Sunday, 9 August 2020

2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe Review

 


Intro
Ever since Jaguar unveiled the current generation of the F-Type in 2014, I have been drooling over its handsome exterior. Two years later, Jaguar unveiled the F-Type SVR. The SVR stands for "Special Vehicle Operations". That sounds something straight out of a video game. It is the most powerful, bad-ass F-Type one can buy. And thanks to Jaguar Canada, I was fortunate enough to get to test drive the 2018 F-Type SVR Coupe. Below is my unbiased review.

Exterior
No doubt the F-Type SVR is a gorgeous looking car. This is probably one of my favorites among sports cars. There is a certain elegance besides its obviously sporty appearance. The car looks proportional from any angle with a fluid design and sharp character lines. The low stance, muscular rear wheel arches, sharp LED headlights, and narrow LED taillights gives this car an iconic look.

Jaguar also spares no expense in details. I love the design of the 20" forged aluminum alloy wheels. The hood vent, the side mirror covers, the large rear spoiler, and both the front and rear bumper lips are all made of carbon fiber. The exhaust tips are made of Titanium, and the door handles fold in to give the car a clean exterior look.

This is a car that looks as good on track as it is at a fancy dinner party. I love it.
















Interior
The interior of the F-Type is an excellent blend of sportiness and luxury. It isn't over flashy, nor is it bare-bone. The stitched quilted seats are 14-way adjustable via the visually engaging switches on the side door panels. The seats are comfortable and provide great supports. The same stitched quilted fabric are also found on the side door panels. Leather and Alcantara are used everywhere with few accent panels made of Carbon Fiber.

The view from inside the car is quite good. The windows are decently sized, and the panoramic sunroof makes the interior feel more spacious. The shift stick is both good looking, and comfortable to hold.

The buttons and switches of the center console seem be fighter-jet inspired. They look high-tech, but slightly busy. The center air vents theatrically rise up when the car starts. There is no apparent reason for doing so, but it sure looks cool.










Infotainment
The infotainment system consists of a highly responsive 10" touchscreen. The home screen graphic looks a bit outdated, but overall the system is very intuitive and competent. The touchscreen is recessed quite deeply, so occasionally I find it hard to press the screen area closer to the boarders.

The LCD screen between the two dials in the instrument cluster is large and informative. It can be easily controlled via the buttons located on the steer wheel.

Our tester is equipped with 10 speakers and 2 subwoofers. The Meridian Surround System provides an immersive listening experience... when the engine is not running. We will get to that later.




Driving
This should be the reason why anyone would get the SVR version of the F-Type. The 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR is equipped with a 5L Supercharged V8 engine that produces 575hp of power and 516 lb.ft of torque. It comes standard with an 8-speed Automatic AWD transmission. This engine is loud. And by loud, I don't mean wake-the-next-door-neighbor type. It is the wake-up-the-entire-neighborhood-type. The moment you start the engine, it revs up and roars before settling down to a rumbling growl. No, you can not disable it. There is not sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night. Stepping on the pedal, and the exhaust pops and crackles with every gear shift. It is the most obnoxious car I have ever driven, and I love it. There is even a button in the center console to enable Active Exhaust. What it allow you to manually open the exhaust valves so it is loud ALL THE TIME.

Not only is it loud, it is also incredibly fast. The F-Type SVR goes from 0-100km in 3.7 seconds, and has a top speed of 322 km/h. There is no lag when you step on the gas. Opposite to the elegant exterior of the car, the drive is violent. It launches forward with vigor and throws you back against the seat when you step on the gas. The gearbox shifts in barbaric fashion (with the engine sound to match). It is not a car for the faint of heart.

On the other hand, the F-Type SVR handles amazingly. The aluminum body is both lightweight and stiff. The car behaves more like a RWD than a AWD. The AWD system only kicks in when you absolutely needs the front wheel power. Jaguar employs torque vectoring to enhance cornering capability and keeps the steering at bay. There is a slight oversteer, but it is easily controllable. The adaptive dampers adjusts suspension stiffness depending on the drive mode.

There are three diving modes. You can select the drive mode by a toggle switch next to the shifter. I left it in Dynamic mode throughout my test drive. If you wish, you can customize the countless settings of the car according to your personal preference. I find the default settings to be very good already though.

The F-Type SVR offers a speed limiter. When enabled, pushing the gas pedal beyond that speed won't give the car more power. With that set to the appropriate speed, I happily step on the pedal without worrying about getting a ticket. But I really wish to have the chance to take it on a track.







Cargo Space & Storage
The trunk is not the most spacious. You can probably fit two carry on luggages with the window cover in place (310 L of cargo space). Removing the window cover would allow for more storage space (408 L).

There is limited amount of small item storage options as well. I am thankful that there are cup holders, a center console storage bin under the armrest, side door pockets, and a small meshed pocket between the seats in the back.



Verdict
The 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR is one of the most exciting cars money can buy. It is handsome, loud, and obnoxious. It is expensive, but reasonable considering the performance. If you are not looking for something this extreme, the regular Jaguar F-Type is an excellent car on its own (I prefer the V6), and will save you some money. But you won't be getting something that sounds like this though.

Test Vehicle
2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe
MSRP
$168,105 CAD
Color
Velocity Blue

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