Is F-Type for Furious Type?
Who hasn’t dreamt of wearing a top hat and getting into the wildcat cage? Nobody! However, when it comes to training wild animals, we are still beginners. So to avoid being scratched, losing a hand or worse being bitten, we decided to start with cute little kittens. Indeed, last year I started with big kitties like Jaguar E-Pace and then its electric cousin the I-Pace. Meanwhile I courageously sent my little brother to train the beast: the Jaguar F-Type SVR (it gives me chills when I write it). At the end, he enjoyed this 575 HP experience on Quebec’s open road as his #FunToDrive Score proves (and didn’t lose any of his limbs while caressing the wild beast).
I must admit I was a little jealous. I was never afraid to train the beast (convex chest and large muscle). So when Jaguar invited me to take control of its famous F-Type on the Mortefontaine circuit I didn’t hesitate for a single second (and I crossed my fingers to make sure that the fiercest of them was there).
Jaguar F-Type : purring and love at first sight
Let’s avoid making the suspense last longer, when we got there, it’s not one but three Jaguars I discovered. The tall cats are lined up next to each other. In order of size we have: Jaguar F-Type 2.0 L R-Dynamic Roadster (deep blue wild kitty), Jaguar SVR Coupé ( white Jungle King) and Jaguar SVR Roadster (nasty red big cat).
At first glance, the Jaguar F-Type is absolutely beautiful. Largely inspired by its big sister the super famous Jaguar E-Type, it inherits its presence and elegance, which is rare, very very very rare in the modern cars production. In any case for version 2.0 L (and 3.0 L).
We feel that Ian Callum (who used to work with Henrik Fisker on the Aston Martins we all love, as DB7, first Vanquish and DB9) wanted to offer an elegant and sporty design in line with our time and Jaguar’s history. Elegance is reflected in the amazing sophistication of proportions. Sportiness is underlined by taut lines whose vanishing point is the air flow.
Even 6 years after its launch (2013), it’s still as impressive as ever and probably one of the most beautiful modern car. I already heard the haters, it’s not a 21st century E-Type, it’s a totaly new model (except AJ-V8 engine) in the pure tradition of the old one. I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I think the F-Type is a future classic.
Muscle and combat suit for the Jaguar F-Type SVR
The SVR version inherit the brand’s sporting past. Unlike the E-Type lightweight models, which had lost weight to improve efficiency, the Jaguar F-Type SVR is equipped with a big V8, all-wheel-drive, rocker panels, air intakes, a spoiler and a titanium exhaust system for a total weight of 1 650 kg (compared to 2.0 L 1545 kg and 3.0 L 1594 kg). Anyway, it’s still less than the F-Type R V8, probably due to the exhaust, and its 1665 kg.
At first glance, these body elements contrast with the pure line of the coupé. Side by side with a regular version, it feels really weird, a bit too much. We don’t see many (very few) F-Type SVR, it reinforces the surprise. After a few minutes, especially with a sober color, you get used to this bad boy style. Kind of like the basketball tiger on the corn flakes box from your childhood. First he looks suspicious, but then you see him every morning and finally you start to believe that all tigers used to play basketball and wear bandana.
Thank God, Jaguar kept it subtle and they fortunately haven’t sought out (like almost all other manufacturers) to the addition of extravagant rims for their most extrem car edition.
Have you ever noticed? Grille and front lights of the F-Type represent the snout of a Jaguar! Also on F-Pace and E-Pace. Even crazier, when you open the hood of a F-Type, the cut-out of the hood seen from the inside, has the shape of a Jaguar head! Check for yourself (if you can) or shine at the next cars and coffee by pointing it to a proud Jaguar owner (who for sure ignores it).
Playing with a little cat : Jaguar F-Type 2.0 L R-Dynamic Roadster
It all starts with the (small) 300 HP 4-cylinder version. For those who were planning to comment “uh, a Jaguar with a four-cylinder engine isn’t a Jaguar”, know that Jaguar was already producing good old 1.5 L pre-war 4-cylinder under the SS brand. So yes, I agree, Jaguar made its reputation with inline-6s after the war, but you can’t say that a 4-cylinder Jaguar isn’t a “real” Jaguar (even if the engine is from Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium engine family).
Regular mode activated, steering wheel turned, pedal to the metal and you go! We start with a very slight oversteer on the wet airfield. A good way to test the different propulsion modes and to see the effect of driving assistance.
Not surprisingly, the Dynamic mode gives us some nice but always controlled slides. Rear-wheel-drive powa! Indeed, the car is so safe and warns before oversteering.
Supervised by driving instructors, we couldn’t disconnect ESP, it will be for another time I promise (don’t tell Jaguar). Anyway, the sound of the 4 cylinders, although pleasant, doesn’t scream like a Jaguar but meows like a hungry kitten.
There’s nothing better than a few laps of the track to satisfy the tiny beast. The car feels light and lively but to be completely honest, you can feel it running out of breath at high RPM (around 5000 – 5500). Maybe 300 HP for 1525 kg is not enough. I mean, maybe it’s the car that’s a little heavy for the engine chosen. Basically, this F-Type plays the restraint card, “I’m here, I give you pleasure, but not too much. Does this frustrate you? That’s normal. I’m here to make you want to test a more sporty version. ».
In short, you can feel it agile and rather playful (thanks to a lightweight engine and good weight distribution), even if the track conditions are still a bit unusual for a small GT car.
Make the cat growl : Jaguar F-Type SVR
After having cavorted with the lion cub, we want to tickle the Jaguar King. Nothing could be easier, I grab my whip and press Start. Without knowing what’s going on I find myself stuck in the seat in a deafening roar (and from 0 to 100 in 3.7 sec of fanciness).
I just got a real slap in the face. Seems to be quite and sophisticated as a gentleman and can finally be rude and violent (in a good way) as a hooligan. Thanks to the perfect conditions of the CERAM airfield in Mortefontaine, it’s easy to skip a lot of adaptation period and handling steps to fully enjoy it without the risk of getting scared (and smashed). Yes, the SVR version of this Jaguar F-Type can be intimidating.
First the sound of the engine is raging and literally pierces you when the car is started. This titanium exhaust system is absolutely fantastic, you feel like the car is spitting fire. Then the little spoiler you can see all the time in the mirror is just furious. And finally the steering is very strong and precise with a quite GT feeling, and I enjoy it so much. In everyday life, it’s definitely real qualities (I suppose) and on a track too.
Indeed, even in Dynamic mode, it’s not hard like a supercar but it has pleasantly-firm suspension that adapts rather well to all circumstances such as drifting on water or driving on the track as if I had stolen it. Thanks to the stiffened rear axle and softened front axle specially designed for the SVR. In both cases, the car over-steers at will despite 4WD and it’s a real tires squealing and smoke festival: everything I’ve always dreamed of. I got the video to prove it.
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To be perfectly honest, it’s the weight, the greedy 5.0 L V8 and the 700 Nm torque that do the job very well. Please can I be onboard for all my life?
When do we purr together again?
Unfortunately no I can’t inside, UTAC CERAM is closing its doors. One last turn and I have to give back the keys of this smashing Jaguar F-Type SVR.
The two cars were so different. In short I got a charming, agile and playful house cat, and on the other side a wild, breathtaking and addictive predator. However, I think it was a crush … for the SVR.
And now, I’m no longuer jealous of my brother Franck, because I also tested the 2.0 L F-Type Roadster and I was able to drift like he never did!
… Stop lying, I’m always a little jealous because I would love to drive these F-Types in real life conditions too, like picking up kids at school, moving a couch and or going to the supermarket on a Saturday afternoon … I’m kidding, to do everything but this, and it’s gonna be just fantastic.