FEA­TURE CAR

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature Car -

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.’

Ex­tra Di­men­sion

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.

Thun­der­ous Per­for­mance

Es­chew­ing the cur­rent trend for fancy dual-clutch gear­boxes, the F-type is fit­ted with an eight-speed auto trans­mis­sion that

Beacham­jaguar–thef-type­r­ange

F-type S V8 S

En­gine

3-litre V6 Su­per­charged 3-litre V6 Su­per­charged 5-litre V8 Su­per­charged

Power/ Torque

250kw/450nm 280kw/460nm 364kw/625nm

0-100km/h

5.3 secs 4.9 secs 4.3 secs

Max Speed

260km/h 275km/h 300km/h

Beacham­jaguar

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.

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