Jaguar F-Type SVR
Meanwhile, here’s the fastest road-going Jaguar
The JLR put together a small team and invested in a new facility to be able to customise cars and create halo products for its two companies just a few years back. This is the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division and amongst its bag of tricks is an SVR badge that it puts on vehicles that have been souped up for performance. There are currently two such SVR badged vehicles and we have driven both of them in this issue starting with the Range Rover Sport SVR and finishing with the F-type SVR. Amongst the division’s vehicle portfolio are armoured vehicles, SUVs with extreme capability as well as ultra-luxurious vehicles.
The F-type to start with is a sports car with great driving dynamics as one expects of all Jaguars and hence to begin with, it makes for good base material for a performance vehicle. There is actually little to distinguish this incredibly fast F-type from the rest of its siblings up front, but a closer inspection reveals the huge air intakes on the sides of the front grille and the tiny SVR logo that signifies that this is not a normal car. At the back though, the story is slightly different. One can’t but help noticing the huge carbon-fibre rear wing in place of the deployable wing on the boot-lid and there are now outboard mounted titanium quad exhaust pipes as well, to compliment the sound.
Not that the F-type interiors are common place but the SVR takes them to an all together higher plane. Specially-crafted performance seats, a special SVR branded centre consoles either in dark brushed
aluminium or carbon-fibre finishes and quilted leather inserts add to the heightened sense of expectation that is triggered off by the rear wing. Not only do the changes make the car look menacing but they also reduce the weight of the car.
The magnesium seats for example save 8kg of weight as compared to previous models while the forged alloy wheels used on the SVR save 13.8kg. The exhaust system is now titanium and Inconel and saves 16kg. The optional front and rear ceramic brakes save a total of 21kg besides helping the vehicle dynamics immensely because this weight is lost from the unsprung mass of the car.
A majority of the changes on the car actually cannot be seen. Whether it is the replacement of the suspension knuckles by titanium ones (and the saving of over half a kilo as well) or the replacement of the exhaust system by a titanium one, all the small changes help in shaving off the weight of the car making it more agile hence increasing performance.
The biggest boost to that then comes from the 5-litre supercharged engine that delivers 575 max horsepower and peak torque of 700Nm. This is the most powerful engine in the JLR range and also does duty on the Range Rover Sport SVR. The power is transferred to all four wheels using an 8-speed quickshift automatic gearbox and with the hydraulic multi-plate wet clutch AWD system, the F-type SVR coupe can get up to 100kmph in 3.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 200 miles per hour for the British and 322kmph for the rest of us.
Jaguar claims that the AWD system is unique and uses the company’s own intelligent driveline dynamics to transfer torque to wheels that require the torque the most. In normal condition 90 per cent of the torque is sent to the rear wheels and this can go up to 100 percent in excellent high grip situations but in case there is need, the full torque can be sent to the front wheels within a mere 165 milliseconds. Saving the best for last, as for the drive, it’s absolute joy to behind the wheel of this man-made wonder. The exteriors set your heart racing, the interiors enhance the feeling and the sound of the engine makes it all come together effortlessly. Not that the F-type sounded bad, but the SVR unleashes such an aural symphony that blends well with the expectations from the car. Steering is quick as we discover on many slalom runs and acceleration is brutal. Whatever the all wheel drive system does with switching the torque, there was plenty of grip on offer even when we were driving in wet conditions. On the high speed track and the handling course is where the car comes into its own. It is rock steady at high speeds and the one realisation that comes pretty early on into the driving experience is that the car is not the typical uncomfortable track machine. The suspension is not set to just corner on rails but works pretty well on bad road surface as well, so this can be a regular use car as well.
1&2. The cockpit is a combination of sporty and practical. The 3-spoke design of the steering wheel with paddleshifters is designed for the driver’s ease. 3&4. Lighter magnesium seats make the SVR almost 8kgs lighter
5. The titanium and Inconel exhaust system shaves off 16kg. 6. The performance of the optional R-Dynamic calipers is superbly progressive