Wild cat

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Jaguar’s flagship sports car, the F-Type SVR.

 

Balanced proportions, direct steering, fabulous grip – all qualities that Jaguar’s flagship sports car the F-Type exudes. A lack of power, though? Well, that was never really a criticism. Still, it never hurts to have a little more, right?


Well, that’s what the group of people who make up Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division thought. Think of SVO as JLR’s answer to BMW’s M, Audi’s Quattro, and Merc’s AMG performance offshoots. They’re a passionate, patriotic bunch whose ultimate goal is to turn regular JLR products into performance monsters. And what they’ve done to the F-Type is, in a word, bonkers.


Tuning the supercharged 5.0l V8 has seen its output lift to 575hp and 700Nm, creating a car capable of topping out at 322kph; this is the fastest Jaguar since the classic XJ220 supercar of the 1990s. But what’s more remarkable is its ability to get to 100kph in just 3.7 seconds. That’s faster than a Ferrari F430.


About the only thing that spoils it is, in fact, the spoiler. Clearly it has a purpose – you don’t want the back end getting skittish at over 300kph – but its sharp lines mess up the beautiful back end of the F-Type, surely its biggest selling point.


Still, when there’s this much performance on offer, we’ll let that slide. Which is what you’ll be doing on demand, if you have one of these in your possession. Despite its all-paw drivetrain, it’s happy to hang the tail out when called for.


Its weight has been reduced by use of a titanium and Inconel exhaust, the interior features a new quilted stitching pattern on the SVR-exclusive seats, and even the paddles are now anodised aluminium.


For years, the F-Type has played second fiddle to the Porsche 911, but with the F-Type SVR, the tables have been turned. Yes, the big cat has become a lot more wild. It has claws, and it’s not afraid to use them.

 
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