2017 Jaguar F-TYPE SVR
The Jaguar F-TYPE really kicked off the recent Jaguar renaissance in style, but, it hasn’t been sitting idle since, as Jaguar has been consistently adding more and more performance into the mix. This F-TYPE SVR is just the latest. So we decided we’d better hurry up and enjoy it before Jaguar ups the ante even more.
The Jaguar F-TYPE, the best muscle car built outside of America, gets the Special Vehicle Operations treatment for 2017, creating the even more muscular F-TYPE SVR.
So, there’s a lot more here than just the typical sport package upgrade. Yes, more power, but also less weight; aero add-ons to increase downforce, and naturally a revised suspension to take advantage of all of the above.
Venturing onto Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway in this animal is like cuddling with a pit-bull; things are warm and fuzzy at first, but you never should let your guard down, as it has the potential to go really wrong really quick.
It also sounds truly beastly, one of the best automotive sounds to emerge in recent years; its popping and crackling seemingly echoing all around the track and deep within our souls.
And boy is it fast, though also somewhat sketchy; with an undeniable pucker factor, which makes it as fun as you’re willing to push it.
It’s incredibly responsive as well, whether you’re ready for it or not. This Coupe does feel more solid than the last F-TYPE Roadster we tested, and you can easily feel the extra grip and power provided by the SVR upgrades.
But as gnarly as it can get, it’s also very easy to catch when things start to get away from you, thanks to steering that is super light, direct, and predictable. Torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive aids as well. It may be a Jaguar, but it feels nothing like your typical Euro sport coupe.
Around the track, its true 8-speed automatic transmission didn’t hamper it a bit. Though as great as things sound outside, the cockpit remains mostly Jaguar solemn, keeping us from easily hearing our shift points.
The auto certainly helps with acceleration. Just start feeding in the power, and the Jag squats down and leaps off the line; hitting 60 in 3.3-seconds. It’s one of the easiest to launch big horsepower cars we’ve driven.
We kept the throttle open, letting the transmission shift when it pleased, and the ¼-mile was over in 11.6-seconds at 123 miles-per-hour.
And of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t get into what makes all of that happen. The F-TYPE’s supercharged 5.0-liter V8 is still here, but its managing software has been recalibrated; resulting in a 25–horsepower boost to 575. Torque climbs 14 to 516.
The SVR’s exterior does indeed look more aggressive than before, though it remains very elegant, a gentlemen racer if you will.
Those added aero treatments include a tweaked front fascia, diverters in the wheel arches to channel additional air out of the fender vents, and a big active rear wing.
Many of those performance extras are carbon-fiber; to help your SVR stand out from common F-TYPE affair. You’ll see it on the roof, front chin spoiler, hood, side vents, and rear diffuser.
And of course the F-TYPE’s pop-out door handles still exude cool. Oh, and that titanium exhaust that sounds so great, it also shaves 35-lbs. of weight.
Most notably, as great as this SVR feels on the track, it still feels even more fun in “relaxed and profile” mode. No harsh suspension here; you’ll enjoy every minute behind the wheel.
Jaguar has also left plenty of luxury touches inside for you and your lucky passengers to enjoy and be coddled by.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 23-Highway, and 18–Combined. So there’s a poor Energy Impact Score thanks to use of 18.3-barrels of oil yearly and CO2 emissions of 8.3–tons.
This is a big boy toy, so of course it comes with a big boy price, $126,945. If that’s too much, there are a whole host of lesser F-TYPES available starting at $62,395.
Not too many years ago, it looked like motorized Jaguars were indeed an endangered species. But thanks to Jag re-introducing cars like the F-TYPE back into the environment, their population is resurging. The F-TYPE has been a true work in progress since it arrived, and not in a bad way. Rather, in a way that keeps us enjoying every one we drive, like this 2017 F-TYPE SVR; yet also looking forward to what they’ll come up with next.
- Engine: 5.0 liter
- Horsepower: 575
- Torque: 516 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 3.3 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 11.6 seconds @ 123 mph
- EPA: 15 mpg city / 23 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 18.3 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 8.3 tons/yr
2024 Buick Envista
Buick Adds A Scenic Vista To Crossover Country
In case you missed it, Buick is now an all SUV brand. That’s right, no more new LeSabres or Regals prowling American streets. But with the new utility-minded mission also comes a new focus on style, and they’re about to shake things up in the small crossover segment with this all-new Envista.
If you’re like us, the first thing you notice about this all-new 2024 Buick Envista is that it’s gorgeous. While everyone else in the SUV world seems to be trying to out rugged one another, Buick creates their sleekest and best-looking SUV ever, then drops it right into the hot premium small crossover segment.
It’s low slung, has a long wheelbase, and a tall rear; but whatever you do, don’t call it a hatchback, even though there is no rear wiper. Minimal headlights are the most emphatic presentation yet of Buick’s “wing lighting”
Starting with base Preferred trim, you can than either go sporty with an ST, or premium with this Avenir, which gets a Black Ice chrome grille and Pearl Nickel 19-inch alloy wheels.
For now, this Envista is front-wheel-drive only, working with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
And producing the power, is a tiny 1.2-liter inline 3-cylinder turbo engine rated at just 137-horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque.
Despite the low numbers, it feels peppy off the line, and seems to be more than adequate when scooting around the urban environments that Buick claims the Envista was designed for.
The extra-long wheelbase allows for a good amount of space inside including for the rear seat occupants of the this 5-passenger utility, and lots of side glass helps to lend a spacious feel. We found front seats very comfortable.
The dashtop features an ultrawide display enclosure that is made up of separate screens, 11-inch for infotainment, and a very simple 8-inch driver display. The central touchscreen works well, and both screens are easy to read quickly.
Avenir luxury touches include unique stitching on the leather heated front seats, wireless phone charging, and a heated steering wheel, but a sporty-flair is present as well, with flat-bottom steering wheel and big traditional shifter.
Cargo capacity in back is 20.7 cubic-ft., expanding to 42.0 with the rear seatbacks folded. A power liftgate is standard with Avenir, but can be added relatively inexpensively to other trims.
Buick has applied their “Quiet Tuning” to the Chevrolet Trax chassis used here. It’s perhaps not quite as effective as in their larger utilities, but there was surprisingly little road and engine noise in the cabin.
Avenir also has an upgraded Watts link added to the simple torsion beam rear suspension; not necessarily to improve handling but for better road isolation enabling a smoother experience.
Though it seemed to hold up just fine in our handling course; but aggressive stability control did step in well-before we could really get a true sense of its limitations.
At a moderate pace with smooth inputs, there was very little understeer and a tolerable amount of body roll.
That peppiness we experienced on the street was present at the track too; but primarily just for getting you going. Once you got rolling and kept the throttle pinned, power delivery plateaued quickly and it was a lengthy 9.0-second trip to 60.
The thing that seemed to be in the biggest hurry here was the transmission trying to get into high gear as soon as possible; something you’ll appreciate more on your commute than at the dragstrip where it manifested itself with a 16.8-second ¼-mile at 81 miles-per-hour.
There was a bit of a disconnected feel in panic braking, as the Envista seemed a little slow to respond. Still, stable 120-foot stops from 60 miles-per-hour rates good.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 28-City, 32-Highway, and 30-Combined; but we averaged a great 32.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular in our driving loop.
That’s a better than average Energy Impact Score, using 9.9-barrels of oil yearly with CO2 emissions of 4.9-tons.
Pricing starts at $23,495, and reaches $29,695 for Avenir. Obviously sticking with base to mid-level will get you the best value, but the top Avenir makes the premium case just about as well as any rival, and makes for legitimate cross shopping with an awful lot of non-luxury brands. Though no all-wheel-drive will surely be a deal breaker in northern climes.
You may have noticed there’s no longer a circle around Buick’s tri-shield logo, and much like they’ve visually set the shields free, Buick has unleashed their designers to make a statement in the small crossover segment. All in all, we’d say the 2024 Buick Envista is a great effort, continuing the Buick tradition of making premium vehicles attainable. If this is what they can do with their entry-level model, we can’t wait to see what comes next. And it sure is good looking.
- Engine: 1.2-liter I-3 turbo
- Horsepower: 137
- 0-60 mph: 9.0 seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 120 feet
- MW Fuel Economy: 32.9 mpg (Regular)
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Torque: 162 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 16.8-seconds at 81 mph
- EPA: 28 City / 32 Highway / 30 Combined
2023 Chevrolet Colorado
Lifted Colorado Lifts The Midsize Truck Segment
Getting a rocky mountain high in Colorado doesn’t exactly mean the same thing that it used to. And in similar fashion, this high ridin’ Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss has gone in a much different direction than when the Colorado first hit the streets 20 years ago. So, climb aboard for a better view of this all-new 3rd-generation of Chevy’s midsize pickup.
Midsize pickup trucks are once again a big thing, and part of the reason is the effort that Chevrolet has been pouring into the segment recently. 2023 marks not only the start of a new generation of the Chevrolet Colorado but takes it to new levels of capability with 3 distinct off-road versions, each with their own chassis setups.
Our focus here is on the Trail Boss, which is making its way down from the Silverado for the first time. It’s really the middle ground when it comes to off-road focused Colorados with Z71 just below and ZR2 more extreme.
But it’s not off-road focused enough to hinder the great ride the Colorado has become known for, or keep the interior from being a place you want to spend extended time IN.
There are some oddities though; no physical light switch, you must go into the standard Google-enabled 11.3-inch central touchscreen if you want anything other than auto; and despite an overall high-tech feel, there’s no auto setting on the climate controls, and no proximity sensors for automatic unlocking of the doors from outside.
On the plus side for Colorado, rather than just applying different logos, there are 4 distinct interior themes, ranging from rugged to refined. This Trail Boss takes the basic approach, with durable gray plastics and cloth seats.
An 8-inch fully digital gauge display is standard in all Colorados.
No more V6 or diesel optionS, as all now come with the Silverado’s 2.7-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine, but there are actually 3 versions of it. Standard in the Trail Boss is this 310-horsepower unit with 390 lb-ft. of torque. The ZR2 ups the torque output to 430 lb-ft., while WT and LT Colorado’s get a lower output 237-horsepower version.
Max tow rating is 7,700-lbs., and all work with a revised 8-speed automatic transmission, with upgrades to smooth out upshifts, make downshifts quicker, with better low-speed response to aid in off-roading.
Styling influence of Silverado is well present, though there’s just one 131.4-inch wheelbase available now, as all Colorados are Crew Cab only with a 5-foot bed.
Overhangs are shortened in front and the spare tire mounted higher in back to improve approach and departure angles. Trail Boss takes it a step farther getting chunky looking fender arches over 18-inch wheels with 32-inch all-terrain tires, a limited-slip rear differential, a 2-inch suspension lift, and a 3-inch wider stance. ZR2s add another inch of lift on top of that.
Up to 5 drive modes are available, the majority of which are off-road specific.
Chevrolet has also tried to make the short bed more functional with 8-tie downs, and bike tire grooves built into the front of the bed; plus, a measuring area, tailgate storage, and the ability to keep the gate in a mid-position to support longer items.
At our Mason Dixon test track, smooth and steady was the order of the day, with a gentle launch off the line and A steady ramble and 7.0-seconds to 60 miles per hour.
It never felt like it was struggling to build speed, but it didn’t really overwhelm going down the track either.
Gear changes were as advertised, smooth and quite quick with just a slight drop off in power. Our best ¼-mile time was a 15.5 at 90 miles-per-hour.
Lifted suspensions and off-road tires usually don’t play well in a handling course, lending a soft feel and slow response to inputs; and that was mostly the case here. Still, it was drama free.
In braking runs, that softness allowed a good amount of nosedive, and you could sense the ABS working hard; but stops were straight and true, averaging 120-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 17-City, 21-Highway, and 19-Combined; we averaged a fine 20.2 miles-per-gallon.
That’s just slightly below average for the Energy Impact Score; 15.7-barrels of oil consumed yearly, with 7.7-tons of CO2 emissions.
If you want to stick with rear-wheel-drive, you’ll have to get WT or LT trim, which starts with WT at $30,695 and 4-wheel-drive a $3,300 option. 4WD is standard on Trail Boss and above, with Trail Boss starting at $38,495.
Another reason for the growing popularity of midsize pickups is that full-size trucks have become so big and expensive. Chevrolet is clearly looking to capitalize on that with big truck style, and heaps of performance for the off-road crowd with the mid-size 2023 Chevrolet Colorado. And, it looks like it will indeed be riding high in its segment for some time to come.
- Engine: 2.7-liter turbo 4
- Horsepower: 310
- 0-60 mph: 7.0-seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 120 feet
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 390 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.5 seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 17 City | 21 Highway | 19 Combined