Jaguar introduced its newest halo car, the F-Type SVR coupe at the Geneva Auto Show last month. The high-performance model was developed by Jaguar’s SVR unit. The unit, which is also called the Special Vehicle Operations, focuses on designing super performing cars. However Jaguar is contemplating smaller units and even electric powertrains. That’s because the world seems to be turning its back on the V-8 in favor of fewer cylinders that still pack quite a wallop. Jaguar is following the likes of BMW in rethinking their engine.
However, under the hood of the F-Type coupe is a traditional 5.0 liter V-8 engine, with 575 horsepower. The car is 55 pounds lighter than the F-Type SVR and accelerates from 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds.The coupe’s suspension, transmission, power steering and handling were all overhauled for this effort.
The performance of the F-Type Coupe was showcased in New York when Jaguar got permission to use the Park Avenue Tunnel for an afternoon. This experiment was about the roar of the engine. Jaguar fitted the tunnel with sound-activated lights that glowed red in parts of the tunnel when the sound hit 5,000 rpms.
Jaguar said that on the F-Type, “we worked on the aerodynamics and paid a lot of attention to top speed and downforce on the suspension to get better handling and better steering.”
For those who want a lighter version, Jaguar is offering an optional carbon-fiber top, which drops another 110 pounds from the F-Type R. The front bumper has been moved outward, which smooths airflow over the front wheels of the car. The four-pipe exhaust is made from Inconel and titanium, giving the car a better thermal capacity. The four-pipes have twin rear silencers that reduce the back pressure in the car.
A spokesperson for Jaguar also confirmed there will be an F-Type SVR convertible with a top speed of 195 mph. The cars will be delivered beginning this summer. The coupe has a base price of $126,945 and the convertible starts at $129,795. The prices include shipping. Customers will be able to customize their SVR models with special paint and trim.
Jaguar made changes to the exterior body and the interior in order to give both versions of the F-Type a more athletic and aggressive look and feel. The purpose of the new styling is to turn the heads of people who would not normally consider a Jaguar. “It is important because from a pure business perspective there is an appetite for halo vehicles that push the boundaries,” said John Edwards, managing director of Special Vehicle Operations. “Piston-heads are very hard-core, and they would not have originally talked to us.”
Jaguar Land Rover hopes the SVR will essentially be its version of the Mercedes-Benz AMG and BMW M units. The Range Rover Sport SVR luxury model already went on sale in 2015.
At Geneva, Edwards said Jaguar will not limit production of the vehicles. Right now the company plans SVR models that will make up for up to 4 percent of F-Type sales. As for its current sales dynamic, Edwards reported that they have sold around 2,500 of the Range Rover Sport SVRs. The company also created the SVAutobiography version of the Range Rover. The company has moved about 750 units of the SVAutobiography in 2015. The base price on the SUV is $200,490. The Range Rover Sport’s price is $85,945. Both prices include shipping.
Although Jaguar Range Rover has big plans for the SVR division, it will not make SVR versions of every nameplate. In this respect Jaguar’s strategy differs from Mercedes-Benz. Jaguar’s director of SVR, Mark Stanton, director of SVR, has already suggested that the XE compact won’t make the cut.