This time last year I said the soundtrack of the Jaguar F-Type was the meanest thing I’d ever heard come out of a V6. Well to no surprise, and almost exactly a year on, the soundtrack of the F-Type SVR quickly became the meanest thing I’d ever heard come out of a V8.
If that thing was untamed, this 5.0-litre supercharged V8, ladies and gentlemen, was unhinged.
The F-Type SVR is special. It’s like that loud, charismatic, ADHD personality that everyone has in their social circles. You wouldn’t want to live around them 24/7, but they’re definitely the first person you’d call if you wanted to start a party.
And boy, does the SVR come to the party. The theatrics of this car are undoubtedly its drawcard, but it was nice to quickly realise that the F-Type SVR isn’t just a one-trick pony. The only way to adequately describe the characteristics of this car to colleagues and friends was to christen it as the muscle car Britain forgot it had.
For the most part, British sports cars are synonymous with the folk who build them. Quintessentially classic, suave, conservative and elegant. The same cannot be said, however, for the SVR in question today. The silly amounts of noise, the copious number of horses under the hood and its front mounted engine making it more American than British.
Though that’s not to say the SVR is all bark and no bite. Quite to the contrary, in fact, which is where things really get interesting. While most muscle cars handle like a cut snake, the SVR’s all-wheel-drive system (one which it most definitely needs) together with an Electronic Active Differential ensures that your confidence through corners will never be misplaced.
The Audi R8’s Quattro system is the only other car that has given me such a planted sensation; as if you’re sinking into the asphalt when you propel around corners. It’s what I imagine it would have been like strapped into Apollo 11 as it slingshotted itself around the dark side of the Moon. This poise and precision – finding the perfect balance between Europe and the Americas – make the SVR one helluva capable car.
I had an absolute blast driving the F-Type SVR, there’s no doubt about that. While I could sympathise with justifying a purchase of the V6 F-Type, I do, however, struggle to rationalise this beast compared to its little brother. If you think of what else you can get for the money (upwards of $350k in the case of this specced-out press car), and the differences between the two cylinders, you’d have to be a lovesick puppy to purchase the F-Type SVR.
So, it’s with a heavy heart I declare the SVR a car that doesn’t make sense.
But you know what? It doesn’t really matter. Because the SVR isn’t competing for categorical superiority. It isn’t trying to up-sell people from the V6.
The SVR is its own, unique beast. A truly one-off Frankenstein machine. It’s one for the hardcore Jaguar enthusiasts; the person who knows what they want before they’ve even started tossing up the idea of a purchase. They never once considered the Porsche 911 or Audi’s R8. They’re pure Jaguar through and through, and to them, the SVR is the pinnacle of that loyalty.
They want the loudest. They want the sexiest. They want to turn more heads than anyone has ever turned before. Simply, they want the best.
No, actually, what they want most is when a passerby stops and mutters “What is that?” They can quietly and a smugly respond – “…it’s a Jag.”
And it’s not just any Jag, it’s the Jaguar F-Type SVR.
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