Jaguar F-Type SVR: Hear me Roar
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Raucous and loud
Jaguar’s top performance F-Type sport coupe, the SVR, is unabashedly raucous — it’s loud, it’s proud and it’s determined to turn heads, whether or not you’re a fan of boisterous V8s.
Added to Jaguar New Zealand’s F-Type line up late last year, the SVR is taking on the likes of Porsche’s 911 GT 3, Mercedes-AMG’s GT S and Aston Martin’s DB11 when it comes to luxury performance coupes.
Priced from $240,000, the SVR coupe is powered by a 5-litre, V8 supercharged engine, the same as in a standard F-Type R, but it’s been tweaked to produce 425kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
That 700Nm of torque is important because it makes the SVR the most powerful production vehicle Jaguar has ever made. It has a top speed of 322km/h and hits 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds.
On the famous Nurburgring, it had a lap time of 7.33 minutes — the same as a Pagani Zonda F and a Koenigsegg CCX.
The SVR was engineered by Jaguar’s Special Vehicles Operations, the equivalent of Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M Sport divisions.
The Special Vehicles Operations made the SVR lighter, faster and more powerful than other F-Types, with the supercharged engine delivering instant torque without any lag: Jaguar claiming that at high engine speed, the SVR delivers more power than a Porsche 911 S. The SVR also gains a new advanced lightweight Inconel titanium exhaust system that is 16kg lighter than other F-Types. This exhaust system is used in F1 and Le Mans cars to deliver high performance.
If the exhaust wasn’t enough, the SVR also has a special active rear wing for dynamic driving, plus bonnet louvres and vents in the side panels to help with cooling the engine and channel air flow. Added to this is an AWD system and an eight-speed transmission, while the new suspension system has been designed to sharpen turning and increase stiffness, giving it a firmer, assured ride.
Inside, the cabin has a similar look to the rest of the F-Type family with the addition of new 8in InControl Touch infotainment systems.
The rear view is obstructed by the wing and narrow rear windows, but a rear-view camera helps with backing into tight spots.
Though the Jaguar F-Type SVR is suited to track days, the company is quick to point out it’s also an everyday drive — that is an everyday drive
if A: you live on a lifestyle block; B: you start work late or C: you hate your neighbours; because the SVR is loud. Extremely loud.
Hit the start button and the SVR‘s engine rumbles while the exhaust crackles and reverberates. And it’s glorious.
Not that you’d know that as the cabin has great sound-proofing, but don’t worry, your neighbours will be quick to let you know the SVR has a thumping soundtrack.
When my night owl millennial neighbours “informed” me about the SVR’s raucous engine, I told them they were lucky I didn’t drive my daughter to her 7am holiday job each day while I was testing it. That shut them up.
In regular driving mode, the V8’s rumble sits with you politely, while the all-new 20in Pirelli P Zero tyres are designed to improve with traction and feel — but on our rough bitumen at low speed you instead get an annoying bumping sensation.
And dial in Dynamic when at speed and you forget all about rough road conditions. Instead the ride firms up, and that exhaust goes from loud and proud to head turning, crowd-pleasing outrageous.
The SVR isn’t a light vehicle, weighing in at 1705kg, making it heavier than a Porsche 911, so turning it into corners at low speed you feel the effort — but at speed the AWD system and suspension work together to give a rewarding drive, with a tendency for oversteer rather than understeer.
Doing my usual windows down, four-exhaust system on the drive through the St Marys Bay tunnel in Auckland (with a tap now and then on the accelerator to entice the exhaust), I even had a F-Type R owner slow down to listen to the soundtrack, and give me the thumbs up as the SVR’s noise reverberated around the tunnel.
You need no other recommendation than that.
JAGUAR F-TYPE SVR
5-litre, V8 supercharged engine (425kW/700Nm)
Pros: The exhaust, the performance. Did I mention the exhaust?
Cons: Your neighbours will hate you if you start work early