S IS FOR… SAV­AGE, SNARLY AND SU­PERB

Think­ing of buy­ing a Porsche? Jaguar might have some­thing to say about that with the F-type SVR Coupe

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - FIRST DRIVE MATT JOY

JAGUAR F-TYPE SVR

THE F-TYPE should def­i­nitely be on your radar by now. First launched in 2014 and re­vised just last year, it is the Porsche-wor­ry­ing coupe and road­ster that gave Jaguar a true suc­ces­sor to the E-type, as well as a halo ef­fect on the rest of the range.

Now Jaguar’s SVO (Spe­cial Ve­hi­cle Op­er­a­tions) de­part­ment has turned their at­ten­tions to it to cre­ate the F-type SVR.

The changes are de­tailed and wide-rang­ing, with more power and torque from the 5.0-litre V8 en­gine, re­duced drag and increased down­force thanks to the new rear wing, dif­fuser and front valance.

There’s also re­tuned sus­pen­sion, less weight and un­likely as it may seem, an even louder ex­haust sys­tem made from ti­ta­nium and air­craft-spec al­loy.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE

You can have an F-type SVR in Road­ster or Coupe form, just like the R ver­sion it’s based on, and ar­guably it is the lat­ter that’s the best-look­ing of the two.

The ex­te­rior changes cer­tainly add ag­gres­sion to what was an el­e­gant and pretty shape, and you’re left in no doubt that the SVR means busi­ness. Pick of the colour chart is the sharp blue shade that shows off the strong lines to best ef­fect.

The F-type and Jaguars in gen­eral have come a long way in the im­age stakes in just a few years thanks to an ex­panded range and ex­cit­ing de­signs, and SVR as a sub-brand now has a sec­ond model to boost its recog­ni­tion. The F-type SVR is the fastest se­ries pro­duc­tion Jaguar ever and can crack 200mph; that’s a po­tent im­age to project.

SPACE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY

There’s no loss of cabin space in the SVR trans­for­ma­tion but it re­mains a strict two-seater with an in­ti­mate, rather than spa­cious, cabin. Even so, six-foot­ers can be com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­dated in the sup­port­ive sports seats, the glove­box and stor­age bins will swal­low plenty of odd­ments and the boot on the Coupe is big enough for a medium suit­case, as well as some smaller bags too. The Road­ster’s boot is in­evitably smaller but space is freed up by opt­ing for the tyre re­pair kit over a spare, and putting the roof down doesn’t im­pact on boot space.

BE­HIND THE WHEEL

The tweaks be­neath the skin are sig­nif­i­cant to the point where Jaguar de­vel­oped a new read sus­pen­sion knuckle to im­prove the sus­pen­sion re­sponse, and de­vel­oped be­spoke tyres with Pirelli just for this car. In nor­mal driv­ing, the first thing you notice is that it rides sur­pris­ingly well; even this most ex­treme car in the whole range re­tains this fa­mil­iar Jaguar qual­ity, and it’s clearly de­signed to be used ev­ery day. It’s even rel­a­tively quiet in the stan­dard driv­ing mode too.

But the SVR is best en­joyed when driven with a lit­tle more ag­gres­sion. Switch into Dy­namic mode and the most no­table dif­fer­ence is the firmed up sus­pen­sion, al­though the driver can tweak the in­di­vid­ual set­tings for the steer­ing, en­gine and gear­box. It feels ex­tra sharp, re­spond­ing with even more im­me­di­acy to in­puts and stays flat, true and firm.

The en­gine dom­i­nates the ex­pe­ri­ence, crack­ling and rasp­ing with even more vol­ume than the al­ready-loud R Coupe, and push­ing the SVR hard above 100mph. With the free­dom of the track to ex­plore its full po­ten­tial the SVR re­mains pleas­ingly rear-drive in its bal­ance; you can feel the front wheels help­ing out oc­ca­sion­ally but this is a car that can be side­ways into, through and on the exit of a bend if you so wish. To call it fun would be a gross un­der­state­ment.

VALUE FOR MONEY

In Coupe form the SVR checks in at ex­actly £110,000, with another £5k re­quired for the Road­ster. That makes it al­most £20,000 more than the R model, but for that you get the ex­tra power and torque, the ex­te­rior changes in­clud­ing the aero up­grades and unique al­loy wheels, the be­spoke sus­pen­sion up­grades, the 25kg weight loss in­clud­ing the light­weight ex­haust and some in­te­rior fil­lips. That seems like good value to us.

WHO WOULD BUY ONE?

Jaguar is billing the F-type SVR as an all-weather su­per­car rather than a track war­rior, but the fact it dealt so well with all these sce­nar­ios means there’s a lot to be said for its ca­pa­bil­ity to deal with daily use.

911 Turbo own­ers might see it as some­thing of an up­start, but it has pres­ence, is suf­fi­ciently com­fort­able and ac­cept­ably prac­ti­cal whilst cru­cially be­ing a com­plete blast to drive when the cir­cum­stances per­mit. It’s also rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive for a car that can top 200mph...

IN A NUT­SHELL…

This car summed up in a sin­gle word: Snarly If this car was a... cat, it would purr hap­pily be­fore tear­ing a B-road to shreds

FACTS AT A GLANCE

Jaguar F-type SVR Coupe, £110,000 En­gine:5.0-litre petrol unit pro­duc­ing 567bhp and 516lb.ft of torque Trans­mis­sion: Eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box driv­ing all four wheels Per­for­mance: Top speed 200mph, 0-62mph in 3.7 sec­onds Econ­omy: 25mpg com­bined Emis­sions: 269g/km of CO2

De­spite the looks and su­per­car cre­den­tials the F-type SVR can be used ev­ery day

Jaguar F-tpype SVR in Road­ster form

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