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