Outside of limited-run madness like Project 7 the F-type SVR Roadster is the most expensive production Jaguar currently on sale, and from a single glance you can tell the kitchen sink has been thrown in its direction.
As with the coupe the SVR treatment nets you a host of upgrades, including a lightweight titanium exhaust, uprated spring and dampers, more power, enhanced aero and, as is the way of such things, a series of consonants from the end of the alphabet. But it is that aero package that has the greatest effect on the SVR.
In standard form the F-type Roadster is almost certainly the prettiest Jaguar on sale, nodding deferentially to E-type yet happy in its own skin. But in SVR guise that subtlety is lost; its chin juts out more aggressively while the rear has to carry a wing that does nothing for its feminine grace, like abumbag worn on the rear. Ian Callum must be rotating in his Herman Miller chair.
Still, such appendages are chiefly in the interests of greater stability at speed, which is something the SVR has in abundance. The additional 25bhp released by the revised engine software might be hard to detect, probably because you’ll be too busy paying attention as all 567bhp is unleashed. The combination of large capacity and supercharging gives the SVR torque across the rev range, and a prolonged prod of the throttle delivers great lunges of acceleration, all accompanied by that borderline anti-social exhaust note. Kids love it, whatever their age. The carbon ceramic brakes are optional but entirely justified with this amount of wallop so easily available.
The SVR updates haven’t tinkered too greatly with the F-type’s sweet balance either. Getting the rear-biased four-wheel-drive set-up as standard allows you to push with a little more confidence, safe in the knowledge that when the inevitable happens it will shift torque to the front to help you out. The Roadster does sacrifice some stiffness – the coupe is 80% stififer – but unless you’re planning to break lap records the open-roof experience is worth the sacrifice. It can still do a passable impression of the traditional Jaguar waft too; you’re never in any doubt that it is firmly sprung but you won’t spend your time deftly swerving between potholes either.
Inside it’s a little less convincing. Upgrades include leather sports seats and suede on the dash (which helps to cut reflections) but it remains snug, with modest storage and the occasionally dozy infotainment system. The roof folds smartly though and even at high speeds hair tousling is well within acceptable levels as long as you’re using sufficient product, while the boot offers 207 litres albeit in an odd shape.
But the biggest problem with the SVR is little sister. Grabbing less attention but more naturally beautiful, the R AWD Convertible is £18,320 less than the SVR (£23,175 if you opt for two-wheel drive) and offers near-as-dammit the same performance. Hedonists will always seek the ultimate, but for the F-type you might be best taking one step back.
Jaguar F-Type SVR Roadster
Engine: 5000cc supercharged V8
Power: 567bhp @ 6500rpm
Torque: 516lb ft @ 3500rpm
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Top speed: 195mph
On sale: Now
Still great, just not the greatest