It may sound easy to just drop a 550-hp supercharged V8 into an F-Pace and call it a day, but the new high-performance version of the crossover is chock full of interesting details, said the director of the company’s Special Vehicle Operations Project.
In the midst of a very busy 2018 New York Auto Show, AutoGuide.com sat down with Wayne Burgess, Jaguar and SVO Projects Director. He explained that this faster F-Pace is a result of the massive success and confidence that people and the brand have in the F-Pace nameplate.
“It was our fastest selling vehicle,” he said. “And that means that you have more support in what you can put in an SVR version.” He said that the team put down a wishlist of what this SVR should have, and pretty much everything ended up being included. The point is to “take the elements that define Jaguar’s DNA and amplify them in directions that are appropriate to the car,” he said.
But when he gets to talking about the details that he’s most proud of, he gets very excited. “What we’re doing more and more at Jaguar design in general, but specifically in the SVR world, is really looking at new approaches to aerodynamics,” he said.
Burgess adds that the awesome looking Project 8 vehicle allowed them to explore with ideas from track-oriented cars to take the air out of the wheel wells and managing airflow down the sides of the car’s body. “Project 8 has a very distinctive feature where the bottom third of the back half of the wheel arch is cut off at the side, like a track-car, because it helps get the air out.”
They wanted to apply some of these learnings to the new F-Pace SVR, but obviously couldn’t just mess with the wheel arch like that. “We’re not changing the body of this car,” he said. “So what we found out are these little shark gill vents (they’re more like ripples) behind the front wheel arches and same on the rear as well, they duct air from inside the wheel well and suck it out, making it a drag reduction feature.” He also added that they add a visual flair to the car as well.
Many of the included items ended up being complementary. The vents needed for cooling the V8 also end up making the car look more aggressive. The vents behind the front wheels work with the vents on the hood to improve aerodynamics at speeds over 150 mph (the F-Pace SVR is rated to go 176 mph).
Those vents in the hood were a byproduct of some forward thinking by the F-Pace design team in the early stages of the crossover’s development. “We kind of hoped and sort of knew that we were going to do an SVR version,” he said, so they protected a portion of the hood for them to be placed there in the original crossover.
“Track inspired and track tested aero are really informing the aesthetics of the Special Vehicle Projects,” he said. “Whether it’s a Project 8 or an F-Pace SVR, it’s driven by functionality.”
He also adds though that it’s a challenger. “You want those pieces to look cool and do the business as well.” They worked closely with the aero team to ensure that each item is working as it should.
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