Interested in buying a Porsche 911 Carrera S? You need to take a look at this. This is the new Jaguar F-Type V8 S. It’s hunting thoroughbred sports cars just like the 911. And with a ferocious, snarling supercharged V8 engine, a taut chassis, and stunning looks, it certainly has the right ingredients to catch its prey.
The F-Type has been designed as a modern interpretation and a successor to the classic E-Type, arguably one of the sexiest cars ever made. While it doesn’t come with the grace and charm of wood and chrome trimmings, it makes up for it with innovation, clever driving modes, and lots of advanced technology.
Unlike the E-Type, the F-Type is available with an all-supercharged engine lineup, including two V6s, and this, the mighty 5.0-litre supercharged V8. It’s properly powerful, sitting at the meaty end of today’s performance car spectrum. Maximum power is 364kW at an angry 6500rpm, while max torque is 625Nm achieved everywhere between 2500rpm to 5500rpm.
All models come with a fantastic ZF eight-speed sports automatic with paddle shifters. The V8 S gets a limited-slip differential to distribute the power as evenly as it can between both rear wheels.
Prices start at $201,945 for the V8 S. This is a big figure, but compared with the main rivals it’s actually at the cheaper end of the serious sports car market.
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2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S – THE SPECS
Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8
Output: 364kW@6500rpm / 625Nm@2500-5500rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed sports auto
Drive type: Rear-wheel drive, limited-slip diff
Wheels: F: 20×9.0, 255/35 R: 20×10.5, 295/30 (optional)
ANCAP: Not tested
Kerb weight: 1774kg
Power-to-weight: 4.8:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: 11.1L/100km
Economy during test: 15.1L/100km
Fuel capacity/Type: 72L/95 RON
Power efficiency: 32.7kW:L/100km
0-100km/h as tested: 4.4 seconds
Priced from: $201,945
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S – THE PACKAGE
There aren’t many cars around that are capable of causing women to pull over on the side of the road and walk over to a stranger just to admire a car. During our week with this example of the F-Type, that’s exactly what happened.
We were on the side of a very deserted road in an equally deserted location to do some photos. To our surprise, a strapping young lady, with a nice smile on her face mind you, pulled over and got out of her car just to ask if we needed any help with anything. We looked at each other in confusion. Was she offering to change a flat tyre or help us with a breakdown? Judging by the adoring smile on her face, she simply wanted to get as close to the F-Type as possible.
This is one irresistibly sexy product, especially if you’re standing next to it or see it in the metal. It lures you from every angle with its beauty. From the rear you get hints of the classic E-Type with those voluptuous hips that run down to the pointed, swept-up rear end.
At the front it’s a pouncing feline with muscly shoulders and a face that looks as focused as a wild animal eyeing out its prey. The F-Type isn’t just a car. It’s a moving piece of artwork. Like most things with sex appeal, the F-Type is much raunchier with its top off.
With the top on – fully electric folding fabric – headroom is restricted, obviously, but taller drivers might find it a bit inadequate for long drives. With the top down the sky’s the limit. We also think the exterior design is a lot more defined in open-top mode and you can enjoy those curves even more.
The interior isn’t as well executed as the exterior in our opinion. It’s a luxury yet mono-toned concoction of mostly leather and some finer metal details. It would be nice to see a bit more emotion applied to the decor. The build quality and fit and finish is top notch though.
You can immediately tell this a driver’s car from the moment you sit down. The seats are low and the dash is high, with a square-on steering wheel; the perfect office for anyone that loves to drive. Jaguar has made an effort to skew the centre console toward the driver too, with a brace bar shielding the passenger from fiddling with all of your settings.
Speaking of which, the F-Type comes with a user-friendly media interface with an eight-inch touch-screen LCD. It comes with satellite navigation, multi-format media support with Buetooth, USB and MP3 playback, and a decent 10-speaker stereo. A 770-Watt Meridian audio unit is optional ($6900).
There are a number of other optional features that you can choose from, some of which seem appealing and others seem like a costly gimmick. Dual-zone climate control sets you back $980, although, with such a small cabin it wouldn’t be all that effective. A heated steering wheel will cost you $550. A TV tuner for the LCD screen is $1500. And lastly, our favourite, black-painted brake calipers for an eyebrow-raising $960.
On the centre console you’ll notice an encouraging switch featuring a chequered flag on it. Once selected, Dynamic mode is engaged and all of the car’s mechanical settings are put into their most aggressive (fun) modes. Suspension, throttle sensitivity, steering weight, and even the exhaust (optional – as tested) are altered to provide the most exciting and thrilling driving experience.
The bi-modal exhaust valve in the muffler is an option ($260). It can be opened or closed at the touch of a button. A single-mode sports exhaust is standard, however, the bi-modal system is a must (see video below).
Cabin space is decent for a high-end sports car. Taller passengers will find it a little bit cramped with the roof closed, as mentioned. Other than that it’s comfortable enough to be an everyday driver. The seats are highly bolstered and the cushioning is soft.
Unfortunately, if you’re planning to have a weekend away with the other half you will have to restrict luggage to just a toothbrush and a towel. The boot space is terrible. It’s about as shallow as a shoebox and no wider than an average flat-screen TV. And that’s if you opt for the wheel-less spare. With the spacesaver spare (as tested), you’ll struggle to get a two-litre bottle of milk in there. (Wait for the F-Type R coupe to arrive later this year for hatch convenience.)
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S – THE DRIVE
What can we say about this 5.0-litre supercharged V8 monster? The engine power is savage. It comes on as strong as Mr Olympia and it belches out an almighty raw. It’s mental. You have to hear it to believe it.
With the exhaust valve open it’s in-your-face loud. Almost too loud. If you can imagine a quiet kindergarten class during nap time, and then imagine a marching band bursting through the wall with drums and trumpets blaring, that’s the kind of startling transition it is between purring in normal mode and flattening the throttle into Dynamic mode. If you’re after a car that can wake up the neighbours, or neighbourhood, look no further.
It’s not all about noise though. Oh no. The F-Type is a pure driver’s car at heart. You can tell it has been developed on the Nurburgring too, where there are bumps and jumps, and off-camber corners, just like a regular road.
The suspension is pretty stiff but it’s far from bone-jarring. It’s actually spongy when you start pounding some corners with speed. It absorbs sudden dips and doesn’t send shockwaves through the cabin or steering wheel. This is exactly the kind of setup you need for the road. It’s perfect for performance drivers.
There is a hint of body roll, resulting in a friendly, chuckable drive character. There’s no sudden surprises waiting for you at the next corner, and no snap-oversteer or scary understeer. In fact, you can throw it around like you’re driving a Mazda MX-5, only you have the power of god at your right foot.
In Dynamic mode the stability control allows some slip and movement. It’s not intimidating at all. Full power with everything switched off however, will cause all kinds of cataclysmic mayhem to the silence of the street and well-being of the rear tyres.
Does it drift? It loves to. And it’s easy to control with no tank-slap or slow-responding dampers ruining the fun. It’s natural and the transition to and from oversteer is smooth. With 295mm tyres on the back you do need to keep on the power to keep a drift going otherwise it will grip up and slingshot you forward.
One of the best parts about driving a massively powerful yet well-sorted car like this is you can use either momentum or minute throttle adjustments to steer the rear of the car. A combination of the two results in huge powerslides that last as long as the road – or tyres – will take you.
The brakes aren’t carbon ceramic or even cross-drilled. They are excellent though. You need to have a lot of trust in the brakes in a car like this with so much power, and in this you do. The pedal feel is great and the stopping performance is confidence-inspiring.
Brake fade is non-existent and the pedal won’t drop after repeated abuse. During our usual heated run we did notice whiffs of smoke coming from the pads at a rest stop, but that’s fairly common for a new vehicle that has relatively new pads.
In the evenings, the F-Type V8 S can calm down and be the perfect esplanade prowler. It’s sophisticated, gorgeous, and exquisite. People love it. They love looking at it and they love hearing it. We lost track of how many comments we received during our week with the car.
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S – THE VIDEO
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S – THE VERDICT
Here at PerformanceDrive we think the best vehicles are ones that provoke emotion. Whether it be through engine sound, exhilarating acceleration and speed, style, or even humbleness and friendliness. The F-Type manages to bring all of these qualities together in one complete package. It also has a strong tendency to remind you why you love cars so much, and it makes you giggle like a child every time you drive it.
Aside from being a brilliant piece of engineering and design, the F-Type will live on to become a future classic. No doubt about it. This means if you buy one and keep it, you’ll probably cherish it for decades and one day it’ll be worth more than what you bought it for.
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– Monstrous engine; power and sound
– Perfect suspension balance for the road; not too stiff, not too soft
– Drop-dead gorgeous exterior
– Price, considering most of its true rivals are beyond $250k
– Boot space
2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S – THE COMPETITORS
Aston Martin V8 convertible
4.7-litre V8 – 313kW-470Nm – 12.9L/100km – 1710kg – from $175,900 (auto – manual is available)
Audi RS 5 convertible
4.2-litre V8 – 331kW-430Nm – 10.7L/100km – 1995kg – from $175,900 (auto only)
BMW M6 convertible
4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 – 412kW-680Nm – 10.3L/100km – 1980kg – from $308,145 (auto only)
4.3-litre V8 – 338kW-485Nm – 13.1L/100km – 1735kg – from $459,295 (auto only)
4.7-litre V8 – 323kW-490Nm – 15.2L/100km – 1980kg – from $328,000 (auto only)
Porsche 911 Carrera S cabrio
3.8-litre naturally aspirated flat-six – 294kW-440Nm – 8.9L/100km – 1560kg – from $272,150 (auto – manual is available)