Developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s elite ‘Special Vehicle Operations’ division, the SVR is effectively a standalone model built around a stonking supercharged petrol engine with well over 500 horsepower and uprated suspension, steering and brakes to match. It competes with other performance SUVs like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography, sharing engine and foundations with the latter. Noisy, thirsty and extravagant, the SVR is also huge fun and best summed up as a guilty pleasure. To read about the rest of the updated F-Pace range click here.
The starting price of just under £80,000 for the F-Pace SVR looks (relatively) reasonable bang for buck, especially against rivals like the Mercedes-AMG GLC and the £100,000-plus Porsche will charge you for a Cayenne with equivalent power. It’s even nearly £10,000 cheaper than the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography, which has the same engine. The Alfa Romeo StelvioQuadrifoglio is a bit cheaper to buy but also less powerful and not as nice inside.
Who are we kidding, though. The SVR is expensive to buy, depreciation is likely to be hefty, fuel costs are going to be astronomical and it’ll cost a fortune to tax, especially for company drivers. If you like the look but want realistic running costs you’ll be much better off in the regular F-Pace, the P400 hybrid offering plenty of performance and expenses that won’t break the bank.
Expert rating: 2/5
Reliability of a Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Jaguar doesn’t historically do well as a brand in reliability surveys, finishing in the bottom fifth of most tables, and the F-Pace finished behind all its competitors in a large SUV reliability survey last year. We do hear (and have experienced) constant tales of woe surrounding infotainment system glitches in Jaguars and Land Rovers and can only hope the new system has sorted out the electrical gremlins, although at least one new Defender owner has already reported similar software glitches with the new system to us.
Expert rating: 2/5
Safety for a Jaguar F-Pace SVR
As a flagship model the SVR gets all the safety tech you’d need, except perhaps encouragement for self-restraint when getting on the loud pedal. True, the all-wheel drive means you can enjoy that with relative security, though it’s worth pointing out the SVR is built for those who know how to handle a potent car and enjoy the feeling of lots of power going to the rear wheels. The F-Pace will pull itself straight eventually, but it’s a car built to reward keen drivers.
Expert rating: 4/5
How comfortable is the Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Many rivals have more sophisticated suspension technology but Jaguar’s secret weapons are its engineers and the bumpy, twisty B-roads where it spends much of its time honing the ride quality and handling of all its cars. They have made the most of the improved control systems in the revised F-Pace to make the adaptive suspension react even more quickly to bumps, and also increase the difference between running it in the stiffer sport mode and more plush comfort setting. The fat tyres create quite a bit of roar and the big wheels mean harsh bumps can still filter through but the main impression is of how serenely the SVR covers ground on even the lumpiest roads. The macho manners are matched with a hefty feel to the controls but it all fits the character of this specialist model.
More broadly the SVR gets the top-quality interior you’d expect of a car of this level, and materials and quality are much improved for this updated model. The four individual sports seats pretty much rule out using the middle position on the back row but look great and grip you tightly through the turns. Which is just as well.
Expert rating: 4/5
Features of the Jaguar F-Pace SVR
As on the regular F-Pace, the main talking point in the interior is the giant central touch-screen of Jaguar Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The screen stands proud of the dash and uses smartphone influenced pinch and swipe control, with crisp graphics and a nicely simplified interface that works better than many rival systems. It’s also fully connected if you want to interact with your F-Pace while you’re away from it. The SVR also gets some tasty additional interior fixtures and fittings, including a mixture of premium leather and suedecloth upholstery on the seats and around the cabin. Contrast colours are a no-cost option and, going by our test car, help make it feel a bit more special than the all-black default.
Expert rating: 5/5
Power for a Jaguar F-Pace SVR
The engine in the F-Pace SVR is simply immense, not just in physical size but also its character, sound and the way it deploys its awesome power. It’s there from the moment you hit the start button, the angry crackle of revs through the four exhausts enough to put a smile on any petrolhead’s face. If not that of your neighbours, especially if you regularly leave the house early.
550 horsepower is more than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, more than the much more expensive Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and equal to that in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo costing over £100,000. At this level such things may seem meaningless but bragging rights remain important in this sector. More critical is the way it delivers those numbers, the response less instantaneous than some (the weight makes its presence felt here) but building to a thrilling crescendo as the speeds increase, with no sense it will run out of puff. The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox has been strengthened for improved response, and is fun to shift manually with the big aluminium paddles behind the wheel. The sportier the mode you choose the more power the F-Pace sends to the rear wheels for a more sports car like balance, though ultimately the all-wheel drive keeps things under control . The real expertise is in how the whole package has been honed to flow along tight and twisty roads in a way that always puts a smile on your face. Best summary? Naughty but nice.
Expert rating: 5/5
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