Over the past couple of years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed driving various versions of the Jaguar F-Type, from the convertible to the Coupe. Today however was a good day, the sun was shining and in front of us sat a gleaming white V8-R, 550ps AWD Supercharged convertible sex machine. (Too much? I don’t think so).
After we lowered the roof with a mere flick of a switch, Lee took charge and drove us around the hill circuit at Millbrook Testing Facility, Bedfordshire with me grinning and laughing uncontrollably sitting next to him. It was fast, it was loud and it was bloody good fun, even for a passenger.
Later on, just as the day was coming to an end I just couldn’t let Lee have all the V8 fun, so as he wandered off in search of cake, I grabbed the key, eased myself into body hugging premium leather, R Performance seats and pressed the button that should really read ‘Smile’ as opposed to ‘Start’.
All 8 cylinders fired up with a purposeful roar, then settled down to deep, menacing rumble, the only type of rumble you get from a great big stonking V8. I couldn’t help but smile as I drove this £97k plus sports car out of the parking area and out towards the hill circuit.
As soon as I reached the main straight I stopped, glanced around to make sure there was on one else to get in my way, then I unleashed the 550PS Supercharged engine with its 680Nm of torque and found myself being propelled to 60mph in just 3.9 seconds, I then slowed down a tad as the speed limit around here is just 55mph. Being honest, you don’t really have an option as the course is like riding on a roller coaster with its ups, down, twists and turns. If I wanted to go faster, then there’s always the high speed bowl, but even then I wouldn’t be able to take it to its 186mph maximum.
Just to get a feel for this well balanced machine I cruised around the circuit in a sedate manner imagining I was cruising to somewhere exotic, then once again with a little more, ahem, enthusiasm!
The power from the 5.0ltr Supercharged, 550ps V8 is monstrous, and the skin tingling noise from the active exhausts is so exhilarating, but what you don’t notice are the other, more subtle aspects of the car that are less obvious. For instance, the lateral support seats that offer you unconditional support as you fling it around sharp bends, and of course the Intelligent Torque Vectoring technology that senses impending understeer during cornering. It provides precise braking on the inside rear wheel while feeding torque to the outside rear wheel giving you confident control.
With the aforementioned roar, acceleration and immense stopping power, the AWD V8-R stuck to the road like glue, and as I trundled back to the Jaguar stand I appreciated this Jaguar even more, it was a perfect end to a cracking day, and the Jaguar F-Type remains one of my all time favourite cars to drive. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring you a more detailed report soon.