When Jaguar’s F-Pace was launched as the company’s foray into the lucrative SUV fold, it had the proviso to not only drive like a typical Jaguar — being sporty for the most part — but sizeably boost the company’s sales.
In the case of the latter, it seems to have achieved its mandate. In fact, such is the importance of the F-Pace that the company has decided to launch a high-performance variant in the form of the SVR built by bespoke division SVO (Special Vehicle Operations).
Interestingly, outside of the F-Type, Jaguar has decided to inject the SVR treatment into its SUV as opposed to, say, the XE and XF sedan models. This could be due to the fact that both the XE and XF are not doing particularly well in the sedan-crazed China market and one would expect a hotter version to have a better business case.
The F-Pace SVR has aesthetic updates to set it apart from its garden variety siblings, such as the aerodynamic package with model-specific front and rear valances, said to improve aerodynamic efficiency and cooling. The rear is the obvious upgrade with active quad exhausts ensconced in the rear diffuser and 21-inch alloy wheels (optional 22-inch on offer).
Engine wise, the company has shoehorned the 5.0l V8 supercharged engine already doing duty in the F-Type R that makes 405kW and 680Nm through a quicker shifting eight-speed automatic.
This, according to the company, is enough to get the big cat leaping from standstill to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds and to a top speed of 283km/h.
To ensure that is done in the most efficient manner, there is a torque vectoring system aided by the standard all-wheel drive setup. To rein in the speed, there are dinner-plate sized brakes measuring 395mm up front, while the rears are 396mm and are a two-piece item.
Of course, you expect a Jaguar to sound the part and it features an active titanium exhaust system, which weighs 6.6kg less than a standard steel item.
If it sounds anything like its sister Range Rover Sport SVR, then we can expect this one to also be a riot in the vocal department, dishing out an aural cocktail of pops, crackles and belches in equal measure.
The cabin has been spruced up with form-hugging, SVR embossed and quilted leather sports seats, lashings of carbon fibre sprinkled about and contrasting leather stitching on the steering wheel and gear lever.
Many of the standard items from the S model such as the 10-inch info display and 12.3-inch instrument cluster still take centre stage, while an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot allows up to eight devices to be connected.
Under the skin, the suspension has been uprated to cope with the extra motivation on offer, including stiffer spring rates 30% and 10% front and rear respectively, while an antiroll bar is said to reduce body roll by an extra 5%.
The model will be aimed squarely at the Porsche Macan Turbo, the forthcoming Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV, BMW X3/X4M and the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 variants.
According to Jaguar Land Rover SA, the F-Pace SVR will arrive on our shores in the second half of 2018 when the pricing will be announced, but we can expect a price ranging from R1.5m to R1.8m.
With an onslaught of compact performance SUVs coming to our shores, there is a clear appetite for such vehicles locally and it looks quite insatiable.