Jaguar’s flag­ship coupe gets a re­fresh

The Scotsman - - Motoring/First Drive -

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.

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