by Karl Furlong
Jaguar's F-Type is everything you want in a luxury sports coupe. The sublime design may now be more than half a decade old, but it's still an exceptionally pretty thing, both inside and out. In its most powerful SVR form, power is dialed up all the way to 567 hp, enabling this scalded cat to leap to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds before topping out at 200 mph. The source of the commotion is a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that sings an intoxicating song. Between the snarling engine, the seductive styling, and the engaging handling, the Jag is a sports car that stimulates almost all of the five senses (you could theoretically give the Windsor leather a taste, but we don't recommend it). It's not refined in the way that the Porsche 911 is, though: the SVR is constantly noisy, look closely and you'll find some cheap bits of trim, and the stiff ride can quickly become wearisome. But, if you already have a more comfortable daily driver and want a weekend car that can help you shake off the toll of a busy work week, few cars are more qualified for the job.
For 2020, Jaguar has revised the interface for its ten-inch infotainment system. The Smartphone Package with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is now standard across the range, while a front parking aid bolsters the existing suite of driver safety aids.
See trim levels and configurations:
5.0L Supercharged V8 Gas
SVR addenda enhance an already beautiful sports coupe. The proportions are spot-on and the F-Type SVR gets 20-inch forged alloy wheels, a rear aerodynamic wing in carbon fiber, and a lightweight titanium and Inconel exhaust system. As you would expect, LED headlights and taillights are standard, as are those classy exterior door handles that sit flush with the bodywork. Options include a carbon fiber roof, a panoramic glass roof, and a powered tailgate.
The F-Type SVR's dimensions closely match those of other sporty coupes in the segment, with a length of 176.2 inches, a width (including the side mirrors) of 80.4 inches, and a height of 51.6 inches. The wheelbase measures 103.2 inches, as it does on all other F-Types. At 3,759 pounds, the SVR's weight-saving components see it tipping the scales at 55 lbs less than the less powerful F-Type R coupe.
Jaguar's online configurator lists 24 individual colors for the F-Type SVR (with selected colors available in gloss or satin matte finishes), so there should be no complaints about not having enough choice. Caldera Red is the only solid paint option, while no-cost metallics include Yulong White, Santorini Black, Indus Silver, Ultra Blue, and Eiger Grey. The SVO Premium Palette comprises stunning shades like Madagascar Orange and Desire Red, but they cost $4,900 each - specifying a satin matte finish for one of these colors will add another $3,600 on to the base price. for Three special effect paints - Spectral Racing Red, Valloire White, and Meribel White - are an even more expensive $8,500, although here you can go for a satin matte finish at no extra cost. Whether in a stealthy grey or a more flamboyant blue, the SVR seems to look good in just about any shade you choose.
With 567 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque from its supercharged 5.0-liter V8, the SVR was never going to disappoint. Power goes to all four wheels and an eight-speed automatic transmission does duty. Plant your right foot and the F-Type SVR boisterously blasts to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 200 mph. It's not the fastest car in the segment, though, as the cheaper Porsche 911 Carrera 4S does the 0-60 mph sprint in only 3.2 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package. On paper, then, the SVR isn't all-conquering, but few can match the sensation of speed and the magnificent engine note of this Jag when pushed to its limit.
Both the F-Type R (reviewed separately) and the F-Type SVR use a 5.0-liter supercharged V8, but the SVR's engine has been recalibrated to provide an extra 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque to take peak outputs to 567 hp and 516 lb-ft. The eight-speed automatic transmission has also been tuned for rapid shifts and instant responses.
It all translates to an unforgettable driving experience. Off the line or on the move, it makes no real difference, as the F-Type SVR constantly strains at the leash. The instant throttle response and the power on tap ensure that you can take gaps in traffic that slower cars wouldn't, or execute overtaking maneuvers that would be risky in less powerful vehicles. The wizards at Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division deserve all the accolades for producing an engine that is both effective and emotive. The automatic transmission allows you to make the most of the V8's power, flicking through gears with the necessary urgency, and there are SVR-specific aluminum gear shift paddles for an even more hands-on, tactile driving experience.
The SVR has undergone an array of upgrades to sharpen up its dynamics compared to other F-Types. The Pirelli P ZERO tires are just under 0.4 inches wider than the tires on standard F-Types, enhancing the car's grip levels. Lateral G-forces are higher in the SVR, thanks to rear suspension knuckles that are stiffer by 37 percent, while the rear anti-roll bar is thicker, too. An electronic active differential features torque vectoring and lessens the effect of oversteer.
On first acquaintance, the steering feels almost too quick and creates a twitchy feel from behind the wheel. Once you acclimatize, you soon begin to appreciate that the SVR makes the majority of other cars feel languid and lazy. The wider tires and all-wheel-drive system combine to afford the SVR with stupendous levels of grip, easily pushing the driver and likely wide-eyed passenger into the seats' bolsters. While the steering isn't completely numb, feedback isn't quite as generous as in some other sports cars. Without question, though, the SVR achieves its mission of being a deeply engrossing driver's car.
Don't expect it to be comfortable, though. The ride is hard and, especially at lower speeds, you'll feel most bumps and surface changes. You'll hear them too, because the Jag isn't as well-insulated as its German contemporaries. But considering the SVR badge on the back, the uncompromising suspension tuning makes sense here. The switchable active exhaust, meanwhile, lets loose a V8 roar that is thoroughly enjoyable. The large brakes (measuring 15 inches in front) are overly sensitive at first, but there is no shortage of bite.
Fuel-efficiency isn't in the F-Type SVR's vocabulary, so the EPA's estimates of 16/24/18 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles make sense. The faster Porsche Carrera 911 4S is slower to sip unleaded, returning 18/23/20 mpg, while the Mercedes-AMG GT C coupe returns a slightly heavier 15/21/17 mpg. The Jag gets a 15.4-gallon gas tank, so its combined cruising range works out to about 277 miles.
The F-Type has a sportily styled cabin that looks perfectly laid out for intense driving. In the SVR, the cabin receives bespoke touches like suedecloth sun visors, an SVR-branded steering wheel with heating, and Nubuck-edged carpet mats. Together with the SVR's performance seats, it's a positive first impression. Unfortunately, taller people will find a lack of adequate headroom in the rather cramped confines of the F-Type's cabin. Look beyond those well-trimmed seats, and the fit and finish also isn't quite up to the standards of a Porsche 911. Those are the major flaws in an otherwise attractive, cocooning cabin with standard gear like 12-way power-adjustable front seats and a steering column that also has electric adjustment.
Unlike the Porsche 911, the Jaguar F-Type isn't a 2+2, instead offering just two dedicated seats for the driver and one passenger. Despite this, space isn't abundant and the F-Type lacks sufficient headroom for people over six-feet tall, who will quickly find their heads brushing up against the headliner. The footwells are also rather small so, overall, larger occupants will be happier in other sports coupes. More average-sized adults will be fine, however, thanks to comfortable electrically adjustable seats and a powered steering column. Due to the highish door bottoms, ingress and egress aren't entirely effortless. Once seated, drivers will find visibility hindered by wide front pillars and a rear window that is set quite high, so parking requires caution.
Quilted Windsor leather upholstery is standard. With contrast stitching, the seats evoke a suitable upmarket impression. As standard, the primary seating color is Ebony with contrast stitching in a choice of Cirrus, Reims Blue, or Pimento (red). A nice touch is the SVR insignia embossed into the head restraints, as is the use of suedecloth. For those finding the environment a bit too dark, extended Windsor leather can be specified in Pimento or Sienna Tan, although these are options that add $2,550 to the base price. The headliner is trimmed in Ebony suedecloth by default, but this can be replaced by Ebony leather for $2,245. Dark Brushed aluminum adorns the center console, but carbon-fiber trim is available. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard.
At 10.9 cubic feet, the F-Type SVR's small trunk isn't particularly accommodating and can't fit a set of golf clubs. You can remove the cargo cover to expand the available space to 14.4 cubes, but this exposes your valuables. Like its interior space, the trunk isn't as spacious as some competitors. Rivals like the Audi TT, for instance, have rear seats allowing for more space to store items, plus these seats can be folded down, too.
Although the interior has a glovebox and door pockets, neither can hold too much stuff. There are two cupholders but they aren't as deep as would be ideal, while there is a center console that is also quite average in size.
Sitting proudly at the top of the F-Type range, the SVR gets the most generous list of standard gear. Included features are single-zone climate control, configurable ambient interior lighting, 12-way power-adjustable seats with memory, auto-dimming side mirrors, a power-adjustable steering column, a heated steering wheel, the usual rearview camera, and keyless entry. Driver assistance technologies comprise front/rear parking aids, emergency braking, lane keep assist, a driver condition monitoring system, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed limiter. Of course, there are also added-cost options to further customize the SVR: blind-spot assist with a rear traffic monitor, dual-zone climate control, and seat heating/cooling are all available.
Jaguar's infotainment system has been improved in recent years. For 2020, the interface of the Touch Pro system has been further enhanced. The setup comprises a ten-inch touchscreen with standard navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, InControl apps, SiriusXM satellite radio, and HD Radio. A five-inch central TFT display within the instrument panel also provides key driver information. Audio is channeled via a 380-watt Meridian sound system with ten speakers, but a 770-watt Meridian system with 12 speakers can be ordered.
The 2019/2020 F-Type was subject to a recall for incorrect tire labels, but this only applied to coupes with 18-inch rear wheels, which would exclude the SVR. 2019 F-Types were also affected by a recall for a crankshaft pulley bolt that could potentially fracture, leading to engine failure. Other than this, no serious problems have affected the SVR recently.
The SVR is covered by Jaguar's impressive five-year/60,000-mile warranty, which includes roadside assistance and complimentary scheduled maintenance.
As with many of its high-priced rivals, the F-Type hasn't been crash-tested by local authorities. Although it lacks an official rating, a decent amount of standard safety features should protect occupants in the unfortunate event of an accident.
The F-Type SVR ships with six airbags (including side airbags for the driver and passenger), along with essentials like a rearview camera, ABS/EBD braking, dynamic stability control, and emergency brake assist. Rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights (with signature DRLs), and snow/ice driving modes are also fitted.
Driver assistance tech extends to front and rear parking aids, lane keep assist, driver condition monitoring, and traffic sign recognition with an adaptive speed limiter. Blind-spot assist with rear traffic monitoring can be equipped as an option, as can parking assist.
Jaguar has nailed what a sports coupe should be with the F-Type SVR. It ranks highly for its emotive qualities and immerses you in the driving experience every step of the way - from the manic 567-hp V8 to the razor-sharp steering. Even merely sitting in the SVR is an occasion; passers-by will be enamored by its presence, and from behind the wheel, the deployable air vents, SVR-specific touches, and fine Windsor leather engender all kinds of feel-good vibes. But by focusing so intensely on making it an absolute riot, Jaguar neglected to make the SVR a bit more livable, like its Porsche 911 rival. The ride is harsh, noise is always prevalent, and space utilization is poor. But, like a BMW M Competition or a Mercedes-AMG S, the SVR isn't supposed to be friendly or especially practical. It's supposed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge, something that the SVR accomplishes each time you start it up.
At $123,600, the SVR is the priciest F-Type - it's over $20,000 more expensive than the F-Type R, which we review separately. The SVR's price excludes tax, licensing, registration, and the brand's destination/delivery charge of $1,025.
There is just one SVR to choose from, but it gets a fully loaded specification. The 5.0-liter V8 engine is boosted by supercharging to deliver 567 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and handling is improved with the standard inclusion of an electronic active differential with torque vectoring.
Unique to the SVR is a carbon-fiber aerodynamic wing at the back, adding to the coupe's bold styling. It also gets 20-inch forged alloy wheels, auto-dimming wing mirrors with power-folding functionality, and LED headlights with daytime running lights. The cabin is swathed in classy Windsor leather and suedecloth trim, with both seats featuring 12-way power-adjustment. A ten-speaker Meridian audio system is fitted, along with a ten-inch touchscreen, single-zone climate control, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and driver aids like lane keep assist, a driver condition monitor, and front/rear parking aids.
Jaguar has availed a few packages to upgrade the SVR's feature count and performance capability. The Climate Package 1 adds dual-zone climate control, a heated windshield, and a heated steering wheel for $875. A Styling Accent Package adds some glitz with chrome mirror covers, aluminum gearshift paddles, and bright metal pedal covers for $1,099. If you'll be using your SVR on a track, you may want to consider the Carbon Ceramic Brake Package, but it goes for a hefty $12,240, which automatically adds 20-inch wheels in a Satin Black Diamond Turned finish. An Exterior Carbon Fiber SVR Package costs $4,080 and adds the lightweight material to the hood louvers, door mirror caps, and more.
Standalone options that are likely to prove appealing to many buyers include a powered tailgate ($410), dual-zone climate control ($600), and the upgraded Meridian sound system ($870). Blind-spot assist and rear traffic monitoring adds $500 to the base price, while parking assistance (with automatic steering) costs $510.
As you don't get a choice of powertrain, SVR customization comes down to colors, materials, and features. Assuming that cost isn't a massive concern for a six-figure sports coupe, we'd specify ours in the stunning Rio Gold from the SVR Premium Palette, which does add a significant $4,900 to the price. The fixed panoramic roof at least increases the sensation of space in the rather snug cabin, so we'd tick that box for $1,175. The Pimento quilted Windsor leather adds $2,550, while heated and cooled seats go for $800. Finally, blind-spot assist with rear traffic monitoring is a useful addition since the SVR isn't especially easy to see out of - this adds $500. Before we get completely carried away, our ideal SVR will cost $134,550 including the destination charge.
The immovable object that is the Porsche 911 remains the benchmark sports coupe against which all other challengers are compared. The latest generation of the 911 gets subtly revised styling, a more advanced cabin with more digital displays, and an updated suspension that mixes incredibly accurate handling with surprising everyday comfort. The SVR's closest match is the 911 Carrera 4S - coming it at exactly $3,000 less than the SVR, the 4S gets 443 hp (less than the SVR's 567 hp) yet the lighter Porsche is faster, getting to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package. Although the Jag's V8 is the more ferocious-sounding engine, the 911's turbo-six has its own character and is an unbelievably flexible motor. While the Jag feels busier and even more thrilling, the 911 draws you in with its beautifully precise steering that delivers good feedback to the driver. Plus, the 911 is much more comfortable as a daily driver and has a more modern cabin. We'd probably have a few moments of regret or doubt, but ultimately, we'd side with the well-rounded new 911.
One of America's favorite muscle cars brings a formidable 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque to the table to take on the SVR. The Z06's value proposition is undeniable: not only does it have much more power, but it's $40,000 less expensive, too. The menacing 6.2-liter V8 in the Corvette will see it crush the SVR in a straight line, managing 0-60 in under three seconds. Where the SVR could still mingle with other exotics at the golf club (if it could fit the clubs in the trunk), the much brasher Corvette is likely to cause more of a stir. That same approach continues in the cabins, with the Jaguar being more polished and offering more premium materials, although the Z06 has more interior room. Both are superb-handling cars and both are taxing when it comes to the daily commute, but enthusiasts will love them. Because the Corvette is such a bargain by comparison, and as these are grin-inducing sports coupes, we'll take the Z06.
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