by Sebastian Cenizo
The Jaguar brand has come a long way in the last two decades, evolving from the old man's golfing companion to a serious contender in the luxury segment. While Ian Callum brought about a renaissance of design, diversification was also necessary to make the British marque a competitive alternative to what German brands offer. To that end, the F-Pace luxury SUV was created, but now a fast version debuts with the SVR suffix. A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 sits under the hood, providing 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic controls shifts while an all-wheel-drive system aids with traction. The body has also been massaged, with muscular curves and aggressive vents complemented by a stunning interior. Still, it has a lot to do to lure buyers away from Porsche's Macan and Alfa Romeo's brilliant Stelvio Quadrifoglio.
The SVR is an all-new addition to the F-Pace lineup and features an engine not offered elsewhere in the range. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is also joined by enhancements like a switchable active exhaust, some special paint options, and unique wheels. The body is different too, and the interior features quilted leather upholstery. A long list of standard features also helps differentiate the SVR from lesser models.
It's quite easy to spot the SVR in a crowd of vanilla F-Pace models, with the front dominated by massive grilles and large vents in the front fenders. LED headlights are nicely integrated into the design, while the hood bulges and creases around a pair of vents. At the back, additional vents border on garish, while a quad-exit exhaust further enhances aggression. Up top, a roof spoiler and a panoramic glass roof are fitted. Wheels are 21s as standard, with 22-inch wheels available as an option.
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR isn't excessively large, measuring 186.5 inches long with a wheelbase of 113.1 inches. Width measures 81.5 inches across while height is 65.7 inches. Curb weight comes in at 4,395 pounds, making it considerably heavier than a base model that starts around 3,800 pounds. However, the SVR is less than 40 pounds heavier than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, despite being larger in all other dimensions too.
The SVR features just one solid color option that won't cost anything extra, but Fuji White is attractive enough for you to ignore the other options. However, if you want to better personalize the vehicle, six metallic options are also available at no charge, including the vibrant Ultra Blue and the rich Firenze Red. Next up are Ultra Metallic colors that can cost in excess of $4,500. Velocity Blue, Bosphorous Grey, and Ligurian Black are among these options, while the SVO Premium Palette includes classic shades like British Racing Green and the overt Madagascar Orange. Special Effect hues are even more expensive and include Spectral Racing Red and Meribel White Pearl, but spending $9,180 on paint is ridiculous, then again you could add a Satin Color Tone for another $2,860 if you really want to splash out.
You know how fast Chevys are generally known by their LS motors? Well, it seems that Jaguar Land Rover is trying to associate one type of motor with its fast offerings. The supercharged 5.0-liter V8 in the F-Pace SVR is in pretty much everything that has an SVR or SVO badge. Output is an impressive 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. That's the same figure as what you get in the range-topping F-Type SVR coupe, and much like with that car, the F-Pace features an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive, helping slingshot the SUV from 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, while the flat-out top speed is an impressive 176 mph. Alfa's Stelvio QV is just as fast, but it's quicker to 60 mph by half a second. The SVR is more than just a straight-line weapon though, and comes with a lower and stiffer suspension setup, along with bigger brakes and a switchable active exhaust system. Since the core purpose of SUVs is their practicality, it's worth noting the SVR's maximum towing capacity too, which is rated at 5,291 lbs.
Just one roaring engine option is mated to a single transmission choice in the F-Pace SVR. A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that generates 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque powers all four wheels with the assistance of an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with aluminum steering-mounted paddle shifters. So why did Jag opt for a supercharged power plant instead of going the mainstream turbo route? Well, throttle response is one reason, and the F-Pace SVR is brilliantly sensitive to your right foot. Another reason could be the sound, and the roar of a V8 combined with the whine of a supercharger is hard to beat. Not only is the sound addictive - the acceleration throughout the rev range is strong too, pulling you back into your seat with ease. The auto 'box responds quickly when you bury the throttle, changing to the appropriate gear with near-instant speed. When cruising, the box happily shifts into top gear smoothly, while manual gear changes are equally satisfying, thanks to quick but silky responses.
Despite its size and height, the F-Pace SVR does a good job of mitigating body roll in the corners, and the steering is joyfully accurate and responsive too. Thanks to that all-wheel-drive system, grip from a standing start or when pulling out of low-speed corners is phenomenal, but at higher speeds, you will note a shade of understeer on the way in. Still, it's a very intoxicating driving experience that would best be described as point-and-shoot. While something like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio will likely be a little more engaging, the F-Pace SVR offers fully accessible performance to even the novice driver, and it's that security that makes the F-Pace SVR an attractive option for the gearhead with a family. Speaking of family, the suspension won't cause too many complaints from them as the adaptive dampers do an excellent job of keeping things supple, and are livable even in their stiffest setting. The bigger brakes on the SVR are also not any more difficult to manage and modulate than those on regular F-Pace models, yet they still offer good response and do a great job of bringing the hefty machine to a smooth and quick stop.
If you're buying a performance vehicle of any type, fuel economy is not generally your first concern, but with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 up front, consumption will be more than noticeable. Official EPA estimates show that the F-Pace SVR should achieve figures of 16/21/18 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. Paired with a 21.7-gallon gas tank, the SVR should provide around 390 miles of range with mixed driving. The Stelvio QV offers between one and three mpg more on the same cycles, but has a considerably smaller 16.9-gallon gas tank.
Open the driver's door on the F-Pace SVR and you are greeted by a beautiful interior with stunning quilted leather and an expansive digital driver display ahead of the heated steering wheel. To the right, the center of the dash features a large ten-inch touchscreen display handles infotainment, while the spacious interior is made more attractive by standard ambient lighting. Above you, a panoramic sunroof lets light in and adds to the airy feel of the cabin. Both the front and the rear seats feature heating as standard too, with the front seats also boasting ventilation. The design of the whole cabin is attractive and features high-quality materials, but some areas look and feel a little "last season".
The F-Pace SVR seats five individuals just like its lesser brethren, and there's a surprisingly impressive amount of space in both the front and the back of the SUV, with a pair of six-footers able to get comfortable in the back and a child able to happily squeeze in between them. Up front, occupants are treated to 14-way power-adjustable chairs and there's no shortage of headroom or legroom here either. The driver also has a good view in all directions, and will find that most controls are within easy reach. Getting in and out is easy too, and the seats offer a good balance between comfort and support.
Leather upholstery is standard in the SVR and features quilting on the seats for a bit more of a wow factor. The headliner is also finished in a faux suede, while aluminum can be found on the steering-mounted shift paddles, the consoles and doors, the seats, and the pedals. In terms of color, you can opt for full Ebony or a choice of Pimento and Ebony, Sienna Tan and Ebony, or Light Oyster and Ebony two-tone finishes. The trim on the dash and doors is a meshed aluminum as standard, but aluminum weave carbon fiber is available at an extra cost of a little more than a thousand dollars.
An SUV, as we've alluded to earlier in the review, needs to be practical first and foremost, and the F-Pace shines in this area, with an impressive 33.5 cubic feet of volume behind the second row - around 15 cubic feet more than competitors from Alfa and Porsche. Should you need more space, you can drop the rear seats in a 40/20/40 split to carry larger items like mountain bikes and more.
In the cabin, you get capacious door pockets and a well-sized glovebox. The center armrest in the front also features a large storage bin, with the area below the dash offering space for your phone. A quartet of cupholders is also included with two for each row of seating.
A long list of standard features are included in this top-spec SVR trim, with a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, a power liftgate, adaptive LED headlights, and heated power-folding mirrors all included as standard. You also get auto high beams, heated and ventilated 14-way power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated rear seats. Keyless entry with push-button start is included too, as are features like dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12.3-inch digital driver info display, ambient lighting, hill start assist, and a switchable active exhaust system. Safety features include a rearview camera, parking sensors, forward collision assist with autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist. Options include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a refrigerated glovebox, quad-zone climate control, automatic parking, a surround-view camera, and a head-up display.
A ten-inch touchscreen display features Jaguar's Touch Pro infotainment software that offers SiriusXM satellite radio as standard but charges you extra for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Fortunately, you do get a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, and navigation. However, these features can't hide how outdated and slow the confusing system is. On the plus side, the 11-speaker Meridian sound system performs well and a 17-speaker upgrade is available, as is a CD/DVD player.
Thus far, the F-Pace range as a whole has been subject to a single recall that was issued in January of this year for a faulty crankshaft pulley bolt that may fracture. No other issues have been reported.
In terms of coverage, the F-Pace SVR offers a comprehensive package that includes a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with complimentary scheduled maintenance for the same period.
Thus far, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has tested a Jaguar F-Pace in any form. However, a long list of standard and available features should keep occupants safe in the event of a crash.
Standard safety features on the F-Pace SVR are impressive, with the performance SUV featuring adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, a rearview camera, parking sensors at the front and the rear, hill start assist, lane keep assist, and forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking. You also get frontal, side-impact, and curtain airbags, but ultimate peace of mind comes with the available features of a 360-degree parking camera, adaptive cruise control with high-speed automatic emergency braking, and a head-up display.
There are a number of reasons to look past the Jag F-Pace SVR. For one, the infotainment system is rather infuriating to live with and is too slow to be considered modern. In addition, some of the design elements and material choices in places make you wonder about the asking price. In addition, the driving experience is less lively than in some competitors, and the badge is arguably still tainted by old stereotypes. However, these problems can be a small price to pay for a vehicle that offers a beautifully luxurious interior for the most part, and a long list of standard features. Furthermore, the stable but invigorating driving experience is plenty of fun and the sound of the engine is addictive. The gearbox is excellent too and the chassis is properly sorted. You can even justify the purchase of around $80k to your significant other by mentioning how large the cargo area is. It's not a perfect vehicle, but there's no such thing, and this is certainly good enough for your consideration.
Just one trim level is on offer for the standalone SVR, with pricing for the speedy SUV starting at $79,990 before a delivery fee of $1,025 and any other fees or taxes. Fully loaded, you'll be spending north of $100,000.
The F-Pace SVR is the spawn of Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division and thus is considered separately to regular F-Pace models. As a special performance variant, only one trim is on offer. The SVR produces 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque courtesy of a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that sends output through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The vehicle rides on 21-inch wheels and features adaptive dampers, automatic adaptive LED headlights with auto high beams, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated and ventilated 14-way power-adjustable front seats. Those seats are upholstered in quilted Windsor leather, while the rest of the interior has notable features like a 12.3-inch driver info display, a ten-inch touchscreen infotainment display, and an 11-speaker Meridian sound system. You also get a power liftgate, a rearview camera, parking sensors, and ambient lighting.
5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
Various add-ons are available for the F-Pace SVR, and one of the first that we'd consider is the option of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Another worth considering is quad-zone climate control with an air quality sensor, but if the budget is a little low, skip past this and rather tick the box for the Driver Assistance package. This adds a 360-degree surround-view parking camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic park assist, and adaptive cruise control with both evasive steering assist and high-speed automatic emergency braking. Other options include a lockable cooled glovebox and a 17-speaker Meridian sound system upgrade.
Just one trim level is on offer for range-topping F-Pace SVR, so choosing your base model is easy. However, we'd be picky with options and avoid the available 22-inch wheels in order to preserve the comfort that makes the F-Pace so attractive to families on long drives. However, we would add the Driver Assistance package detailed above for ultimate peace of mind and we'd also add smartphone integration to improve the infotainment system's abilities. There is value to be had in the other options that are mostly useful, but additions to this vehicle can get pricey quickly so we'd aim to keep cost below $100k.
When Alfa announced grandiose plans for M3-beaters and sporty SUVs, much of the world was apprehensive. After all, they've let us down with lukewarm creations like the Mito QV before. However, the brand is undergoing a renaissance of its own, and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is full of brilliance and outstanding performance while still retaining the passion and style that the Italian brand was always revered for. With the Stelvio QV, the brand offers a phenomenal 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. Despite boasting lower power figures than the slightly heavier F-Pace SVR, it's quicker from 0-60 mph and offers the same top speed. The interior is also stunning and the infotainment system is great to use. Unless you need the extra space afforded by choosing the British brute, we'd suggest opting for the enigmatic Italian for purer driving thrills and ultimate style.
Another sporty Italian SUV is the Maserati Levante Trofeo. Boasting a Ferrari-derived 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, the Levante Trofeo makes a glorious noise as it puts a whopping 590 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque through its all-wheel-drive system. While this makes it capable of getting from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and allows it to top out at a scarcely believable 189 mph, it should be noted that you pay a heavy premium for this performance. The Levante Trofeo has a starting price that is more than double that of the F-Pace SVR. In addition, the infotainment system is not particularly brilliant in any way, and the interior design is let down by outdated styling and cheap parts borrowed from Fiat and Jeep offerings. Sure it sounds great and goes like stink, but at a price of just under $170,000, it needed to be perfect to be worthy of beating the Jag.