The F-PACE SVR unleashes its beastly roar 

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The F-PACE SVR unleashes its beastly roar 

It wasn’t too long ago that the famed Prancing Horse said it would never build an SUV. “Enzo Ferrari would turn in his grave”, said one company spokesperson. It was unspeakable. Ferrari, maker of fine supercars, producing an SUV? Never.

Oh, how things change. As the SUV continues its onslaught on world markets, consumers want nothing more than a lofty driving position and high ride height. Indeed, Ferrari is set to join the SUV brigade with it’s Purosangue. It won’t be in bad company, though. Lamborghini has its Urus and Aston Martin it's DBX.

Those are rather pricey, though. So, what do you do if you want a fairly exclusive SUV that can still blow a Boxster into last week? Well, you’re spoiled for choice actually. The GLC63S, X3 M Competition and Stelvio QV fulfill those requirements quite well. But there’s a brutish Brit to choose from, too.

In recent years, the F-Pace has certainly helped Jaguar along, sales wise. In fact, the SUV makes up most of the brand’s sales. The fastest-selling model in Jaguar’s history now has a derivative that accelerates nearly as fast as it sells. The supercharged F-Pace SVR is a monstrous behemoth, it’s throbbing V8 producing a considerable 405 kW and 700 Nm of torque.

Just firing up the big cat is an occasion in itself. A gorgeous burble permeates the cabin as the V8 roars to life, the rear exhausts delivering a thunderous growl to all in earshot. From behind the wheel, the SVR is an absolute joy to drive. While not as dynamic as its rivals from Alfa and BMW, the handling capabilities are still immensely impressive. The large engine has a considerable thirst for unleaded. Drive it with a modicum of self-restraint, and you’ll see a figure in the high 10’s. Enjoying that V8 will see the fuel economy figure climb, though.

An eight-speed auto sends the power to all four wheels, allowing for a planted feel on quick pull aways. 0-100 km/h is dealt with in just 4.3 seconds, and feels effortless. The exterior matches the personality of that beastly V8. An aggressive radiator grilled is beautifully finished in a gloss-black wire mesh pattern, while four meaty exhaust pipes hint at the Jag’s performance potential.

Inside, it's typical Jaguar. Plush, well-equipped, and beautifully trimmed. The SVR details - from the sports seats and steering wheel - make it a very special place to while away the miles. While certainly not subtle, the F-Pace SVR is surprisingly restrained. It certainly has presence, but the details add up to a classy, good-looking, and elegant performance SUV. At R1 835 700, the F-Pace is rather pricey. But for those looking for an SUV with great theatre, the F-Pace SVR is unmatched.


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