We've had our first taste of the new Jaguar F-Type SVR on a night-time blast through a tunnel in Manhattan
23 March 2016

As tantalising as first tastes of a new car go, this one whets the appetite as much as the sound of a cold can of Coke opening on a scorching hot day in the desert.

Ah, sound. For this is what this story really boils down to. We’re in Manhattan, New York City for a first blast in the all-new Jaguar F-Type SVR, the fastest and most powerful regular production Jaguar ever. In a tunnel. At night.

The F-Type SVR, in case you need reminding, is the 567bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8, four-wheel drive version of the F-Type. Due to reach the UK this summer, it’s the son of the strictly limited Project 7 special edition from 2014, which showed just how far the F-Type could be pushed as an extreme performance product.

The F-Type SVR, the work of Jaguar Land Rover’s rapidly ascending Special Vehicle Operations division that also produced Project 7 and the Range Rover Sport SVR, is the slightly more sane and usable follow-up to Project 7, but soft it is not.

Based on the F-Type R AWD, in coupe form the F-Type SVR will send you from 0-62mph in just 3.7sec and on to a 200mph top speed. The performance makeover on an already very performance focussed product is thorough, with lots of extra cooling and aerodynamic additions to help maximise that extra performance, and a chassis makeover to help the car fly around a circuit, but tuned in a very Jaguar way to ensure it remains compliant and usable every day.

And then there is the exhaust system, which is perhaps most relevant here. It’s a lightweight titanium and Inconel exhaust that weighs some 16kg less than the F-Type R AWD’s, and has lots of trickery to give what Jaguar claims is a “dramatic, purposeful, harder-edge exhaust note”. And, as with the F-Type R AWD, the ‘naughty button’ remains available to the driver, a picture of an exhaust on the centre console that when pressed and activated sends the exhaust into the full aural beans mode.

Jaguar has pulled a lot of strings to have the tunnel shut down for five hours on the eve of the New York motor show. The tunnel is on Park Avenue, and runs for 422 metres between 33rd and 38th street. The speed limit has been raised from 25mph to 65mph for the evening, but we haven’t spied any speed cameras in the tunnel…

A passenger ride is up first in one direction, and it’s the slightly slower (at 194mph, still) convertible version of the F-Type SVR we’re in, with the roof down, of course, to best hear that noise.

So that noise, then. It’s brilliant. It’s lovely. It’s really bloody loud. It’s the volume that those old speakers you used to have would always distort at if you tried to turn it up to them. It gets inside you like the party your neighbour had until 2am with vibrations coming through the wall. And above all, it’s the type of noise that reminds you just how great it can be when a car launches a full-on assault on one of your senses. That’s all before you get the pops and crackles when lifting off. You might be able to tell I quite liked it. 

That was all just from the passenger seat. When it was my turn to drive it, there was a bit less time to savour the noise as the nerves kicked in trying to keep the car in a straight line. It’s intimidating to give it full throttle in a tight tunnel on an uneven, slippery road surface not designed for all-wheel drive sports cars with 567bhp. It was, in a word, lively. That, and chuffing quick. Still, I didn’t put it in the wall even when feeling all giddy with a ringing in my ears, so it’s all good safe fun.

We’ve already had some standout performance cars this year with the Ford Focus RS and BMW M2. The F-Type SVR, on first acquaintance, seems likely to be every bit as memorable. Just how the hell am I going to sleep tonight with that noise still ringing in my ears?

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type Convertible
It’s Britain’s most important sports car in a decade. Does the Jaguar F-type live up to the hype?

The Jaguar F-type bridges the gap between the Boxster and 911 on price, but can it offer the best of both worlds on the road?

Join the debate

Comments
11

23 March 2016
"So that noise, then. It’s brilliant. It’s lovely. It’s really bloody loud ... Just how the hell am I going to sleep tonight with that noise still ringing in my ears?" (end of quote) - This should read: How are the nearby residents going to sleep with that noise still ringing in their ears: This kind of utterly irresponsible act coming from a respected journal only encourages those Londoners with fast and loud cars doing the tunnels and waking up the neighbourhood in the middle of the night.

23 March 2016
Mark, can you please disclose which company has paid for your trip to NY?

23 March 2016
soldi wrote:
Mark, can you please disclose which company has paid for your trip to NY?
Whoever it was, they seem to have taken Auto Express, too!

23 March 2016
Let's see if Autocar can add that bit of integrity by disclosing that Jaguar paid for them to be there. Jalopnik does not hesitate to be completely transparent.

23 March 2016
soldi wrote:
Let's see if Autocar can add that bit of integrity by disclosing that Jaguar paid for them to be there. Jalopnik does not hesitate to be completely transparent.
^^^This^^^. Cropley's Rolls Royce trip too. No way anyone can be impartial if they are paid to test something unless they declare it. Jalopnik are religious in their declarations and aren't afraid of pissing off the manufatcurers - I refer you to the infamous Ferrari / Monkey article.


23 March 2016
I know this was sanctioned by the NY authorities to allow higher speed running but I can't think that this will do anything other than encourage the kind of idiocy you see around big cities where drivers with more money than talent throw their supercars around the neighbourhood.

V8? Good. Making noise with a V8 in tunnel? Good. Going fast in an open-top V8 car? Good. Doing any of this in a city centre...bad. If I was 15 again with access to YouTube I might disagree but it's just anti-social, go on a road trip.


23 March 2016
Seriously, people are getting on their high horses about making a noise in a closed off underground tunnel nowhere near housing? Poor trolling 2/10. Must try harder. I guess people didn't read the bit about this being on the even of the NY Auto Show. It is possible, just possible, that these journalists might have been in NY anyway... I take the point about disclosure, but US laws require full sponsorship disclosure on media such as YouTube (even if most publishers don't adhere to this). Autocar, being US based (Jalopnik is US) doesn't have any such law to adhere to, but it is certainly good practise.

24 March 2016
Even assuming the tunnel run was done in strictly control conditions there is still the question of whether JLR should release this car in the first place, and whether Autocar should run a feature glorifying the noise it makes. (Quote)" ... lots of trickery to give what Jaguar claims is a “dramatic, purposeful, harder-edge exhaust note”. And, as with the F-Type R AWD, the ‘naughty button’ remains available to the driver, a picture of an exhaust on the centre console that when pressed and activated sends the exhaust into the full aural beans mode."(End of Quote) Where car manufacturers now deal seriously with air pollution, there seems to be no effort towards reducing noise pollution. In fact the opposite is true. Why would any responsible car company put in amplified exhaust note? I look forward to the day when Tesla replaces all noisy sportcars.

23 March 2016
When the Lincoln Tunnel was closed a few years back so that David Coulthard could drive a Red Bull F1 car through the tunnel both ways which would have been way louder than this.

24 March 2016
......so depressing. Where we once lived in a world of excitement and adventure. It seems we have nothing but dullness to look forward to. Just like the brightly coloured cars which are meant to attract our attention, it appears that some people can't tell that these shows are about PR. If Jaguar were to drive through the tunnel every night on a weekday I can imagine a few people would get annoyed but a one off in preparation of a CAR show...get a grip people. As for abkq and his jealous friend who can only afford a cyclist.........the noise of a V8 is a glorious thing compared to the chatter of a diesel. I cannot understand why you are even on this site ?!?! It will be quiet enough when we are in our coffins.....so live a little and long live Jag and such like !!

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