JAGUAR F-PACE SVR
See that Mercedes-benz EQC up there? Here’s its polar opposite, 405kw of fossil-fuelled fury
IT’S CONSIDERED socially advisable to never show up to a party on time – always arrive fashionably late. That’s lucky for the F-pace SVR, because it happens to be both these things: fashionable, and hideously late.
Fashionable because, well, look at it. There’s no other SUV out there that boasts such classically attractive proportions as the F-pace, free of unnecessary creases and bodylines and augmented in the SVR by the tasteful application of bigger air dams and heat-shedding vents, along with subtle aero to cut drag and reduce lift.
Late because it’s arrived about a year after it was originally expected. Issues with a parts supplier delayed the SVR’S launch by around 12 months, but besides that it’s a latecomer to the
performance SUV party in general. Jaguar’s German friends have had the dance floor largely to themselves up until this point.
Can the F-pace SVR catch up? A 405kw supercharged V8 copy-pasted from the F-type R (all-wheel drive and eight-speed auto included) certainly helps, and, with 5.0 litres of displacement, it’s the biggest in its class. Hot-rod logic is certainly applicable even to tall wagons, and the extra couple of cylinders gives the SVR a wholly different character to that of its V6 and four-cylinder siblings.
Hop into the F-pace SVR, jab the starter button, and the V8 barks into life. As is true of all good performance Jaguars, the F-pace SVR offers plenty of aural theatrics – especially when the exhaust baffles are fully dilated. Stab the throttle, and the sonic boom will stoke your adrenal gland like few other SUVS can. Select drive, and the V8 eagerly tugs you along from idle, the gearbox smoothly stepping through its eight ratios when left alone.
But where’s the fun in that? Flick the drive mode to Dynamic, tip the transmission selector to Sport Automatic and smash the accelerator deep into the carpet.
Thrust is immediate, the supercharger’s linearity making for a progressive wind-up of power and torque, and the SVR’S normally rear-biased all-wheel drive momentarily taking drive to the front axles to keep wheelspin at bay. Zero-to-hundred is done in just 4.3 seconds, and the SVR’S instant throttle response endows it with rolling acceleration that’s even more savage.
It’s more than a straight-line hero. An active rear differential and brake torque vectoring aids turn-in no matter whether you’re speeding up or slowing down, and the 295mm-wide rear tyres give the F-pace SVR a level of traction that’s immensely hard to breach.
Its cornering competency is remarkable. Regular F-pace variants were already handy around a bend, but the SVR ups the ante in a big way. It’s not just car-like, but sportscar-like. It’s just a shame the steering is somewhat lacking in engagement, the around-town ride is a bit firm and that the car feels heavier than its advertised 1.9-tonne kerb weight.
A decent foil to the Porsche Macan Turbo, Mercedes-amg GLC 63 S and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q, then? For a first effort it’s remarkably good, but a back-to-back comparo will be needed to assign a proper finishing order in this new breed of super-suvs.
Top: Besides Svr-specific seats, the hottest F-pace is surprisingly understated on the inside Model Jaguar F-pace SVR Engine 5000cc V8 (90°), dohc, 32v, s/c Max power 405kw @ 6000-6500rpm Max torque 680Nm @ 2500-5500rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic Weight 1936kg 0-100km/h 4.3sec (claimed) Fuel economy 11.7L/100km Price $139,648 On sale Now