CARS

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His­tory may yet judge dif­fer­ently, but the all- elec­tric Jaguar I- Pace we drove ear­lier this year ap­pears to be the most sig­nif­i­cant new car to come from this mar­que, if not this coun­try, in decades.

It’s clev­erly pack­aged, beau­ti­fully de­signed, de­liv­ers close to 300 miles of range on a sin­gle elec­tric charge and — most im­por­tantly — drives like a Jaguar.

It’s the first zero emis­sions ve­hi­cle an en­thu­si­ast would want to own.

It’s hard to over- state, there­fore, the po­ten­tial im­pact of this tech­no­log­i­cal tour de force — on the Jaguar brand, on new car buy­ers and, in­deed, on the en­tire fu­ture model line. The I- Pace won’t be the last al­l­elec­tric Jaguar, and one can only spec­u­late on the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of a silent- run­ning XJ ex­ec­u­tive saloon or the ac­cel­er­a­tive forces that might be found in a pure elec­tric re­place­ment for the F- Type sports car.

Which leaves the cur­rent Jaguar F- Type

– as lithe and line- per­fect a beauty now as it was at the time of its un­veil­ing in 2013 – awash with a range of petrol- pow­ered com­bus­tion en­gines that might, just might, be the last of their kind. And in the case of the fire- breath­ing, 5.0- litre, V8 su­per­charged pow­er­plant de­liv­er­ing 575bhp in the F- Type SVR head­liner that would be a cry­ing shame.

Not be­cause it can whip what is a com­pact two- seater coupé all the way to 200mph, or hit 60mph from stand­still in an ab­surd 3.5 sec­onds, amid tyre smoke and hy­per­speed scenery ( think back to the Mil­len­nium Fal­con cock­pit shot when Han Solo hits the switch). But be­cause of the noise.

A noise that barks, bel­lows and thun­ders akin to that of the Almighty clear­ing his throat. A noise that in­vig­o­rates, ex­cites and — oc­ca­sion­ally — fright­ens. A noise that reaches right down into the soul of the school­boy in­side all of us and pulls it clean out of your ears. A noise that, once si­lenced through reg­u­la­tion and cli­mate ne­ces­sity, will be a loss on an epic scale. And a noise that, you sus­pect, Jaguar cre­ated then built an en­tire car around.

A pre­pos­ter­ous sug­ges­tion? That one might de­sign a car of such per­fect form, engi­neer such a be­guil­ing com­bi­na­tion of ride, grip and tenac­ity, then be­spoiler and be­deck it just to en­close a noise?

Nah, the F- Type SVR is ab­so­lutely, def­i­nitely and un­de­ni­ably about the noise.

It snaps on start- up, crack­les on the over­run and pops on lift- off — it’s your favourite break­fast ce­real on wheels is what it is. And, just in case you hadn’t worked that out for your­self on first ac­quain­tance, there’s a but­ton on the cen­tre con­sole that re­sets the ex­haust and man­age­ment sys­tems to make more noise. Your neigh­bours will ei­ther love you ( as mine do) or put your win­dows in for fear that you are caus­ing sleep de­pri­va­tion in their pets or ba­bies. But I’m down with that, ei­ther way.

Th­ese aren’t cheap thrills, prices start from £ 112,525, but when the time comes to write the epi­taph of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion engine this will be the one that takes us to church.

Amen.

If this is the be­gin­ning of the pass­ing of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion engine, then we just got taken to church

Words Dar­ren Styles Jaguar F- Type SVR Coupé. 5.0- litre // su­per­charged V8 // 575bhp, 501lb/ ft torque // 0- 62mph in 3.5 sec­onds // top speed 200mph // eight- speed au­to­matic // com­bined 25.9mpg // 249g/ km CO2 // £ 112,525 //jaguar. co. uk

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