F-Type feeds de­sire for ex­clu­siv­ity, per­for­mance

The Southern Gazette - - Saltwire Wheels - BY RICHARD RUS­SELL WHEELS

I have al­ways be­lieved there is no such thing as too much power. But, af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a brief mo­ment of wheel spin at 110 km/h on dry pave­ment be­fore the trac­tion con­trol sys­tem stepped in, I re­al­ized I might have just ex­pe­ri­enced the upper limit of us­able power.

The ve­hi­cle was a Jaguar FType coupe in SVR guise with a 575-horse­power su­per­charged V8 un­der my right foot. Jaguar says it is “the most dy­nam­i­cally-ca­pa­ble, per­for­mance­fo­cused sports car,” it has ever pro­duced. Granted, they were sum­mer tires and the ther­mome­ter was flirt­ing with the freez­ing point. But this is no pussy cat, this is a tiger — fast, fe­ro­cious and de­mand­ing re­spect.

The spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to the leg­endary E-Type, the Jaguar F-type is avail­able in coupe or con­vert­ible for­mat. Both have two doors and two seats. The gor­geous sports car boasts the long hood, slop­ing roofline, and short deck of its pre­de­ces­sor. It starts out at $60,000 with a 296-horse­power four-cylin­der en­gine driv­ing the rear wheels.

But this one re­ceived the SVR treat­ment, leav­ing the Coven­try assem­bly line with a su­per­charged V8 stuffed un­der that long hood, send­ing 575-horse­power to all four wheels. SVR is to Jaguar what RS is to Audi, M is to BMW, and AMG is to Mercedes — a branch of the com­pany staffed with wizards charged with ex­tract­ing max­i­mum per­for­mance and pro­file from a ve­hi­cle.

The SVR suf­fix means this F-Type was loaded with more than $25,000 in op­tions, much of it go-faster good­ies like: car­bon fi­bre hood lou­vres, side vents, mir­ror caps, rear dif­fuser and front split­ter, $5,100; car­bon ce­ramic brake pack­age (398-mm front/380-mm rear car­bon ce­ramic brake ro­tors in­side 20-inch al­loy wheels wrapped in sum­mer per­for­mance rub­ber), $13,260.

All topped off by the loud­est and most out­ra­geous ex­haust sys­tem in the in­dus­try. How they slipped this one past the au­thor­i­ties, I do not know. The mel­liflu­ous sounds em­a­nat­ing from the light­weight ti­ta­nium and In­conel pipes elim­i­nate the need for an au­dio sys­tem. The tester had a 12-speaker Meridean sound sys­tem; I checked it out while sit­ting in the park­ing lot with the en­gine off. The rest of the week I spent en­joy­ing the con­cert from those four big pipes jut­ting out through the rear dif­fuser.

Mer­riam-Web­ster de­fines a dif­fuser as “a de­vice for de­flect­ing air from an out­let in var­i­ous di­rec­tions.” In the au­to­mo­tive world a dif­fuser is com­mon on race cars, help­ing to pull air from be­neath the ve­hi­cle, and keep that end of the car from lift­ing at high speed. An af­fec­ta­tion on many ve­hi­cles for use on pub­lic streets, it makes sense here. Also func­tional are the small rear spoiler and vents in the front fend­ers to keep air from lift­ing that end of the car.

This $167,000 Jaguar will likely see use on track days, as own­ers search for a way to en­joy its con­sid­er­able prow­ess. This car is both quick and fast. Thanks to the stan­dard all-wheel-drive sys­tem and sticky tires, it is ca­pa­ble of ac­cel­er­a­tion from a dead stop to 100 km/h in 3.7 sec­onds. It will cover the quar­ter mile in 11.7 sec­onds on the way to an ad­ver­tised top speed of 322 km/h with the eight-speed au­to­matic snap­ping off shifts like ri­fle shots.

The steer­ing is quick and

pro­vides plenty of feed­back. The en­tire ve­hi­cle is rock solid and the sus­pen­sion prefers and re­wards on smooth sur­faces. The brakes are noth­ing less than as­tound­ing in their abil­ity to laugh off silly speeds re­peat­edly with no sign of fade.

Op­er­at­ing the flush-mounted door han­dles reveals il­lu­mi­nated door sills and the in­te­rior you’d ex­pect from a six-fig­ure Jaguar. Beau­ti­fully ap­pointed, it fea­tures lots of quilted leather and con­trast­ing stitch­ing, deeply sculp­tured seats — ad­justable in 14 di­rec­tions — with the SVR logo em­broi­dered in the head re­straints and suede cov­er­ing the pil­lars and head­liner.

To those with­out any in­ter­est, or the nec­es­sary dis­pos­able in­come, a $167,000 two-seat sports car may seem extreme. Af­ter all, the $25,000 HST pay­ment alone would buy a good new fam­ily ve­hi­cle. But the few who can af­ford to feed a de­sire for ex­clu­siv­ity and per­for­mance, will con­sider the F-Type SVR while com­par­i­son shop­ping against the Acura NSX ($190,000/573-hp), MercedesAMG GT ($183,000/577-hp), McLaren 570S ($275,000/562hp) and Porsche 911 Turbo ($184,200/540-hp).

Exclusive in­deed!

RICHARD RUS­SELL PHO­TOS

The 2019 Jaguar F-Type SVR AWD coupe is well pow­ered by a 575-horse­power, su­per­charged, V8 en­gine; it will cover the quar­ter mile in 11.7 sec­onds on the way to an ad­ver­tised top speed of 322 km/h. It will likely see use on track days, as own­ers search for a way to en­joy its con­sid­er­able prow­ess.

The SVR suf­fix means this F-Type was loaded with more than $25,000 in op­tions.

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