BEST TESTS ’22: Jaguar tweaks step F-Pace SVR ahead

The original Jaguar F-Pace SVR was as terrific at unleashing the adrenaline as it was gobbling up long distances, full loads, and toughest driving conditions. Its surprisingly subtle and supple supercharged V8 had a hysterical side to it. It did the job very well. Pity its cabin let the side down with insipid ambience and sub-par infotainment.


A bit more bite for the Supercharged SVR V8

Happily, that’s all changed. And it starts from the top with its blown V8 even getting a bit more muscle and better cooling too. Now with 405 kW on tap and 700 Nm all the way from 3,000 rpm, SVR adds another 3 clicks to its 286 km/h top end. If that matters, beyond boasting its more than those Axis rivals’ standard 250 km/h top whack.

Jaguar says its quicker at 4 seconds to 100 km/h too. Our VBox disagreed. In fact, we’d call it disappointing at 4.4 seconds to 100 when M3/4, Stelvio and GLC 63 all easily broke into the 3s to that mark.

The problem is that this car prevents you from going any quicker. The Alfa helps you go almost a second faster at 3.5 seconds by just letting it rev a bit higher when you line lock it and then let the brake go. The BMW even has launch control. But you must fight this Jaguar off the line. Which even makes its electric I-Pace sister half a tenth quicker on our run. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


A lovely middle finger to the woke new world

That said, we love that this car still lacks any form of hybridisation. It shows the middle finger to the woke world. But it punished us. We tried so hard to meet that 12.2 litres per hundred claim. Never got near thirteen and a half! Promises, promises…

Jaguar also tweaked SVR’s steering assistance, damper tune, and rear diff chassis electronics. All part of an all-new onboard electrical system. Add improvements to suspension bushes and links, and a new brake booster too.

On the road, the sonorous supercharged V8 is gentler than those knuckle dusted German and Italian fists. Still, whack it up, and it’s Jekyll and Hyde stuff. SV-R gets going and just keeps on running like the bull all the way to that quite absurd top speed. In other words, it’s brilliant. Once you’ve finally got it off the mark, that is.


More to F-Pace SVR than just power and speed

There’s more to this car than just grunt and speed though. A bit bigger than its X5, GLC, Stelvio and other rivals, the F-Pace is a small enough not to call itself a real X5 or GLE rival. SVR now gets new lights front and rear, the bonnet and grille fit more snugly atop bigger holes in the bumper for better cooling. And bonnet vents to help that latent heat get away.

Inside, hugely improved, far more responsive, and much better looking infotainment now has fine resolution and cleverly stacked windows. We’d prefer more buttons than relying so much on touching and smudging a screen bouncing to the rhythm of the road. Haptic touch makes a difference. That said, the temp and the like main controls are lovely great big knobs.

The steering wheel buttons are way too sensitive. Had us pulling our hair out trying to find the AM radio station it ran away from, every time we got it wrong trying to change the settings on the hugely improved dash. VW led the way to this pinch and swipe crap. Let’s just hope everyone follows them back to reality!


An overall friendlier SVR everyday drive

The new heads up display is also great, the power bucket front seats a treat, and the rear chairs now even have power backrests. In fact, everywhere the original F-Pace SVR lacked, the new one has addressed. Except maybe its launch logic. Come on, Jaguar!

Wrapping it up, looked at as an X4M, GLE 63 or Stelvio QV, Macan or RSQ5 rival, F-Pace SVR has always had the space and the pace. Now it brings a far better quality feel and a touch more power to compete very well with its Axis rivals. Let’s just say the grace.

We appreciated this F-Pace SVR’s well balanced and laid back cool feel. Which probably makes it an overall friendlier daily driver solution too. – Michele Lupini

Engine: 405 kW 700 Nm Supercharged 5-litre V8
Drive: 8-speed automatic AWD
0-60 km/h:        2.29 sec
0-100 km/h:       4.41 sec
0-120 km/h:       9.10 sec
0-160 km/h:       2.54 sec
400m:             12.4 sec @ 189 km/h
80-120 km/h:      2.54 sec
120-160 km/h:     3.36 sec
VMax:             286 km/h
Fuel:             12.2 l/100 km
CO2:              272 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y 100K/5y 100K km
LIST PRICE:       R1.996M
RATED:            8
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