SVO-sorted NZ fare might include fiery F-Pace

Jaguar’s just-arrived first crossover, the F-Pace, seems set to be followed by a really hot edition from the SVO performance arm.


EXPECTATION that Jaguar’s special tuning division is set to develop a super-heated F-Pace has excited the local distributor.

Talk out of the United Kingdom cites the new medium five-seater crossover (right), that has just arrived here in three engine lines and four trim lines, from $95,000 to $165,000, being on a fast track for development by Special Vehicle Operations.

Charged with creating wicked wares that are the ultimate in performance and price for JLR, SVO has already delivered 13 SVR Range Rover Sports, at $233,000 a pop, and three $352,000 SV Autobiography Ranger Rovers to NZ, and the enthusiastic reception for those vehicles has heartened Jaguar Land Rover New Zealand.

Now it’s keen for more – and there’s apparently no shortage of choice.

“These are not limited in respect to the build run - the only limit is to the factory’s ability to supply” says Paul Ricketts, Jaguar New Zealand’s product manager.

“SVO is looking to all areas and it’s very exciting for us.

“The more exclusive you can make a vehicle, the more desirable it becomes and these cars are extremely desirable.”

The performance arm’s next NZ entry is its fastest car yet – an SVR F-Type, running a 428kW/700Nm 5.0-litre V8 that allows 0-100kmh in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 320kmh.

Five examples of this $240,000 machine, seen below, are on the way.

The roll-out doesn’t stop there: An SV Dynamic Range Rover is here later this year; like the SV Autobiography it is laden with extra luxury but has even more a sporting edge. Rather than adopting a four-seater layout like the SV Autobiography, it has an orthodox bench rear seat.

“We think that will be a good proposition – we already have people expressing interest in that vehicle.”

It is thought SVR-enhanced XE and XF models are also in development, though there’s no inkling of when they will show here.

Latterly, the F-Pace has also been confirmed as a potential candidate.

Ricketts says he hasn’t heard anything specific about an SVO-prepared F-Pace, but he notes the factory has suggested all JLR products are considered potentials for special treatment.

“All we know is that they want to look at all the models in the range.”

And he adds that his operation is positive about everything being talked about – including the anticipated fare to bear a third, yet-to-be inaugurated SVX badge.

That’s for off-roaders like the Discovery Sport, the new Discovery out next year and – when it finally emerges – the next Defender. Plus, also some Range Rover product. JLR says SVX cars will draw on those chasing improved off-road ability as well as hardened performance.

Adds Ricketts: “SVX, as my understanding goes, is for the off-road side of things. It’s about creating extreme off-road machines.”

He’s excited by the potential for a more honed F-Pace. As a tap-in to the already massive and still growing sports utility/crossover sector, this car is set to be Jaguar’s biggest-selling model, with talk of it achieving at least 50 percent of the local distributor’s volume.

Ricketts says he has every confidence an extra-fiery F-Pace welcomed by Kiwi enthusiasts who are already lining up for the regular version of the brand’s first crossover.

“Yeah, there would definitely be a market for it here – we would certainly welcome it and we know we could easily find customers for anything like that,” he said during yesterday’s first official tryout of the F-Pace in its regular format.

The SVR F-Pace is assumed to be a supercharged V8 – as every SVO car has so far been. At the moment, the most powerful F-Pace is the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 that goes into the general issue S and limited count First Edition variants. This generates 280kW and 450Nm.

JLR boss John Edwards says SVO has the green light to  consider every car in the brands’ portfolio.

“We look at them and ask ‘could we have an SVR version of this car, could we have an SVX, or an SV Autobiography’, … the reality is that I could see all three of those brands featuring on all of our cars.

“They all have the potential to be a performance car, or a car with extended capability or a luxury version.”

Edwards says offering prestige buyers not only choice, but a greater degree of personalisation options, was a key part in the strategy to expand the breadth of the fledgling SVO brand.

“When you buy a car it’s both a rational and an emotional decision. Of course you want a car that’s reliable, to get you from A to B, but you also want it to say something about you. You want to enjoy driving it, and you want to enjoy the way it makes you feel.”