Bad Kitty

Have you ever seen the movie Bad Moms? To summarise it for you a group of mums break with social convention, run amok and remember what it’s like to have fun. Let’s face it we’ve all felt like doing this every once in the while. My bad mum fantasy involves a long drive in a sports car by myself and when I collected the Jaguar F-TYPE SVR that’s exactly what I did!

For me a sports car needs to treat all of my senses to a good time and the SVR did this aplenty. Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch are all covered here with this kitty cat.

It’s said that we fall in love first with our eyes and it certainly was the case when I saw the F-TYPE SVR. Its long bonnet, low roof line and a short, but broad back end is exactly what a sports car should look like. The wheels are 20” in diameter and they need to be that big to contain the 398mm front and 380mm rear carbon ceramic brakes with yellow calipers ($20,860 option). But when a car is this fast you need good stopping power and these brakes do just the trick.

If you have read my previous car reviews you will know my appreciation of carbon fibre runs deep. To my great pleasure the SVR I spent a week with was fitted with the exterior carbon fibre SVR pack ($8,810 option) and the carbon fibre roof ($5,150 option). I particularly liked how the Jaguar badge on the boot reflected off the bottom of the carbon fibre rear wing.

Then there is the sound of the SVR with its 5 litre V8 supercharged engine that produces 423kW and 700Nm of torque; it’s very loud. If you have neighbours you don’t like make sure you always leave the exhaust open and you’re guaranteed not to just wake them up, but the whole suburb as well. There’s no need for any artificial piping of engine noise into the cabin of the SVR, I simply adjusted the volume with my right foot all the way to the red line. Then as I lifted off the accelerator I was treated to a pop and crackle that made my smile even wider.

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Inside the cabin feels large and you’re not cramped in with your passenger, if you do decide to take someone in the SVR with you. But there are not many storage cubbies for your things, only some shallow pockets in the doors and centre console and you will find that you will store your phone in the drink holder area. Under the arm rest there are two USB ports, one HDMI port, one SIM card slot and one 12V power outlet.

There are five ambient lighting colours to choose from unless you are in Dynamic Mode when the ambient lighting can only be red to match your aggressive driving in this mode. In Dynamic Mode you can adjust the engine, steering, gear shift and suspension between ‘normal’ and ‘dynamic’. But I spent most of my time in full Dynamic Mode and although the ride is firm, it’s not back breaking. Plus in Dynamic Mode you can access the lap timer and G meter functions. After I spent a full day driving in the SVR I did not feel worse for wear, just reinvigorated.

The smell of the leather is a testament to the quality of the materials used in the SVR, the more expensive the car the more intense the leather smell is. The SVR’s performance seats with quilted leather cosseted me in the car and with their 12-way electric adjustability I was able to find the perfect driving position low down so that I felt at one with the car. My SVR was fitted with the full premium leather interior pack ($2,060 option) and the Climate Pack ($1,450 option), which includes two zone climate control, heated windscreen, heated and cooled seats and a heated steering wheel.

The other smell I loved about the SVR was once it was parked up in the garage and I stepped out of the car there was unmistakable aroma of a car that has been driven hard.

How does the SVR taste? You probably think I’m going to talk about licking the steering wheel Jeremy Clarkson style. No, the taste I’m talking about is that of my anticipation as I motored towards my favourite driving road. It intensified as I schlepped through the Sydney traffic and along the highway. Then as I drew nearer my hands got clammy and my mouth went dry and then I saw it in the distance that hallowed bitumen. I knew what to expect and the SVR did not disappoint me one bit.

The all-wheel drive system really is astonishing, it shouldn’t be able to handle that 567hp, it should lose traction, but it doesn’t. Dip it into a tight hair pin bend, give it full noise and launch up the road. Brake for the next bend and do it again and again and again. I don’t think this feeling could ever get old, did I mention my smile? Even now as I recount my time in the SVR it’s just as big. The experience was heightened by the touch of the leather as I gripped the steering wheel and changed gears in the 8-speed automatic gearbox with the aluminium gearshift paddles.

Another sensation I enjoyed was on cold start in the SVR there was a gentle vibration from the engine that resonated through the whole car as I reversed it out of the garage, as if reminding me what was about to come.

The way the SVR made me feel emotionally every time I drove it is best described as that of a giddy teenager experiencing this type of power from a car for the first time again. I challenge anybody to go and test drive an F-TYPE SVR and not come back to the dealership smiling. Of course you may stop smiling just a bit when you realise how often you will need to visit the service station to fill up for petrol.  The official fuel consumption is 11.3L/100km, but for my week with the SVR it was 15.8L/100km, which is not as bad as I thought it would be.

Diverging away to the practical aspects of the F-TYPE SVR for just a moment; it has a large shallow boot that is big enough to accommodate the weekly grocery shopping. And one quirky feature that I had never seen on a car before was a lever inside the boot for opening it and the image on the lever was indicating if you ever get trapped in your boot you can open it with the lever to escape.

I think the F-TYPE SVR should come with a nicer key fob because if you are buying a premium Jaguar you should get a key that represents this like when you buy a Mercedes-AMG for example. The Jaguar F-TYPE SVR starts at $290,800 and as tested my SVR cost $349,405 plus on road costs.

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I love sports cars and I’m happiest driving them hard so I knew I would like the F-TYPE SVR, but I didn’t realise how much this one got under my skin until I was sitting down at breakfast on the last day I had it for and thought “today I would have to hand it back to Jaguar”. I felt sad, it had only been a week, but I already bonded with the SVR.

The Jaguar F-TYPE SVR is one bad kitty that satisfied all of my senses; it may drink like a fish, but it goes like a bat out of hell and sounds like the Jaguar badge looks, fierce! And best of all the SVR let me live out my very own bad mum experience.

Visit your preferred Jaguar dealer to test drive one for yourself.

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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