The meanest kitty in Jaguar’s litter

Since its introduction for the 2013 model year, the F-Type has been praised for its sultry looks, high-end cockpit, and pair of potent engines. The F-Type, especially the F-Type R, still remains one of Britain’s best two-seat sports cars, but Jaguar felt it time to up the ante. The mad scientists inside Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations department were let loose to develop the F-Type Project 7 – a car which was as much a design concept as a test bed for high-performance parts. Now SVO brings several of the Project 7’s advancements to the 2017 F-Type’s SVR package.

Lighter wheels, optional carbon ceramic brakes, improved aerodynamics, sharpened handling via improved suspension components, more horsepower and torque, and a true, dual-pipe exhaust system constructed from titanium all make the list. The result is a 575-horsepower F-Type with a quickened 0-to-60 mph time, better limit handling on the track, and a top speed that hits the magic 200 digit.

Make no mistake – the F-Type SVR is every inch a supercar. Jaguar’s SVO team pushed it over the edge, making it the fastest production Jaguar ever while giving it a renewed list of competitors like the Audi R8 V10 Plus, Porsche 911 Carrera S, and even the McLaren 570S.

Speaking of mistakes, Jaguar threw me the keys to the 2017 F-Type SVR for a week. It wasn’t a mistake on Jag’s part, but on mine for accepting them. Now, sadly, I’m jaded, deaf, and searching for a Kidney buyer willing to pay $150,000. Oh, and I probably have a noise complaint from the HOA in my mailbox.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

  • 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    575
  • Torque @ RPM:
    516
  • Displacement:
    5.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph
  • Price:
    148450
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Video Review


Exterior

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Jaguar didn’t have to do much to make the F-Type’s exterior any better looking. It’s still one of the hottest looking coupes on the market. But the SVR isn’t about looks – it’s about speed and functionality. That’s why the front fascia has been changed over the standard F-Type R’s. Gone are the smaller vents just below the headlights, replaced with huge intakes that pull air into the car for cooling and supplying the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with air. The chin splitter is also slightly larger. My tester further makes use of the optional carbon fiber package, which adds more pizzas in the details.

The SVR isn’t about looks – it’s about speed and functionality. That’s why the front fascia has been changed over the standard F-Type R’s.

The carbon fiber extends to the hood, too, acting as vents for heat extraction from the engine bay. The mirror caps get the treatment, as well. Out back, the SVR-specific active rear wing is fully formed from the stuff, as is much of the lower diffuser surrounding the quad, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes. Jaguar even offers an optional carbon fiber roof package that replaces the standard glass panel section.

Opting for the carbon ceramic brakes brings a unique set of wheels. Measuring 20 inches, these 10-spoke wheels drop seven to eight pounds from each corner over the standard F-Type’s wheels. They also look fantastic with a machined face and black painted pockets. They are wrapped in specially designed Pirelli PZero summer performance rubber sized in 265-series up front and 305-series out back.

Besides the carbon fiber wing, unique wheels, and larger front fascia, this Jag wears special side vents just aft of the front tires. This further helps pull hot air from the front of the car, while adding an edgier appearance to the F-Type’s normally smooth side profile. SVR badging removes any doubt regarding this kitty’s SVO upbringing.

Interior

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Interior
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2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Interior
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2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Interior
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The SVO engineering team didn’t have all the fun. Jaguar designers brought the special sauce out for the SVR’s interior. The F-Type now enjoys quilted leather with contrast stitching available in five color options. Thee options include black leather seats with choices of black, blue, or red stitching. Then there’s a tan leather option and a red leather option. Obviously, my tester is bathed in red. Black contrast stitching and red piping on the floor mats pulls the theme together.

The F-Type now enjoys quilted leather with contrast stitching available in five color options.

Headlingings can be had in either suede or leather, with my car sporting the latter. Carbon fiber trim is also offered, as is the suede-covered steering wheel. The SVR package further brings real aluminum paddle shifters – a marked upgrade from the cheap plastic paddles in lesser F-Types.

The remainder of the interior is rather familiar to the other F-Types I’ve tested. The layout is both beautiful and functional with intuitive placements of switchgear. Automatic dual zone climate control keeps the two occupants comfortable, as do standard seat heaters. Ventilated seats aren’t an option here due to the quilted leather. Abundant power seat adjustment controls make easy work of getting comfortable, while a three-position memory function keeps things set just right.

Rear cargo space is relatively generous considering the F-Type’s size. I’m no golfer, but I’d bed a set of clubs would fit. There’s also a small storage compartment hidden under the floor. A weekend’s worth of luggage should fit just find, barring someone packs 10 pairs of shoes.

The infotainment system provides easy operation of most functions, including navigation and radio controls. It’s definitely not the most intuitive or best looking system on the market, but it doesn’t feel out of place here. I did like the 770-watt Meridian sound system, but found it difficult to connect and play music through my iPhone.

The interior is a wonderful place to spend time. It can get a bit noisy on rough pavement, but otherwise is perfectly suited for countryside touring.

The infotainment system also boasts a performance control page for dialing in driver preferences regarding steering, throttle, transmission, and suspension metrics. The SVR continues to offer the F-Type’s three drive modes. They include Slippery, Normal, and Dynamic. The car’s character changes from muted and restrained to boisterous and precise with the flick of the console-mounted switch.

Other fun switches include the traction control button, which when pushed once, turns on DSC track mode. Then there’s the auto start/stop button that deactivates the engine’s fuel-saving cut-off when stopped at a red light. And of course, there’s the button that controls the dual mode exhaust. Illuminated, the button confirms the titanium flaps inside the exhaust pipes are wide open, allowing the 5.0-liter’s tremendous rumbles and machine gun-like overrun blips to bellow at full volume.

All told, the interior is a wonderful place to spend time. It can get a bit noisy on rough pavement, but otherwise is perfectly suited for countryside touring. The lack of extra sound deadening also makes the exhaust perfectly audible from inside. That’s well worth the road noise.

Drivetrain

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
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The F-Type SVR continues to utilize the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 found in the standard F-Type R, but Jaguar engineers worked their magic, pulling out another 25 horsepower and 14 pound-feet of torque. That means the Jag is kicking out 575 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Those increases aren’t crazy, but it’s still enough to push the car faster than before.

Top Speed is now electronically limited at 200 mph, up from 186 in the last F-Type R.

Jaguar says the sprint to 60 mph happens in 3.5 seconds. Independent testing suggests Jaguar is a bit conservative with its numbers by two to three tenths. Top Speed is now electronically limited at 200 mph, up from 186 in the last F-Type R I tested.

The engine now breathes through a true dual exhaust, with independent pipes leading back from the engine. The standard F-Type R uses a single exhaust that feeds a transversely mounted muffler, which splits into the dual exhaust tips. The SVR’s pipes are also made from Inconel titanium with its walls measuring just 0.6 mm thick. This not only helps noise resonate more loudly, it cuts 35 mounds from the F-Type’s exhaust weight.

The all-aluminum V-8 is mated to the familiar ZF eight-speed automatic that’s been tuned for faster shifting. It’s just as good as any dual clutch I’ve tested without the drawbacks. Sport mode keeps the engine in its wide power band and manual mode gives full control to the driver via the paddle shifters or by toggling the gear shifter.

Full-time AWD keeps this cat clawing, with 63 percent of power heading rearward while the remaining 37 percent keeps the front end tracking where the driver points. Oversteer is possible, but the F-Type isn’t as tail-happy as it was with RWD. A torque vectoring (by braking) rear differential further helps the AWD system by strategically applying power to whichever side needs it.

The SVR rides on a revised suspension. New aluminum rear knuckles provide 37 percent more stiffness in camber and a 41 percent increase in toe stiffness. This combines with revised tuning for the continuously variable dampers and a recalibrated Adaptive Dynamics system to give more comfort at low speeds and more control at higher ones.

The optional carbon ceramic brake rotors bring 15.7-inch rotors up front, squeezed by six-piston calipers, while 15-inch rotors are paired with four-piston binders out back. Yellow painted monoblock calipers and the 10-spoke wheels denote the presence of carbon ceramics.

Driving Impressions

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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These relatively minor improvements go a long way in making the F-Type an absolutely blast to drive. Invisible tracks seem welded to the road surface and follow wherever the steering wheel is pointed. Cornering grip is tremendous thanks to the super wide Pirelli tires and their sticky compound. Body roll is non-existent and steering crispness is instinctual. Acceleration is otherworldly with shifts snapping off in milliseconds. The V-8’s rumble sounds like a war zone erupted behind the car, with shrieking burbles, splats, and cracks firing off like gunfire. It’s for this reason I found every chance to drive with the windows down, despite it being 95 degrees here in Central Florida.

The car feels like an extension, like Tony Stark’s Ironman suit.

This all happens in Dynamic Mode anytime the car is driven over two-tenths. It’s spectacular. Slip the mode setting in to Normal Mode, and the car becomes somewhat more docile. It’s like a rubbing 120-grit sand paper on a Katana sword for half a second: it might make it slightly less sharp, but it will still dismember its enemies without hesitancy. Even without Dynamic Mode or the “loud mode” selected, the exhaust opens up with its deafening roar above 3,000 rpm.

Spending more than 10 minutes in the car results in a wonderful relationship between the driver and car. The car feels like an extension, like Tony Stark’s Ironman suit. It never felt big or clumsy. This confidence makes any driver of any skill level feel like a pro.

Pricing

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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All this fun doesn’t come cheap. The 2017 F-Type SVR Coupe carries a base price of $125,950. That brings everything except the carbon ceramic brakes, the accompanying 10-spoke wheels, the carbon fiber accents, and the red interior coloring, among some other smaller options.

My tester’s no-cost options include Rhodium Silver paint, the glass roof panel, and the carbon fiber rear spoiler. Opting for the carbon ceramic brakes cost $12,000, but includes the brakes, yellow calipers, and 20-inch wheels. The quilted leather comes standard, too, but having it in red cost $2,500. The carbon fiber interior trim cost another $750, while the SVR steering wheel with suedecloth coverings cost $700. For another $350, the seat belts come in a matching red color. Other options include the Extended leather Package for $2,200 and the Exterior Carbon Fiber Package for $4,000.

All together, my 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR tester cost $148,450.

Competition

Audi R8 V10

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Exterior
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While the F-Type uses the traditional front-engine configuration well, Audi puts its mill mid-ship within the R8. This placement helps the Audi handle like a dream on track, while still allowing for tail-happy fun and AWD control.

The power comes from Volkswagen Group’s 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-10 that makes 540 horsepower and 398 in standard form or 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet in the V10 Plus. A seven-speed dual clutch does the shifting and Audi’s quattro AWD puts power to the pavement.

The R8 is a bit more expensive than the Jaguar, with the standard V10 trim coming in at $162,900. You’ll need $189,900 for the V10 Plus. Nevertheless, the standard V10 gives the SVR a run for its money, hitting 60 mph in under 3.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 199 mph.

Learn more about the Audi R8 V10 here.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06/Z07

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 High Resolution Exterior
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Perhaps you’re the track day type who wants American muscle that’ll keep up with Europe’s best. The Corvette Z06 with the Z07 package is about as raw as it gets. It’s also a relative bargain. But don’t let the price fool you – the Z07 is no rental car.

Power comes form Chevy’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 with 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Customers can choose between a seven-speed manual transmission and an eight-speed automatic. Rear drive is the only choice, but massive 335-series Michelin Pilot Super Sport rear tires keep power reigned in.

Pricing begins at a surprising $80,395. Checking every luxury and performance box brings the price to just under $110,000.

Find out more about the Chevrolet Corvette Z06/Z07 here.

Conclusion

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Driven High Resolution Exterior
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Jaguar has seen immense success with its F-Type, both around the world and in the U.S. But now with its range-topping SVR trim hitting the market, Jaguar will undoubtedly score well with those wanting more power and performance. The competition is intense at this level, but Jag has a stacked deck in its favor.

The raw yet refined nature of the F-Type SVR will attract customers wanting a visceral track-day star mixed with a comfortable grand tourer, all wrapped in a seductive package with looks to kill. It’s a shame Jaguar ended the marketing campaign showcasing evil masterminds and British bad guys. The whole “it’s good to be bad” slogan fit this car so perfectly.

Even for those not able to swing a $125,000-plus car note, the SVR acts as a perfect halo atop the F-Type lineup, making the V-6 models and standard V-8 feel more attractive. Remember, the F-Type Coupe can be had for $61,400. Even the V-8 is slightly more obtainable at $105,000. Will the SVR bring in more sales for the F-Type? Probably, but sales figures and bean counting seems completely far-removed from SVR. That’s a very good thing.

  • Leave it
    • * Seats need ventilation
    • * Gets expensive with options
    • * Infotainment system outclassed by others in segment
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