NYIAS 2018 – Supercharged Kitty: Jaguar Gives 2019 F-Pace the SVR Treatment
Top Speed of 176, Forged Wheels, and Stonking V-8 for Jag’s Original SUV
The 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is here, and boy, is it wild.
Revealed last night at an event at Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) new North American headquarters in New Jersey, the F-Pace SVR receives lots of attention from the company’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO). The SVR follows in the footsteps of many of the skunkworks’ other machines as it receives a new heart in the form of a 5.0L supercharged V-8, which makes 550 hp and 502 lb-ft in this application.
The engine, working in conjunction with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Intelligent Driveline Dynamics all-wheel drive, launches the F-Pace SVR to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 176 mph. Those numbers represent an incredible performance SUV value, as the F-Pace SVR is slated to start at $79,990 before destination and handling. That’s tens of thousands of dollars less than the outgoing Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, which is just a shade quicker to 60 and has a 1-mph top speed advantage.
Starting from the standard F-Pace’s impressive suspension dynamics, the SVR gets stiffer front (by 30 percent) and rear (by 10 percent) progressive-rate springs, along with an anti-roll system that contributes to an overall 5 percent reduction in body lean. Also improving handling are standard 21-inch or optional 22-inch forged wheels in a staggered setup, with rear wheels nearly an inch wider than fronts.
Behind those gorgeous, lightweight rollers are 15.5-inch front and 15.6-inch rear brakes. The pizza-sized, two-piece rotors help reduce unsprung mass, improving acceleration, handling, braking, and ride quality. Further improving maneuverability is a rear Electronic Active Differential, which keeps power planted to the ground if one of the rear wheels begins to lose traction.
Helping the F-Pace SVR slip through the air more efficiently are a set of aerodynamic enhancements compared to the standard F-Pace. Large fender vents aft of the front wheels reduce pressure buildup under the vehicle and in the wheel wells, and larger front air intakes reduce lift and provide additional cooling to the hot-blooded engine. A vented hood helps in this respect as well.
The rear bumper is reshaped with side strakes that work with the rear window spoiler to smooth the air tumbling off the back of the vehicle. The bumper also gets quad tailpipes as part of the F-Pace SVR’s Variable Valve Active Exhaust. The exhaust, which cuts 14.5 pounds over the standard F-Pace, provides increased airflow for more efficient power generation, and it gives the SVR a throaty growl totally befitting the SUV’s mission.
Inside, slimmer front seats provide greater bolstering and support than more conventional F-Paces, and the rear seat is reshaped for more support as well. While the conventional F-Pace has a rotary-style shifter, the SVR gets the joystick-type gear selector found in the F-Type sports car. These funky shifters are almost de rigueur in a modern luxury vehicle, but we’re grateful Jaguar included shift paddles behind the steering wheel for more options when switching gears manually.
Jaguar is proud the F-Pace SVR retains all the cargo space of the less powerful model, and we presume front and rear seat space is similar, though perhaps diminished somewhat because of those thick bolsters. The SVR gets available Wi-Fi, a standard 12.3-inch instrument cluster display, and a 10-inch center infotainment touchscreen. Rich leather comes with the SVR package as well, imbuing the interior with loads of oh-so-English luxury.
The company says the Jaguar F-Pace SVR will arrive in dealer showrooms this summer. As mentioned before, its starting price of $79,990, plus a $995 destination charge. That puts it right in the thick of the performance-SUV hunt, splitting the difference between the slower Porsche Macan Turbo and the more expensive Macan Turbo Performance Package. It’s also a bit cheaper than the (admittedly much faster) Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and achieves 180 mph before giving into aerodynamic drag. Mercedes-AMG’s upcoming GLC63 and Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio Quadrifoglio will be faster, and BMW doesn’t offer an M version of the X3 just yet, but in most metrics, the F-Pace is competitive with its rivals.
But what each of its competitors lacks is the JLR 5.0L supercharged V-8’s ridiculous bark. And that visceral experience alone may be enough to convince customers to pick the leaping-cat badge over the four-leaf clover or three-pointed star. As for us, we just can’t wait to get behind the wheel.