We all grew up fantasizing about the Porsche 911, but these days it might just be too much of a tiny-penis-car cliché to actually drive around. Potential replacement? The new Jaguar F-Type SVR. At first blush we saw an overgrown F-Type with some garish exterior enhancements and a few more horsepower thrown in to satisfy gearheads who spend their weekends recreating scenes from Spectre. But we ate our words when we got to test drive it at Watkins Glen.Read on to see the surprisingly cool things we learned about this $126K beast…
Jaguar includes a myriad of colors to choose from for the SVR such as Ultra Blue, Firesand Orange and Caldera Red, but our tester (and favorite) is the more understated Rhodium Silver that keeps it under the radar and lets the beautiful lines of the car stand out.
Through engine tuning, Jaguar’s team massaged the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 motor to produce 575 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft of torque, up 25 horsepower and 14 lb.-ft from the F-Type R, respectively. That’s a significant upgrade.
Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics allow the SVR to shine as a comfortable grand-touring car and a firm, loud, responsive rocket with the flick of a switch. Even if you fully disable the traction control for uninhibited interruption of horsepower, the all-wheel drive reels you back in without hesitation. If having 575 horsepower in anything else is this controllable, we have yet to drive it.
The SVR has an extruded carbon fiber rear spoiler and a predatory front bumper, which makes it super aerodynamic while keeping you glued to the ground.
The new SVR now tops out at 200 mph for the coupe (you can also get a convertible), and can reach 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds. That’s plenty fast enough to beat that souped-up Charger sitting next to you at the traffic light.
Even more impressive is the fact that the SVR is 55 pounds lighter than the F-Type R, thanks in large part to new 20-inch forged alloy wheels—really making a massive difference in the way it handles. It might even surpass a Porsche 911 in the dynamic steering department.
Further improving performance by shedding an additional 46 pounds are the Jaguar’s optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes—a $1,200 option that makes the SVR evermore capable on your local highway when no cops are around.
With the weight reduction and engine improvements, the new SVR now tops out at 200 mph for the coupe (you can also get a convertible), and can reach 60 mph in as little as 3.5 seconds. That’s plenty fast enough to beat that souped-up Charger sitting next to you at the traffic light.
One fun standard feature is a special titanium Inconel exhaust system that offers a barbaric, insufferable and most importantly, addicting exhaust note reflecting on the awesome power the SVR has. If you like subtlety, this isn’t your car.
The interior treatments on the SVR, such as the “Lozenge Quilt” leather seating, are super classy and will shock even your more car-centric friends. The optional red hide is worth the extra $2,500.
Unfortunately, there is no manual transmission option available, however the Quickshift transmission has been recalibrated for faster performance and massive new tires provide increased traction.
To be fair, we experienced some nosedives and a bit of rear-end wiggle braking from 150 to 50 miles per hour. But for putting a production car through its paces like we did, nonetheless, we were incredibly impressed with the ability to keep pushing harder each lap.
If you like raucous sound, British flair and racetrack capabilities, the SVR cements the F-Type as a truly capable sports car—and Jaguar can finally lay claim that it will give the Porsche 911 a run for its money… And may even supplant the 911 as the fantasy car for generations to come.