by Roger Biermann
At the top of all Jaguar Land Rover operations exists the Special Vehicle Operations division – responsible for the most extreme JLR vehicles in their respective segments as well as extreme limited run specialty models. They’re the team behind the gorgeous Jaguar F-Type Project 7, which also happened to be the test bed for fire-breathing F-Type SVR. This king of all F-Types is available solely in all-wheel drive guise, with added aero, extra firepower, and a choice between coupe and convertible body styles, and it’s the fastest Jaguar since the XJ220 supercar. The claws are out, and this kitty means serious business!
The interior of the F-Type SVR twins remains largely the same as it does in other variants. It’s a snug fit for two, though not uncomfortably so, with the biggest qualm being head room for taller occupants. Based upon the F-Type R, you get the same comfortable sport bucket seats, but with quilted stitching and ‘lozenge’ piping adding some flair, and the ‘SVR’ insignia embossed upon the head rests. The shift paddles behind the steering wheel are larger too, and are gorgeously milled from aluminum.
But other materials are lacking in quality, like cheap plastic trim in the center console. The touch screen infotainment system is also somewhat buggy and outdated compared to offerings from Porsche. Visibility is a poor point on all F-Types, and the SVR is no different. Cargo capacity is rather limited – especially by the small cargo hatch – with the coupe boasting 11 cubic feet and the convertible offering a measly 7 cubes.
A tune from SVO means chassis upgrades – in this case, stiffer rear suspension, a thinner front anti-roll bar, and revised valving for the adaptive dampers. Pirelli P Zero tires are 20mm wider front and rear, tying in with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system to maximize grip. The tweaks to the chassis improve the front end response, even with the additional chore of driving the front wheels. The rear is sturdier now, and it’s more difficult to induce breakaway. However, once the limits of adhesion are breached, the SVR loses none of the hooliganism that made the F-Type R so endearing. But the fun is short lived, as the trick AWD system soon sends power to the front wheels and pulls the SVR straight.
Adaptive damping makes the SVR a comfortable daily companion, if a little on the edgy side, while the standard steel brakes – shared with the R – are sharp enough for use daily without compromise. Carbon ceramics are also available.
In SVR trim, the Jaguar F-Type receives the engine tune from the F-Type Project 7. That means the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 develops a brawny 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, whilst the howling soundtrack is amplified through a new lightweight inconel and titanium exhaust system. Power is sent to all wheels, and the SVR makes use of a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. Jaguar claims a 0-60mph sprint in 3.5 seconds for both the coupe and convertible, though the coupe will top out at 201mph – making it the fastest Jaguar since the XJ220 supercar, while the convertible’s V-max is 195mph.
As the top specification F-Type, the SVR enjoys a lavish list of features. Standard features include 12-way power adjustable seats, electrically adjustable heated steering wheel, cruise control, single zone climate control, and an 8-inch touch screen system with a Meridian Pro sound system and Navigation Pro. Stability control is present from a safety perspective, as is ABS braking with EBD and EBA. A rear-view camera is standard, along with front and rear parking sensors. Available options include blind spot assist with rear cross traffic alert and a park assistant. The F-Type hasn’t been crash tested by local authorities.
Though the American’s may have pioneered muscle cars, they don’t have exclusive rights to them anymore. The F-Type SVR is American muscle with a British accent and a stiff upper lip. Britain’s MI6 to America’s Navy Seals – it has all the noise, and all the power, but with just a little more restraint.