The Cat's New Claws: Jaguar's F-Type SVR

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
With the launch of their new F-Type SVR Jaguar get ready to pounce on the performance sports car set

At launch back in 2013, the Jaguar F-Type was set to become Jaguar’s new flagship, the physical embodiment of everything they stand for. It even warranted its own short film. Fast-forward to now and the F-Type has become the British marque’s greatest success in decades.

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Since that first model, it’s undergone a good number of variations, enough to satisfy anyone that wants a great, well-balanced sports car. But then, what about drivers longing for a little more roar out of the big cat?

Spectre gave us a taste of what Jaguar are capable of; the C-X75 wrested the spotlight from Aston Martin’s DB10 without all that much effort, both its styling and performance an entirely new breed of Jaguar. It was a concept, sure, one not to be repeated any time soon, but it illustrated just what Jaguar and, more specifically, their Special Vehicle Operations division were capable of.

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Surprisingly, given the number of different projects they’ve pulled off over both brands, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations haven’t really had the chance to share the limelight in the same way as the likes of AMG have for Mercedes. Until now that is, and the launch of the Jaguar F-Type SVR.

Take everything that was great about the F-Type – its beautiful styling, comfortable interior, innate Britishness – and give it a shot of adrenaline. It’s still born of the same mother as the original, but the father was most definitely a supercar.

The biggest change to the formula is Jaguar’s newly-developed Supercharged 5.0-litre V8. A total powerhouse, it’s capable of producing 575 horsepower with a noise to match. It’s a level of power never before seen in a production Jaguar, matched only by the occasional concepts.

To make the most of that power, Special Vehicle Operations have tweaked the F-Type into a pure performance animal. Air intakes have been enlarged, bonnet vents redesigned and the whole cooling system rethought to increase efficiency. At the same time, the whole car has been on a diet, losing weight from pretty much every area though new materials and technologies that were simply unavailable to the standard F-Type.

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The bodywork has been subtly enhanced as well, the already stunning shape given a leaner, meaner profile. The biggest change however is the deployable rear wing which, at higher speeds, comes out to create a more aerodynamically-sound car when you need it the most.

A powerful new engine, increased performance efficiency and less car to propel all add up to allow the F-Type SVR Coupe to hit 200mph. The convertible manages 195, still undeniably impressive, and both can accelerate 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds, heading deep into territory into which Jaguar have never ventured before.

Even without the meteoric movement of the speedometer to go by, it’s clear the engine is an extreme piece of engineering, especially when played through the F-Type SVR’s new exhaust.  The four round tailpipes sing a more distinctive, purposeful, harder-edged exhaust note than ever before.

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The tweaks don’t stop at pure power; a newly-calibrated eight-speed Quickshift transmission, wider, more gripping tyres and on-demand all-wheel drive system's Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology all do their part. Combine this with the car’s 25kg lighter weight (50kg with a few additional options) and you get reflexes worthy of a hunter.

The beauty of the F-Type however is its versatility. It’s a car suited to the everyday, evolved to adapt to any situation. In order to be a true F-Type, the SVR needs to do just that. Fortunately the suite of performance improvements don’t lose any of that comfort of versatility. Quite the opposite, thanks to a bespoke interior.

The 14-way SVR Performance seats are as comfortable speeding round a sharp corner on the track as sitting in traffic, especially when dressed in sumptuous quilted leather. The jet black with contrast stitching keeps things classically cool. You can also opt for tan or red upholstery, but an animal this impressive deserves something a little more predatory.

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As for in-cabin tech, the InControl Touch infotainment system provides feature eight-inch capacitive touchscreens, intuitive user interfaces and crisp, clear 3D map displays. The system makes navigating simple and, if for some strange reason you prefer your own soundtrack to that of the V8, it comes equipped with a 380W Meridian surround sound audio system (770W if you opt for the upgraded version).

Since the first F-Type Jaguar have gone from strength to strength, revitalising their range in new and exciting ways. Yet nothing before has been quite as much of a statement as the F-Type SVR. The fastest, most high-performance production car the marque has ever built, it sends a message to the other car manufacturers that before now have been elevated above Jaguar; the cat is on their tail.

Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupé, £110,000

Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupé

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