There’s no surprise under the bonnet of the first F-Pace according to JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations: it’s the ubiquitous supercharged 5.0-litre V8 in 542bhp form. But there are surprises here, like just how much of the F-Pace has been SVR’ed, including those purposeful new looks.
It all comes together as a 176mph sporting SUV that can get from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, looks as special as an SVR vehicle should look while retaining all its innate Jaguarness, and comes with the promise of agile new dynamics to match the extra performance.
“Everything from the steering to the bespoke suspension set-up has been tuned specifically and the result is a vehicle that lives up to the promise of both the F-Pace and SVR names,” says Mike Cross, JLR’s chef of vehicle integrity and not a man given to hyperbole.
But what about that new look? It works well, we reckon, thanks to changes that make the £75k newcomer more than just an additional engine variant. The SVR aerodynamic package includes unique front and rear bumpers, with larger front air intakes and, at the back, a new spoiler and side strakes. There’s also a new bonnet with vents to get the V8’s hot air out.
But it’s from the side that the SVR of SUVs really shows its muscular new character. The low-slung look is down to wheelarch extensions and more sculpted lower body mouldings, set off by tasty new side vents. Jaguar says the vents reduce lift and provide additional cooling while also optimising high-speed stability.
The F-Pace cabin has always been a good place to be and in the SVR version changes are limited to new front seats with pronounced extra lateral support (as well as the signature lozenge quilting and SVR logos), a new gear selector (instead of the rotary one) and SVR steering wheel with aluminium paddle shifters. It’s still a five-seater (five seat belts at least), and Jaguar says in all other respects – such as its seats-up 650-litre boot space – it’s the same as any F-Pace.
But not, we assume, to drive. Apart from the storming performance – for reference, 0-62 in 4.3 seconds is a tad quicker than the Porsche Macan Turbo – the SVR F-Pace boasts re-engineering of the running gear.
It’s the first F-Pace to get Jaguar’s Electronic Active Differential (EAD) from the F-Type sports car. Jaguar says that in league with optimised all-wheel drive and Adaptive Dynamics suspension, plus new 21-inch wheels (22s optional) that are wider at the back than the front, all-weather traction is improved.
There are uprated dampers and spring rates: a meaty 30 per cent stiffer up front, 10 per cent stiffer at the back. There’s a new anti-roll bar for less body lean. Steering and drive modes have also been recalibrated to sportier SVR settings, while the brakes are larger 395/396mm front/rear two-piece discs. A charismatic soundtrack – always an SVR trait – is provided by a variable-valve active exhaust system. Helpfully it’s also 6.6 kg lighter than the standard exhaust.
With a mighty 44 per cent power lift over the four- and six-cylinder F-Paces that until now have comprised the range, the SVR version effortlessly eases into its sporting SUV flagship role for the British firm. That it looks the part too is surely a bonus.
Price? £74,835 on the road, and available to order from the summer.