Jaguar F-Type 5.0 Supercharged V8 SVR 2dr Auto AWD
Doesn’t feel like a 10-year-old car, that’s for sure. We did worry that the arrival of the V8-powered P450, replacing both V6-powered P340 and P380 versions of old, would change the F-Type’s character for the worse. Especially given the latter was the absolute sweet spot of the range, with way more personality than the company-car-special four-cylinder, and little of the unhinged madness of the larger V8.
In short, it absolutely nailed it. It feels nowhere near the 123bhp deficit on the F-Type R above it, makes nearly as much naughty V8 noise on full throttle, but is still civilised at low speed and on start-up. You can thank a neighbour-friendly ‘quiet mode’ on the exhaust for that.
It drives in a courteous manner, too. Back in 2013, the F-Type arrived from a cloud of tyre smoke, feeling madly exciting but a little TVR-ish when the weather was bad or you turned your attention for a second on a twisty road. Incremental improvements from JLR’s annual model year updates tidied things up a bit, with a few chassis tweaks arriving in 2020 too. We ended up with a car that isn’t night-and-day different to those before it, just classier. Better.
We’d advise sticking to the standard RWD on the P450 V8 and saving both money and weight. AWD is no longer needed to keep things in check. Mind, it does make the more powerful F-Type R uncommonly neat to drive for a car so powerful, with its mischievous side only revealed at the driver’s behest.
A halfway house stability control mode gives you more than enough high jinks on the road and this remains a car of huge heart and humour. Just one that’s almost £30k more than the very-nearly-as-good P450.
It’s actually the neatest and lightest F-Type to drive, in objective terms, but even though its 2.0-litre engine is refined and pretty strong, it simply can’t live up to its surrounding cast members. You can drive the entry-level F-Type with the commitment of a hardcore hot hatch, but it’s never a truly dazzling sports car. A fine option if you love the looks and its friendlier CO2 figure allows it to slot into your life in a way that quicker, pricier Fs won’t, however.
Problems are few, but given the most recent update was a heavy facelift rather than a brand new car, the F-Type’s mass and girth still continue to rankle when the vast majority of its rivals are lighter and narrower. Porsche 911s are big these days, but will still slink through traffic and up narrow lanes with less fuss than the Jag.
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