The new 2019 F-Pace SVR is as close as Jaguar has ever come to building a monster truck. It’s Jaguar’s first V8-powered SUV, and as wonderfully brutal as the brand’s high performance sports cars and sedans.
Start it up when someone is standing behind it, and they’ll jump and scream as the 550 hp supercharged 5.0-liter V8 comes to life. Rev it and they will cry tears of joy if they’re into cars, or call 911 if not. And that’s before you even switch the exhaust to its loud setting.
This thing is raucous and it looks proud about its prowess, with big air intakes up front, rocker panel extensions and a long spoiler at the trailing edge of the roof that makes even a parked F-Pace appear to be just about to enter hyperspace. The 21-inch wheels and Fintstones-spec tires aren’t subtle either.
My 87-year-old father, a retired paisley tie-era car salesman who drives a white-on-white Cadillac DTS with a landau top, said my red test F-Pace SVR looked “flashy for a Jaguar.” He’s not wrong, but it looks pretty right to me.
The F-Pace SVR comes standard with all-wheel-drive and is equipped with an electronically-controlled rear differential that can take 100 percent of the power and divvy it side to side under acceleration to help the big cat get around curves.
Its stiffened suspension seems to defy physics as it virtually eliminates body roll, but exhibits that legendary Jaguar finesse that makes the F-Pace SVR an entirely acceptable daily driver. The SVR’s deep racing-inspired seats with inflatable side bolsters and quilted leather upholstery are also more comfortable than you’d expect, while the rest of the interior is pretty much standard F-Pace fare.
That’s to say it’s handsome, but the trim isn’t quite up to the SVR’s $81,015 base price compared to what you get in a Mercedes-AMG GLC63 or BMW X3 M, its closest foils. (Not to mention one of the SUVs from its sister brand, Range Rover.) All of them deliver similar performance, figure four seconds to 60 mph and top speeds around 175 mph, but the SVR’s steering is so crisp and the throttle so responsive that it feels exciting even when you’re pulling out of the garage.
The F-Pace’s 360-degree camera comes in handy when you do that, while its updated adaptive cruise control and lane keeping systems are both excellent and can pretty much handle the driving on the highway, as long as you keep a hand on the wheel. Unfortunately, they’re all part of an optional $3,600 bundle that includes a few other driver aids, but the point of a vehicle like the F-Pace SVR is to turn them off, switch into “Luke in the Death Star trench” mode and take control for yourself.
2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR
Base price: $80,015
Type: 4-door, 5-passenger all-wheel-drive SUV
Engine: 5.0-liter supercharged V8
Power: 550 hp, 502 lb-ft torque
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
MPG: 16 city/21 hwy