We've driven the Jaguar F-Type SVR in the UK. What does this 567bhp range-topping brute have to offer, seeing as it costs more than £100,000?

What is it?

The Jaguar F-Type SVR, which we’re trying today in the UK for the first time after having a go overseas a few months ago. Since then, a Jaguar F-Type coupé found its way into an Autocar group test and rather impressed us. It was a base model V6, on modest wheels, and everybody who drove it came away thinking it made a rather lovely GT car. It was smooth and relaxing with a fine ride, yet an interior that set out to impress, and a raspy six-cylinder noise that meant to do the same. Its entry-level price was a little over £50,000.

This SVR model is an F-Type that’s trying to be something else entirely. It’s was developed by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, so SVO makes SVR, confusingly, and it’s effectively the former range-topping Jaguar F-Type R taken up another couple of notches. The SVR is powered by a 5.0-litre V8, as is the R, but instead of 542bhp it has 567bhp and, because that has been deemed more than enough to be put through an F-Type’s rear wheels, thanks very much, it has four-wheel drive as standard to calm things down a bit. 4WD is optional in the R.

It's certainly not a bad idea: a rear-driven R is pretty full-on, all the time. If it were a child, it’d be the kind who rounds the bannister making tyre squealing and engine noises on its way up to bed, even after a long day. The SVR, despite a power (and price) increase, is meant to be less irrepressible. The more sensible older brother. Slightly more sensible, at any rate, because it now costs £110,000 in entry-level form and will do 200mph if you leave the extravagant carbonfibre rear wing in place; a deployable one is a no-cost delete option, but then aerodynamic lift limits the SVR to 186mph. That price, though, doesn’t include carbon ceramic brakes, which you have to have in a pack with a wheel upgrade for £8570, and it doesn’t include a £2550 carbonfibre roof, which is 20% lighter than an aluminium one; chuck on some other extras too, especially even yet more carbonfibre outside, and it’s pretty easy to make this a £130,000 car.

What's it like?

On the road it’s a mix of sensible and not-so sensible. On the wild front it still makes a fairly extraordinary noise. It’s been a while since we drove a regular F-Type R but the NASCAR-redolent sound seems on even fuller volume here when you want it to be, and throttle response is incredibly sharp – it’s supercharged, not turbocharged, remember, so there’s never any lag to worry about. It bangs on the overrun with the best of them.

Lots of throttle in the rear-driven R would be accompanied by a chirrup of tyre and a rapidly flashing ESP light (or a lot of tyre smoke if you’d turned that off), but the SVR copes with the extra urge just fine.

That it has four-wheel drive as standard makes going around bends more stable, so it now generates exceptional levels of lateral grip without the rear tyres deciding to bring a conventional cornering line to a premature end. Massively unlike the old Jaguar XKR-S, then, which had comical rear grip and was also as brittle as a board. The SVR’s nothing like that in this respect, either. It’s firm, sure, but there’s a welcome level of suppleness to it. Perhaps that’s another reason it feels more composed, more often, than an R; it keeps the tyres in more frequent contact with the road. It’s the most grown-up, ludicrous range-topping Jaguar for a while.

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It steers nicely, too, with more heft and feel than from other F-Types – certainly a lot more than the V6 models. Curious as it sounds, a part suede-like steering wheel (£565) helps; that kind of material always does seem to promote feel.

Should I buy one?

Our preference remains with lesser F-Types, but there’s lots to like here. The F-Type SVR is the confident older brother with a bit of swagger and a slightly bullying underside, who maybe tries a bit hard and... look, I’ll be honest, I think I’ve taken this analogy quite a lot further than it merited. Hopefully you get the idea, though.

It’s just that, as the numbers start hitting six figures, and when only a couple of options can lift the price towards £130,000, F-Type SVR’s rivals start getting awfully serious, awfully quickly. It lands itself in the realms of the Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, McLaren 570S, Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911 Turbo. It just about holds its own up here, but it finds life rather easier against softer, cheaper company.

Jaguar F-Type SVR

Price £110,000; On sale now; Engine V8, 5000cc, supercharged, petrol; Power 567bhp at 6500rpm; Torque 516lb ft at 3500-5000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic; Kerb weight 1705kg; 0-62mph 3.7sec; Top speed 200mph; Economy 25.0mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 269g/km, 37% Rivals , Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911 Turbo

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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RednBlue 16 August 2016

Comical grip?

I don't remember Autocar saying - when they tested the Jaguar XKR-S - that it had "comical rear grip". The review was (as always happens with JLR new products) full of praise, with no major flaws brought to evidence. Probably in a few years' time we will find the truth on the F-Type SVR as well.
Acollin5 14 August 2016


F-Type R is a great sounding car. Admittedly any self respecting owner closes the exhaust valves whilst driving through housing estates - a little too enthusiastic for your non petrolheads.

Have owned a few interesting cars including Vantage, Cayman, Elise etc and F-Type R is a high on the smiles per mile meter. A fun car to drive too - a British Bruiser. Granted it may not have the delicacy of a Porsche but then that's not it's design brief. See CH's review - spot on!

The world is a better place with the F-Type R/SVR in it.

SVR also has a lot of nice carbon-fibre details closer up that you don't see in a magazine pic - yes even THAT back spoiler!

BertoniBertone 13 August 2016

Stretching the envelope.....

It just goes to show that there's still a bit of 'makeshift' about the F-Type's platform. 'Yes' upto to £ 65 K (and I'm talking used Rs, too, here since who'd actually buy one at full RRP...) but a resounding 'No', 'no' and thrice 'no' to over £ 100K. Sorry, but it can't stretch that far. I'd advise getting the new SVR chassis settings and interior back down the range where it desperately need it. I drove a MY 2016 manual V6-S recently and whilst being a decent drive the interior, given its market segment aspiration, was...mmmm.....shall we say....sub-optimal. Madmac has a point: this or any AWD F-Type or a TTRS ? That really shouldn't be a comparison that should work but if JLR don't address these weaknesses the F-Type is destined for a 'buy used at silly prices' medium- and longterm future which, for all members of UK Plc, is not great news, is it....?