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    The most beautiful roads in Wales were the perfect environment to test drive the five‑strong all‑wheel‑drive range - XJ, XF, F‑TYPE, XE and F‑PACE

    • Wales is a driver’s paradise. Traffic is sparse in Snowdonia National Park, the scenery stunning and the roads rival the best in the world. Combine their challenging twists with unpredictable weather and you’ve got perfect terrain to put all-wheel-drive (AWD) through its paces.

      Every Jaguar now offers AWD standard or as an option – the XE, XF, XJ, F-PACE and F-TYPE models covering everything from efficient 2.0 diesels to high-performance sports cars.

      All-wheel drive not only feels sure-footed in varying conditions; it gives you more confidence whatever the weather.

      The XJ was first in the current line-up to offer AWD, and proves a soothing companion on the long trip from London to North Wales. At a cruise, you’re simply unaware of AWD working wonders, and that’s the idea. Jaguar engineers targeted the sports car purity of rear-wheel drive (RWD) with added AWD security. That’s why, in normal driving, the XJ is predominantly RWD. Only when roads tangle and twist, or when you accelerate more keenly from low-traction surfaces, does the system subtly channel power forward. It means you trade wheel-slip under more extreme circumstances for serene progress, making a large luxury car like the XJ even more refined.

      The XE is the compact premium sedan that introduced Jaguar’s advanced new Lightweight Aluminum Architecture and AWD is now available in both diesel and gas models. Like the XJ system, AWD is fully variable, but the XE is 90% RWD in normal conditions, and uses Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) to vary the torque between both axles constantly.

      IDD was first developed to preserve the sporting characteristics of the AWD F-TYPE, and seamlessly co-ordinates responses from the engine, gearbox, and traction and stability control. From standstill it can transition from RWD to AWD in just 165 milliseconds or in as little as 100 milliseconds when the car is moving. It doesn’t just react to slip either; it anticipates it, thanks to sensors measuring throttle and steering inputs.

    • When the system determines that slip may occur, it pre-emptively transfers more than 90% of engine torque from the rear wheels to the front wheels.


      It’s a potent combination, bringing added composure to our renowned agility, without diluting driver enjoyment and deploying its power effortlessly.

      The XF builds on the XE formula, with the same AWD system, a driving experience that can thrill and cosset in equal measure, and with added space and luxury. The efficient 2.0L diesel is a 180-horsepower engine that’s punchy and pulls keenly from subterranean revs.

      Again you’re barely aware of its AWD interventions - just sense that you can press the accelerator further and earlier in a bend. It not only feels sure-footed in varying conditions, it gives you more confidence whatever the weather. Like the XE, the AWD remains 90% RWD in normal conditions. But the IDD system is something rivals simply can’t match: it is designed to detect when you’re about to lose traction when driving, and pre-emptively prepares to divert more traction forwards, which is helpful on fast switchback roads. It also cuts the 0-100km/h time on most models making accelerating onto a busy road quicker because all four tires share the load.


      The latest addition to the Jaguar range, the F-PACE, represents new territory for the company. But it’s built around the same aluminum building blocks and AWD system as XE and XF, and Jaguar essence shines through in both the striking design and the drive.

      Despite having a commanding view of the road ahead, you sit relatively low in the cockpit, gripping a steering wheel that’s small and wieldy. The front tires flick into corners with sports-car-like precision, the steering is highly responsive and beautifully weighted, and all the while the suspension balances handling finesse with supple comfort. Room in the back is great and the cargo space is huge, flexible and highly accessible from the large rear tailgate.

    • AWD is standard on all engine variants of the F-PACE. Once again, the RWD feeling remains, but accelerate through a long, sweeping bend and the power shifts seamlessly forwards, helping the F-PACE swoosh through corners with consummate ease. It’s a fast and incredibly satisfying way to travel across these challenging Welsh roads.

      The all-wheel-drive in XE is fully variable but 90% rear-wheel-drive in normal conditions.

      The F-PACE offers off-road capability too, but it’s important to highlight that AWD is not a term that’s fully interchangeable with four-wheel drive (4WD). 4WD is typically reserved for very serious off-roaders, splits power evenly between all four wheels, and offers very low gear ratios that are driver-selectable.

      AWD is refined and sophisticated, actively shuffling power from front-to-rear in milliseconds, its adaptability better suited to the higher speeds road cars tackle. The raised ground clearance, AWD and Adaptive Surface Response – which automatically tailors the powertrain to conditions – combine to give F-PACE more than enough capability in most situations.

      When you do go off-road, the tires squish into the soft, marshy surface, then quickly find purchase. There are deep ruts and small fallen rocks from the crumbling hilltop above, but F-PACE takes it all in stride, stoically negotiating terrain that would flummox most cars. Parked up at the top you feel like an intrepid explorer, looking out at an amazing road that stretches into the distance like a shoelace dropped over the topography. A road that looks made for our most sporting car: the F-TYPE.

      The F-TYPE R Coupe is a supercharged two-seater with 550-horsepower. AWD makes it seriously quick, scorching from 0-100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. Despite this car’s staggering performance, you quickly find a rhythm. The driving position is low-slung and poised, and every response – the engine and gearbox, the steering, the available carbon-ceramic brakes – is instant. And the noise from the R’s quad exhaust pipes is heaven, all silky purrs at low revs and thunderous crackles and pops under power.

      It all creates a sense of connection between car and driver that’s only heightened as AWD claws into the surface, maximizing grip whether you’re accelerating from a standstill, or scything over a deserted road. The F-TYPE R seems the ultimate way to experience these epic roads. Yet Jaguar has just gone one better to create the stunning new F-TYPE SVR, its fastest, most powerful version yet.

    • The F-TYPE SVR is the fastest, most powerful series production Jaguar ever built, the ultimate expression of Jaguar AWD technology. Sitting low in its bespoke sports seats, you can’t help but notice the SVR interior with its Jet Black leather with unique Lozenge Quilt pattern and contrast stitching, and the tactile suedecloth that wraps over the instrument binnacle and center console. Press the start button and the 575-horsepower V8 erupts through a titanium and Inconel exhaust; it’s much lighter than a standard system and sounds like thunder in a bottle. Before you even pull away, the SVR raises your heart rate.

      Our fastest-ever series production sports car, the F-TYPE SVR appropriately leads from the front in this all-wheel-drive group test with the XE, XF, F-PACE and XJ in hot pursuit.

      It’s all the work of Special Vehicle Operations, the in-house Jaguar Land Rover division tasked with taking the best one step further. Using the F-TYPE R as its starting point, SVO has made the F-TYPE SVR faster, lighter, more engaging to drive and even more visually dramatic. The result is an all-weather supercar that swivels heads at a standstill, accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds and runs all the way to 320 km/h for the coupe (314 km/h for the convertible).

      Distinctive design touches include a new front bumper with enlarged air inlets, eye-catching hood vents, a revised carbon fiber rear spoiler and unique designs for the 20-inch forged alloy wheels. Nothing is superfluous: the larger air inlets enhance cooling; the deployable spoiler combines with a racecar-style flat underfloor and rear venting to boost aerodynamic performance. The new alloy wheels are 30 lbs lighter and wrapped in bespoke tires some 10 mm wider than the F-TYPE R, boosting grip and response.

      Under the skin, the supercharged V8 engine gains 25-horsepower, the continuously variable suspension is firmer to heighten the feeling of control, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox is more incisive still. Crucially, the AWD’s system’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) software has been re-engineered to deliver an even more dynamic experience.

      Pull the Quickshift transmission selector to Drive, set off down the road and you notice how the SVR suspension now marries supple F-TYPE compliance with greater control; the feel through the SVR steering wheel is noticeably firmer, providing extra connection to the road surface.

      F-TYPE SVR with all-wheel drive handles the twisting welsh roads with confidence in all conditions.

      Pick up the pace, point the SVR through some corners, and you sense the extra definition from the wider tires; the sports car seems glued to its line and confidence quickly builds. Accelerate and the SVR hunkers down, its tires delivering the huge hit of performance to the road, the push in your back recalling rear-wheel drive, the rapidly gathering speed betraying AWD magic. As you come out of corners, you can feel the V8’s extra urgency; a pull on the bespoke aluminum paddle shifter fires home instantaneous upshifts, and should elicit a wide grin from the driver as the V8 crackles and fizzes its harder-edged soundtrack.

      As you come out of corners, you can feel the V8’s extra urgency; a pull on the bespoke aluminum paddle shifter fires home instantaneous upshifts, and should elicit a wide grin from the driver as the V8 crackles and fizzes its harder-edged soundtrack.

      The F-TYPE SVR has key exterior identifiers like the revised carbon fiber rear spoiler, special 20-inch forged alloys and that all-important SVR badge. SVR is the most focused F-TYPE yet, but that focus doesn’t come at the expense of usability. Exhaust valves reduce volume at a cruise, the 14-way electric seats pamper and cosset, and the Jaguar InControl® touchscreen infotainment system is compatible with wearable technology like the Apple Watch. And whatever the conditions, however you drive, AWD is always watching your back.

      This photo shoot was undertaken in a carefully controlled environment with experienced drivers. Do not attempt. Always obey local speed limits.

      European Models shown