Jaguar F-Type SVR 2016 Road Test

If the standard Jaguar F-Type isn’t quite quick or exclusive enough for you then fear not. Jaguar has come up with the pinnacle of the F-Type range – the £110,000 SVR. Sitting above the R, this is the first SVR from Jaguar and follows in the footsteps of the Range Rover Sport SVR, launched last year.

This is no GT4 hardcore track focussed special though. Jaguar is keen to point out that the F-Type SVR is designed to be a refined and everyday useable supercar. And one that’s proper quick too. It uses the same supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine as the R, but with power boosted to 575PS and a bowel-moving 700Nm of torque.

On paper it will do 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of no less than 200mph if you choose the coupe. You’re pretty unlikely to ever see that in the UK, but as supercar willy waving goes, 200mph puts it up there with the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Bentley Continental GT Speed. It’s not just about performance either - not that the SVR is lacking - but also about the noise.

Thanks to that wonderful V8 engine and a bespoke titanium exhaust - which is also lighter – the F-Type SVR howls along under acceleration, popping and crackling when you come off the power. When it comes to feelgood factor, few cars can match the sound of the SVR. You certainly don’t need to drive it at 200mph to enjoy it.

Jaguar F-Type SVR Ultra Blue (10) (1)

If you do find a place to get it up to big speeds – we were fortunate enough to get the SVR on track – the new aerodynamics package comes into its own. Thanks to a new underfloor design and a new front bumper there’s less drag, while a fixed carbon fibre active wing – which admittedly does look a little Halfords - reduces rear end lift. The result is a car that’s immensely stable and reassuring at very high speeds.

The SVR is also lighter than the F-Type R. Jaguar has stripped out 25kg yet it retains the all-wheel drive system of the R, albeit it with a bespoke calibration. It gets special Pirelli P Zero tyres and unique 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels, again to cut weight. You can make the SVR even lighter be choosing the optional carbon roof on the coupe and the ceramic brakes, which cut a further 25kg.

Other changes include an uprated, stiffer chassis with new dampers, plus special settings for the Quickshift gearbox and power steering, as well as changes to the torque vectoring. All of this makes the F-Type sound like it ought to be a stripped out racer, but that's far from the case. Instead, Jaguar has worked to increase the breadth of performance and the everyday usability of the F-Type.

All that power means the F-Type is monstrously quick away from the a standstill and with huge reserves of torque, it's a car that effortlessly builds speed. Yet even with the drama of that V8 engine noise, the F-Type SVR is not a frantic sports car. It retains that trademark Jaguar sense of sophistication and it even rides well. Although that's dependent on bodystyle - the Coupe is firm but comfortable, however the Convertible is a different matter, with a very stiff set-up that struggles to settle down over poor surfaces.

The all-wheel drive system ensures superb traction, particularly away from a slow corner, yet it's set-up with a rear-wheel bias which means the SVR is still fun to drive. As you'd expect given all the changes, the F-Type SVR is superb in corners with huge amounts of front end grip and impressive body control, even when thrown into a tight bend.

Jaguar F-Type SVR Ultra Blue (16)

Our one minor criticism is the steering which could do with more weight and feel. It's incredibly responsive but doesn't inspire the same confidence that a Porsche 911 or Cayman does when you're going into a corner at speed. But there are no such issues with the Quickshift gearbox complete with steering wheel paddles, which provides super fast snappy changes.

The interior is another highlight, with the F-Type's high quality cabin taken up another notch by 14-way adjustable SVR performance seats in leather with a 'lozenge' quilted pattern. The seats come in jet black as standard but you can have Siena Tan or Red Leather as options. There's also suedecloth for the steering wheel and on the centre console.

Jaguar has taken the already impressive F-Type to the next level with the SVR version. It offers huge performance but in a refined and useable manner. However, at £110,000 for the Coupe (and another £5k for the Convertible) the SVR carries a hefty premium over the already very quick F-Type R which starts at just under £87,000.

The SVR certainly feels even more special, but that price tag puts it up against some top competition like the Aston Martin Vantage V8, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT and of course the Porsche 911 Turbo, while the Audi R8 is £10k more. The SVR is more than a match though and shows that Jaguar's Special Vehicles Operations is serious about making sports cars.

The Jaguar F-Type SVR goes on sale in July 2016.

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