First Drive: Jaguar F-Type SVR

The Jaguar F-Type SVR is a version of the popular British sports car that has been upgraded by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division.

But are the changes actually worthwhile, or merely a marketing gimmick? AOL Cars decided to find out.
What is it?

The F-Type SVR is more powerful, lighter and pricier than the standard car, but don't assume it's a stripped out racer that's impossible to use in the real world.

The weight savings have been made in very subtle ways, with the forged alloy wheels saving 13.8kg and carbon-ceramic brakes saving 21kg. As a result, this car has no problem dealing with everyday life.

There are also changes to the aesthetics. Vents in the bonnet help engine cooling, while the bodywork is designed to aid airflow, with the rear spoiler providing extra downforce.

What's under the bonnet?

The SVR's engine is its best feature. It's the same 5.0-litre V8 unit found in the F-Type R, but has been tweaked like the rest of the car. An extra 25bhp means that it now produces a grand total of 567bhp.

When the car is in 'Dynamic' mode, the upgraded exhaust system fires out a noise that can only be described as epic – the typical V8 snarl we all know and love, accompanied by an underlying high-pitched whine.

What's the spec like?

The base price for the F-Type SVR is £110,000, with the model we tested costing £132,790.

Compared to the R spec, the SVR has new features such as aluminium gearshift paddles, a carbon-fibre rear wing, performance seats, quilted leather upholstery, nubuck-edged carpet mats and front parking sensors.

Any rivals?

A major rival for this Jaguar is the Audi R8 V10, because the German competitor shares the SVR's relative practicality. The two cars are similarly priced and perform to a fairly level standard, so the question of which one to choose really comes down to personal preference.

Other rivals to consider are the less practical Porsche 911 GT3 or the less exciting Nissan GT-R Nismo.

What's it like to drive?

Although the SVR is more dramatic than the standard R model, it also achieves an additional level of composure, creating a perfect balance between fun and control.

The gearbox is ridiculously sharp thanks to the computer-aided eight-speed automatic transmission, with four-wheel drive providing extra agility.

The revised chassis offers more driving thrills, with help from new dampers and anti-roll bars, as well as wider, lighter wheels and stiffened rear knuckles.

AOL Cars Verdict

Those who've driven a Jaguar F-Type R might feel like the changes to the SVR are fairly minimal. But they all add up to a more raucous and somehow more composed package. That all of that comes wrapped in a stunning car with a glorious exhaust note just makes it all the sweeter.

The F-Type is a newcomer to the baby supercar market, but it's more than a match for many more established rivals.

The Knowledge

Power (bhp): 567
Torque (Nm): 700
Max speed (mph): 200
0-60mph: 3.5
MPG: 25
Emissions (g/km): 199
Price: £132,790

First Drive: Jaguar F-Type SVR
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First Drive: Jaguar F-Type SVR
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