ENGINE 5000cc V8, DOHC, 32v, supercharged / POWER 423kW @ 6500rpm / TORQUE 700Nm @ 3500rpm / WEIGHT 1705kg / 0-100KM/H 3.7sec (claimed) / PRICE $289,305 ITH A claimed 322km/h top speed, you're looking at the official fastest Jaguar ever made – the kitty atop the food chain – the new F-Type Coupe SVR. And at last, we get to drive it in Australia.
This is more or less a hotted up F-Type Coupe R all-wheel drive, a car that really is quite hot enough already. Jaguar's SVO engineers have increased the ball-tearing 5.0-litre supercharged V8's outputs by 19kW and 20Nm, now 423kW and 700Nm.
Again, the all-wheel drive Coupe R is hardly a quiet car – let it idle in your garage a little too long late at night and you'll have cops knocking on your front door – yet Jaguar has made it even louder for the SVR, now bellowing its sinful V8 racket through a titanium exhaust.
Along with the exhaust and extensive use of aluminium in the W suspension, and lightweight wheels, the SVR weighs 25kg less than the Coupe R AWD. Option the carbon ceramic brakes and a carbonfibre roof for a total 50kg saving.
Then there's the styling. An active rear wing is the most obvious feature of a unique bodykit for the SVR, popping up automatically at 113km/h and programmed to work with an automatically adjusting front spoiler. Of course, there's a button in the interior to raise the spoiler for maximum effectiveness at standstill.
That's basically what this car is all about – you'll never see one of these with tinted windows. It attracts a silly amount of attention, particularly our test car in bright orange, just one shade in a suite of attention-seeking colours. We dare say quite a few of these cars will never get very far from the main drags of Australian capital cities. Which is a shame, as this is one kitty that wants to stretch its very long legs.
This is a comically fast car in a straight line, and the loud exhaust makes it feel fast. Put your foot down and the big, blown V8 responds instantly, sending its huge power through the quite evenly-split-feeling all-wheel drive system, which gives incredible traction. Its eight-speed automatic is one transmission that proves the torque converter's best days are still ahead of it, swapping up and down gears pretty swiftly and yet still giving that nice creep away from traffic lights – and lazy, relaxed changes at any other time.
The SVR is also silly loud. You wonder how it's legal. But it's a great sound: raucous, evil V8, all tailpipe.
You hear the SVR coming long before you see it. The V8 racket is such a big part of the SVR appeal, it would be a totally different car with a V6.
Comically fast acceleration; noise; ability
Never shrinks around you; a little OTT for us; value
The SVR has the chassis smarts to match its awesome grunt. In tighter corners it does feel quite bulky and never quite shrinks around you, its steering accurate but still some sort of disconnect between your brain and the front end, possibly as you sit so far back in the car. But this is a car that gets better the faster you go, the fantastic damping giving you confidence to keep your foot in it.
The SVR is an awesome gadget with a big, muscle-car personality. But it's really for people who talk too loudly and consider manual transmission mode actually Saturday Night Mode (with the active exhaust on, and rear spoiler deployed) for built-up areas.
Anybody not like this, and really keen on this car, would do well to bank $44K and snare the fantastic 'normal' (it's not normal, trust us) allwheel drive Coupe R. It's not quite as fast, or as loud, as the SVR, but it's 90 per cent an SVR, still ridiculously fast and ridiculously loud and designer Ian Callum's gorgeous F-Type Coupe rear end is uncorrupted by that wing.
Or be a big boy (or girl) and get the hilarious rear-drive 404kW Coupe R version to save $60K on an SVR. Blow it all on rear tyres. M