Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
4 minute read
12 Aug 2015
5:00 pm

Jaguar F-Type R and Range Rover Sport put to the test

Mark Jones

Most of you will have seen the 2005 movie Mr and Mrs Smith, in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a hardcore husband and wife who spend a lot of time trying to kill each other.

Range Rover Sport SVR 2. Picture: Supplied

Well, this story is nothing like that. This is about keeping up with the Joneses. Mr and Mrs Jones are a couple who own the fastest duo of standard off the showroom floor vehicles in the country and not only are they fast, they mostly like each other too. The only fight in their house is when he wants to use her car and she wants to use his car.

Mr Jones decided to spoil himself and is the proud owner a Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD, which is in South Africa’s best selling sports car model range. The styling changes on the AWD are subtle and the aluminium clamshell bonnet gains a deeper central power bulge. On either side are distinctive new vents positioned further apart and further forward than those of rear-wheel drive F-Type models.

This is basically all there is to give the game away, unless of course you are eagle-eyed enough to notice the small AWD badge on the rear as the car blasts away from you. It’s behind the wheel where you will notice the benefit AWD adds to performance, handling and road holding in all conditions. The AWD system features Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD), a control system designed and developed in-house to exploit the maximum benefits of AWD without any compromise to Jaguar dynamics DNA.

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD-2. Picture: Supplied.

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD-2. Picture: Supplied.

IDD is networked to the powertrain, rear differential and centre coupling and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system to provide optimum torque distribution – and it works. Operating on the torque-on-demand principle, the AWD system sends 100% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions; but if the system determines the rear wheels are approaching the limit of available grip the electronically-controlled centre coupling transfers torque to the front axle, thus improving traction.

All this helps put down the 405kW of power and 680Nm of torque from the grumpy sounding 5.0 litre V8 supercharged powerplant in a fuss-free manner. And this benefit was certainly supported by the test data that came in at a wheelspin free 0-100km/h time of 4.14 seconds, while crossing the quarter mile in 12.24 seconds and the hitting the 1km mark at a heady 246.88km/h and only stopping at an electronically limited 307.27km/h top speed.

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD-2. Picture: Supplied.

Jaguar F-Type R Coupe AWD-2. Picture: Supplied.

The addition of AWD to the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe has added a degree of calm to the car that now will allow owners to enjoy more of their vehicle without thinking the car is trying to kill them each time they floor the accelerator. And that is why Mrs Jones is always so keen to steal the Jag, because she has the confidence to actually enjoy everything it offers now. But make no mistake: she is no slouch behind the wheel either and her daily drive is the slightly more family friendly, but equally as fast, Range Rover Sport SVR that’s billed as the world’s fastest SUV.

The heart of her machine is the same 5.0 litre V8 supercharged powerplant from hubby’s F-Type and it also produces 405kW and 680Nm. The 0-100km/h time here is 5.29 seconds, the quarter mile time 13.42 seconds, the 1km speed 221.99km/h and the top speed is also electronically stopped, but at 268.73km/h this time. Times that make this the fastest SUV we have ever tested at The Citizen.

And the Range Rover Sport SVR is not only the fastest in a straight line, it has also been engineered to deliver the incredible breadth of capability for which Land Rover is famous. The SVR is fitted with permanent four-wheel drive and a two-speed transfer case, with a low-range option for demanding terrain, and a 50/50% torque split front-to-rear.

Optimum traction is maintained with the aid of an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the centre differential, which distributes torque between the front and rear axles – up to 100% can be channelled to either axle in extreme conditions for improved grip and steering and reduced understeer, and this made the SVR the fastest SUV around the Nuburgring’s infamous Nordschleife in a time of just 8 minutes 14 seconds, a staggeringly fast time for a production SUV.

Range Rover Sport SVR 2. Picture: Supplied

Range Rover Sport SVR 2. Picture: Supplied

The Sport SVR has been exclusively styled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and makes an even stronger visual statement than the Jaguar in the garage, courtesy of a wide range of enhancements. And this is just one of the many reasons why Mr Jones has no problem running around to collect the kids and stuff when Mrs Jones is at the spa. The Range Rover Sport SVR has the show to back up the go in no uncertain terms.

No matter which way you look at it, the duo of vehicles in the Jones’ garage are not only the fastest, they also offer premium finishes, style and space to match any executive lifestyle.