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CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE

SPECIAL OPERATIONS

JAGUAR LAND ROVER’S NEW BESPOKE DIVISION, BUILT ON THE BACK OF THE FIRM’S SUCCESS IN MAINLAND CHINA, PROMISES TO TURN THE DESCRIPTION ‘LIMITED EDITION’ ON ITS HEAD, WRITES BEN OLIVER.

Clockwise from top: the radical Jaguar Project 7, based on the F-Type roadster, is the first limited-edition car; the Range Rover SVR is the fastest and most powerful Land Rover ever built

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But while the importance of individual ost of us would think that a Jaguar or a Land Rover – and a Range Rover especially – is a very desirable vehicle. Your friends customer requests is not new, what is new and and business associates would be impressed if you bought one important about this new division is the scale of – and perhaps you already have. But for some people, a standard what it will do. No other carmaker has made such luxury car is not enough. As premium and even exotic cars a clear commitment to this new trend, or planned become more common on the roads of all the world’s major such radical products for its bespoke division. Of cities, the really wealthy – or the true enthusiasts – want something that stands course, Jaguar Land Rover’s success and growth in China have helped to fund out and looks really special, even among the best cars on the this new investment. And there planet. Something unique. And this is as true among Hong No other carmaker is no doubt that China will also Kong and Chinese customers as it is anywhere in the world. has made such a provide many of its customers. So high-end car companies in Europe are responding. Special Operations will Privately, Ferrari executives tell me that ‘bespoke’ one-off clear commitment design and build very limitedfeatures for clients add around 25 per cent to the final invoice to this new trend, edition special cars. It will value of their V12 cars: so this is good business for them. Bentley or planned such design and build the highest has its Mulliner bespoke division, and Aston Martin has named performance versions of Jaguar its department which handles special customers requests ‘Q’, radical products for after the character in the James Bond novels and films who its bespoke division. and Land Rover’s standard cars, which from now on will makes the super-spy’s gadgets, including his Aston Martins. carry the new SVR badge. It And now Jaguar Land Rover has launched its Special Operations division, to handle everything it makes outside its standard production will design and build one-off cars for special cars. I recently attended a small private briefing in London with JLR chief executive customers. And it will also handle all of Jaguar Dr Ralph Speth in which he announced the launch of the new division, and told us Land Rover’s ‘heritage’ activities: restoring what projects the new team would be working on. Some of this is still secret, so I and racing the most important cars from the company’s past. can’t tell you about it – yet!

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The first limited-edition car has already been announced: the radical Jaguar Project 7, based on the F-Type roadster and a tribute to the famous D-Type racer of the ‘50s. It is the fastest, most powerful production Jaguar ever, and a clear sign of how serious this new division is about its cars. Production will be limited to around 250, and they have already started to sell fast; they may all have gone by the time you read this. If you’d like one, speak to your dealer – and fast. And the first very high performance SVRbadged car has also been announced now. The Range Rover Sport SVR is also the fastest, most powerful Land Rover ever produced: I saw and heard the camouflaged prototype when it made a brief public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed event in the UK in July – and if it drives like it sounds, it will be great! Or, of course, you can visit the new Special Operations headquarters and be shown into the special customer commissioning suite, and have their designers and engineers – some recruited from Formula One – create a car to your exact specification. Maybe the next car they build will be to your design. HKGOLFER.COM

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