NEW YORK – Jaguar debuts what it is billing as the fastest and most powerful F-Pace yet, the F-Pace SVR, here tonight ahead of the first press day of the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

The SVR, engineered by Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations group, has a 5.0L supercharged V-8 putting out 550 hp and 502 lb.-ft. (681 Nm) of torque and a quoted 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h time of 4.3 seconds) and a top speed of 176 mph (283 km/h).

“Everything from the steering to the bespoke suspension set-up has been tuned specifically for our performance SUV,” Mike Cross, chief engineer-vehicle integrity for Jaguar Land Rover, says in a statement.

Helping high-speed stability and cooling, as well as reducing lift, are bigger air intakes at front and side fender vents. The hood is exclusive to the SVR variant and has hot-air-extracting vents to cool the engine bay.

A new rear bumper houses quad tailpipes and has aerodynamic-enhancing side strakes.

Chassis updates include 30% stiffer front and 10% stiffer rear springs, as well as an antiroll system that helps reduce body roll 5%.

Handling agility further is aided by forged 21-in. (or optional 22-in.) alloy wheels that are nearly 1 in. (25 mm) wider at the rear than the front. Jaguar says the 22s, lighter than standard 22s, will deliver more airflow to front and rear disc brakes, which have been upsized from the standard F-Pace discs. The discs have a unique 2-piece construction and in combination with the lighter wheels are said to reduce the F-Pace SVR’s unsprung mass.

Similar to what is available on the F-Type, the F-Pace SVR has a variable valve active exhaust system, 14.5 lbs. (6.6 kg) lighter than the CUV’s standard exhaust system and which increases exhaust gas flow.

Unique software to control the vehicle’s adaptive suspension, electronic power-assisted steering and dynamic driving mode is featured in the F-Pace SVR, as is a new rear electronic active differential. Jaguar says the vehicle’s torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system is optimized to “maximize the benefit of EAD.”

Slimmer, performance seats with more lateral support and Jaguar’s signature lozenge quilting are installed inside, as is an F-Type-like sportshift gear selector. SVR logos are on front seats and the steering wheel, which also has aluminum paddle shifters.

Interior color themes include red with black, light oyster with black, sienna tan with black and black with light oyster stitching.

Cargo room with rear seats up goes unchanged from the standard F-Pace, as do the vehicle’s connectivity options. A 10-in. (25-cm) touchscreen and 12.3-in. (31-cm) instrument cluster display are standard, while 4G Wi-Fi is optional.

The F-Pace SVR goes on sale in the U.S. this summer, with a starting price of $79,990, not including a $995 destination and handling charge.

F-Pace sales through February stood at 2,188 units, a 28.4% decrease from year-ago, Wards Intelligence data shows. Jaguar sold 18,946 F-Paces in 2017, placing it 15th in WardsAuto’s crowded Middle Luxury CUV segment.

In addition to the F-Pace SVR, JLR’s 240-mile (386-km) range I-Pace battery-electric CUV and its Range Rover SV Coupe will make their North American debuts here at the New York show. Both models debuted globally earlier this month at the Geneva auto show.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com