When choosing a sports car, plenty of variables come into play. Is it all about styling or performance? How does luxury enter the picture? Of course, hard numbers aside, these are subjective questions…
When choosing a sports car, plenty of variables come into play. Is it all about styling or performance? How does luxury enter the picture? Of course, hard numbers aside, these are subjective questions that can only be answered by an individual after contemplating personal preferences. We all have differing tastes, which is why so many competing brands and models exist.
While similarly powerful, a Porsche Turbo provides much quicker acceleration than the Jaguar F-Type SVR being reviewed here, and both are dramatically different through fast-paced curves, with the rear-engine German providing a wholly unique feel when raced side-by-side against the front-engine Brit, and most agreeing the former is more capable at the limit. Nevertheless, the Porsche Turbo is not necessarily more fun to drive.
I’ve enjoyed many Turbos over the years, not to mention a plethora of other 911 models, and all have provided thrills aplenty. Likewise, for F-Type SVRs, having spent a week with 2018, 2019 and 2020 models, the first two coupes and the most recent a convertible. I tend to lean toward coupes more often than open air, mostly because the aesthetics of a fixed roof appeal to my senses. Still, there are a number of reasons I’d be pulled in the direction of this Madagascar Orange-painted F-Type SVR Convertible, the sound emanating from its tailpipes certainly high on the list.
Sure, the coupe provided an identical rasping soundtrack from the same titanium Inconel exhaust system, it was just easier to hear with the triple-layer Thinsulate-insulated cloth top down. Likewise, the source of the noise, Jaguar’s 5.0-litre “AJ-8” V8, making 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, has been stuffed between the SVR’s front struts all along, but somehow it feels more visceral when accompanied by gusts of wind.
That’s how I drove it throughout most of my sun-drenched test week, and while I was never tempted to see how stormy its interior would become with the throttle pinned for a 314 km/h (195 mph) top track speed test (322 km/h or 200 mph with the coupe), I certainly dabbled with its zero to hero claim of 3.7 seconds from standstill to 100 km/h in either body style.
Yes, I know this is a very “well-proven” engine (auto code for old), having been offered by Jaguar since 1997 in one form or another, but I could care less because it sounds so fabulous and delivers such scintillating performance, fuel economy be damned.
As for styling, the F-Type is eye-candy no matter which powertrain is chosen, Jaguar even offering an impressively spirited turbocharged four-cylinder in base trims. Of course, along with its sensational straight-line performance, the SVR provides more visual treats in the way of carbon fibre aero aids and trim.
The same goes for the interior, which offers a level of exoticism that sports cars in this class simply can’t match. It’s downright sensational, featuring perforated Windsor leather quilted into a ritzy diamond-style pattern on both the seat inserts and door panels, plus contrast-stitched solid leather on most other surfaces. Additionally, a rich psuede micro-fibre stretches across much of the dash-top, headliner and sun visors, while carbon-fibre and beautifully finished brushed and bright metalwork highlights key areas. The interior clearly appears British in look and feel, yet it’s more modernist than steeped in parlour club tradition (i.e. there’s no wood).
Jaguar infotainment has improved a lot with each new generation too, the F-Type not receiving a full digital cluster, but nevertheless boasting a big, colourful multi-information display between a gorgeous set of primary analogue gauges. It gets most of the functions found in the centre display, is easily legible and no problem to scroll through via steering wheel controls. Similarly, the just-mentioned centre display is a user-friendly touchscreen jam-packed with stylish high-resolution graphics plus plenty of useful features like a navigation interface with detailed mapping and simple directions settings, an audio/media page with satellite radio, a Bluetooth phone connectivity section, a graphically organized climate panel, an camera interface with many exterior views, an apps section with some pre-downloaded and available downloadable applications, and last but not least, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
One more page not yet mentioned is the My Dynamic Setup interface that lets you set up your own individual drive system calibrations. What I mean is, after fine-tuning the SVR’s engine, transmission, suspension and steering dynamics in order to suit outside conditions as best as possible, not to mention your mood, you can mix and match them as much as you like. For instance, you can go for snappier engine response and a quicker shifting transmission along with a more compliant suspension setup, which may be ideal for driving fast over the kind of rough pavement you might find in the types of rural settings that’ll allow you to really open up the car’s performance. For this reason, I’m not a fan of sport settings that automatically firm up the chassis, because a rock-solid suspension setup only works well when coursing over the kind of unblemished tarmac found on recently paved tracks, not real-world patchwork asphalt hack jobs.
This is an apropos descriptor for the roads used when pushing my F-Type SVR Convertible tester near its limits, the car’s unbridled power ideally matched to a particularly stiff, light and well-sorted aluminum body structure, chassis and suspension design. Steering response is quick and the rear wheels follow ideally, no matter how much I applied the throttle. Certainly, it was important to remain smooth, other than applying slightly more than needed when wanting to induce oversteer. The massive yellow calipers signify that Jaguar’s available carbon ceramic brakes fill the SVR’s 20-inch alloys, these being brilliant when it comes to quick stops in succession with barely any fade. Yes, this is a wonderfully capable roadster if you’ve got the confidence to push its limits, but I wouldn’t say it provides the same level of high-speed control as a recent Porsche 911 Turbo. This means the Jag can be even more fun for those with performance driving experience.
I should mention here that Jaguar’s 2020 F-Type SVR is a relative bargain compared to that just-noted 911 Turbo, the Brit starting at just $141,700 with its “head” fixed and $144,700 for the as-tested retractable fabric roof variety, compared to $194,400 and $209,000 respectively for the latest 2021 German variant. Granted, Porsche’s performance alternative is quite a bit quicker as noted earlier, knocking a full second off its zero to 100 km/h sprint time, with the brand’s Carrera S/4S models in the mid-three-second range. These start at $132,700, or in other words considerably less than Jag’s F-Type SVR, but this is where I must interject (myself) by once again saying there’s a lot more to a sports car than straight-line performance.
After all, a number of much more reasonably priced Ford Mustangs sprint into similar territory, while the new mid-engine Corvette dips into the high twos. I’m not comparing a 911 to a Mustang or even the ‘Vette (although the latter car may be embarrassingly comparable to a number of mid-engine Italians), but hopefully you get the gist of what I’m saying. The F-Type SVR delivers an immense amount of premium-level style crafted mostly from aluminum along with phenomenal attention to detail, much made from high-gloss carbon fibre, plus a beautifully crafted interior, superb musical and mechanical soundtracks, and more to go along with its respectable muscle.
Better yet, a quick check of CarCostCanada’s 2020 Jaguar F-Type Canada Prices page is showing up to $8,950 in additional incentives, which is one of the more aggressive discounts I’ve ever seen on this highly useful site (CarCostCanada provides members with rebate info, details on manufacturer financing and leasing, plus dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands, via their website and the Apple Store and Google Android Store downloadable CarCostCanada app). The refreshed 2021 F-Type is already being discounted up to $6,000, incidentally, and while we’re on the subject of the new model, there’s no 2021 SVR yet. Instead, the updated 2021 F-Type R gets the same 575 horsepower V8 as the outgoing SVR, but don’t just think it’s a discounted SVR, as the significant $20,400 price reduction for the 2021 R Coupe and $20,800 savings for the 2021 R Convertible probably mean that much is missing from the top-tier package. No doubt Jaguar will introduce a more potent 2021 SVR soon, complete with all of its sensational upgrades, so we’ll have to keep our ears to the ground for this one.
All said, the current 2020 Jaguar F-Type SVR is a fabulous offering from a brand that’s steeped in sports car tradition, and well worth its very reasonable entry price. I’ve driven three in exactly the same amount of years, and have enjoyed every moment behind the wheel each time. For those with the means, I recommend it highly.
Story and photo credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo editing: Karen Tuggay
My goodness this thing is insane! The power, the outrageous sound of the supercharged V8’s sport exhaust, and the sensation of 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque thrusting head and backside into…
My goodness this thing is insane! The power, the outrageous sound of the supercharged V8’s sport exhaust, and the sensation of 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque thrusting head and backside into the rich red and black diamond-pattern leather-skinned driver’s seat upon takeoff while hands grasp at the leather-clad sport steering wheel, there’s absolutely nothing quite like it in the compact luxury SUV class.
With a flagship SUV like this you’d think the F-Pace would be number one in its ever-burgeoning segment, and while it’s certainly top dog… er cat within Jaguar’s model hierarchy it appears premium brand buyers are more interested in easy comfort than scintillating performance. A shame. The F-Pace and most Jaguar models deserve better than they get.
First off, the F-Pace is inarguably good looking no matter which trim is being discussed, with this SVR downright stunning. I can’t think of a better looking crossover SUV, unless the origami folds of Lamborghini’s Urus are more to your liking, or the Audi Q8 that shares its underpinnings, but the Italian, at least, is in an entirely different price stratosphere, starting at $240,569 in Canada, compared to just $89,900 for the F-Pace SVR.
Certainly a base Q8 can be had for less, but that sporty looking SUV’s $82,350 entry trim merely makes 335 horsepower, and while a wonderfully comfortable city and highway cruiser it’s not even in the same performance league. The equivalent Audi would be the near 600-horsepower RS Q8, but that upcoming super-CUV will set you back at least $110k (pricing hadn’t been announced at the time of writing, and it’s a larger mid-size SUV to boot.
Now that we’re talking competitors, Audi offers its 349-horsepower SQ5 in the compact class the F-Pace truly competes in, and while a true bahn-stormer its 5.4-second run from standstill to 100 km/h doesn’t measure up to the SVR’s 4.3-second blast, and I can knowingly guarantee (by experience) its 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 doesn’t sound anywhere near as menacing as the SVR’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8.
No, the F-Pace SVR’s truest competitor (and no doubt most popular rival due to its three-pointed star) is probably the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 4Matic+ that makes 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 resulting in a sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds. The Mercedes maxes out at 280 km/h (174 mph) compared to the Jaguar’s slightly quicker 283 km/h (176 mph), so they almost evenly share two key bragging rights. All you’ll need to do if you want the Merc is amortize about five percent or $4,000 into your monthly payment, the German ute starting just above $93k, that is unless you end up buying a 2020 F-Pace SVR that’s now priced at $92,000 even (which means there’s only a thousand separating these beasts).
Incidentally, you can find pricing for everything just mentioned, including the 2019 and 2020 F-Pace at CarCostCanada, including trims, packages and standalone options, while you can also learn about valuable manufacturer rebate information, like Jaguar’s current factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent (at the time of writing). Additionally, become a member and you can access dealer invoice pricing on the cars you’re interested in buying, which means you could save you thousands when it comes time to negotiate. There’s up to $3,075 in additional incentives on 2020 models right now.
As far as those two German super SUVs go, I have yet to drive either, but I’ve tested plenty of BMW M models as well as AMG V8s and, while fabulous on their own, none sounds as malevolent as Jaguar’s supercharged V8. Sure, their acceleration numbers are better and their prices aren’t much higher, but performance enthusiasts can appreciate how important sound is to the overall driving experience. As for deciphering a few milliseconds of sprint time, that’s a lot more difficult from the seat of the pants.
Using the Mercedes-AMG for an example, the sportiest versions of the GLC and F-Pace provide nearly identical wheelbases at 2,874 millimetres (113.1 in) for the Jaguar and 2,873 mm (113.1 in) for the Mercedes, while their tracks are almost the same too, the SVR measuring 1,641 mm (64.6 in) up front and 1,654 mm (65.1 in) in the rear and the AMG spanning 1,660 mm (65.3 in) at both axles, but despite the F-Pace being 52 mm (2.0 in) longer at 4,731 mm (186.3 in), 79 mm (3.1 in) wider to the edges of side mirrors at 2,175 mm (85.6 in), and 42 mm (1.6 in) taller at 1,667 mm (65.6 in), plus having 100 litres (3.5 cubic feet) of extra cargo capacity behind the rear seats at 650 litres (22.9 cu ft), it tips the scales 67 kilograms (148 lbs) lighter at just 1,995 kg (4,398 lbs). That’s the benefit of its mostly aluminum construction over Mercedes’ mixed use of steels and alloys.
Two additional SUVs worthy of contention in this hyper-powerful compact luxury SUV class are Porsche’s Macan Turbo and Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the former good for 400 or 440 horsepower depending on whether buying the old 2019 or new second-generation 2020, or opting for the old model with its Performance Package (which also makes 440 horsepower), its acceleration similar to the F-Pace SVR when choosing one of the more potent options, yet its price reaching into six figures, whereas the hyperactive Italian makes 505 horsepower out of the box and sprints to 100 km/h in only 4.0 seconds, albeit with a price tag starting at $95k. Both of these SUVs are impressive, but once again their turbocharged V6 engines won’t ignite the senses like the Jag’s big, raspy V8.
You’ve really got to hear it to appreciate it. Think about the sound of a chainsaw cutting through metal, without the high-pitched annoyance of the tiny, little two-stroke screamer, and you can kind of get an idea of what I’m talking about, although it’s thoroughly pleasing whereas the chainsaw through metal experience probably wouldn’t be. Either way it’s a raucous affair, especially when the exhaust button gets pressed, which allows for freer flow and thus less backpressure resulting in more snapping, crackling and popping when letting off the throttle. It’s obnoxious like an impertinent royal, yes the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of SUVs.
While no doubt worthy of appointment to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel, let alone His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel, as the SVR’s interior is at the level of super-SUVs from the most exotic names in the industry, it’s also capable of hauling around little Prince Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in back, and a couple of his friends along with a picnic basket or two, plus some folding chairs and no doubt a safari tent stowed in the cargo compartment. In other words, the F-Pace, SVR or otherwise, is a capable family hauler with room for more cargo than a number of its compact luxury competitors.
The F-Pace SVR is also capable of light-duty off-roading (with a quick change from its optional 22-inch black-painted rims wrapped in stock 265/40 front and 295/35 rear Pirelli Scorpion Zero all-seasons to something somewhere around 18 inches with a higher sidewall and more tread grip), although it’ll be the serpentine stretches of paved highway on the way to the campground that’ll get the adrenaline flowing.
As you might suspect it’s sensational through curves, its wide track and light weight (for its size, beefy powertrain and luxury accoutrements), plus those just-noted Pirellis (even better performing Jaguar-specific P Zeros are available from tire retailers) and brilliantly tuned (read stiffer) aluminum-intensive front strut and rear multi-link underpinnings get a more buttoned down adaptive suspension setup plus a reworked electric power-steering system, for more of a super sedan feel than anything SUV-like.
Ribbons of narrow, undulating two-lane tarmac are exactly where this SUV shines, and ironically when I prefer the extra ride height an SUV like this provides over a sports car like the F-Type SVR. Don’t get me wrong, as the F-Type remains the cat to beat through twisting backroads and racetracks alike, but when the roadway is lined with trees and sharp declines arrive more quickly than an attentive eye can discern, that extra bit of visibility certainly makes for a bit more comfort at speed, as does the more compliant suspension of the larger, heavier SUV. In such conditions, both SVRs work best when their aforementioned Dynamic driving modes are chosen over their more comforting and economical settings, this more aggressive adaptive suspension setup aiding the body against its innate tendency to pitch and roll.
I didn’t drive it like this all week, of course, the fuel cost of doing so well beyond my full-time journalists’ budget, not to mention the cost of potential points and fines against my driver’s license. While I wouldn’t want to guess the latter, the former has been given a best-case-scenario estimate by Transport Canada’s reasonably accurate five-cycle testing process being 14.5 L/100km in the city, 11.0 on the highway and 12.7 combined, which is actually better than I would’ve guessed for something this powerful and wonderfully sonorous. Alfa’s most potent Stelvio gets a rating of 14.1 L/100km city, 10.4 highway and 12.4 combined, incidentally, and it’s smaller overall with a V6 engine displacing just 2.9 litres, whereas the new 2020 Macan Turbo is rated at 14.2 city, 10.1 highway and 12.0 combined. How about the GLC 63? It’s pretty thirsty at 15.0 in the city, 10.9 on the highway and 13.2 combined, but then again BMW’s X3 M is an absolute glutton at 16.6 city, 12.1 highway and 14.2 combined, that is if anyone buying into this class really cares.
Along with the Dynamic drive mode noted earlier, which I left engaged most of the week, there’s also a Comfort mode when traversing rougher roadways or just in the mood to relax, plus an Eco mode, which I probably should’ve relied on more for the reasons stated above. The latter two driving modes allow the engine to shut off when it would otherwise be idling, saving yet more fuel while further reducing emissions. I found the large Eco screen estimating how much fuel I supposedly saved while using its greenest drive setting somewhat humourous in this hyper-fast SUV, but fortunately it includes a Performance screen is well, which is much more useful in the SVR.
The SVR’s infotainment touchscreen is more or less the same as with other F-Pace models, and I have to say a big improvement over earlier examples. It’s reasonably large at 10-plus inches across, with an interface divided into three large tiles for navigation, media and phone, or whatever you choose as it can be set up for personal preference. Swipe the display to the left and another panel with nine smaller tiles appears, allowing access to most any function you need to perform. It’s simple, straightforward and therefore easy to use, with the just-noted swipe gesture control accompanied by the usual smartphone/tablet-style tap and pinch gestures, the latter most useful while using the navigation system’s maps. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is included, as are myriad other features (although you’ll need to pay extra for satellite radio), this system fully up to class standards.
Even better is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that Jaguar dubs its “Interactive Driver Display.” If you want it to look like a regular two-dial primary gauge package leave it as is, but if you’d like to transform it to a big map so you can keep tabs on directions as you’re rocketing to your destination, go ahead, or alternatively you can place a single driving dial with a numeric speed readout surrounded by a traditional tachometer in the middle, plus the map to one side and something else on the other. Configure it to your heart’s content, as there’s no shortage of options to make your driving experience as convenient and colourful as possible (you can optionally change the SUV’s ambient interior colour scheme via the centre touchscreen, by the way, or project more info onto the windshield via an available head-up display).
There’s good connectivity within the tiny centre bin, including two USB-A ports, a Micro SD card slot, and a 12-volt charger. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Jaguar hadn’t made the rubberized pad ahead of the shifter, which was ideally size for my Samsung S9, into a standard wireless charging pad, but unfortunately such was the case. You can’t even get it as an option for this 2019 model or the new 2020, so those wanting their SUV that has everything to actually have everything might want to ask your local car stereo retailer (or Jaguar dealer) if they can install one and how much it’s going to cost.
Digital extremism in mind, super-SUV buyers truly care about over-the-top interior opulence, or so it seems by the five compact luxury crossovers being loosely compared in this review. The one you personally like best will be purely up to you and your individual taste, but all present dramatic cabin designs filled with the best quality materials and state-of-the-art electronics. Having lived with various trims of each of these vehicles for weeks at a time I’ll give the overall quality nod to Porsche quickly followed by BMW and Mercedes, with Jaguar having reluctantly conceded the best interiors of its SUVs to Land Rover (the F-Pace’s fraternal twin being the Range Rover Velar that’s far and away more impressive inside), while my Stelvio tester was the only vehicle in 20 years of testing/reviewing cars that’s ever left its hood release lever in my hand after trying to view the engine (which I never saw or photographed due to this malfunction).
The SVR nevertheless ups interior materials quality and its sense of occasion over its lesser trims, thanks to an available black Suedecloth roofliner and pillars, plus contrast stitch premium leather just about everywhere, the bottom half my tester’s dash and centre console, plus its armrests and seat bolsters done out in a deep, rich Pimento red, while Ebony Lozenge hides covered most everything else, including the quilted leather seat inserts that featured a sort of zigzag-diamond, hourglass pattern with a subtle bit of red dye peeking through the leather’s perforated holes. It’s a captivating look, although I’d probably choose something more subdued. I love the carbon-fibre detailing elsewhere, however (an upgrade over standard textured Weave aluminum), while all the piano black lacquered surfaces are a given these days. So are brushed aluminum accents, the SVR filled with very real bits and pieces for its plentiful interior trim accents, with the cutouts in all four seats’ backrests particularly eye-catching.
Yes, there’s a fifth seat, but it’s merely a semi-flat space, or rather a hump in between two ideally carved out window seats, simply left in place to carry an additional small adults or child when you’re forced to fit three abreast in back. I’d say the outboard positions of the F-Pace’ back seats are a bit more accommodating than in the average compact luxury SUV, which is why some keep referring to its as a mid-size. Passengers in the rear can be treated to as-tested optional quad-zone automatic climate control featuring its own comprehensive panel on the backside of the front console that’s also replete with three-way heatable or cooled seat switches, which means there’s less need to yell shotgun or sprint to the front passenger’s door, depending on how your family deals with seating hierarchy.
There will be no need to force one of those rear passengers onto the centre bump during trips to the ski hill either (which would be a dreadful waste of those rear seat warmers when they’re needed most), thanks to 40/20/40-split rear seatbacks (that can be folded via optional cargo wall levers). The 20-percent centre section folds down on its own to allow skis, snowboards, a surfboard, a stack of 2x4s or other long items down the middle while your rear passengers continue to enjoy the more comfortable heated (or cooled) window seats, exactly how it should be done in this class or any other.
Yes, next time you’re heading to the hills, or for that matter merely shuttling the kids to school, think about how much more comfortable, let alone quick it would be in a Jaguar F-Pace SVR. Imagine the time saved, and the look of your kids grinning from ear-to-ear as you show off your action hero driving skills. So what if your significant other is glaring with a slightly different expression, taking control of the sport exhaust button as you enter the school drop-off zone.
This is the most fun I’ve ever had in a compact luxury SUV (sorry Porsche), yet it can be highly civilized, reasonably economical and highly practical for everyday use. Those who want an SUV with the heart of a supercar need look no further than the Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
I’m not going to lie to you. As curious as I am to spend a given week with seriously important big market cars like the recently redesigned Toyota Corolla, and as interested as I am to find out how…
I’m not going to lie to you. As curious as I am to spend a given week with seriously important big market cars like the recently redesigned Toyota Corolla, and as interested as I am to find out how far I can go on a single charge with Kia’s latest Soul EV, nothing gets me out of my editor’s chair as quickly or as enthusiastically as a hopped up muscle car, a high-revving super-exotic, or something along the lines of Jaguar’s F-Type SVR, which might be the perfect combination of both.
Regular readers will remember that I spent a blissful week with this very same car last year in its more eye-arresting Ultra Blue paintwork, so having this 2019 model gifted to me for yet another seven heavenly days was a welcome surprise made better due to its stealth Santorini Black bodywork that thankfully doesn’t attract quite as much attention.
It’s not that I was embarrassed to be seen in it, quite the opposite of course, but rather that this car coaxes my most juvenile impulses from their hardly deep recesses all too easily, which can quickly get a person deep into trouble.
How quickly? Well that depends on whether you’re thrown into a stupor or moved into action when first laying eyes on the F-Type SVR, as well as which sense moves you most. If you’re visually stimulated first and foremost, you might be stopped dead in your tracks as soon as it comes into view, but then again if your receptors respond more to an auditory trigger you’ll move right past first sight to initial startup, resulting in the rasp of one of the more sensational exhaust notes in autodom, which will either send you to the moon in a momentary daze or turn you toward the street to put some of that wound up energy to good use.
I’m jaded, or maybe it’s just that experience tells me not to waste a moment gawking inanely at something I can relive later in pictures. Certainly one can recall memories of moments well spent, but the more one collects such moments makes recalling them a helluvalot easier. A quick glance of appreciation, out of respect, immediately followed by a quicker descent into a familiar body hug, the SVR’s performance seats are as wholly enveloping as they’re sinfully comfortable. Foot on brake pedal, finger on start button, mechanical machinations ignited and ahhh… glory hallelujah! What a sound!
Nothing roadworthy this side of an XJR-15 sounds as brutally raw, as purely visceral as an F-Type SVR being brought to life, that is until you’ve given the throttle a few more blips after opening up its two-mode titanium and Inconel active exhaust system via a wee little console-mounted button that makes a great big noise. Any sort of right foot twitch capable of spinning the crank above 4,000 revolutions per minute lets loose a cacophony of crackling barks and blats, the kind of song that’ll have gearheads singing along in dissonant unity, and zero emissions folks sneering.
Allowing spent gases to exit more freely isn’t exactly the Tesla mantra, and to think the minds behind this wondrous high-test glutton are the very crew responsible for the Model X-beating I-Pace (well, it beats the entry-level Tesla crossover, at least). We’ve all got to love the bizarre dichotomy running rampant in today’s automotive market, where the cars we all lust after are paying for the ones that government mandates are forcing down our throats.
Of course, thanks to companies like Jaguar and Tesla we’re all beginning to realize that going electric isn’t the end of motorized fun, but potentially a new beginning. Could there be an electrified F-Type in our future? Likely, and it’ll be the quickest Jaguar sports car ever. Still, the good folks at Castle Bromwich will need to expend terahertz levels of energy in their artificial sound lab to recreate the auditory ecstasy this SVR composes. Let’s hope they succeed, because we all know that as sensational as this 5.0-litre supercharged V8 sounds, and as fabulously fast as this Jaguar becomes when powered by it, the still impressive yet nevertheless 23-year-old AJ-8 power unit’s days are numbered.
As it is, this 575 horsepower beast catapults from naught to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds before attaining the seemingly unattainable terminal velocity of 322 km/h (200 mph)—that’s 1.1 seconds quicker and 122 km/h (75.8 mph) faster than the I-Pace, in case you were wondering. Certainly a driver’s license would be unobtainable for the remainder of my sorry life if I were so foolish as to attempt the former speed on public roads, and being that no such track is long enough within close proximity of my home we’ll all just need to take Jaguar’s word for it. Suffice to say that zero to all other cars at the stoplight looking like tiny coloured dots happens all of a shockingly sudden, so you’d better gather your stunned thoughts, get into the game and prepare for upcoming corners or you’ll fast be shuffled off this mortal coil.
Fortunately the F-Type SVR manages all roads serpentine as easily as it’s guided down the straight and narrow, its brilliantly quick-shifting eight-speed automatic as ideally suited to flicking up through the gears as for rev-matched downshifts. Remember when I mentioned muscle car credentials earlier? That was strictly referencing the engine, its prowess over undulating, curving backroads the stuff of mid-engine exotica. Just look at the meaty 305-section Pirelli P-Zero rubber at back and plentiful 265/35s up front, both ends supported by the lightweight aluminum chassis and riveted, bonded body shell noted earlier, and then factor in that suspension’s Adaptive Dynamics system, the electronic active rear differential, and the brake-sourced torque vectoring. Tap the carbon ceramic brakes to load up the front tires, enter the apex, add throttle and enjoy as the SVR’s backside locks into place while catapulting this leather-lined beast toward the next bend, a process I repeated over and over, as often as opportunity would allow.
All said, you’d think something as fabulously fast as the F-Type SVR would be a handful around town, but that’s where its exotic nature ends and more upright practicality enters. It’s actually a very comfortable coupe to spend time in, while visibility is quite good considering its sleek greenhouse and thick C pillars. The 12-way powered driver’s seat and steering column fit my long-legged, short torso five-foot-eight frame well, and due to much more movement in all directions should provide good adjustability for all sorts of body types, and I certainly had no complaints from my various co-drivers.
On the practicality question, Jaguar provides a large hatch opening for loading in all kinds of gear, with up to 408 litres (14.4 cubic feet) in total and about half that below the removable hard cargo cover. It’s beautifully finished, as one would expect in this class, but remember that unlike the old XK the F-Type is strictly a two-seater with no rear seats to fold, so there’s no way you’ll be able to fit skis or any other long items aboard, unless you slot them down the middle between driver and front passenger.
I remember stuffing my significant other and kids into an XKR coupe years ago, and while its 2+2 grand touring profile wasn’t carried forward into the F-Type’s design, the interior’s fine workmanship and beautiful attention to detail continues. In fact, I’d say this SVR’s cabin is even better, with rich red stitching and piping providing colour to the otherwise black Suedecloth and quilted leather surfaces, while its electronic interfaces are beyond comparison.
Classic analogue dials flank a large 5.0-inch colour TFT multi-information display at centre, unchanged from past years, albeit the Touch Pro infotainment touchscreen on the centre stack is all new for 2019, growing from 8.0 to 10.0 inches in diameter and now flush-mounted without buttons down each side. It’s properly outfitted with navigation, a backup camera with active guidelines, Pro Services, InControl Apps, 770-watt 12- speaker Meridian surround audio, satellite and HD radio, and the list goes on, while Jaguar also added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for $300.
You can get into a 2019 F-Type Coupe SVR for just $140,500, or go topless for an extra $3,000, either of which is a bargain when compared to the Porsche 911 Turbo that will set you back $43,700 more for the hardtop or an additional $54,700 for the drop-top. That easily pays for the aforementioned $13,260 Carbon Ceramic Brake Pack with plenty left over, which includes 398 millimetre rotors up front and 380 mm discs at back, plus massive yellow calipers encircled by a stunning set of 10-spoke 20-inch diamond-turned alloys. Plenty of options were included with my test car and a yet more, like LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming centre and side mirrors, auto climate control, front and rear parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, and lane keeping assist, comes standard, so make sure to check out all the 2019 F-Type trims, packages and options at CarCostCanada, not to mention rebate info and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands.
It’s difficult not to write an epic for such a phenomenal sports car, but instead of running on at the mouth I recommend you head to your local Jaguar retailer and ask them to start one up in the showroom or on the lot, turn on the switchable active exhaust, rev the throttle and then listen to the snap, crackle and pop of the exhaust. If you’re not raring to go for a drive after that, you might be better off moseying down the road to the Lexus store for a smooth, comfortable ride in ES 300 hybrid.
Most of the “important” Jaguar F-Type news centered around two new trims for 2018, and despite the model year quickly coming to a close I was only able to test the fresh new turbocharged four-cylinder…
Most of the “important” Jaguar F-Type news centered around two new trims for 2018, and despite the model year quickly coming to a close I was only able to test the fresh new turbocharged four-cylinder P300 base trim in 2019 guise, and never had opportunity to drive the special limited edition 400 Sport at all.
It won’t be the first or last time I missed out on a new car, but I probably would’ve cried if I’d been forced to skip my test week in this stunning Velocity Blue painted F-Type SVR Coupe. First off, the colour is stunning and worth every one of its extra $4,590. My tester’s version was in a gloss finish, but Jaguar will make it matte for $9,690.
That might sound like a lot for paint, but when you’ve already spent $139,500 plus freight and fees for a new 2018 F-Type SVR Coupe or $142,500 for the same model in Convertible form (see all prices, trims, features, dealer invoice pricing and rebate info at CarCostCanada), despite this being $2,500 more affordable now than last year’s equivalent SVR, not to mention an unfathomable $44,700 less than the Porsche 911 Turbo that still comes up short some 35 horsepower, what’s another $10k?
No doubt the same reasoning gets used when choosing to swap out the standard composite front chin moulding, louvred hood vents, mirror caps, side fender vents, and rear diffuser venturi blade with CFRP by adding the $5,100 SVR Carbon Fibre Exterior Package (the carbon fibre rear wing is standard), or for that matter upgrading the already impressive standard brakes to the optional SVR Carbon Ceramic Brake Pack for $13,260, which uses a gorgeous set of 10-spoke 20-inch diamond-turned alloys with satin black pockets to frame massive 398-mm front and 380-mm back carbon ceramic rotors clamped down on by big yellow brake calipers.
Jaguar didn’t stop there either. I would’ve been quite happy with the stock interior that’s already more opulently attired than most premium-branded sports cars available in this class, yet they added a $2,810 Full Premium Leather Interior Pack with a gorgeous Reims blue double-stitched leather and Suedecloth-wrapped instrument panel and console, and the leather was of the highest quality and softest grade.
Such could be said of the blue-stitched hides used for the steering wheel, centre console, armrests, plus the intricately quilted door panels and seats too, while Jaguar also included some sporty carbon fibre inlays to complement all the beautifully detailed aluminum trim inside.
Some of these finishes are new for 2018, and come as part of a slight refresh that updated the steering wheel, air vent bezels, centre stack and door panels inside, not to mention exterior details like the front bumper, air intakes, lower fascia, plus standard LED headlamps and taillights. All the changes are positive, if only noticeable to true F-Type aficionados.
Life with any F-Type is good, from the aforementioned P300 Coupe that starts at just $68,500 or $71,500 with the roof removed, to this supercar thrashing grand tourer. The SVR delivers a lot of wow factor, but compared to something that might be able to keep up, like the AMG-Mercedes GT or Lamborghini Huracán, it’s more visually subdued. This is made more evident in a subtler colour like Santorini Black, where if it weren’t for the quad of crackling exhaust pipes out back it might even be able to sneak past the authorities unnoticed.
The auditory ensemble is gearhead nirvana, even without pressing the amplification button on the centre console that pumps up the volume when getting hard on the throttle by opening bypass valves within the exhaust so spent gases can exit more freely. The lightweight two-mode titanium and Inconel (an austenitic nickel-chromium-based super-alloy) active exhaust system is exclusive to the SVR, and above 4,000 rpm it snaps, crackles and pops to the delight of driver, passenger and enthusiastic passersby.
Maybe it’s the sound, but the F-Type SVR feels even quicker at takeoff than Jaguar’s claimed three and a half-plus seconds. The big fat 305/30ZR20s do their duty, with wheel spin easily kept in check thanks to standard all-wheel drive. It’s rear-wheel biased if you prefer to get unruly, but you won’t be able to modulate the eight-speed ZF automatic’s clutch yourself, so you’ll be forced to nix traction control and work the steering wheel and throttle to will its tail end sideways. I prefer the steady and smooth approach that allows the SVR to hold its ground with uncanny resilience, Jaguar claiming more than a G of lateral grip on the skidpad. This lets you get hard on the go-pedal mid-corner and experience all of its 575 horses immediately, without hair-raising consequences.
With a body made from riveted and bonded aluminum and equally lightweight and rigid chassis construction you’d think the F-Type would at least fit into the welterweight category, but its 1,705 kilos (3,759 lbs) means that it fights it out like a middleweight in comparison to the 1,595 kg (3,516-lb) 911 Turbo. Still, the steering provides good feedback and the SVR feels plenty agile when flung hard through fast-paced S-curves, almost rambunctiously nimble. It looks long and lean and therefore more like a highway cruiser, but its reasonably short 2,622-mm wheelbase means that turn-in is quick and reactive, while high-speed stability still feels grounded and composed.
The F-Type SVR is an easy car to drive too. Of course, any sports car approaching 600 horsepower requires respect, but the SVR doesn’t need subservient reverence when coaxing the most from its formidable performance in a quest for its nether regions. I certainly wasn’t able to find a point of no return even with its configurable Dynamic sport mode engaged, but then again I wasn’t forcing it beyond rationality and only defeated its electronic driving aids for testing.
Jaguar includes an adaptive suspension benefiting further from an electronic active differential with brake-induced torque vectoring, so when driven within the realms of reason the SVR was downright docile, responding to the subtlest of inputs with predictable precision. Likewise, driving around town wasn’t the type of chore such mundanities are in a low-slung exotic. In fact, the SVR needs no more concentration than any other F-Type, but glides through traffic easily while riding comfortably.
The slimline sport seats are wonderfully cosseting too, while their door-mounted 12-way multi-adjustable controls featured memory settings that, when combined with side mirror presets and the ideal positioning of the powered steering column, provided an ease of daily use that was much appreciated.
Other items worthy of note include the well-organized and feature-filled 10-inch InControl Touch Pro infotainment touchscreen, which even includes a GoPro ReRun app that videotapes your drive before overlaying it with performance data. This would be brilliant at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, let alone Calabogie. Of course, a backup camera with dynamic guidelines, navigation and other functions are included within the touchscreen too, while climate controls can be adjusted from a separate interface just below.
Jaguar might want to give its collective head a shake, but believe it or not dual-zone automatic climate control is optional, available as part of the Climate Package 2 upgrade that also includes heatable or cooled seats plus a heated windshield. Fortunately, the standard HVAC system is automatic and pollen filtered yet just single-zone, while additional standard features not yet mentioned include auto-dimming interior and side mirrors, the latter power-folding and heated as well, plus proximity access with pushbutton ignition, an electromechanical parking brake, rain-sensing wipers, a heatable steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors, 10-speaker 380-watt Meridian audio, satellite and HD radio, configurable ambient lighting, and more.
Standard Intelligent Start/Stop meant that even fuel economy was kept in check, although at 15.6 L/100km city, 10.4 highway and 13.3 combined it was hardly as miserly as the P300 that achieves a claimed 10.2, 7.8 and 9.2 respectively in both Coupe and Convertible guise.
Of note, autonomous emergency braking, blindspot monitoring, closing vehicle sensing, reverse traffic detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, a driver condition monitor and traffic sign recognition all require a modestly priced $870 Drive Pack, worth it just for the upgraded cruise control.
Likewise, auto high beams are a worthwhile upgrade at just $260, while I’d probably choose the $3,680 carbon fibre roof over the $1,230 fixed panoramic glass roof my tester included, just because I prefer the lightweight performance benefits and general appearance of gorgeous composite weave more than seeing sunshine or stars overhead. My tester’s powered liftgate was an extra $510 that I could do without too, as it’s a small, lightweight hatch that requires little effort and less time to open if left to its standard manual devices, and I’m sure the standard setup saves weight as well.
I could babble on about standard features and options, but that would be boring and might deprive you the joy of Jaguar’s online configuration tool, so suffice to say you won’t feel shortchanged from the SVR’s standard kit, and can easily upgrade you personal ride with the many aforementioned items, as well as 770 watts and 12 surround speakers of superb Meridian sound, semi-autonomous self parking, a garage door opener, and more, plus colour options galore.
I’d take my F-Type SVR in Velocity Blue with a few of the changes noted earlier, although I’d hardly find time to complain if Jaguar conveniently forgot I had this one on loan for another week, month or year. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride, as the saying goes, and this journalist’s humble life was certainly made a lot more enjoyable thanks to this absolutely brilliant bit of British kit. I recommend the new F-Type SVR wholeheartedly, as both a performance icon and a great value proposition. It truly measures up in both respects and then some.
The mucky dirt Land Rover left all over this new Discovery SVX prototype when posing for its photo shoot says it all. This is no lily white (or Fuji/Yulong white) soft-roader, but a bold, brash 4×4…
The mucky dirt Land Rover left all over this new Discovery SVX prototype when posing for its photo shoot says it all. This is no lily white (or Fuji/Yulong white) soft-roader, but a bold, brash 4×4 cut from the same gritty emery cloth as the legendary Defender.
Most of today’s sport utilities can’t say the same. Even after the most purposefully utile off-roaders like Land Rover’s Series I staked their claim on the wild, when much more refined alternatives ushered in the SUV craze that replaced wagons and minivans as family favourites, boasting rough and rugged nameplates like Blazer, Cherokee, Trooper, 4Runner, Explorer, etcetera, with real truck-based 4×4 capability, few could really slog it out in the mud alongside anything from Land Rover. How much less so for today’s car-based SUVs, which are oftentimes little more than gussied up wagons.
The Discovery was introduced back in the late ‘80s when SUVs were changing the face of the auto market. It quickly rose to prominence in the luxury sector, and has never looked back. For a bit of history, the Discovery Series I was replaced by the slightly roomier and more refined 1998-2005 Discovery II, while the much improved 2003-2009 Series III was renamed LR3 in North America when introduced for the 2005 model year, before the 2010-2016 LR4 brought Land Rover’s most family friendly model fully into the premium class both stylistically and luxuriantly.
The new 2017 Discovery, which remains mostly unchanged as it moves into the 2018 model year, other than some minor yet important updates including standard autonomous emergency braking, standard InControl Touch Pro Navigation now benefiting from a larger 10-inch touchscreen, the turbo-diesel powertrain now available throughout the entire model lineup, and a revised second-gen head-up display system that can now be had on HSE and HSE Luxury trims, is a completely reimagined sport utility that eschews nearly everything from its LR4, LR3 and Discovery past.
Most obviously its blocky corners have been wholly smoothed over, but more so that metalwork is now formed from aluminum instead of steel, while an even more significant change sees the old Integrated Body Frame (IBF) platform architecture left behind for a monocoque body shell. The suspension is aluminum as well, the result of these lightweight materials being a 480-kilogram (1,058-lb) reduction in curb weight from the outgoing model, for much improved driving dynamics and efficiency.
While this strict alloy diet should theoretically aid off-road capability, some naysayers point to the change from partial body-on-frame architecture to monocoque (a.k.a. unibody) as a negative when the pavement ends and trail begins, which makes it all the more important for Land Rover to highlight that its new Disco is every bit as capable off-road as its outgoing LR4. What better way to prove this point than to showcase a special off-road optimized version of the new SUV, that every diehard Land Rover 4×4 fan will want to call their own.
Meet the new Discovery SVX, just revealed at the Frankfurt motor show. It’s a “production preview” of what the British SUV brand is calling “the ultimate all-terrain Land Rover Discovery.” Just one look should have even the most jaded 4×4 purists wanting a turn at the wheel, plus news that behind its matte grey, black, silver and orange coloured front fascia is Land Rover’s 518 horsepower supercharged 5.0-litre V8.
“The SVX product line gives us a fantastic opportunity to deliver the ultimate Land Rover all-terrain capability in a dynamic and distinctive manner, creating a rugged and versatile SUV that the whole family will love: effortless, unstoppable and connected, whatever the terrain,” said Mark Stanton, Jaguar Land Rover SVO Director. “Discovery SVX is designed to reward off-road driving enthusiasts with the next level of all-terrain capability, without compromising comfort and practicality.”
The list of kit that makes it worthy of the brand’s “most extreme Land Rover yet” claim is extensive, including a raised monocoque and four-corner air suspension with long-travel dampers and modified knuckles for better approach, departure, and breakover angles, as well as heightened ground clearance for overcoming obstacles, while all of the above gets assisted further via bigger 20-inch forged aluminum alloys wrapped in meatier 815-mm diameter 275/55 Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain rubber. Land Rover points out that the tires’ higher sidewalls “reduce contact pressure and improve performance on soft surfaces,” which when “combined with a more aggressive tread pattern… improves grip in muddy conditions.”
Aiding both off-road performance and on-pavement stability is new Hydraulic Active Roll Control (H-ARC). This SVX-exclusive technology allows for increased wheel articulation when tackling aggressively uneven trail surfaces, plus reduced body-roll during fast-paced cornering.
An additional Land Rover first is the Discovery SVX’s specially tuned Terrain Response 2 four-wheel drive system, which, along with manually or automatically modulating throttle, brake, and torque distribution from a dial atop the centre console, includes active centre and electronic rear locking differentials for optimizing traction in all weather conditions and all types of surfaces.
Likewise, the model’s eight-speed automatic gearbox and twin-speed transfer case have been tweaked with “unique software calibrations,” says Land Rover, while variable ratio electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) joins the Discovery’s usual assortment of advanced driver assist systems, including Hill Descent Control, Electronic Traction Control (ETC), Adaptive Dynamics, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), and All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC).
Providing “optimum control of gear selection in off-road manoeuvres,” the current production Discovery’s Drive Select rotating gear selector has been replaced by a Pistol Shifter that looks as if it was pulled straight out of a Jaguar F-Type, other than the tiny orange cross-stitched “X” that’s applied overtop the leather shift knob’s regular French stitching and some minor changes to the lever’s backside design, this JLR parts bin-sourced item making perfect sense for an SUV that’s bound for production.
Yes, something very similar is on the way next year, with Land Rover confirming the “Discovery SVX will be the first Land Rover assembled by hand at the SVO Technical Centre when production begins in 2018.”
What might change ahead of production? True 4×4 aficionados would most likely rather have the fuel-friendly and therefore much more range-capable turbo-diesel in place of the hyper-tuned V8, the formidable powerplant’s 461 lb-ft of torque tempting yet more in tune with off-road racing than any serious, adventurous safari-like 4x4ing. In stock trim the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6 is good for 254 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and a still impressive 443 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 to 2,250 rpm, while fuel economy is rated at 11.2 L/100km in the city, 9.0 on the highway and 10.2 combined, which won’t only save weekend warriors a lot of coin on the way to their trails of choice, but get them much deeper into the wilderness per tank of fuel.
If you’re wondering where the SVX nomenclature hails from, JLR’s aforementioned SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) division is fully responsible. It also produces the highly acclaimed Range Rover Sport SVR and new Range Rover SVAutobiography (SVA), the former representing the ultimate in SUV performance, the latter being the ultimate in SUV luxury. SVX, of course, is for those wanting the ultimate in off-road capability.
As for styling, this SVX production preview certainly looks the part. The front and rear bumpers are unique, featuring protective skid plates and exposed Rush Orange-painted recovery eyes that Land Rover says can manage more than 6,000 tonnes (6,614 lbs) of SUV and gear, if the need to get unstuck via a two vehicle or winch arises (never do any serious 4x4ing without a handheld come-a-long). An electric winch is mounted within the rear bumper, its orange hook hanging from the left rear recovery eye in the photos.
Land Rover calls the matte-finish exterior paint Tectonic Grey, which is as much of a dark silver as a light grey. While attractive, this surface treatment also provides an anti-glare finish for the hood, helpful for reducing strain in the eyes when trying to keep a lookout for obstacles ahead. Additional unique details include a Narvik Black Dynamic grille, Narvik Black side vents with V8 badging, silver roof rails, and a roof-mounted light bar up front featuring two rows of LED driving lights for help in low-visibility situations.
Inside, the SVX gets a combination of Lunar and Light Oyster greys with more Rush Orange accents, the little “X” on the shift lever complemented by more X logos on the SVX-branded seats.
“SVO designers are embedded within the Land Rover team and have worked with our engineers to unleash their own passion for adventure to create another truly desirable and versatile vehicle in the Land Rover line-up,” said John Edwards, Special Vehicle Operations Managing Director.
Longtime Discovery fans will likely find the SVX’ orange highlights familiar, the colour previously used as the livery for G4 Challenge events, plus the race replica production models that soon followed. Land Rover’s Camel Trophy branded Discovery and Range Rover models wore more yellowish-orange paintwork, which will no doubt make a comeback at a later date when yellow comes back in popular favour. Now, the SVX’ grey and orange colour scheme is the height of fashion.
“The combination of design excellence and engineering integrity inherent in every Land Rover is the foundation of everything we do,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer. “The Discovery SVX reinforces Land Rover’s unrivalled reputation for building vehicles with true all-terrain capability for customers who desire the ultimate in off-road performance.”
If you like what you see, register your interest at https://www.landrover.ca/en/special-vehicle-operations/discovery-svx/index.html or talk to your local Land Rover dealer. Also, make sure to check out our photo gallery above, as well as two beautifully produced videos below, the shorter one dubbed “The Goat” just for fun, and the longer one named “The Journey” showing the new Discovery SVX in its element: