Jaguar SVO's design director believes R and SVR models are becoming too difficult to distinguish.
Traditionally, Jaguar’s ‘S’ cars represent sportier versions of current models, while the most powerful flagship models are branded with an ‘R’ badge. Jaguar’s R performance range was introduced way back in 1988 with the launch of the XJR, but things have changed 30 years on. Since Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division relaunched in 2014, even more hardcore high-performance SVR cars have been joining model ranges.
Speaking to AutoExpress, Jaguar SVO’s design director Wayne Burgess believes R and SVR models are becoming difficult to distinguish, which is causing confusion for customers. To avoid confusion, Jaguar is likely to kill off R versions of future models to allow its SVR models “to shine.” “To be completely honest Jaguar is a fairly small brand and probably in reality there is not enough room in each model line to have an R and an SVR,” Burgess told Auto Express. “We have found the F-Type R and F-Type SVR kind of compete against each other. The truth of the matter is that F-Type R is a great car and, in some respects, SVR has a challenging time because the R is such a good car in the first place.”
The design director believes removing R models from the range will put give the hardcore SVR models more attention as there will be less confusion for customers, allowing Jaguar to impose a clearer pricing structure. Jaguar already seems to be adopting this new model structure, too. The F-Pace SVR debuted at the New York Auto Show joining the standard and S versions, but an R model is absent from the range. It’s the most powerful F-Pace Jaguar has ever built, packing a 5.0-liter V8 producing 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque. “We would rather have a genuine SVR halo in the line-up and then jump an R model – that is better way of doing things,” added Burgess.
“In a model line that doesn’t have an R, it can allow SVR to really shine. You can see the dilemma we have and why F-Pace has gone the way it has. From a design and product point of view, it is great to have an SVR because you have that extra headroom and level of differentiation. Sidestepping an R model also sidesteps potential pricing issues.”