More of everything – including calm, poise and ability
Everything about the new Jaguar F-type SVR seems to shout ‘more’. There’s more power from its 5-litre supercharged V8 motor – a further 25bhp to provide a total of 567bhp and make this the most powerful road-going Jaguar in history. There’s more speed, too, much more speed in fact, thanks only in small part to the power hike. It is mostly due to careful aero work, where the air hits the front of the car, flows underneath it and departs the rear. This is the first standard-production Jaguar with a documented 200mph top speed. There’s more grip courtesy of more rubber on the road, a more overt appearance and, of course, more money: a whacking £18,000 price rise over the scarcely sluggish equivalent F-type R.
In other words, more.
There’s other interesting stuff going on here too, from the lightweight titanium and Inconel exhausts that save 16kg to the forged alloys that shave off a further 14kg. If you’re prepared to spend another £8570 another 21kg can be shed by optioning in carbon ceramic brakes. There’s a complete suspension retune and fresh software or the electronic differential too. And if your neighbours have somehow failed to spot it’s an SVR from its new front and rear spoilers, inside they’re not likely to miss the luxurious SVR chairs or the
SVR branding on the aluminium centre console.
But if the description and what you may already know about faster versions of the F-type suggests the SVR is about to provide the wildest ride of any car ever to put a cat on its nose, it doesn’t take long behind the wheel to become disabused of that notion.
Despite its 200mph top speed and 3.7sec 0-62mph potential, what you notice first, second and third is not how fast is the SVR, but how fluent. While the power has been dialled up, the car itself has been calmed right down.
And it is to its immense benefit.
The SVR is so much better at handling its power than a standard F-type R (especially the rear-wheel-drive variety) that at first you’re struck by its relative lack of drama. But then as you push on and delve a little deeper into what this car can do, you realise that what the SVR modifications have done is turn the F-type from an entertaining recreation into a very serious high- performance GT.
Its additional straight-line speed is of no consequence relative to its new-found poise through bends. Now your point-to-point speed is not determined by power or grip, but the wonderful confidence the SVR imparts and the way it allows you to guide this quite large car from A to B.
More importantly still, the benefits remain when you rejoin the real world. I’d say this is the best-riding F-type I’ve driven, the one in which I’d most like to do a long journey.
Before I drove it I really questioned whether Jaguar could pull off a £100k coupé, especially as I had not cared for SVR’s first effort, its take on the Range Rover Sport. But this F-type seems to me to define what an SVR product should be: not simply faster, which is easy to do, but better in every way. That’s far more difficult, yet has been resoundingly achieved here.
Engine 5.0 litres, 8 cylinders, supercharged
Power [email protected]
Torque 516lb [email protected]
Transmission eight-speed auto, four-wheel drive
Power to Weight 333bhp per tonne
Top speed 200mph