Expert Reviews

UK Drive: Jaguar F-Type SVR

Friday 17 March 2017

UK Drive: Jaguar F-Type SVR
Summary

This is the Jaguar F-Type SVR, and it’s the most powerful car that the British manufacturer currently makes. Lighter and more focused than even the standard F-Type, it uses the same powerful 5.0-litre V8 but here it’s tuned to allow the SVR to reach 200mph.

It’s also lighter than the standard car, thanks to forged alloy wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes.

Louvres on the bonnet aid cooling, while a large rear wing helps increase downforce levels at high speed – with all of these features helping create a F-Type which is sharper than ever before.

However, don’t think of the SVR as a stripped-out, hard to live with racer like the Porsche 911 GT3RS. It’s a genuinely usable everyday car, fitted with creature comforts just like any other Jaguar. It’s all the work of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, which works on special versions of the company’s cars.

Looks & Image

There are few people who’d call the F-Type SVR bad-looking. An aggressive car visually, it’s an exciting vehicle before you even turn the key. Inside, drivers are treated to large bucket seats wrapped in the very best leather and some of the finest materials we’ve seen in a conventional sports car.

The standard F-Type was hardly an ugly vehicle, but the SVR’s additional styling touches really do transform the overall look of the car.

Space & Practicality

Being a low-slung, two seater sports car, practicality isn’t high up on the SVR’s list of priorities. That said, it isn’t as impractical as you’d think, with the coupe able to offer 408 litres of space – though convertible cars offer around half that.

A wealth of driver aids are fitted as standard too, with dynamic stability control and emergency brake assist aiding the driver in difficult conditions should they arise.

Behind the Wheel

The F-Type upon the which the SVR never felt lacking in pace, even in base S layout. However, the way that this ramps up the standard car’s performance is almost unbelievable. Gears are pin-sharp in their action thanks to a tweaked eight-speed automatic transmission, while four-wheel-drive ensures that traction is maintained in even very slippery conditions. Make no mistake, the SVR is still a handful to drive – but it isn’t as bad as you’d expect it to be. 

The chassis has also been revised over the standard car, with new dampers and anti-roll bars fitted to ensure that the F-Type SVR rides impeccably well. All of these features combine to ensure that the SVR remains planted without losing any of its aggressive character.

Value for Money

When buying a high performance coupe that costs in excess of £100,000, value for money needs context. That can be given to us by another car with a stunning exhaust note. The V10-engined Audi R8 comes with similar drama and, as far as mid-engined supercars go, is fairly practical. The entry-level model starts at £120,645, while the bewinged, full-fat version is about £10,000 more – the F-Type SVR’s power output sits between these two models. Here, the F-Type looks like good value.

Who would buy one ?

The Jaguar F-Type SVR is designed to grab a slice of the pie dominated by the likes of the Porsche 911. Its German rival has become the go-to option for fast and fun coupes, but the 911 has an excellent rival here.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe Price as tested: £132,790
Engine: 5.0-litre V8 petrol
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Performance: 0 – 60mph in 3.5 seconds, 200mph top speed
Economy: 25mpg (combined cycle)
Emissions: 199g/km CO2

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