle inscribed is placed discreetly on the B-Pillar and is visible only when the doors are open.
The special touches are carried over to the interior as well. First Edition lettering is etched into the centre console, while the dashboard and door cards get what Land Rover calls Cartography Aluminium veneer. Apparently the lines on this strip of metal map the roads in and around London, Coventry and Solihull, but if you see it before reading this bit of info, you would be forgiven for thinking those are cracks caused by the extreme summer heat! I would have preferred a plain elegant strip of brushed aluminium over this. Special upholstery crafted in Tan/Ebony Windsor leather with Nimbus contrast stitching and plush Ebony carpeting complete the changes inside.
All this exclusivity comes at a price. Although First Edition prices start at Dh323,200, our tester with all its options costs Dh347,948, which is a whopping Dh110,000 more than the base Discovery’s price. Whether that’s a price worth paying depends on the level of importance you attach to exclusivity and individuality.