Jaguar has raised the curtain and lowered the boom with the F-Pace SVR, the most powerful, fastest, and hottest version of its luxury crossover SUV. The British automaker unveiled its shrieking new cat ahead of the New York International Auto Show in a ceremony that also marked the opening of its new U.S. headquarters in Mahwah, New Jersey.

The F-Pace was Jaguar’s first SUV when it was launched two years ago to take on established players like the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3. In that brief time, F-Pace has become the brand’s top-selling model. F-Pace is already available with four powertrains that range from two 4-cylinder engines – one gasoline and the other diesel – to a pair of supercharged V6 powerplants that make up to 380 horsepower.

Big engine, bigger horsepower

With the F-Pace SVR, Jaguar is going for the jugular by stuffing its compact luxury SUV with a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that makes 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. That rivals other high-performance luxury crossovers like the Porsche Macan Turbo, Audi SQ5, Alfa Rome Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63, the only other competitor in its class to boast a V8. But with 550 ponies, the new F-Pace SVR becomes the immediate king of the hill in output, topping the 505 horsepower put out by the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

As with all other models of the F-Pace, the SVR variant is all-wheel drive, all the better to put that prodigious power to the ground. Jaguar pegs the F-Pace SVR’s 0-60 mph time at 4.1 seconds, and its top speed of 176 mph. That maximum velocity matches the number put up by the Alfa Romeo, but the Stelvio Quadrifoglio edges the F-Pace’s SVR 0-60 mph time, with the Italian delivering it in 3.6 seconds.

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Performance-tuned hardware

More than just an engine swap, the F-Pace SVR follows the formula of other high-performance models from Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations teams. The 8-speed automatic transmission has SVR-specific tuning for rapid shifts, while the all-wheel-drive system, electric power steering assist and chassis have all received upgrades to focus on blistering performance. The SVR model is also the first F-Pace to feature a rear electronic active differential to further heighten on-road dynamics.

“The F-Pace SVR delivers the handling and agility to match its performance,” said Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity at Jaguar Land Rover. “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.”

Aggressive outside and in

The new F-Pace SVR stands apart with aerodynamic enhancements such as larger air intakes, unique lower body moldings and a specialized rear spoiler. Also notable are the quad tailpipes on the end of a specialized active exhaust system.

Wheels and brakes are also upgraded, with this SVR F-Pace using staggered 21-inch rims or optional 22-inch alloys. Enhanced stopping power is delivered via 15.5-inch stoppers in front and 15.6-inch units in back.

Inside, the F-Pace SVR stands out with a SportShift gear selector like the one in the F-Type sports car that replaces the rotary gear selector found in the other F-Pace models. The front seats are slimline performance variants meant to bolster lateral support, and the rear seats feature a similarly sculpted design. The steering wheel features SVR badging, while the shift paddles attached to each side are made of aluminum.

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Jaguar F-Pace SVR pricing and availability

The new F-Pace SVR is set to arrive this summer with a starting price of $79,990 before the $995 destination fee. At that figure, it will be directly in line with the also-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and just above the Porsche Macan Turbo.

The F-Pace SVR marks not only a tempting new entrant to a small group of high-performance compact luxury SUVs, but the newest and possibly most important member of the exclusive group that is Jaguar’s SVR vehicles.

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