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2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR convertible: Road-tripping in a 575-hp Brit missile

  • 30.03.2017

 Pick your flavor of Jaguar F-Type convertible: All but a diesel version is on the menu at this point -- and the seventh and latest trim level of the ragtop Jaguar is built in secret to control all others. One F-Type to rule them all. Ruling is hard work, but the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 under that forward-tilting hood does the job with 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The SVR model pairs the power with an eight-speed QuickShift automatic transmission that sends thrust to all four wheels. Drivers can shift via paddles or the familiar up/down gearshift motions, with Jaguar promising 0-60 sprints of just 3.5 seconds. A manual transmission would have made the car slower, but a more plausible explanation for its absence is that it's just not that kind of car despite the raw power. Top speed is 195 mph, so drivers of the SVR are better off keeping both hands on the steering wheel -- sound advice for a car that, on paper, eclipses the Ferrari F40 in almost every performance metric. Yes, it has come to this: A convertible Jag with an automatic and SiriusXM tuned to the Yacht Rock station can more than hold its own against the demigods of not just yesteryear, but almost yesterday. And it can do so while returning a combined 18 mpg, at least when not driven in anger (we drove it in anger). Of course, the SVR's engine is only half the formula. As with the F-Type SVR coupe, Jaguar beefed up the suspension with redesigned dampers and antiroll bars while adding revised front and rear fascias that are friendly to airflow at speeds approaching 200 mph. This includes a carbon-fiber active rear spoiler that deploys above 70 mph, as well as a flat underfloor and a rear diffuser. The convertible rides on 20-inch wheels wearing Pirelli P Zero tires, which partially obscure the massive brakes: The SVR wears front and rear discs nearly 15 inches in diameter, but those who require even greater stopping power can check the box for the optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix brake system.