It’s a beautiful afternoon in Pitlochry and I’m behind the wheel of a Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
The backroad linking the Highland Perthshire town with the village of Kirkmichael is deserted.
I floor the clutch and 550bhp is deployed through all four wheels. The car races forward, poised and powerful.
The SVR is the high performance version of Jaguar’s biggest SUV, the F-Pace.
Instead of a sensible diesel or hybrid engine it comes with a supercharged 5.0 litre V8 petrol unit.
Power is 550bhp and there’s 700Nm of torque. That’s enough to launch the SUV from 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds and take it on to a top speed of 178mph.
Those are astronomical figures for a car that’s also capable of doing a modicum of off roading.
Updated for 2021
The F-Pace SVR has recently been given a facelift, with a revised front end and a few other styling tweaks here and there. The biggest changes are inside, however. A reshaped dashboard, strips of metal trim and new heating controls give a more upmarket feel.
Drivers will appreciate Pivi Pro, which is the name given to the new infotainment system that is starting to appear across the Jaguar Land Rover range.
More intuitive, easier to use, and faster it’s an excellent system that finally gives BMW and Audi’s user interfaces a run for their money.
As with other F-Paces there is room in the back for three adults and the boot has space for at least a couple of dogs or a whole family’s luggage.
The chassis, suspension, steering and brakes have all been improved. The result is an SUV that handles like a sports car, gripping the road even during very hard cornering.
While much firmer than the standard F-Pace’s, the SVR’s suspension isn’t so unforgiving that long journeys become a chore.
You pay a premium over the £39,750 an entry level F-Pace costs. An SVR model will set you back at least £77,000.
That’s enough to buy a Jaguar I-Pace, which is almost as fast and is by far the best electric SUV currently on the market.
Electric cars do not yet suit everyone, however, and there is still a place for alpha SUVs like the F-Pace SVR.
This kind of car won’t be around forever so I took my time enjoying it while I can.