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017 Jaguar F-Type SVR First Drive

On Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Jaguar’s F-Type SVR has a special new exhaust. I drove the car in Monterey, California, where there’s this tunnel right in the middle of town. You see where I’m going with this.

2017 Jaguar F

The pipes attached to the “normal” F-Type R’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 is a flatulent riot, one of the most flamboyant wind sections in modern exhaust-dom. And then Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations, the group of madmen responsible for the Project 7, comes along and rips it all out for the SVR. The room is needed for a rear diffuser, see. So a new system is fabbed using two fancy lightweight alloys, Inconel and titanium. A pair of mufflers sprout where one used to be. More. Better. Louder. Yes, all of that.

Geez it’s loud. And there’s this tunnel, remember. Enter it and lift from the throttle, and it sounds as though there are some kids stowed away in the trunk tossing handfuls of M-80s out the back. “Big report” is what it’d say on the box if the F-Type SVR were a firework. It’s dramatic, perhaps excessive. Scratch that – it’s definitely excessive.

This F-Type is only the second full-production effort from Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO, the first being the Range Rover Sport SVR, and so it’s also the first Jaguar SVR ever. Whereas that Range Rover combines quickness with surprising cross-country abilities, the F-Type SVR has a singular mission: Go faster. And so, with a tweak of the electronic limiter and some other fiddling, voila!, suddenly the coupe can reach a top speed of 200 mph. The convertible is not far behind at 195.

An F-Type SVR coupe starts at $130,900. Look around at what you can get for that sort of money – in Monterey, during Pebble Beach weekend, you can’t swing a fancy umbrella without hitting something comparable – and things become a little fuzzy. The Mercedes-AMG GT S rings in at about the same price and seems considerably more special, albeit with a horsepower deficiency. There are a bunch of flavors of Porsche 911 right in this neighborhood, too. At three years old, it’s not like the undeniably pretty F-Type is long in the tooth, but this is a tough crowd – particularly when, as with the E-Type of old, part of the F-Type’s sales pitch is world-class looks at a real-world price. A base coupe with the supercharged 3.0-liter V6 is $62,350, and even the V8 R model is $30,00 less than the SVR.

Think about the F-Type SVR without the competitive set in mind for a second. For Jaguar, this car simply makes sense. Some buyers always want the most special version of a special car. The SVR starts at double the price of a V6 rear-drive F-Type, so mark that down in the specialness column. It looks different enough to seem special to the uninitiated and really special to those in the know. If the looks don’t do it, just stand near a tunnel when the SVR is spitting and crackling like a wet log.

It’s also fast, breathtakingly so – the fastest and most powerful full-production road car the company has ever made. And if you love Jaguars, that makes this the top cat and a definite future collectable. Maybe one day, the booming snaps heard ’round Monterey will come from a well-preserved F-Type SVR heading to the concours lawn for judging.

Posted in Auto Reviews

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