Facelifted 550hp SUV gets tweaked chassis, styling alongside an overhauled interior
By Sam Sheehan / Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Jaguar has treated the F-Pace SVR to a retuned chassis and upgraded cabin for 2021, claiming the 550hp brute is sharper, better riding and technically stronger, while retaining the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 which has helped carve it a USP in the segment. The manufacturer is promising all the right things, including increased comfort and improved steering feel in a car that already had impressive quantities of both. The objective is plain enough, too: giving the Porsche Macan an even closer run than it does already.
Of course much of the model’s appeal comes from the ‘charged V8 under its snout. We’re pleased to report that it remains in place, with that unchanged peak power output (produced at 6,250rpm-6,500rpm) now accompanied by a slight boost in torque. The motor offers 516lb ft of twist, 14lb ft better than before, from 3,500rpm-5,000rpm, helping to trim the 0-62mph time to 4.0 seconds and lift the top speed to 178mph. Improvements of three tenths and a whole two miles per hour versus its predecessor.
The motor still drives through an eight-speed automatic, with an electronic active diff between the back wheels to maximise traction. A small percentage of the SVR’s performance gains are attributed to the redesigned nose, which is said to be more aerodynamically efficient to reduce frontal lift by as much as 35 per cent. That being said, it’s likely that the most noticeable improvements come from the chassis. Indeed, Jaguar mentions both damping and bush upgrades for the suspension, with tweaks to the adaptive software to enhance both comfort and handling.
That’s exciting because the F-Pace base has always been very good on British B-roads. The maker promises more involvement thanks to its chassis revisions, and keener responses, too. Don’t expect that peak torque to do any harm to the SVR’s throttle adjustability, either. Nor will the addition of uprated brake pads, which work with the 395mm two-piece vented front discs and 396mm vented rears.
The drive modes have also been overhauled, with significant differences to the steering resistance between Comfort and Dynamic, with the same expanded remits said to be true for the chassis settings. There’s also a new electric brake booster said to shorten the pedal travel – which suggests more responsive anchors but not necessarily mean more feel. One to test, we reckon. Either way, overall, and unsurprisingly, Jaguar reckons the 2021 SVR is a broadly more capable machine, without undoing the well-received character of the original.
Inside, things have moved on much further. JLR’s ubiquitous Pivi Pro system is fitted with a curved 11.4-inch glass screen – like the rest of the refreshed F-Pace range PH saw in the metal back in September – that’s brighter and sharper, and compatible with over-the-air updates. There’s also Jag’s improved 12.3-inch instrument cluster display. In fact, the whole cabin is tidier thanks to the manufacturer’s latest cabin architecture, which goes far beyond the normal remit of a facelight to make the 2021 F-Pace feel like an entirely different product. Key features include a new and much smarter-looking drive selector, and a split-rim steering wheel.
On top of that, the latest SVR gets additional driver assistance features, including a 3D external camera view and ‘clear exit monitor’ tech, which warns of approaching vehicles (including cyclists) when a passenger moves to open a door. In a car required to ferry the whole family on long journeys, those features are important. But who’re we kidding? Anyone favouring an SVR over the cheaper options will be doing so first and foremost to access the engine, handling and styling upgrade. All of those things remain present and correct, alongside a vastly improved interior for the slightly inflated price of £77,595.
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