Jaguar has upgraded the looks and guts of one of its best SUV’s to dramatic effect. The car is now more refined and has a beastly 550-hp V-8 petrol powered engine to take you screaming down the road. While other performance-oriented SUVs like the BMW X3 M or Porsche Macan GTS offer more focused and hard driving dynamics to accompany their enhanced engines, the F-Pace SVR has a lighter touch that makes it more suitable as a daily driver. And as a daily driver, the new cabin will make you feel like royalty with its luxurious leather and sparkling electronics. Inside, you’ll find soft leather upholstery with suede accents and a host of tech features like a large infotainment touchscreen and an awesome stereo system.
The “SVR” in the F-Pace moniker means “Special Vehicle Ratings,” which encompasses the very best of the best with sportier performance, bolder style, and offers even more luxury than ever when compared to previous models. This new version of the F-Pace builds on its success, by making detailed improvements that combine to raise the bar in the high-performance, luxury SUV segment.
All Jaguar F-Pace SVR SUVs come with a growling, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 under the bonnet. This engine cranks out an impressive 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which is almost all you can get out of a performance V-8 engine. You might say, with the coming switchover to all electric vehicle, this engine is the last and most refined of the big internal combustions wonders that will ever be used in piston-powered automobiles. The F-Pace comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. Stepping on this cat’s tail will send you off from zero to 100kph in a scant 4.0 seconds, which is impressive for a vehicle of this size and weight.
Even with it’s huge V-8, the F-Pace SVR offers wonderful handling and precise steering, and it manages to do this without sacrificing driver or passenger comfort. To accomplish this, Jaguar redesigned the steering rack and re-tuned the pneumatic dampers to deliver a more precise ride. Jaguar worked hard to make the SVR to plow softly over harsh roads, which in turn makes this SUV the right choice for daily commutes.
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Configurable Dynamics provides enhanced driver control by enabling the driver to set up the vehicle to suit their personal preferences, with a choice of Comfort or Dynamic settings applied to the throttle mapping, gear shift points, steering effort, and suspension. A stopwatch, G-Meter, and pedal graph also help the driver to monitor performance in Dynamic mode, while Adaptive Dynamics continuously adjusts the dampers for enhanced comfort and refinement depending on road and driving conditions.
Inside the SVR, you’ll find a cabin that is both elegant and surprisingly sporty. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable and seem to envelope the driver and front passenger in a cocoon of comfort and support. In the back, the F-Pace SVR offers about one cubic meter of cargo space behind the rear seats. What’s more, the F-Pace SVR's rear seat can fold in different positions allowing for even more creative luggage space arrangements.
The F-Pace SVR comes with helpful driver-assistance features. The lane-keeping assistance and lane-departure warning works like a charm and uses complex algorithms to keep watch on where a driver is looking and where the car is headed. At times, we found this feature a bit unnerving, but soon grew to really like it. Drive out of your lane with a car next to you results in warning lights and a steering wheel that shakes to let you know you’re in possible danger. Another nice standard feature is its automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. The all-digital driver’s dash is large and easy to read. There is also a pop-up knob in the center console that allows the driver to change vehicle performance modes.
As with most luxury carmakers today, Jaguar has provided the F-Pace SVR with a load of high tech features. All models come standard with an 11-speaker Meridian audio system and an infotainment system with an 11.4-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is on hand to help you seamlessly connect your devices. All models are equipped with navigation, as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Another great feature is that the car’s software is always up-to-date, thanks to the “Over-The-Air” capability that allows latest vehicle systems and infotainment to be installed seamlessly and remotely by the owner.
Another excellent system found on the vehicle is Jaguar’s latest 3D Surround Camera technology that delivers advanced 3D functionality using the latest digital camera technology to deliver more detail and a choice of real-time viewing when maneuvering the vehicle. This system is a real help when parking or negotiating in tight spaces.
Jaguar reports that they’ve updated the braking with improved cooling and pads to deliver enhanced brake performance. However, on our test, we felt that it took a bit of time for the brakes to deliver this new performance. Stopping this beast is no easy feat and pedal response seemed a bit sluggish at first, but the car stops nicely once everything kicks in.
In conclusion, Jaguar seems to have made something great even better, which says a lot about where the company is at these days. The Jaguar F-Pace SVR can even compete with other luxury SUVs and come out on top.
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