FEA­TURE CAR With the V8-pow­ered Jaguar, lad­dish be­hav­iour is an ab­so­lute must!

New Zealand Classic Car - - Feature Car -

Although, hav­ing said that, the F-type re­ally isn’t into de­liv­er­ing po­lite sym­phonic notes. If the su­per­charged V6 S we sam­pled last year sounded some­thing akin to the Sex Pis­tols — loud and snotty with a dis­tinc­tive sense of Bri­tish-ness — the V8 R’s sound­track is much deeper and darker in tone. In­deed, at full bore the R’s ex­haust note sounds rather like the au­to­mo­tive equiv­a­lent of a blood-cur­dling black-metal band.

If you’re not into heavy metal mu­sic — think of a Su­per­ma­rine Spit­fire on full power as it banks into a tight turn, and if that doesn’t paste a silly grin onto your face, it’s prob­a­bly time to check to see if you’ve still got a pulse!

How­ever, you can al­ways choose to dial out most of that sound and fury, as via its switch­able modes the F-type is im­bued with an al­most Jekyll and Hyde char­ac­ter. Re­sist the urge to play around with the V8 R’s Dy­namic Mode and you’ll be in charge of a quiet, eas­ily con­trol­lable and rea­son­ably civ­i­lized ex­ec­u­tive ex­press — some­thing that the prover­bial granny would find al­most as easy to drive as her trusty Honda Jazz.

How­ever, switch on all the fruity bits and you’ve got a thun­der­ously fast sports car that can be pro­voked into pro­duc­ing some truly hair-rais­ing sounds — from the off-beat bur­ble of the car’s su­per­charged V8 right out to a bois­ter­ous, smile-in­duc­ing ex­haust crackle on the over-run.

Op­tions

With no less than six mod­els to choose from within Jaguar’s F-type range the po­ten­tial buyer has plenty of choice — with the range-top­ping V8-pow­ered cars com­mand­ing prices sub­stan­tially higher than the V6 ver­sions. This price dif­fer­en­tial is most no­table for those look­ing at a coupé, as the V8 R com­mands a whop­ping $60,000 pre­mium over the en­try level F-type. And, while the ‘S’ mod­els in the mid­dle of the range prob­a­bly of­fer the best bang for your buck, those seek­ing the ul­ti­mate in out­right per­for­mance (and fu­ri­ous sounds) should con­sider the V8 R coupé or the slightly slower, less pow­er­ful V8 S con­vert­ible.

I’m biased, I’ve al­ways liked Jags, but I reckon that the F-type is one of the best sports cars cur­rently avail­able. It’s fast, prop­erly sorted, beau­ti­fully bal­anced and dy­namic on the road, well equipped, sen­sa­tional to look at and ab­so­lutely chock-full of char­ac­ter.

I’ll take mine in Black Amethyst with a red leather in­te­rior, thanks.

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