by Michael Butler
The beautiful Jaguar F-Type has been a modern style icon since its release back in 2013 and has come a long way in terms of dynamic capability. Now in 2020, we get to enjoy the most powerful and capable version of the F-Type Convertible for the last time before the restyled version arrives. The SVR is a beast of a thing, featuring a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 delivering 567 horsepower, 516 lb-ft of torque, and a 0-60 mph time of only 3.5 seconds courtesy of all-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. But in convertible guise, it offers a slightly less dynamic driving experience when compared to the likes of the Porsche 911 Cabriolet and when you get down to the details, the interior doesn't stand up to German levels of quality. But while these faux pas may seem erroneous, by undercutting rivals on price and compensating with style and character by the spade, the F-Type SVR Convertible is still a worthwhile entrant in the sports car game.
The high-performance SVR is a full-blown performance car which should be treated as such, but as a 21st-century car, features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are bound to creep in, and actually makes the SVR a more palatable car to live with in terms of practicality and convenience thanks to their standard inclusion for the new model year. Jaguar also made front and rear parking sensors standard, which is welcome.
5.0-liter Supercharged V8 Gas
The exterior of the 2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible looks even more purposeful than the already menacing F-Type R thanks to the addition of a number of trim-specific additions such as a set of 20-inch forged alloy wheels, a carbon fiber rear aerodynamic wing and redesigned aerodynamics front to back. In the front you're greeted by a set of LED headlights and aggressive hood vents, while the rear also features a gorgeous titanium Inconel exhaust system with quad exits.
The overall length of the 2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible is measured at 176.2 inches, and the total width is 80.4 with mirrors included, and 74.2 without. The F-Type SVR Convertible is 51.5 inches tall and rolls on a stubby 103.2-inch wheelbase. Curb weight for the SVR Convertible comes in at 3,792 lbs.
The gorgeous lines of the SVR convertible are sure to be the first thing you notice when you spot it in the wild. It's either that or the deep growl which emanates from the SVR's lightweight titanium and Inconel exhaust system. That system is attached to a brutal 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that produces 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, which gets sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. With all that power behind the right foot, this Jaguar will accelerate to sixty in only 3.5 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 195 mph. That sounds impressive, but it's less than 25 hp more than the standard F-Type R, and we wish the SVR had the extra bit to match its visual and aural bark.
The SVR represents the ultimate in F-Type performance, so you would expect it to stick to the road tighter than a mask to a public health worker's face. After sampling what the SVR has to offer, we're in two minds. The SVR brings advanced tech such as rear underfloor diffusers, active rear aero, ceramic brakes, and even lightweight rear knuckles to increase handling performance. What's been experienced behind the wheel is a capable car that is a joy to drive around tight twisties, but doesn't feel as polished as German rivals such as the Porsche 911 Carrera S. What's worse is the fact that around town, the ride can get pretty harsh and unforgiving, and noise permeates the cabin as an unpleasant cacophony that often overrides the sweet exhaust note.
Expecting the SVR Convertible to be a fuel-sipping econo-car would be like expecting the SVR Convertible to be a fuel-sipping econo-car - it's a no-brainer that it's a thirsty beast. Its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is tuned for maximum performance, so fuel economy goes, more or less, out the window. The EPA rates the 2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible at 16/24/18 mpg city/highway/combined, which is comparable to competitors such as the Corvette Z06 Convertible at 15/27/19 mpg and Mercedes-AMG GT Convertible which offers a slightly worse 15/20/17 mpg. With an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, the F-Type SVR Convertible will travel up to 333 miles.
The interior of the F-Type SVR Convertible might be a tight squeeze, especially for taller drivers, but it sure is a pretty place to be in. The super supportive bucket seats with quilted finish offer excellent bolstering for tight cornering action and allow the driver to find the perfect driving position with power adjustability. Interior dimensions read as follows: you get 42.8 inches of legroom, 37 inches of headroom, and a total of 56.5 inches in shoulder room. It's just a pity the center console feels so cheap, with hard, tacky plastics dominating most of the key touchpoints.
In coupe form, the 2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe offers a reasonably practical 14.4 cubic feet of trunk space, which is especially impressive when you consider its hardcore nature. For those who prefer the wind in their hair, some sacrifices need to be made, and one of the first victims is trunk space. With the drop-top version, the Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible loses 7.1 cubic feet of trunk space, leaving only 7.3 cubic feet to play around with in an awkwardly packaged trunk that can only truly accommodate soft luggage. Small items can be stored in the small glove box, center storage bin, or small storage space before the shift knob.
As a headlining performance convertible, the Jaguar F-Type SVR drop-top gets a number of bespoke features, inside and out, that truly set it apart from its lesser siblings. The interior also gets its fair share of features, including a set of SVR performance seats with 12-way power adjustability wrapped in Lozenge quilted Windsor leather, a heated SVR branded leather steering wheel, keyless entry, and start, as well as suede cloth headlining, and aluminum gearshift paddles. Features shared with lower-spec models include LED headlights with signature DRLs, LED taillights, and configurable ambient interior lighting. Driver assistance features include emergency braking, lane keep assist, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed limiter.
All F-Type SVRs get a ten-inch color touchscreen that is mounted below the air vents and has been angled ever so slightly towards the driver, adding to the cockpit feel of the interior. The interface is easy to use, and we found connecting our phones to be a seamless experience thanks to newly standard smartphone integration. What do you get in terms of features? Every SVR gets standard SiriusXM satellite radio, Navigation Pro, and a ten-speaker Meridian sound system, which sounds rather powerful when blasting Motley Crue's classic hit, Kickstart My Heart. The SVR also comes standard with 4G LTE Wi-Fi internet connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as Bluetooth streaming, and USB connectivity. A sound system upgrade is available, which adds two speakers and a whole lot more clarity, but it's still not the best system around.
The Jaguar F-Type range of cars has been recalled once in 2020, but recall did not affect the SVR specifically. Jaguar backs the 2020 F-Type SVR Convertible with a five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which includes drivetrain protection, maintenance, and roadside assistance for the same amount of time or distance.
This British exotic has not yet been tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS, which makes complete sense when you consider the number of F-Types sold in the US and its high price tag. But fear not, the SVR Convertible includes safety features such as forward emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and pedestrian detection. There are also four airbags on duty (dual front and front side) and a performance-tuned traction control system along with ABS and EBD. Furthermore, in the event of a rollover, pneumatic rollover bars protect your head.
When Jaguar first released the F-Type, we were blown away by its gorgeous looks, and while its performance was relatively good, it was never breathtaking, so when Jaguar decided to introduce the SVR spec car, our interest was piqued. The 2020 SVR Convertible packs a mighty punch thanks to its supercharged V8, enough to rival the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT C, so you know it can shake a serious tailfeather. On the road, it can be compliant when you just want to cruise around, but it is at its best when set to a more performance biased mode. The interior styling is not up to German levels, but we were impressed by standard driver assistance features. Coming in at a good few thousand dollars less than its European competitors such as the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and AMG GT C Roadster, it is also a performance bargain.
Starting well north of the $100,000 mark, the 2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible will set new owners back $126,700. That price does not include tax, registration, or a destination fee of $1,025. At this price, the SVR Convertible undercuts its main rivals by quite a significant margin; the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster will set you back over $160,000, for example. The American favorite Corvette Z06 convertible offers more power and comparable handling performance for only $85,400.
There's only one SVR Convertible on offer, so you don't have much choice here. What you can do is look at the options list to add some individuality to your car. If we were the ones doing the shopping, we'd go for a few choice options: the exterior would be decked out with Bosphorous Grey for an extra $4,900, and we'd splash out on the SVR Carbon Fiber exterior package for $4,590. On the inside, we'd keep things more or less the same, but we would add the climate package, which includes a heated windshield, a heated steering wheel, and two-zone climate control. If you're more serious about performance driving, Jaguar offers a $12,240 SVR Carbon Ceramic Brake Package, which includes 15.7-inch front, and 15-inch rear carbon ceramic discs.
Comparing the Corvette against the F-Type is like comparing a blue-collar worker to a duke; the Jaguar comes from a rich pedigree of motorsports heritage, while the cheaper Corvette Z06 will deliver a knockout punch thanks to its massively powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Despite being significantly more powerful, the Corvette will return a superior 15/27/19 mpg city/highway/combined. On the road, the Corvette Z06 Convertible feels every bit as capable as its European rivals and offers masses of grip from its broad summer tires and electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The interior of the Corvette is not up to scratch when compared to the Jaguar, and the lack of active driver assistance systems is also a bit worrying, but at a starting price of only $85,400, it's a true performance bargain, and one that will be difficult to pass up.
The German GT Roadster is a thing of beauty and brute force, much like the SVR Convertible, but is priced above the Brit at $162,400 in it's most comparable GT C guise. Under the hood of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT C Convertible lies a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque; slightly down on the SVR, but this engine is more than just its power output; it is one of the best sounding V8 engines out there. Fuel consumption is 15/20/17 mpg city/highway/combined. The GT C is the fastest AMG GT Roadster you can buy this side of the R, and even shares some of its performance features with the hardcore GT R. We love its brash styling and its brilliantly designed interior that is finished off in superior materials. Compromises are present; however, as it is incredibly stiff to drive, doesn't offer much in terms of practicality, and starts off with a base price that's almost $50,000 more than the Jag. We'd stick with the cheaper Jag.
Check out some informative Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible video reviews below.