2017 Jaguar F-type SVR Review

Posted on Jaguar

With the excellent new XE sedan establishing Jaguar’s claim in the entry-luxury sedan class and the equally excellent new F-Pace giving the brand its own crossover, Jaguar has most of the basic luxury-brand bases covered. (Sister company Land Rover covers the rest.) Now all it needs is customers, so Jaguar is seeking visibility the way one does in America: celebrity tie-ups. In just over two weeks this past spring, Jaguar announced collaborations with Prince Harry, WWE superstar John Cena, and Fast and Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez. The trio is an apt summation of the new range-topping, 575-hp F-type SVR: prestige, muscle, and beauty.

As a Jaguar—a beautiful one, available in either sultry convertible or sexpot coupe body styles—the SVR carries a powerful monarchical prestige that affects people in peculiar ways. A personal anecdote: Once, as your author was driving home in our long-term F-type, I was stopped at a red light when a car pulled up next to me. The passenger opened her window to ask what the car was. I must have been pondering what the exhaust system’s delightfully improper pops and cracks would sound like with a British accent, because my answer came out, “It’s a Jag-you-are F-type.” The proper syllabification surprised me as much as it did the inquirer, to the point that my brow furrowed and my face contorted in revulsion as I spoke, and my sentence ended in a question mark. Confused and embarrassed, I turned back to face the light and sped away in relief when it turned green seconds later.

It’s the muscle that makes this F-type an SVR. It’s the first Jaguar to wear the SVR badge, in fact, following only the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR in the rollout of products from the firm’s Special Vehicle Operations office. This one borrows the engine calibration from the limited-edition Project 7, its 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 cranking out 575 horsepower at 6500 rpm and making 516 lb-ft of torque at 3500, increases of 25 hp and 14 lb-ft over the F-type R. We clocked an F-type R from zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds; figure on this one doing the deed in 3.3 or so with the extra ponies making a bigger difference in the quarter-mile. It uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive powertrain as the R. (If you want a clutch pedal in your U.S.–market F-type, you’re looking at the 380-hp V-6 and rear-wheel drive.)

An Inconel and titanium exhaust system shaves 35 of the 55 pounds Jaguar claims to have pared from the all-wheel-drive F-type R’s curb weight. For those willing to spend more to get less mass, optional carbon-ceramic brake rotors, a carbon-fiber roof panel, and a carbon-fiber trim package can bring that total weight loss to 110 pounds. Through the new exhaust, the F-type’s signature scream develops a slightly sharper edge. It’s not as dramatic a change as was suggested by Jaguar’s stunt of having us drive an SVR through a New York tunnel, but it does sound like an angry King Kong thumping his chest at several thousand beats per minute. It’s an appropriate soundtrack for Jaguar’s fastest-ever production car. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Manufacturer

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