We caught Jaguar testing the most powerful F-Pace yet

Announced at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and previewed by a concept car, the Jaguar F-Pace entered production in 2016 as the company’s first foray into the SUV market. Equipped with powerful, but efficient four-cylinder and V-6 engines, the F-Pace was received with great enthusiasm, helping Jaguar build on the success of the F-Type, the car that basically revived the brand as a top-level sports car manufacturer. Much like the F-Type, the F-Pace is scheduled to spawn several iterations, including R and SVR models. While the extreme SVR is still in its infancy, the F-Pace R is already well underway, with the first test model being spotted on public roads.

Thanks to our sneaky paparazzi, we have our first look at the upcoming R-badged SUV, which will make its global debut sometime in 2017. As with most prototypes, the SUV is wrapped in swirly camouflage, meaning that most of details that set it apart from the base model are hidden under wraps. Despite this, we know that we’re looking at the F-Pace R thanks to the exhaust note sounding a lot more aggressive than that of the V-6-powered, F-Pace S model.

Once it hits the market, the F-Type R will become Jaguar’s most powerful and aggressive-looking SUV, at least until the more extreme SVR is unleashed. Find out more about the company’s upcoming performance crossover in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar F-Pace R.

Spy Shots

September 21, 2016 - First testing session

2018 Jaguar F-Pace R Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Jaguar F-Pace R Exterior Spyshots
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2018 Jaguar F-Pace R Exterior Spyshots
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Exterior

Styling-wise, there’s isn’t much to extract from these spy shots, but it’s safe to assume that the F-Pace R will arrive with the same upgrades the F-Type R gained over the F-Type S. Up front, the two will be identical, save for the "R" badge in the big grille and, based on the spy photos, the slightly larger side intakes. The rear fascia will also stand out by means of an "R" badge on the trunk, but it could also get mild revisions to the lower bumper and a slightly sportier roof spoiler. The F-Pace R will also feature gloss-black detailing instead of the usual chrome. A couple of new paint finishes and new wheel designs are also on the table.

Interior

2017 Jaguar F-Type High Resolution Interior
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Note: Jaguar F-Type R interior shown here.

Inside, upgrades should again mirror those found in the F-Type R. Look for standard performance seats wrapped in premium leather, "R" logos embossed on the headrests, and inflatable bolsters for extra support during hard cornering. Heating for both the seats and steering wheel, usually optional for the F-Pace, should be included as standard equipment. Also look for flashy contrast stitching in Ivory, Red or Firesand on the dashboard and door panels, as well as at least three upholstery colors. A 770-watt surround sound system from Meridian should also be offered.

Drivetrain

2018 Jaguar F-Pace R Exterior Spyshots
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This is where the F-Pace R will stand out most compared to the rest of the lineup. While the most powerful F-Pace currently on offer gets 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-liter V-6, the F-Pace R will crank out in excess of 450 horses. The actual output isn’t known as of this writing, but word has it the F-Pace R could have as much as 500 horsepower.

While the most powerful F-Pace currently on offer gets 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-liter V-6, the F-Pace R will crank out in excess of 450 horses.

The engine is also a mystery, with two scenarios being discussed. Some rumors claim that Jaguar will use a beefed up version of the supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6, thus leaving the V-8 to the SVR variant, while others suggest a detuned version of the supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8. The latter pumps 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of twist in the F-Type R, but Jaguar will likely consider that output to be a bit too much for the crossover.

Whatever the output, the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission will carry over from the F-Pace S, but with some upgrades for quicker response.

Performance-wise, look for the F-Pace R to hit 60 mph from a standing start in around 4.6 seconds, a half-second quicker than the F-Pace S. Top speed will probably remain locked at 155 mph, identical to the V-6-powered models.

The F-Pace R will climb atop a lineup that includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel model with 180 horsepower and 318 pound-feet and two V-6 gasoline variants with 340 horses and 332 pound-feet and 380 horsepower and 332-pound-feet, respectively.

Prices

2018 Jaguar F-Pace R Exterior Spyshots
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Pricing for the F-Pace R is unknown as of this writing, but based on the fact that the F-Type R is about 33 percent more expensive than the F-Type S, it’s safe to assume that the range-topping crossover will fetch some $75,500 before options. For reference, the F-Pace S retains from $56,700, while the diesel model starts from $40,990.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG GLC43

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 4MATIC
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Based on the latest GLC crossover (formerly known as the GLK), which in turn is based off the the latest C-Class, the AMG GLC43 is pretty much the only performance-oriented SUV available in this niche as of this writing (not counting the slightly dated SQ5). The SUV is equipped with various AMG bits and pieces, but unlike other AMG models, it doesn’t have the usual V-8 under the hood. Instead, it uses the biturbo, 3.0-liter V-6 that AMG retuned to deliver 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Granted, that’s not very satisfying compared to a 500-horsepower F-Pace, but until a proper AMG GLC63 arrives, it will have to do. On the plus side, 0-to-60 mph takes only 4.8 seconds. Pricing is not yet available, but it will cost somewhere between $63,000 and $68,000.

Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 here.

Audi SQ5

2017 Audi Q5 Interior Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Although it launched the SQ5 in 2014, Audi has yet to debut a proper RS version of the crossover. It may happen when the new generation arrives in 2017, but an updated version of the SQ5 is likely to hit showrooms first. Styling-wise, it will be a more aggressive version of the new Q5, which will look like a shrunken Q7 for the most part, while motivation will come from a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6. Output is likely to sit around 370 horsepower and 360 pound-feet, which paired with the permanent Quattro AWD system should enable the crossover to hit 60 mph in less than five seconds. Expect pricing to start from under $60,000.

Learn more about the Audi SQ5 here.

BMW X3 M

2019 BMW X3 M High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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No, BMW hasn’t debuted the X3 M yet, but it plans to do the compact crossover justice right after the third-generation crossover arrives in 2017. As with most M-badged Bimmers, the X3 M should get a more aggressive body kit with beefier bumper and fenders, as well as a sportier interior that will likely mimic the BMW X5 M’s. Word has it the X3 M will be motivated by the same turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six fitted in the BMW M3 and BMW M4, which could mean an output in excess of 400 horsepower. If this proves to be true, the X3 M will be significantly more powerful than the SQ5 and the AMG GLC45, and more suited to compete against the Jaguar F-Pace R. A sticker in excess of $60,000 is very likely.

Read more about the upcoming BMW X3 M here.

Conclusion

2018 Jaguar F-Pace R Exterior Spyshots
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On its way to becoming Jaguar’s best-selling vehicle, the F-Pace needs a more powerful version to compete with the big boys, and the R model will do just that. We still don’t know whether it will get a V-6 or crush its competitors with a massive V-8, but its arrival will definitely boost sales by bringing customers in need of more power and torque in Jaguar dealerships. A 500-horsepower SUV would be a dream come true for enthusiasts who aren’t getting that kind of oomph from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi and a massive success for the British brand.

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    • * More expensive than competition
    • * Might not get the big V-8
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