Car enthusiasts that like ‘old-school horsepower’ will love the noise and power of the massive 5.0-litre V8 in the Jaguar F-Pace SVR
The super sporty SUV segment is seeing no shortage of options at the moment. The Maserati Trofeo, the many variants of the Porsche Cayenne, Audi RS Q8, and BMW X5 M are all pricey, comfortable, and very fast.
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR is the latest entrant into the monster SUV scene here. It’s the most powerful and highly tuned version of the updated F-Pace SUV, which in base model form is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo engine and the big cat’s best-selling car in Singapore.
The SVR edition fettled by the chaps at Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations division however, gets a 5.0-litre V8 with a supercharger attached. Power tops out at a massive 550 horsepower, and maximum torque is a tank-like 700Nm. There’s no hybrid systems or any concession to ‘green vehicle’ modes here. This is a proper rumbling V8 monster of a car with gaping front air intakes large enough to swallow small animals.
Before we go accusing Jaguar of being a dinosaur though, it’s worth noting that Jaguar has declared that it will start to phase out fossil fueled cars from 2025 and be totally electric by 2030. The F-Pace SVR is one of the last of the brand’s large displacement, high performance V8 engines, and when it gets up to speed it’s actually a properly engaging drive.
Our earlier review of the base model Jaguar F-Pace detailed what the interior of the car is like, and the SVR version takes it up a couple of notches of Jaguar’s own sports seats. You’ll need them because the car is capable of pulling some serious G’s around corners and its ability far exceeds what you can legally do on public roads.
The newly updated Pivi Pro infotainment system uses a very big 11.4-inch touch screen that is quite a breeze to adapt to, but the controls for the air conditioning below the main screen need quite a hard stab to trigger. You get ventilated seats all round, but the controls are buried in the menu of the infotainment system so accessing the fan speed is not as straightforward.
The sports exhaust switch gives the engine an extra level of rumbling goodness and it’s the kind of character that’s missing from current-gen electric vehicles. Granted, it’s starting to feel a little old-school, but Jaguar claims that there is still a segment of buyers that want cars like this one. Large, comfortable, powerful, and packed with some character.
It’s got all of the characteristics of a V8-powered car. 0 to 100km/h comes up in 4.0 seconds, accompanied by a powerful, rumbling engine note that really sings. It sounds the best above 5,000rpm, but as you would expect, keeping the engine on the boil in that zone isn’t good for fuel economy and your driver’s license.
The suspension ride quality is actually pretty well-judged. It’s nowhere near as harsh and choppy as the infamous BMW X3 M Competition. The F-Pace SVR offers good cruising ability on the highway, but once into sport mode it can attack corners with great confidence. Very likely more confidence than you have as a driver too, as the rear-biased, adaptive four-wheel drive offers plenty of grip while the engine noise keeps egging you on.
There’s always the adaptive cruise control to keep you out of trouble, if you can’t keep a light right foot on the highway. There’s so many horses in reserve that it’s easy to cruise right past the speed limit by a lot, even when you aren’t even trying.
The downside to all this traditional V8 power is of course, the car’s thirst for fuel. On the highway it’s actually pretty good with around 11.5l/100km, but once in start-stop traffic the average economy climbs to around 16l/100km. While that’s about what you would expect from a 5.0-litre V8, the base model’s 2.0-litre turbo four-pot just seems like it barely needs to drink in comparison.
The car is also penalised by its VES C2 banding, as with no green credentials to speak of and a high CO2 output it gets slapped with a S$25,000 surcharge, already factored into the asking price of more than S$450k.
It’s still quite a bargain when you compare it to the competition though. The Audi RS Q8 goes for over S$600k, the less powerful Porsche Cayenne S would cost around S$100k more than the F-Pace SVR when you factor in the COE. Closer in price would be the slightly smaller Porsche Macan GTS, but it’s more than 100hp down on power to the F-Pace SVR and you don’t get a thundering V8 soundtrack either.
If you fancy a practical car with more than 500 horsepower on tap, a thirsty V8 engine with the roar like thunder, and with space for a family of four with room to spare, then this will suit the bill.
|Engine||5,000cc, V8 supercharged|
|Power||550hp at 6250-6500rpm|
|Torque||700Nm at 3500-5000rpm|
|Top Speed||286 km/h|
|VES Band||C2 / +S$25,000|
|Price||S459,999 with COE and VES|
|Verdict||Slightly understated super-luxury SUV, but the mighty V8 power and engine note is the stuff of supercars|
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