When the first pictures of Jaguar’s F-Type broke cover in 2013, we remember talking about just how perfect it would be for James Bond – it’s superbly British, slightly understated and beautiful to behold. Whilst that’s something that still hasn’t happened, maybe this latest version from Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations department will change all that. This is SVO's brilliant F-Type SVR, a snarling 200mph supercar – interested now Mr.Bond?
Walking through the doors of Guy Salmon Jaguar Northampton, the first thing that strikes you has to be the sheer presence of the SVR thanks to aesthetic changes such as a new front end, a larger rear diffuser and that new active carbon rear wing that reduces lift by up to 80%. Whilst these changes may seem subtle in terms of styling, each genuine aerodynamic tweak works with a new, completely flat, underside to improve the way that the SVR handles; regardless of whether you’re throwing into corners or chasing that magical 200mph top speed.
Anyway, at this point, our period of falling in love with the SVR is interrupted as the car is moved from its proud position within the dealership to a parking space outside. That is when one of the highlights of the F-Type SVR is revealed – the noise that comes from that new titanium exhaust system. Started cold, the violent symphony that pours from those four exhausts has seldom been heard in such magnitude since dinosaurs ruled the Earth. It goes without saying that a few days with the SVR on the fantastic Black Mountain Pass couldn’t come quickly enough.
Using the long drive to Wales as a platform to get to know the SVR in a less aggressive capacity, it’s amazing how comfortable it can be when driven conservatively. That said, it’s incredibly hard to drive the SVR conservatively, it teases you constantly with what bubbles beneath; whilst you can’t push SVR on public roads, it’s near impossible to not indulge in a quick burst of the SVR’s incredible soundtrack every now and then. With the sports exhaust on (turning off such thing shouldn’t be allowed) you get to enjoy the undying satisfaction of the F-Type’s pops and bangs every time you take your foot off the accelerator. One of life’s greatest pleasures.
Once at your chosen road, pressing a few buttons puts everything into sport and unleashes the full potential of the SVR. Driving in a spirited manner, SVR will reach 60mph from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds courtesy of the 576hp, 5-litre supercharged V8 that sits upfront; this astonishing performance combined with the deafening roar that pours from the rear end is so very dramatic that it in itself would be enough to secure the SVR’s position within the realm of supercars.
Straight line performance is paired with Jaguar’s wonderful 4-wheel drive system, wider wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes and various suspension changes to create a car that also handles amazingly – continually inspiring confidence the entire time that you drive it. Corner-after-corner SVR maintains composure and allows you to exploit the joy of its power and handling without ever having to drive in such a way that you’ll lose your license – exploit the SVR entirely on a track and you’ll undoubtedly be in for a treat.
With all of the fun over and everything set in the softest mode for the long drive home, it’s a good time to take a moment and enjoy the exquisite cabin that, whilst familiar to the interior of other variants, has also undergone an SVR makeover and features an updated steering wheel (which would be perfection in Alcantara), aluminium shift paddles and copious amounts of Alcantara.
Interior admiration complete, addiction to the masterpiece that hails from the four exhausts will very quickly draw you out of your quiet moment and back into a world of glorious noises that always attract more attention than you’d think imaginable (especially in a tunnel). Pleasantly, when you do unavoidably wake up an entire town with the roar of supercharged V8, the Jaguar comes with that same quintessential British charm that you see from James Bond himself, subsequently making everything ok again.
Special Vehicle Operations have created something rather special in the F-Type SVR; they’ve taken an already fantastic British sports car and turned into one of the great British supercars. We can only imagine how good the SVR would be in convertible guise but we can guarantee that neither would ever disappoint.