Jaguar crams its 550-horsepower V8 into the 2019 F-Pace SVR

Jaguar crams its 550-horsepower V8 into the 2019 F-Pace SVR

Billed as one of the fastest SUVs in the world, the F-Pace SVR is the new, high performance flagship for what has become Jaguar's best-selling auto. Next year, the hyper-competitive segment is expected to grow by double digits in the USA alone, according to analytics firm IHS Markit.

Beneath the SVR-exclusive hood of this F-Pace sits a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine, able to put out a whopping 550 horsepower and 503 lb. -ft. of torque, up 170 horsepower from the previously-range-topping F-Pace S. On its way to a top speed of 176 miles per hour, the F-Pace SVR hits 60 from a dead stop in just 4.1 seconds.

The F-Pace SVR seems to have the performance numbers to back up its more aggressive looks. The I-Pace was introduced during the Geneva Motor Show recently and, as the company's first electric SUV, received plenty of attention.

As the brand's first-ever SUV, the Jaguar F-Pace is as important a vehicle as any to the luxury performance brand steadfast in its sports auto offerings. Jaguar sold 18,946 F-Paces in 2017, placing it 15 in WardsAuto's crowded Middle Luxury CUV segment.

Helping high-speed stability and cooling, as well as reducing lift, are bigger air intakes at front and side fender vents. An exclusive SVR bonnet features further venting to extract hot air.

Underneath standard 21-inch or optional 22-inch wheels, enlarged two-piece brakes, 15.5-inch front and 15.6-inch rear, rein in the speed quickly when you need to.

Beyond the chunkier wheels, Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team gave the performance F-Pace a host of aerodynamic enhancements, though the design remains clean.

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One thing is already clear: with the F-Pace SVR, Jaguar is elbows-in to an elite set already crowded with the Mercedes-AMG GLC63, Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and Porsche Macan Turbo, plus the soon-to-be-arriving BMW X3 M and Audi RS Q5 models. It was initially developed for the F-Type and plays a central role on the SVR version of that vehicle, helping to maximise torque to each wheel with the car's all-wheel drive system. No doubt it will enhance the feeling of sportiness inside this SUV.

It'll sound good, too: the SVR uses Jaguar's Variable Valve Active Exhaust system, ideal for alienating your neighbours on a cold morning, although you can always fob them off by telling them it weighs 6.6kg less than the standard set-up and helps reduce back pressure. Four color schemes will be offered; Red with Jet, Light Oyster with Jet, Siena Tan with Jet, and Jet with Light Oyster stitching.

The F-Pace SVR will go on sale this summer.

A sport-shift gear selector replaces the rotary knob found in the regular F-Pace SUVs.

With 542bhp, the five-seat SUV is capable of causing children to erupt with laughter or scream in terror, depending on their disposition.

However, SVO dynamics manager David Pook said the F-Pace SVR is not an overly firm vehicle with an uncomfortable ride and offers greatly different characteristics between its driving modes.

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