We were among a very select group of auto-journos from the Middle East to lay our hands on the new baby from Jaguar - well let's put it straight: the amplification of an already powerful car, the F-Type with a twist from the SVO department.
The new Jaguar F-TYPE SVR is the first Jaguar SVR, developed to exploit the lightweight aluminum sports car's full potential while retaining its inherent tractability and day-to-day usability. The Jaguar F-TYPE SVR is a 320 km/h, all-weather supercar. More powerful, lighter, and benefiting from an enhanced chassis and driveline and active aerodynamics, the all-wheel drive F-TYPE SVR coupe and convertible deliver supercar performance - in all conditions - and unrivalled driver engagement and reward.
Raising the output of Jaguar's supercharged 5.0-liter V8 to 567 horsepower and 700 Nm enables the F-TYPE SVR to accelerate from zero-to-100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds. Maximum speed of the coupe model is 320 km/h; the convertible 314 km/h.
The F-TYPE R is already a benchmark in the sports car segment but this model represented the starting point for development of the F-TYPE SVR. Everything that contributes to performance and vehicle dynamics has been meticulously re-evaluated, re-engineered and optimized still further. By exploiting the fundamental capability engineered in to the F-TYPE from day one, Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division has developed Jaguar's fastest and most powerful series production road car.
Enlarged air intakes in the front bumper together with revised charge air coolers and redesigned bonnet vents deliver corresponding improvements in cooling system performance and powertrain efficiency. The new lightweight titanium and Inconel exhaust system can withstand higher peak temperatures, reduces backpressure and saves 16 kilograms - a weight reduction that exceeds the demanding target set during development. Compared to the F-TYPE R's stainless steel system, Inconel's increased thermal resistance meant that wall thickness could be halved to just 0.6 mm. To make the most of the increased engine output, the eight-speed Quickshift transmission gains a new calibration.
Together with the extra grip delivered by the wider, 265- and 305-section front and rear tires (10 mm wider than the F-TYPE R), and optimizing the torque on-demand all-wheel drive system's Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) control technology, this delivers the F-TYPE SVR's outstanding launch behavior and immediacy of response.
The changes to IDD and refinements to the rear electronic active differential (EAD) ensure optimum torque distribution between the front and rear axles and across the rear axle. Combined with a unique calibration for the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, this enhances traction and dynamics - on all surfaces and in all weathers - while preserving the F-TYPE SVR's rear-wheel drive character and handling balance.
Selecting Dynamic mode will enable the enthusiast driver to fully explore the F-TYPE SVR's capability; especially with the DSC system set to TracDSC or switched off completely. Under these conditions, IDD will use the most extreme calibrations for the AWD system and for the EAD to fully exploit the available grip.
The enhancements made to the powertrain and driveline are matched by the modifications made to the chassis. Designed to take the SVR's dynamic capability to the next level, and deliver ultimate chassis agility, precision, control and response, the changes nevertheless preserve the F-TYPE's ride quality and inherent duality of character - day-to-day usability and comfort have not been compromised.
The F-TYPE's aluminum double wishbone front and rear suspension and state-of-the-art electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system gave the SVO team the best possible starting point for developing the SVR's vehicle dynamics.
That the vehicle is 25 kilograms lighter as standard than the AWD F-TYPE R - and 50 kilograms lighter with options including the Carbon Ceramic Matrix brake system and carbon fiber roof - brings immediate benefits in terms of handling. Optimized aerodynamics produce further gains: the rear wing delivers reductions in lift, whether in the raised or lowered position.
These fundamental improvements are matched by a raft of other hardware and software changes designed to extract the full potential from every part of the chassis. The rear anti-roll bar is thicker. The valves inside the continuously-variable dampers have been revised and the control software - the heart of Jaguar's Adaptive Dynamics system - has been recalibrated. The overall effect is that both low speed comfort and high speed control are improved.
The rear knuckle is completely new. Now an intricate, weight-optimized aluminum die casting, the design of the part enables a 37 percent increase in camber stiffness and a 41 percent increase in toe stiffness, which translates into greater control of the tire contact patch and an even more connected steering feel.
The front anti-roll bar diameter has been reduced slightly. Together with the revised damper control software, a unique tune for the Torque Vectoring system that enables even more precise control of the braking applied to the inner wheels, the changes mitigate understeer - even at high corner entry speeds.
Fitted as standard with Jaguar's Super Performance braking system featuring large, 380 mm and 376 mm front and rear brake discs, the F-TYPE SVR can be specified with Jaguar's Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) braking system. Featuring even larger 398 mm and 380 mm discs and six- and four-piston monobloc calipers, this system delivers exceptional braking performance with outstanding fade resistance. The brake prefill system ensures consistent pedal feel, stop after stop.
The wider, specially developed 265/35/ZR20 and 305/30/ZR20 tires provide exceptional levels of grip with no detriment to ride quality or refinement. The range of 9J and 11J forged aluminum wheels deliver savings of up to 13.8 kg per vehicle - another weight reduction which beat the development target - and the open spoke design also improves brake cooling. Exclusive to the F-TYPE SVR, the range comprises Coriolis wheels in Satin Technical Grey or Gloss Black, and - for models fitted with the CCM braking system - Maelstrom wheels with a Satin Black polished finish.
The F-TYPE's EPAS system already sets the benchmark for feel and response - especially off-center. Further tuning of the control software delivers even better feedback and, combined with the stiffer rear knuckle assembly, the new wheels and tires and the revised damper settings, means that the F-TYPE SVR steers with even greater immediacy and precision.
The effort made in developing the chassis was matched by the work done on the F-TYPE SVR's aerodynamics. Asked to solve the often-conflicting requirements of reducing drag and reducing lift, the SVO team designed a full suite of features that work together to improve dynamics, stability, performance and efficiency.
The F-TYPE SVR's performance does not come at the expense of comfort. The cabin gains cosseting 14-way SVR performance seats finished in Jet-black leather with a distinctive Lozenge Quilt pattern, contrast stitching and micro piping, and headrests embossed with the SVR logo. Customers also have the option of Siena Tan or Red leather.
The SVR Jet-black leather and optional Jet-black leather and suede cloth steering wheels feature black painted spoke outers and contrast stitching in a range of four colors. The unique anodized aluminum shift paddles are larger than those in other F-TYPE models to make changing gear even more instinctive.
After all, nothing can be said about the F-Type SVR except that it targets mainly the fanatic collectors who want to pay extra bucks and keep it within their collection. Jaguar's Special Vehicles Operations has cranked up the already stunning F-Type as the first leaping cat to wear the SVR badge, with differentiations such as engine, gearbox, dynamics, aerodynamics, exhaust… and more.
Pros: A great muscle car, refined, loud and menacing sound and looks, superb interior
Cons: Rivals have lighter weight, big price alteration for track-only profits
Rivals: Porsche 911 GT3, Maserati Gran Turismo, Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8 V10 Plus, Chevrolet Corvette Z06
one word: brutal
5.0L, V8 supercharged, 567 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 700 Nm @ 3,500 rpm
8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode, RWD
0-100 km/h: 3.7 sec, top speed: 322 km/h, fuel consumption: 11.3L/100 km
Weight: 1,705-1,720 kg