Beauty Queen

Cars and Coffee is one of the biggest exotic car shows held in Sydney each year, yet I had never previously attended one. This year though the planets aligned and I had a press car worthy of a place at this exclusive pageant. For me the Jaguar F-TYPE SVR Coupe is almost the perfect sports car, with its classic curves combined with that supercharged V8 engine, it’s enough to make me go weak at the knees.

I fell hard for the SVR when I first drove it about 12 months ago and since then I have wanted to get behind the wheel again. There are very few changes between the MY19 model I had previously driven, compared to the MY20 Santorini Black beast that I had the pleasure to accompany to Cars and Coffee.  The SVR is in my dream ten car garage, that’s how much I love it and I think it was among the best looking cars presented at the event.

A young boy admiring the photo that he just taken of the SVR.

The star of the SVR show is that 5.0L supercharged V8 engine that produces 423kW at 6,500rpm and a back slamming 700Nm of torque. I love the instant thrust you get when you plant your foot on the accelerator, reaching 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds thanks to the all-wheel drive system that transfers all that power directly to the road via the 8-speed automatic gearbox. The SVR will go on to an eye watering top speed of 322km/h if you happen to have access to a runway. A word of warning though, there is no quiet start option on the SVR, so this may be annoying for your neighbours. The SVR sounds brutish and easily held its own in the rev battle at the beginning the convoy to the Cars and Coffee venue, a childish activity but one which made me smile a lot.

What I dearly wish that Jaguar would do is make the engine better looking, when you pop the hood you are greeted with a very boring silver engine cover and I think this would look great if you had a growling Jaguar head staring back at you instead. Previously when I drove the SVR I averaged 15.8L/100km, but this included some very pleasant drives along some of my favourite driving roads. This time I got a lot closer to the official figure (11.3L/100km), using just 12.8L/100km, which is very impressive for a V8 engine.

The metallic black exterior was paired with a Full Red Windsor Leather for a really lovely contrast in the F-TYPE I had. The SVR performance seats are really comfortable and have 12-way power adjustment with three memory positions for both the driver and passenger. My SVR had the optional ($1,150) heated and cooled functionality for the seats. As it’s summer here I only tried out the cooling which doesn’t work as well as I expected it to. The heated steering wheel is fitted as standard and would be appreciated in winter.  

The cabin looks and smells beautiful, but there really isn’t any notable storage space to speak of. A couple of cup holders, a door cubby only big enough for a sunglasses case and a very small storage cubby under the arm rest is all you get. You can put your handbag on the passenger side floor, but if you have someone in the car with you this impedes their legroom. The boot is shallow, but large enough for luggage needed for a weekend getaway and under the boot floor is an additional storage area.

The 8” touch pro infotainment system provides an easy to navigate platform for accessing sat nav, phone connectivity and media options. The SVR comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but DAB radio is a $640 option. Here you can configure the Engine, Steering, Gear Shift and Suspension between Comfort and Dynamic mode. These can then be saved so when you select Dynamic Drive mode, something you should do as soon as you hit the start button on the SVR, your selections will be in use. You also get a lap timer, G meter and a brake/throttle trace to monitor the performance of this pretty kitty. Even though you have all that power at your disposal the SVR is still a relaxing car to drive and you don’t have to be ‘up on your toes’ when you are just cruising along and even when you are pushing the SVR hard the AWD makes it feel pretty unflappable.

Driver assistance is limited to emergency brake assist, collision avoidance, lane keep assist and driver condition monitor. You get a standard rear view camera with 360o sensors and standard cruise control and the F-TYPE comes with front and side curtain airbags to prevent injury during a crash, but it does not have an ANCAP or Euro NCAP safety rating.

The week after I drove the SVR details were released of the refreshed F-TYPE line-up and much to my relief the supercharged V8 engine has been retained alongside the 221kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder and the 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines. Updates include a new 12.3-inch HD virtual instrument cluster, enhanced Meridian audio, Quickshift transmission that has been recalibrated to offer even faster, crisper gear changes using learning from the 200mph Jaguar XE SV Project 8. According to Jaguar the “F-TYPE evolves into a purer, more sculpted and assertive expression of the definitive Jaguar sports car.” It’s true, somehow Jaguar have made the F-TYPE even more gorgeous.

All new Jaguars are covered by a warranty lasting three-years/100,000kms. This includes 24/7 roadside assistance and all F-TYPEs come with a complimentary Service Plan for up to five years or 130,000km.

The Jaguar F-TYPE SVR Coupe starts at $297,242 and as tested my SVR was $329,012 plus on road costs. The most expensive option fitted was the carbon ceramic brake pack with 20” SVR forged diamond turned alloy wheels ($21,280). Items that were options that I believe should be fitted as standard on a car costing the best part pf $300k included powered tailgate ($1,160), two-zone climate control ($1,040) and tyre pressure monitoring system ($790).

This Beauty Queen has many attributes that are more than skin deep; it’s a very special car and if you are considering the purchase of a V8-powered Aston Martin or the Mercedes-AMG GT S then you should also consider visiting your preferred Jaguar retailer to test drive the SVR as well.

Pros Cons
Classic looking sports car Limited storage space in cabin
That supercharged V8 engine Some optional extras should be fitted as standard
Service costs covered for up to five years It’s very loud at start-up

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.