This is the updated Jaguar F-PACE SVR. On the face of it, one can admire the trappings of high-end SUV engineering and craftsmanship. It’s a large, noticeably luxurious player in the segment now made bolder and more noteworthy thanks to larger air intakes, bonnet scoops and vents that are said to improve aerodynamic performance and brake cooling in no small effect. Jutting from the rear are four chromed exhaust outlets that really are the party piece of any SVR product, this one included. The F-PACE body shape plays in the space firmly commanded by the likes of the BMW X5 or Merc’s GLE and yet, Jaguar has priced it in a category that feels slightly below that. This is a good thing.
As an updated product, we expect this version to have a few items to be improved over the first version that was offered to us. Thankfully, the main gripe from before has been addressed. Jaguar, like many others has decided that they best way to fix the infotainment, was to just make it bigger. Jaguar has made large (literally) updates to the infotainment suite with a new 11,4-inch touchscreen system. The Pivi Pro system is bigger, yes, but better all round. It’s faster, laid out better thanks to the additional space and is easier to use now.
Also on the cool list is a new cabin-load of fanciful tech the most interesting one being a very smart Air Purge and air filtration system that essentially cleans the air before and during the drive. You won’t feel it or see it but given the world we’re in, it’s almost essential.
One criticism of the interior is the use of chrome pieces on the centre console that still catch the sun’s rays and reflect harshly onto the occupants at times. New over-the-air software updates are now possible too thanks to the in-car connectivity. Headroom, legroom and rear luggage space lives in the company of other large SUV measurements and quite frankly, as a SUV to ride through all of the practicalities of ownership, it works incredibly well. It’s a comfortable cruiser and with 218mm of ground clearance, it isn’t the cause for much anxiety when heading off the track, even in this flagship, speed-infused model.
Let’s set speed aside for a sec and ponder something else about the SVR. I don’t know how, but Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations arm has thrown out the page in the rulebook that details vehicle sound limits. The signature rumble hasn’t changed and I’m 100% okay with it. My neighbours aren’t. In a world of downsizing, emissions reductions, noise pollution and electrification, Jaguar isn’t letting up on this 5.0-litre supercharged V8. It’s ironic too, as Jaguar has set 2030 as the time it will be fully electrified. The new European regulations for sound emissions are also to be lowered in 2026 to levels well below what the current F-PACE SVR delivers. Perhaps Jag is going to give this brute a standing ovation until then. We’ll certainly be in the crowd.
But for every decibel, set aside some budget for fuel - the SVR drinks fuel as it did before. Our combined 16,6l/100km was admirable to say the least. It wasn't unexpected though.
The 405kW power output remains unchanged, but the torque figure has been increased by 20Nm to 700Nm flat through some electronic fidgeting and the adoption of the 8-speed torque converter from the Project 8 Jaguar XE weapon. It’s more robust and capable of dealing with absolutely all the torque and the resultant 0 – 100 kph dash is now 0,3-seconds faster: 4.0-seconds flat. That’s fast – as is the top speed now steaming out at 286 kph.
That goal-shifting accelerative improvement is also the result of something called Dynamic Launch, a more focused launch control map. From the helm it’s noticeably faster too not just in straight-forward point to point shooting, but also in the most important areas of performance competence – corners. Jaguar engineers have recalibrated the steering, aero, braking system, Bilstein performance dampers and made changes to the lower control arms and toe links. It’s a long list of small refinements but what it feels like is summed up in a word: entertaining.
The Jaguar F-PACE has moved on from being a fun car to being the head of department for fun. With split tyre sizes (265’s up front and 295’s at the rear) as well as most of the available power sent to the rear, the front is happier being directed and the lateral movement is more confident now. And all this all happens in a glorious cacophony of burbling noise. Remember, this car doesn’t sport expensive electric anti-roll stabilisers or even fancy air suspension – it’s just a really well-mastered performance SUV that feels ever so natural. Where some other super-SUV’s are faster thanks to more power or more electronic aids, this car feels like the flag bearer for people who enjoy driving.
To the car’s full credit, the F-PACE SVR doesn’t necessarily roll off the line without much kit. It’s already a well-appointed car but there’s quite a bit that owners can still add to the fold. The car I’d specify adds a further R163 700 to the list price and that includes niceties such as a Hot Climate Package, Wireless Charging, Premium Cabin Lighting and an electronically deployable tow bar. As a percentage of the overall price, it’s nothing to complain about.
Jaguar also offers a choice of more aggressive wheels as well as the now ubiquitous Black Package which adds all the expected gloss black finishes. I’m over this craze but if you’re into it…
The overall price tag is the thing to settle the argument. It’s real bang-for-buck compared to the alternatives.
The F-PACE SVR is priced well below what I consider to be its direct competitors. The Audi RS Q8; the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S; the BMW X5 M and even its stablemate, the Range Rover Sport SVR all form part of the Jag’s competitors.
They’re all much more expensive too and that puts the Jag into a league of its own. Nothing delivers overall thrills like the Jaguar as a holistic product that can play the SUV game with equal assurance as the performance game.
No it isn’t faster or more powerful or even as loaded with magic tricks and all-new tech, but its daring bellow and approachable nature make it all the more likeable at that price.