Jaguar F-Pace SVR review: special delivery
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JAGUAR F-PACE SVR
- Amazing engine
- Minimal body roll
- Great sports seat
- Suspension stiff in every mode
- Never truly quiet
- Fuel efficiency isn’t in its vocabulary
For the latest iteration of the F-Pace SVR, Jaguar has made some adjustments to the beefy supercharged V8 engine to produce more torque, as well as overhauling the infotainment system.
The result is an unbelievably competent package, which I believe is the best performance SUV on the market right now.
Starting at the business end, this 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is a little more reserved than the last model, but is still an unruly beast that can wake the dead. It makes an impressive 405kW/700Nm, which is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It will hit 100km/h in four seconds flat before topping out at 286km/h.
Four driving modes are available, including Winter, Eco, Comfort, and Dynamic. In Dynamic mode, 100 per cent of power is sent to the rear wheels, with the front wheels only engaging when slip is detected. To assist with traction at the rear, the SVR will squat down and pitch the nose skyward at launch, and rip-snort its way down the tarmac. Despite being a traditional automatic, the transmission is quite harsh in Dynamic mode, and will snap through the gears under heavy acceleration.
With a supercharged V8, you could’ve probably guessed that it goes well in a straight line, but I’m happy to report that it will also devour corners with ease. Despite weighing in at over 2.2 tonnes, this SVR remains extremely composed through the twisties with very little body roll. Even at what seems like the traction limit the advanced torque-vectoring system provides peace of mind, and the SVR will grip up and go.
On the inside, there’s a performance-oriented interior that doesn’t compromise on comfort. The biggest news in here is the updated infotainment system that displays on a curved 11.4-inch screen. Unlike its predecessor, this system will respond to inputs in a timely manner, and is very easy to use.
Infotainment aside, the F-Pace’s cabin is a fantastic place to be, featuring some of the nicest sports seats I’ve had the pleasure of using. In my opinion, these seats are in the goldilocks zone between seats that don’t actually offer any lateral support and the seats that are found in BMW’s new M3.
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Competition, which are a bit too harsh for daily use. Similar sports seats also feature in the second row, which earns the SVR infinite cool points in my book.
For everyday living the F-Pace is an awesome companion, but never loses its race car feel — which isn’t always a good thing. Even in Eco mode, engine noise is still noticeable, and the same goes for the dampers, as the suspension is never overly forgiving.
The official fuel economy figure is 11.4l/100km, but it sits around 16l/100km if you’re driving with a heavy foot, and you’ll struggle to get more than about 350km out of a single tank.
The SVR is rated to tow 2.4 tonnes, meaning that you can tow the caravan or boat to the track if you so wish.
While the performance SUV segment is ever-expanding, this F-Pace SVR is a hard package to beat at $169,990. You’ve got the likes of the BMW X5 M Competition with its twin-turbo V8 making 460kW, but that starts at $225,900 so it’s almost in a different league. Another option is the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S at $187,900, but that only gets 375kW from its turbocharged V8.
With this in mind, the F-Pace SVR really is a goldilocks SUV, matching an incredible power figure with a decent price point.
Given that Jaguar has announced that that this V8 is the last of its Kind, with the British brand turning to exclusively electric power by 2025, this is an impressive way to send off petrol power. It’s a real shame to see these beasts go, but let’s not be sad about that, let’s be happy that it happened. Live, laugh, love everyone.