Jaguar entered the high-performance SUV game late with the F-Pace SVR, but hopping on the unstoppable freight train now is better than ignoring it completely. Just like its European competition, the Jaguar has a delightfully overpowered engine and luxury in spades, as well as handling that borders on the uncanny. But if there’s a downside to the F-Pace SVR, it’s that it falls victim to the same issue that plagues its competition: not enough differentiation. From a size, shape, power and features perspective, the SVR doesn’t stand out next to others like the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, BMW X3 M, Porsche Macan Turbo or Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. But, there is a but: One factor makes the 2020 Jaguar F-Pace SVR unique among the competition. Jaguar gave the F-Pace SVR 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque – great numbers, but it’s how the SVR makes them that’s the kicker. Instead of a smaller, twin-turbocharged engine, Jaguar tapped its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 for duty. This makes it doubly unique: the largest displacement in its class, as well as the only one to feature a supercharger, making the driving experience palpably different than the rest. With a blower and all that displacement, there’s no lag. Power hits early and with authority, throwing us back in the nicely sculpted leather buckets. The SVR’s mid-range is especially impressive, and there’s no drop-off in power as the engine approaches redline. Turbocharging technology is virtually lag-free in most applications these days, but the SVR’s engine is still sharper and responds quicker than the rest. The others may be as quick or quicker than the Jaguar in a straight line (the SVR hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds), but none are able to match it in throttle response or engine character. And then there’s the sound, that glorious exhaust cackle that’s a near carbon-copy of the F-Type SVR. Our future may be electric, but the pipes on this crossover are welcome in this world for as long as they care to stay. Their cacophony of growling and crackling is louder and meaner than any other high-performance SUV on sale today. Some hooligan who thinks just like us must’ve engineered it. The only thing missing among the loud noises is that of a supercharger whine. Not even a hint of it is audible from inside the cabin, and the supercharger is the biggest performance factor that sets this car apart. Let us hear the whine, Jaguar. Another point of differentiation between the Jag and its contemporaries is in the styling. Ian Callum penned a beautiful crossover, and that’s no easy task. It’s attractive as a cohesive whole, not merely acceptably styled for a crossover. The competition is a mess of overwrought excess, creases, gaping grilles – they’re trying far too hard to look zesty. If being noticed is all you care about, it fits the bill. If elegance is more your speed, the Jaguar is the easy choice. This being an SVR, there’s a certain level of handling …
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|MPG||22 City / 27 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||296 @ 5500 rpm|
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