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New York show: Jaguar F-Pace SVR goes after Germans

That’s catty: Hoping to capitalise on the performance mid-size SUV craze, Jaguar has ushered in its F-Pace SVR that will go toe-to-toe with the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S 4Matic+ and rumoured BMW X3 M.

Jaguar joins performance mid-size SUV race with 404kW/680Nm F-Pace SVR

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Jaguar logo28 Mar 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

JAGUAR has set its sights on the latest crop of performance mid-size SUVs, unleashing the hard-charging F-Pace SVR at this week’s New York motor show ahead of and Australian launch before year’s end.

According to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Australia, F-Pace SVR pricing will be announced in mid-April ahead of order books opening in the middle of the year and a local launch around November.

Like all other SVR models, the most potent F-Pace employs a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, which produces 404kW of power and 680Nm of torque in its latest application.

As a result, the F-Pace SVR sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds while on the way to its top speed of 283km/h.

Comparatively, the incoming 375kW/700Nm Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S 4Matic+ completes the triple-digit dash in just 3.8s, while the yet-to-be-revealed BMW X3 M also looms large as a direct rival.

While its new engine will grab all the headlines, the F-Pace SVR has also been subject to exhaust, suspension, braking, drivetrain, steering and transmission upgrades as well as styling tweaks.

Aerodynamically honed changes include larger front air intakes, bonnet vents, side fender vents, wheelarch extensions, lower-body mouldings, a rear spoiler and a redesigned rear bumper with integrated quad tailpipes.

The latter serves as the exit point for the SVR’s active exhaust system that allows increased gas flow and a booming soundtrack while being 6.6 kilograms lighter than that of the regular F-Pace.

Lightweight 21-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior makeover, while even lighter 22-inch rims are optional. Both are wrapped in a mixed set of tyres, with the rear hoops measuring 25mm wider than the front.

Suspension-wise, the progressive front and rear springs are 30 and 10 per cent stiffer respectively and envelop an upgraded anti-roll bar that reduces body roll by five per cent.

The SVR also has a rear electronic active differential – an F-Pace first – that is complemented by recalibrated all-wheel-drive, electronic power-assisted steering and driving mode systems.

Meanwhile, braking is handled by beefed-up 395mm front and 396mm rear brake discs that are clamped by four- and single-piston callipers respectively.

Additionally, the rotors feature an advanced two-piece construction that helps to further reduce weight and improve handling.

Inside, front sports seats with quilting and embossed SVR logos, a unique gear selector for the eight-speed automatic transmission and an SVR-branded steering wheel with aluminium paddle shifters feature.

As per the regular F-Pace variants, the SVR also bundles in a 10.0-inch Touch Pro touchscreen infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 4G Wi-Fi connectivity for up to eight devices.

Four interior colour themes are on offer, including Red with Jet, Light Oyster with Jet, Siena Tan with Jet and Jet with Light Oyster stitching.

According to JLR chief engineer of vehicle integrity Mike Cross, the latest F-Pace is a true SVR model, packing the level of performance expected from JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.

“The F-Pace SVR delivers the handling and agility to match its performance,” he said.

“Everything from the steering to the bespoke suspension set-up has been tuned specifically for our performance SUV, and the result is a vehicle that lives up to the promise of both the F-Pace and SVR names.”

Sales of the F-Pace surged in 2017 – its first full year on sale – with 1275 examples sold to the end of December, representing a 53.8 per cent increase over the 829 deliveries made in the six months it was available in 2016.

This effort placed the Jaguar 10th in the over-$60,000 mid-size-SUV segment last year, trailing the Land Rover Discovery Sport (4547), Mercedes-Benz GLC (4109), BMW X3 (3671), Audi Q5 (3364) and Range Rover Evoque (2909), among others.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.