Luxury SUVs are no longer enough to satisfy the well-heeled buyer. These days, manufacturers need to offer a ridiculously fast performance version to stay relevant. Enter Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations. They have breathed rather heavily on the impressive F-Pace and gifted it some trick bits to make it faster, louder, and better in the corners. The headline-grabber is the F-Type sportscar's donation of its heart. A 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is nestled in the front of the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, and it produces 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. Together with an all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission, this super-SUV can hit a top speed of 176 mph. Is it as good as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Porsche's Cayenne and Macan though?
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR carries over from 2019 virtually unchanged, but the one update is a notable one. For 2020, all new Jaguar models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
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5.0L Supercharged V8 Gas
The F-Pace's chassis upgrades have made a big difference to the way it drives, mitigating how much body roll is exhibited through corners taken at speed. It turns in sharply and accurately, offering good weight that adjusts based on your speed. The all-wheel-drive system offers plenty of grip too, making standing starts and low-speed corners easy to deal with and accelerate from. The adaptive dampers, even when in their stiffest setting, are impressively compliant too, making the balance between performance and comfort a well-managed experience. Naturally, this isn't the type of vehicle you can throw about with wanton abandon, but there are situations that will cause you to back off. When cruising, small and large bumps alike are managed with exceptional poise, and although it's not as soft as a regular F-Pace, the suspension is unlikely to cause any complaints. The brakes are excellent too, with good initial bite and plenty of force. Stopping in traffic is simple too. In review, the F-Pace SVR is a well-refined package and manages the objectives of high performance and comfort with aplomb.
The F-Pace SVR has a beautiful interior, a striking road presence, and a powerful and toneful engine with a rorty switchable exhaust, not to mention plenty of power and an astonishing top speed. Yet it's handling is equally impressive, with the tall SUV behaving much like a car in the corners, all while also being able to cross continents in impressive comfort. The cargo area is also huge and there's no shortage of standard features, with a powerful sound system, ambient lighting, heated and ventilated front seats, and advanced options like adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and quad-zone automatic climate control. The only major stumbling block is the infotainment system, which is infuriatingly distracting to use. Nevertheless, it's a good vehicle all-round and has excellent warranty and maintenance coverage. If you can look past that infotainment system and can afford the gas, go for it.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV is very similar in many ways to the Jag F-Pace SVR, and even their base prices are separated by only a hundred bucks. Both feature all-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Alfa, however, uses a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, producing 45 hp less than the Jag with a 59-lb-ft deficit. Yet it's the Alfa that accelerates to 60 mph quicker, although both share the same top speed. The biggest difference is in the cargo area, where the Alfa only offers 18.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats while the Jag manages a whopping 33.5 cubes. The Alfa also has a smaller gas tank, but we'd prefer the Stelvio QV. Why? Well, it drives much better, gets better fuel economy, and has a more modern interior with a simple and easy to use infotainment system. That said, choosing the marginally more expensive F-Pace SVR is not a bad decision either.
The Porsche Macan Turbo is another fast SUV in the same price bracket as the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, although the German vehicle is three grand pricier than the Brit. As with the Alfa above, Porsche opted to fit the Macan Turbo with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, but it's the least powerful vehicle here, with just 434 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. However, it has a telepathically brilliant seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission that helps it to get from 0-60 mph just as quickly as the Jag. Porsche is often very modest with these claims, so it may even be quicker. Top speed is lower, though, at 167 mph and towing lags behind the SVR at 4,409 lbs. It's also less spacious, both for cargo and adults. Yet, it drives far better and feels more fun. For practical reasons, we'd choose the Jag. Throw that out the window and we'll be behind the wheel of the Porsche.
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