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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?

Our Verdict

Jaguar F-Type R

The powerful Jaguar F-Type R is sensational to drive, with even better driving dynamics than its lesser siblings without resorting to the savage tendencies of the SVR

  • First Drive

    Jaguar F-Type SVR 2017 review

    Light updates for the 2018 model year Jaguar F-Type SVR do little to change the car’s character
  • First Drive

    2016 Jaguar F-Type SVR UK

    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?
Matt Prior
12 August 2016

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 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.

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

Join the debate

Comments
11

12 August 2016
I like much about it,the 4WD is a great boon for all season driving,the hatch is nice and convenient for golf clubs and the like,but inside it feels cramped even compared to my TTRS+,and it is 300kg heavier and slower,with no little grandson friendly back seats.The new TTRS will, BFTB [bang for the buck] blow it into the weeds.
Mac

Madmac

12 August 2016
madmac - I bet Jaguar were hoping an Audi TT was not the first comparison that came to mind, don't try and do 200 mph in it though.

13 August 2016
Perhaps not but I have personally seen an indicated 290kph=181.25mph and I had some in reserve, but backed off.I have Stage 2 tune,435 BHP,0-60 3.3sec.
Still say the new one will be good BFTB.

Madmac

14 August 2016
madmac wrote:

Perhaps not but I have personally seen an indicated 290kph=181.25mph and I had some in reserve, but backed off.I have Stage 2 tune,435 BHP,0-60 3.3sec.
Still say the new one will be good BFTB.

I had no idea people needed their hairdresser to attend so quickly.

12 August 2016
madmac - I bet Jaguar were hoping an Audi TT was not the first comparison that came to mind, don't try and do 200 mph in it though.

12 August 2016
£100,000+?,well whatever you spent on what you call a performance Car,it's not what it costs,it's how it make you feel,right?,your pride and joy should put a BIG smile on your face from Ear to Ear,so, in one way what you pay for it isn't relevant.

Peter Cavellini.

12 August 2016
Two neighbours of mine have F Type R's. They're both middle aged overweight tossers. The cars sound utterly ridiculous, completely false and their wives are a disturbing shade of orange.

13 August 2016
How many Pringle sweaters do they own between them, too...?

BertoniBertone

13 August 2016
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....?

BertoniBertone

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!

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