THE CLAWS ARE OUT
Jaguar’s flagship coupe gets a refresh
The changes to the 2018 model year car are fairly subtle. From the outside you might spot the new lights/indicators/bumper arrangement front and rear, but that’s largely it. Inside you get new seats and an uprated cabin, which is perhaps more noticeable. So did it need more of a makeover?
We’re on a racetrack, with a car offering not that far off 600bhp. We’ve turned everything we can find to Dynamic mode. We have the optional carbon-ceramic brake rotors which not only stop the car harder, they also reduce weight – in your wallet. They cost £8570, along with the 20-inch alloys. And, naturally, we’ve got the exhaust switched to Loud.
This is all the same as the current car, and it makes it a fairly stand-out track-day car. But it stands out for its looks, its noise, its presence rather more than its pure track-day ability. The issue is another figure, that of 1705kg, the kerb weight. The four-wheel drive does a great job of taming the horsepower and 516lb/ ft of torque, with considerable assistance from the electronic stability control.
You can drive this thing really hard, with the car making you look a bit better than your actual abilities, such are its sensitive interventions when you lead-foot it out of a turn. But there’s no getting away from it, this is quite a weighty car, and those carbon brakes would earn their keep if you did a lot of high-speed work. You’ll be ripping through consumables at quite a rate too.
The outcome is that, despite the lairy looks and noise, the F-type SVR makes a far better road car than track car. At which point you can dial everything back and enjoy a much more comfortable progress, even in Sport mode. It’s not sloppy, don’t get any ideas, this is sharp and precise, like a fine sports car should be, it’s just that it feels more at home and less ragged on the road than on the track.
That allows you a bit more time to enjoy the revised cabin. The new seats have magnesium frames, so that’s 16kg between them off what would have been the kerbweight, but they could do with a bit more bolster – maybe that’s to save weight too. Overall the cabin is an improvement and features JLR’S latest Incontrol Touch Pro infotainment system, which is better even if not quite a rival for BMW’S idrive.
So the changes are small but they do add up to an extent. Whether the asking price of £110,000 adds up is only something you can answer. And that’s before you’ve ticked a single options box. And they really add up. With its superloud exhaust and full-on assault, the F-type SVR is the most thuggish of the F-types, and if that suits your character then you won’t be disappointed. Others may find their tastes better reflected lower down the F-type league table.