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‘F’ is for fast fun

As if the regular F-Type R wasn’t quick enough, the Jaguar Specialist Vehicle Operations department has got their hands on it to create the fastest production Jaguar this century. Meet the thrilling Jaguar F-Type SVR.

The F-Type should be clearly on your radar by now. First launched in 2014 and revised just last year, it is the Porsche-worrying coupe and roadster that gave Jaguar a true successor to the E-Type as well as a halo effect on the rest of the range. Now Jaguar’s Specialist Vehicle Operations department has turned their attentions to it to create the F-Type SVR.

The changes are detailed and wide-ranging, with more power and torque from the 5.0-litre V8 engine, reduced drag and increased downforce thanks to the new rear wing, diffuser and front valance. There’s also retuned suspension, less weight and unlikely as it may seem, an even louder exhaust system made from titanium and aircraft-spec alloy.

You can have an F-Type SVR in roadster or coupe form, just like the R version that it is based on, and arguably it is the latter that is the best-looking of the two. The exterior changes certainly add aggression to what was an elegant and pretty shape, and you’re left in no doubt that the SVR means business. Pick of the colour chart is the sharp blue shade that shows off the strong lines to best effect.

The engine dominates the experience, crackling and rasping with even more volume

The F-Type and Jaguars in general have come a long way in the image stakes in just a few years thanks to an expanded range and exciting designs, and SVR as a sub-brand now has a second model to boost its recognition. The F-Type SVR is the fastest series production Jaguar ever and can crack 200mph – that’s a potent image to project.

There’s no loss of cabin space in the SVR transformation but it remains a strict two-seater with an intimate rather than spacious cabin. Even so six-footers can be comfortably accommodated in the supportive sports seats, the glovebox and storage bins will swallow plenty of oddments and the luggage space on the coupe is big enough for a medium suitcase as well as some smaller bags too. The roadster’s luggage space is inevitably smaller but space is freed up by opting for the tyre repair kit over a spare and putting the roof down doesn’t impact on the boot space.

The tweaks beneath the skin are significant to the point where Jaguar developed a new read suspension knuckle to improve the suspension response and developed bespoke tyres with Pirelli just for this car. In normal driving the first thing you notice is that it rides surprisingly well – even this most extreme car in the whole range retains a familiar Jaguar quality in this aspect and it’s clearly designed to be used every day. It’s even relatively quiet in the standard driving mode too.

But the SVR is best enjoyed when driven with a little more aggression. Switch it into dynamic mode and the most notable difference is the firmed up suspension, although the driver can tweak the individual settings for the steering, engine and gearbox. It feels extra sharp, responding with even more immediacy to inputs while staying flat, true and firm.

The engine dominates the experience, crackling and rasping with even more volume than the already-loud R Coupe, and pushing the SVR hard above 100mph. With the freedom of the track to explore its full potential, the SVR remains pleasingly rear-drive in its balance. You can feel the front wheels helping out occasionally but this is a car that can be sideways into, through and on the exit of a bend if you so wish. To call it fun would be a gross understatement.

Jaguar is billing the F-Type SVR as an all-weather supercar, but the fact that it dealt so well with all of these scenarios means there’s a lot to be said for its capability to deal with daily use. Porsche 911 Turbo owners might see it as something of an upstart, but it has presence, is sufficiently comfortable and acceptably practical while crucially being a complete blast to drive when the circumstances permit. It’s also relatively inexpensive for a car that can top 200mph.

At a glance

Model
Jaguar F-Type SVR

Engine
5.0-litre petrol unit producing 567bhp and 516lb.ft of torque

Transmission
Eight-speed automatic gearbox driving all four wheels

Performance
Top speed 200mph,
0-62mph in 3.7 seconds

Economy
25mpg combined

Emissions
269g/km of CO2

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