Jaguar F-Pace SVR Review 2019
When I was about 12, I was obsessed with TV detective dramas and my favourite was Morse. Not only was he a grumpy man who preferred his own company, he used his brain to solve puzzles. But most importantly, he drove a Jaguar Mark II. I aspired to be like Morse, and have achieved the grumpiness and the job solving problems. But I have still never had the chance to be a Jaguar driver.
So when the opportunity came to spend a couple of days in the South of France with Jaguar to test drive the new F-Pace SVR, I jumped at the chance. Little thought was given to the children for whom I had taken the week off for the Easter holidays, and a mad dash to find my passport and pack a bag followed.
The F-Pace SVR is beautiful. Everything is in proportion and the modern headlights and taillights set off the stubby nose to perfection. Inside, the interior was fully leather with contrasting stitching, and importantly for a parent of two, Isofix in the back to ensure that the children are safely attached whilst you are reliving your youth down the A140.
The SVR is a comfortable, enjoyable ride – not only driving it as it was designed, full pelt up the French Alps – but equally around town and the never-ending roundabouts of St Tropez. The sound of the exhaust was perfect, like a large grizzly bear just letting you know that they are there; a secure feeling that the car underneath you had been designed to let you be a bit carefree, but would also be there to keep you on the road if you were acting a bit like a knob.
The All-wheel drive (AWD) allowed the car to be firmly planted on the road whilst navigating the bends of the route Napoleon, and the work put into ensuring the lack of roll whilst going round a corner was absolutely amazing. I’ve driven some fast cars around fast bends and had that feeling that it is going to tip over like a toddler learning to walk – with the SVR, I quickly had the trust that the car was responsive to me, rather than the other way around.
My co-driver was a proper motoring journalist and I relied on him to put the SVR through its paces – and that he did, with the 5 litre supercharged V8 engine happily reacting to his every request. It was a bit of a surreal feeling; trying to have a conversation with a retired gentleman about litter picking equipment, all the while being thrown around on a rally route up into the mountains.
The SVO team, led by Jamal Hameedi, have put their heart and soul into this car and it shows when you talk to them, but also in the drive. At no time did the SVR feel like it was struggling or that it had reached the limits of its potential. The comfort and agility of this vehicle are near perfect and I watch with interest to see how they develop as a team and what else they can produce.
The only thing that let the car down a little bit was the laggy Jaguar sat-nav which resulted in us going round in a circle a couple of times. But that is forgivable and to be honest just gives you more time in this beautiful vehicle.
I’ve been bugging my partner for a while for an F-Pace but he’s yet to yield… something about the fact he would have to drive a £500 shed to meet our monthly car budget? I’m off to tell him that he better get used to walking to work, as I have found my ideal partner and it is a Jaguar.
Find out more about the Jaguar F-Pace SVR over at the Jaguar Website, where prices start at £75,335.
Earlier this year, we headed to the Welsh countryside to put the new Range Rover Evoque through its paces. Here’s how we got on…