to our test car helped brighten up its black-on-black cockpit. That extra sunlight revealed that all the Jaguar’s controls are neatly laid out — with plenty of gadgets on hand for technocrats to fiddle around with, all controlled via the car’s dash-mounted touchscreen.
Enough prevarication — time to hit the button labelled ‘engine start.’
On the road, the V8 R feels stiffer and more together than the convertible — although the drop-top F-type could certainly not be described as being sloppy in any way. However, the addition of a roof has measurably increased the car’s rigidity, allowing Jaguar to raise spring rates, and make improvements to the already excellent adaptive damping.
As a result, despite a slight increase in weight over the convertible, the F-type coupé boasts improved steering accuracy and agility. The convertible certainly isn’t lacking in these areas, but out on the road, the aluminum-topped V8 R adds an extra dimension of deliciousness.
As well as these upgrades, this top-of-the-line model features a second-generation version of Jaguar’s electronic active differential and, exclusively for the R, this includes a torque vectoring system that exercises a decent measure of control over wheelspin, and virtually eliminates all traces of understeer even under spirited cornering. However, the system is flexible — switch the car into Dynamic Mode and you’ll crack a big smile as you’re rewarded with a touch of easily controllable oversteer around the same corner. As well, the V8 R’s configurable dynamic system allows you to play around with other settings, and alter them to better suit your own taste and driving style.
What all this adds up to is a sports car that’s a total delight to drive — beautifully balanced and controllable, the F-type just feels right in all regards.
Of course, you can get seriously unruly and turn all the driving aids off — although that is perhaps not recommended on public roads. As you’d expect from a rear-wheel-drive car with the V8 R’s amount of torque on tap, the resultant rubber destroying and wild, oversteer-induced slides will hardly endear you to other road users or, indeed, the boys in blue.
Eschewing the current trend for fancy dual-clutch gearboxes, the F-type is fitted with an eight-speed auto transmission that
F-type S V8 S
3-litre V6 Supercharged 3-litre V6 Supercharged 5-litre V8 Supercharged
250kw/450nm 280kw/460nm 364kw/625nm
5.3 secs 4.9 secs 4.3 secs
260km/h 275km/h 300km/h
As well as the ‘modernized’ Jaguars that have made its name world famous, Beacham Jaguar offers a range of both new and pre-owned Jaguars along with full mechanical servicing, repairs and spare parts supply. Last month, Beacham Jaguar’s Auckland servicing and sales operation relocated to new premises at 551 Great South Road, in Penrose. With improved showroom space, better parking and a much larger service area, the company now has the opportunity to expand its Auckland customer base. Check out its website for more information on the services offered by Beacham Independent Jaguars — beacham-jaguar.co.nz — or drop into its new Auckland showroom and take a look at the latest Jaguar cars, including the gorgeous F-type V8 R featured in our article.