PURR-FECT: JAGUAR’S FASTEST CAR YET OOZES POWER AND COMFORT
Powered by a 5.0-litre V8, the F-type SVR is the most powerful Jaguar currently on sale. How does all that power feel on the road? Darren Cassey finds out
This is the Jaguar F-type SVR, and those three letters at the end of its name signify that this is the fastest, lightest and most focused F-type to date. It’s the work of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, which works on special versions of the company’s cars.
However, far from being a stripped-out, lightweight track day hero like a Porsche 911 GT3, the SVR is actually about being ludicrously fast, but totally usable in the real world. That’s why most of the weight savings are in places you won’t notice – forged alloy wheels save 13.8kg, while carbon-ceramic brakes save a further 21kg, for example.
Other changes are more visual, though. There are louvres on the bonnet to aid engine cooling, vents in the bodywork to improve airflow and a prominent wing out back for increased downforce. This is a serious bit of kit.
LOOKS AND IMAGE
Looks might be in the eye of the beholder, but there can’t be many people who’d refute the fact the F-type is one of the best looking cars out there.
Its pretty lines wear the more aggressive aerodynamic adden- dum well and transform the car. Couple that with the gorgeous V8 wail from the exhaust pipes and the SVR’S driver-focused attitude is immediately apparent. It’s exciting before you even pull away.
However, all of that drama is not at the expense of too much comfort. Sure, the bucket seats are more cosseting, but they’re also leather-wrapped so won’t leave you sore on a long journey – quality materials are present throughout the interior and add to the classy feeling. SPACE AND PRACTICALITY The F-type SVR is a low-slung, two-seater sports car, so space and practicality are naturally not its forte.
That said, the cabin isn’t claustrophobic and the boot is big enough to fit a few bags for a weekend away – in coupe form it has up to 408 litres of space, while the convertible has about half that.
There are plenty of driver aids that come as standard to help keep the car (and driver) out of trouble, such as dynamic stability control, emergency brake assist and lowgrip drivetrain modes.
BEHIND THE WHEEL
The F-type R, on which the SVR is based, is quite a frenetic experience. But this car manages to tread the line between ramping up the drama while adding composure in a way that beggars belief.
Gears slam home in an instant thanks to the software-tweaked eight-speed automatic transmission, while the four-wheel drive system has been given more rear bias to improve agility.
Aside from the glorious assault on the senses handed out by the engine, the other driving highlight comes from the revised chassis. Spring rates remain unchanged, but there are new dampers and anti-roll bars, wider, lighter wheels and stiffened rear knuckles.
It all combines to make the SVR feel more planted than ever before without losing the F-type’s aggressive character.
VALUE FOR MONEY
When buying a high performance coupe that costs in excess of £100,000, value for money needs context.
That can be given to us by another car with a stunning exhaust note. The V10-engined Audi R8 comes with similar drama and, as far as mid-engined supercars go, is fairly practical. The entry-level model starts at £120,645, while the bewinged, full-fat version is about £10,000 more – the F-type SVR’S power output sits between these two models. Here, the F-type looks like good value.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE?
The Jaguar F-type SVR is designed to grab a slice of the pie dominated by the likes of the Porsche 911. Its German rival has become the go-to option for fast and fun coupes, but the 911 has an excellent rival here.