Monterey Car Week afforded us the opportunity to meet the Jaguar F-TYPE SVR cabriolet, which we drove from Santa Barbara to the Monterey Peninsula. Driving a convertible in California proved to be a true pleasure that was only amplified by the SVR’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 generating 575 horsepower.
3.7 seconds: that’s the 0-100 km/h time of an F-TYPE SVR. This remarkable feat is made possible by the fact that the engine features the same calibrations as the F-TYPE Project 7 and it develops 25 more horsepower than the F-TYPE R. Power is transmitted to the blacktop by way of an eight-speed automatic gearbox paired with an all-wheel drivetrain that helps this sports car launch with extraordinary composure. The initial actuation is optimal. It’s hard not to really love this drivetrain’s panache, as it allows the F-TYPE SVR cabriolet to literally leap from one turn to the next on a winding road.
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Sound and action
It is a Jaguar after all, so the convertible F-TYPE SVR exudes unbridled enthusiasm. This is thanks to the titanium exhaust system that shaves 16 kilos off the car and emits a more confident sound—one with two settings—than the other versions in the lineup. In Dynamic mode, the rumble is unusually ferocious, with bonus detonations and crackling when downshifting. For the sheer spectacle, it’s tough to beat. Considering the asking price, however, it’s too bad that is has only 25 more horsepower than the F-TYPE R.
The SVR cabriolet is built on a very rigid platform. Unfortunately, body movements aren’t sufficiently controlled in dynamic driving situations and the stiff suspension doesn’t adapt well to bumps and other uneven road sections when you take corners. It earns high marks for fast and precise steering, but we would have liked more complete control with regard to handling.
Looks to kill
With wide front air intakes and ridges on the sides of the shield as well as openings in the hood for cooling, exaggerated fenders that house the 20-inch alloy rims, and an adjustable spoiler and rear diffuser, the SVR cabriolet is a showstopper. The sport seats, with beautiful stitching and the SVR logo on the headrests, offer very good lateral support without sacrificing comfort.
The soft top deploys and retracts in about 15 seconds, but the trunk pays the price when the top is down, as the roof encroaches on its already limited volume. Our 2017 Jaguar F-TYPE SVR turned a lot of heads on the Monterey Peninsula, garnering as many admiring glances as all the exotic cars that peppered the landscape during Monterey Car Week.
With a starting price of CAD$145,000, the convertible F-TYPE SVR costs $23,500 more than the convertible F-TYPE R, which is a very steep price to pay for a mere 25 additional horsepower. Yes, the SVR convertible has stunning good looks and a sound that is evocative and then some, but we expected a bit more punch from the engine and more mastery from the suspension.