Kyalami is without a doubt Africa’s best racetrack. Dieter Losskarn was lucky enough to be joined by some wild cats there.
The ‘R’ brand adorns the flagship performance models in the Jaguar range. And R-S adds even more power and sound. ‘SVR’ is for Jaguar-Land Rover what ‘AMG’ is for Mercedes and ‘M’ for BMW. So Jaguar had the brilliant idea of inviting me to a personalized track day at Kyalami. Not only was I chauffeured by the amazing Michele, who turned out to be as big a petrol head as myself. But she picked me up in a Range Rover SVR. And what awaited me at this fantastic race track was pure motoring heaven.
A dream line-up in the pit lane, consisting of XE R-sport, XF R-sport, F-Type R AWD, F-Pace R-sport, XJ R LWB Sport and the main attraction, a new orange Jaguar F-Type SVR, the top performance model in the Jaguar range. The first ever production Jaguar from Special Vehicle Operators (SVO). While the ‘basic’ F-Type with its 3.0-l. V6 and 280kW is not what you would describe as a weak car, Jaguar produced an R-version as well, with a 5.0-l. V8 and 405kW. Still, enough is never enough. The reason for releasing the SVR extreme wild cat with 423kW. Project 7, a no-compromise F-Type convertible with only rudimentary textile remnants over your head and limited to an edition of 250 units worldwide was introduced at the beginning of 2016. The same V8 is now firing up the (unlimited) SVR.
So far Jaguar-Land Rover only produced above-mentioned Range Rover in a SVR version. The Jaguar SVR is the fastest production car in the company’s history since the super-sports car XJ220 from 1992, which was limited to 275 units. And it is the first wild cat since, that cracks the magical 200mph (320km/h) mark.
With a top speed of 322km/h it even beats a Porsche 911 Turbo. But it can not only do high speed. The complete driving dynamics improved considerably. I am thundering around the track, encouraged by my relaxed personal instructor to add even more speed in the corners. The only time he actually urged me to brake harder was in the XJ long-wheel base limousine. Despite the weight, this car moves so fast and you don’t realize it at all. Inside the air conditioned cockpit what feels like comfortable cruising speeds is actually surprisingly fast. Luckily with the other models the sound symphonies accompanying the ride are giving you a better indication of speeds.
I keep the range-topping F-Type SVR for last. It is lighter than its sister models. The titanium exhaust alone saved 16kg. The most exhilarating part of the ride is the incredible sound. An infernal screaming. Roaring off the start line you immediately realize that this is not merely a car. It’s a seismic event. Unleashing the re-sharpened cat raises a phonetic storm. The SVR splurges with lascivious virility. It growls first, then bellows, followed by a primal roar. Easing off the accelerator and during gear shifting the artificial backfire sounds like cannon beats. Causing old school gentlemen Jaguar drivers to take to their heels, choked and embarrassed.
A switch in the middle console opens the active valves in the silencer. Don’t push it close to hospitals or old age homes, but everywhere else it’s a wellness treatment to the ears of car nuts. Apart from the wild side, this cat can be relatively tame as well. It actually turns into a great cruiser in comfort mode. A perfect day-to-day ride, with enough comfort to not have to book regular back adjustment sessions with your chiropractor.
Obviously the SVR can only reveal its entire potential on a racetrack, where it guarantees constant adrenaline highs. The precise steering and enormous power makes it a perfect track car. It concentrates the all-wheel drive to the rear, torque-vectoring puts power to the outside wheel and the adaptive chassis does the rest.
So let’s summarize. The F-Type SVR is demonstrative unreason with ostentation. It is cheeky and strong-voiced, with the most Nurburgring laps under the fat tyres in the model-line up. Unreasonable like a pubescent youngster, but also at the same time stormy and strong. The young wild one among super-sports cars. A wild cat with sharpened claws. Thanks Jaguar, I had an absolutely clawsome day.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
Engine 5.0-l. V8, paired with an 8-speed auto
Power 423kW and 700Nm
Top Speed 322 km/h
0-100km/h 3.7 seconds
Price R2 134 100