Muskoka, September 25, 2017 – We had the honour of joining Invictus Games 2017 sponsor Jaguar Land Rover on a media drive, which featured the new 2018 Jaguar F-TYPE 400 Sport Special Edition and the 2018 Jaguar F-TYPE SVR. The media drive took place about two hours north of Toronto in one of Canada’s top vacation spots – Muskoka.
After a quick breakfast and briefing last Friday at Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel, we were shuttled off to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport where we caught a floatplane to Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka. The 45-minute flight is probably the best way to travel to Muskoka, given a two-hour drive can quickly turn into a four-hour nightmare in weekend traffic. Just bring earplugs and a Gravol® with you.
After landing on Peninsula Lake, it was straight off the dock and into the 2018 Jaguar F-TYPE 400 Sport Coupe Special Edition ($89,500 RWD / $92,500 AWD*). Our first leg would be a one-hour drive from Deerhurst to the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa. The route was scenic and full of beautiful winding roads. Our Indus Silver F-TYPE 400 Sport was unique inside and out. Available for the 2018 model year only, this is an exclusive combination of style and performance features setting it apart from other F-TYPEs. For starters, the beefed up supercharged 400hp version of the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 (0-60mph in 4.8s) is only available in this special edition model.
The styling also screams special edition with yellow “400 SPORT” accents throughout – even on the brake callipers. The overall sport design pack definitely gives it a stealth-like quality. Dark satin grey five-spoke alloy wheels along with the branded front splitter are the most impressive exterior design features unique to the 400. The interior is as stylish as it is comfortable. Figure-hugging performance seats are embroidered and contrast stitched for a signature look. Very hard not to fall in love with this car on the looks alone.
Pushing the 400 Sport around Muskoka’s tight winding roads proved a sturdy, yet comfortable ride. The car really hugged those corners well and breaking was superb care of those oversized performance breaks.
After a quick driver change to get us from the JW Marriott to Gravenhurst, we stopped at the Dock of The Bay Steak & Seafood Grille for a late lunch overlooking the lake. Great seafood and what a view. Finally, it was time to become acquainted with what quickly became my favourite Jaguar – the 2018 Jaguar F-TYPE SVR ($121,900 / $125,000*). The glacial white beauty may look angelic, but under that hood is a rumbling twin supercharged 575hp 5.0L V8 (0-60mph in 3.5s) monster that can reach Formula One racing speeds maxing out at 200mph (322km/hr). Manufactured by Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, the SVR is the ultimate expression of Jaguar: stunning performance, exceptional luxury and cutting-edge technology. It’s the most powerful F-TYPE ever and boy do you feel it.
Rocketing our way from Gravenhurst to downtown Toronto, the feel was lighter and faster, with reconfigured aerodynamics boosting grip and Jaguar’s All Wheel Drive technology ensuring maximum traction at all times. Not only is the SVR powerful, a lot of the weight has been shaved off which naturally affects performance. Its lightweight Titanium and Inconel® exhaust system saves significant weight, while the striking 20‑inch forged alloy wheels provide a 13.6kg weight reduction over standard F‑TYPE wheels. Each redesigned rear suspension knuckle is lighter than conventional knuckles and the optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix Braking system saves 20.8kg of unsprung weight over the standard F‑TYPE. Every kilogram saved is put towards more rapid acceleration, more agile handling, and sharper braking.
Dual twin exhausts, the SVR badge, 20″ wheels, rear venturi and those intimidating hood air intakes are the most notable exterior design upgrades. The interior does seem more luxurious with the leather quilted performance seats taking centre stage.
All-in-all an excellent Canadian adventure in two remarkable British engineering works of art. Jaguar’s FTYPEs are unmistakably some of the best and exciting new sports cars for 2018.
Photos: Spiro Mandylor, spiro.ca