When Jaguar wants to spice up its cars, they turn to SVO, or Special Vehicle Operations. The most recent addition to that family is the F-Pace SVR. What was SVO able to do to Jaguar’s big cat? They’re responsible for fitting the 5.0L supercharged V8 under the hood and four massive exhaust ports out back. We recently spent a week with the fire breathing F-Pace SVR to get a sense of what that might be like.
If looks could kill, this F-Pace in Firenze Red with the 22″ wheels can stop you in your tracks. Looking far more svelte than some of its German rivals, the SVR has a lower front splitter with larger air intakes up front, vents on the hood, an air curtain on the front fender and some large exhausts out back. You’ll probably hear it coming before you see it, so that’s another dead giveaway. The F-Pace is already a great looking SUV, and the SVR treatment goes a long way to add to the aggression while still keeping the elegant overall theme.
Inside the F-Pace SVR gets sport bucket seats that are very comfortable and extremely supportive when driving on a twisty road. The infotainment screen is fairly good. We had no issues operating it, and no glitches during our time with the car. Inputs are sometimes a little slow to react, but the graphics are clear and high quality. It does not get the dual screen infotainment like you may find in a Land Rover, however. Materials mostly feel top notch with just a few hard plastics scattered about the cabin on the lower surfaces. There is a leather dashboard and contrast stitching abound which adds to the premium feel. While our interior was solid black with carbon fiber trim, there are several colors that brighten up the interior and give it a two-tone appearance.
The main reason buyers would opt for the F-Pace SVR is the driving experience. This SUV is one of the most entertaining that we’ve ever encountered. From a pure performance data standpoint, it falls behind the super focused Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but it exudes a character and provides a cabin experience that the Alfa just can’t match. The driving force behind that character is the masterful 5.0L supercharged V8. In this application, it churns out 550 horsepower and just over 500 lb-ft of torque. This wonderful V8 is sonorous too, with an active exhaust that opens and closes based on your drive mode or at the push of a button on the center console. We weren’t sure if it was louder than the Challenger Redeye Widebody that we had earlier this year, but it wasn’t far behind. The chassis is well balanced, and the steering is fairly direct. We particularly enjoyed that the Jaguar steering is singularly weighted with no adjustment. Other than Dynamic mode sharpening up the throttle response and shift speed, we noticed little change between that and normal. Handling is balanced and body roll is fairly minimal for such a large vehicle with a higher center of gravity. One small note, the tires are all seasons from Pirelli. While helpful for daily traction in the colder months, we’d probably spec out a summer set and a winter set as best practice. That way, the drive could be even more rewarding in the warmer months.
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR is an expertly crafted, 550hp family hauler that rang in with an as-tested price of just under $90,000. That does mean it has a bit of competition not only from the aforementioned Alfa Romeo, but also from AMG and BMW M. And while that pack runs pretty close in terms of performance figures, the Jaguar delivers a unique experience. The interior is a wonderful place to spend time, and the V8’s roar isn’t muted by turbochargers or augmented by cabin audio. Instead, its fired straight out the back for the world to hear. Like they always say, there is no replacement for displacement and that’s exactly why the F-Pace SVR is our favorite performance SUV.
|2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR AWD
|22″ 5 split-spoke ‘Style 5081’ with Diamond Turned finish||$1,500|
|Aluminum Weave Carbon Fiber trim finisher||$1,300|
|Meridian™ Surround Sound System (825W)||$450|
|Driver Assistance Pack||$3,600|
|As Tested MSRP||$88,505|