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Review: 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

What happens when you take a massive sports car engine and stuff it into a family SUV? You can take your kids with you and let them experience the joys and thrills of a 5.0L supercharged V8. 

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Performance

Engine – The 5.0L supercharged V8 engine that’s under the hood of this 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR, first found a home in the F-Type SVR sports car. However, in the F-Type this engine made 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque while in this F-Pace SUV, it has to make due with just 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. To be brutally honest, with 550 hp, the F-Pace is one fast SUV. The industry standard of 0-100km/h gets done with in just 4.3 seconds which is the same as a manual Chevy Camaro SS. This 5.0L V8 overshadows every other aspect of the F-Pace. It has a lot of character. 

In terms of fuel economy, well, does it really matter with an SUV that weighs 2 tonnes and has a 5.0L supercharged V8? It’s not going to be good. During my time with the F-Pace SVR, I averaged around 17 L/100km (13.8 mpg). The last time I drove an F-Pace SVR, I managed 14 L/100km but the majority of that fuel cycle was on highways. EnerGuide rates the F-Pace SVR at 14.5 L/100km (16.2 mpg) in a city and 11 L/100km (21.4 mpg) on a highway. 

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Interior

Transmission – Like many other Jaguar models, the F-Pace receives an 8-speed automatic transmission. In S-Dynamic mode, the shifts are noticeable both on upshifts and downshifts. But they are relatively quick for a traditional automatic. Pop the gear selector into D and the transmission shifts become much smoother (and slower) which makes it perfect for normal city driving.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Braking – 15.5” front rotors with massive 4-piston calipers do the majority of the braking. Despite the 2,000 kg curb weight, the 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR stops like as though it’s a lighter sport sedan. Not quite a sports car but still very good. Unfortunately there is no option of carbon ceramic brakes like on the F-Type SVR but for everyday use and driving through mountain roads, the steel brakes provide a confident feeling brake pedal after repeated use. Emergency automatic braking is a standard feature on the Jaguar F-Pace SVR.

Handling – With AWD and massive 295 section wide tires in the back, the F-Pace SVR has a lot of grip. 100% of the engine’s power gets sent to the back wheels majority of the time with some of that power going to the front wheels when the wide tires do start to let go. Exiting out of a corner feels like you’re getting shot out of a cannon. However, if you have traction control and stability control off and you’re not careful, the big cat can slide. It’s an uneasy feeling when the big rear tires do let go and 2 tonnes of SUV goes into a direction that you’re not expecting. But leave traction & stability control on and the F-Pace feels like it can outcorner just about every other sports SUV on the market… and even some sports cars.


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2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Interior

Comfort

Ride Comfort – The Jag F-Pace SVR gets adaptive suspension that can be switched between Comfort or Dynamic. Even when they’re in the harder Dynamic setting, it’s still relatively comfortable to drive around city streets. Although it has to be said that you probably do want to swerve around bigger potholes. Those are 22-inch wheels with low profile tires after all. The seats are a little on the firm side but they provide very good support when just commuting or having some fun around twisty roads.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Interior

Interior Space – Front occupants have a good amount of space for both tall and shorter drivers/passengers. The seats also make you sit quite high up so you have good visibility over other vehicles in front and it makes it easier to get in and out. Rear occupants also have a good amount of room so long as they’re below 6’2”-ish. If you’re taller than that, it’s not really a place you’d want to be for a long road trip as leg room can be tight. Cargo space is bigger than the competition however it could have been bigger still if it didn’t have the spare wheel taking up the cargo space underneath the trunk floor.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Just like the F-Type SVR, this F-Pace SVR is loud, very loud, very very loud. When in S-Dynamic mode, the exhaust has the traditional V8 roar when accelerating, burbles when upshifting, and crackles & pops when letting off the throttle. Like I said before, this engine overwhelms every other aspect of this SUV and a lot of it has to do with the noises that it makes.

But when you just want to have a quiet drive to work, the active exhaust is quiet enough to not attract attention. You’ll still hear the V8 burble but it’s not overshadowing. I should also point out that on a highway, the 22” optional wheels & tires make quite a bit of noise. Not enough to ruin a trip but it is noticeable.

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2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Odds and Ends

Gadgets – The 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR can be equipped with just about every advanced safety & convenience feature in the Jaguar options list. The only thing that’s really missing are massaging seats. Other than that, you can spec your F-Pace SVR to be an SUV with the heart of a supercar for $92,000 CAD ($80,600 USD) or one that’s fully loaded for around $113,000 CAD ($94,895 USD).

One thing you may want to omit though is the head-up display. It is small and the type of projection that Jaguar uses can be irritating to some. GM and Ford have far better looking and bigger head-up displays.

2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Interior

Interior Design – The F-Pace shares a lot of similar design cues with other Jaguar models. The 10” wide touchscreen is from the F-Type as is the gear selector, the steering wheel and climate controls are from the XF, and the driver digital display is similar to the one on the E-Pace. Where the SVR differs, is with the sport bucket seats with the white and black quilted leather. When I first saw the blue exterior with the white leather, I wasn’t that big of a fan. But after spending some time in it, I came around and I like the contrast and how the white leather reflects the light making it feel brighter and spacious. I would personally never buy a car with white leather as it is much more prone to getting coloured from jeans and other articles of clothing. But I do appreciate the look of it. 

Exterior Design – The standard Jaguar F-Pace is not a bad looking SUV. The SVR treatment though makes it look more aggressive with larger air intakes in the bumper, functional hood and side vents, and large quad exhaust pipes. I also really like some of the little touches like the slats in the body work behind each wheel. Not sure why they’re there but they look cool.

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The F-Pace SVR is a giant middle finger to the environment because Jaguar has electric powertrain technology from the I-Pace EV. They could have easily put their supercharged V6 and made it into a hybrid that produced the same power output as this 5.0L V8 but with much better fuel economy. But they didn’t. They instead decided to give customers an engine with so much character that it always puts a smile on anyone’s face as soon as the SUV accelerates. So at $92,000 CAD, is the Jaguar F-Pace SVR worth it? Yes. Absolutely. A Porsche Cayenne Turbo is a bit faster but also a lot more expensive. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is more powerful but again, much more expensive. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is less powerful and it doesn’t have a V8 engine. So by those metrics, the 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is most definitely worth it at $92,000. You can even call it a bit of a bargain.

Thank you to Jaguar Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Jaguar.ca

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