TUNED to perfection from just about every angle, the 2019 Jaguar F-PACE SVR is the brand’s pinnacle performance SUV, and the 405kW supercharged 5.0-litre V8 power plant that knocks out some 680Nm of torque is just the start of it.
Designed and built in England, with love, or something close to it, the F-PACE SVR has an aura of motoring goodness about it. It can be found in lots of places, not the least of which is the fact this luxury SUV goes from 0-100km/h in a staggering 4.3 seconds.
That’s no typo either. This thing absolutely hauls arse, but not in the same way as those other big SUVs with massive engines, that feel fantastic until you move the steering wheel a micron to change directions.
Thanks to the combination of its all-wheel drive system, dynamic stability and traction control, electronic active differential with torque vectoring, and an 8-speed transmission that is Johnny on the spot with every gear change, the SVR is simply magical.
One might be inclined to think it’s black magic, or some other dark art, because it all works together seamlessly. Okay it’s not black magic, but it does give you a feeling of pure containment on the road.
You can sit comfortably on the freeway with the cruise control and lane keep assist on, and the car gently assists you on your journey. Get off that freeway and onto some winding road goodness like say Sydney’s Old Pacific Hwy and things turn agile beast.
The F-PACE SVR delivers driving pleasure by the shed load. It’s explosive yet deceptive, just like an ICBM being launched from a submarine; peaceful and majestic as it escapes the tube underwater in a shroud of air bubbles, and then OMG as the rocket fires.
But of course, it is not all about raw power and fantastic handling. It is after all, a Jaguar, and comfort and luxury is also delivered nicely, with quilted leather seats, soft touch finishes and lots of nice little silver accents.
Throw in some ambient interior lighting, foot well lighting, fully adjustable seats with climate control, and an infotainment system that is very user friendly, and you have an inviting package that just makes you want to hit the road.
But that’s not the half of it. The Meridian sound system is spectacular, there’s DAB+ digital radio, digital TV, back-lit scuff plates, and loads more. You get the point though, it feels sophisticated.
The fine finish is continued on the outside, with a menacing well rounded body that presents with bold smooth flowing curves, blending each part of the car to the next. Some clever styling around the headlights makes it feel like you’re being watched in the dark.
What’s different from its rivals here though is that the F-PACE SVR doesn’t lose the plot to impress like some of its competition, like the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, BMW X3 M Competition or the Maserati Levante S.
It’s far more subtle and subdued, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The package is finished with SVR badging and a body kit that add a little extra bling, with bonnet and side vents, and some straight up gangster 21-inch five spoke wheels.
We should note the F-PACE is actually available in a multitude of variants, with two special editions, a range of engine choices, from 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel 4-bangers to a supercharged V6 petrol option.
There’s even a super economical twin-turbo V6 diesel variant, with a claimed fuel economy of 6.6-litres/100km. So, as you can see, there’s plenty to choose from to suit your needs. But we digress.
Back to this spicy F-PACE and what we thought was an annoying feature, but could be a cunning trick. You see, the location of the buttons that control the windows is weirdly located on the top part of the interior door trim, right in your eye line for the mirrors.
You have to go out of your way to get to them. But it dawned on us that they secretly might actually want you to notice this. We say this because when you test drive it as a customer, the salesperson will come with you.
You’ll get comfortable, see the button, push it, and in doing so wind down the window. While you were doing that the sales guy or girl will have secretly tapped the little chequered flag button, shifting the SVR to angry mode.
As you pull out of the dealership you will inadvertently release what has to be one of the greatest sounding V8 exhaust notes ever. It can’t be unheard, and just one listen to that aural splendour will have you hooked for life.
Thanks to quad 84mm tailpipes, even when you take your foot off the power, the Jaguar gears down and rumbles at you with disapproval. You’ll find yourself tapping the accelerator just to keep the car gods happy.
The seven year old inside us all is quietly going ‘Bwaaaaaap…. bwaaaappp’ in our mind. It’s truly spectacular. There’s a downside though, and that’s the fact you’ll struggle to hit the 11.4-litres/100km combined fuel consumption the SVR claims. We sat on 14.0 mostly.
We’d recommend you scratch together the $140,000 plus on-roads it will take you to own a 2019 Jaguar F-PACE SVR. But a word of warning, there’s an array of add-on packs you’ll need to contemplate should you sign on the dotted line.
You guessed it too, these aren’t free, but do include a practicality pack, head-up display pack, drive pack, park pack, and driver assist pack. There’s no less than 25 different colours to choose from as well, and numerous interior options.
Our test vehicle was provided by Jaguar Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Jaguar F-PACE SVR, contact your local Jaguar dealer.