Steve Sutcliffe
17 April 2013

What is it?

The fastest, most powerful, most expensive model within the new Jaguar F-type range, and although it costs a whopping £79,950 and looks all but identical to the lesser versions, it’s a proper old-school hotrod and no mistake.

Like all the other F-types, the V8 S sits on a rear-wheel-drive aluminium chassis that features all-round double wishbone suspension, plus the same basic cabin architecture from which to survey the world. It has the same electric hood as the lesser models (12sec up or down), the same driving position, the same decently sized boot (200 litres) and even the same multi-function steering wheel (available with either a flat bottom in Alcantara or rounded and in leather, which is nice).

But in most respects, that’s where the similarities between the V8 S F-type and the V6s end. For although there’s the same eight-speed Quickshift gearbox through which to deploy the V8’s thunderous extra power and torque (489bhp and 364lb ft), it feels like a completely different animal on the road.

Partly this is because that’s the way Jaguar wants it to feel, hence the reason there’s an electronic diff (rather than a mechanical limited slip diff as in the Jaguar F-type V6 S) in order to manage the V8’s extra flow of power.

But at the same time there are also bigger brakes, 20in wheels, quad exhausts and a yet more sophisticated Dynamic Drive system that allows you to fine-tune the steering weight, throttle response, gearchange speeds and even the exhaust noise. All of which endow the V8 S with a very different personality on the move.

What is it like?

There’s a monumental step up in performance from a V6 F-type when you ensconce yourself in the V8 S. The noise it makes is totally different and the response from its power steering is also meatier. Even its body shell shimmies slightly when you press the throttle, as do those of all the finest hotrods.

But it’s what happens when you put your foot down in the V8 F-type, preferably with a lowish gear engaged, and ideally on a quiet and straight ribbon of road, that distinguishes this car as The Superior Being. The way it accelerates is frankly brutal and maybe even a little bit scary to begin with, to the point where I believe that some customers may find it a touch too much. In which case they’ll need to go away and learn their craft behind the wheel of an entry-level Jaguar F-type V6 instead

For the truly unhinged enthusiast, though, the V8 S is the only F-type to have. Jaguar reckons it’ll do 0-100mph in 8.9sec, which is deeply quick. But the way it thunders towards the horizon at the merest prod of throttle in any of the first five gears makes it feel quicker, even, than such a number would suggest.

The response from its 5.0-litre V8 engine is fantastic. If you didn’t know it was supercharged, you’d never guess. But it’s the way the acceleration keeps on coming at you, keeps on pummeling you in the kidneys as every rev is added, that makes the V8 seem so seductive, so addictive, so much more appealing at its core than either of the merely fast V6s. 

The way the gearbox picks off ratios so efficiently when you short-shift is also delicious, as is the amount of traction on offer with the new E-diff switched to Normal (although having said that, massive tail slides can also be delivered at will if you switch it off). 

And the sound it makes is epic: a deep rumble below 2000rpm that rises through a satanic roar between 2000 and 4500rpm, before finishing in a very loud, very lovely scream between 5000rpm and the redline. 

It’s the sort of car you climb out of after a decent thrash across a good road, glad still to be in one piece, heart thumping, mind fizzing with adrenalin. In many ways it reminds me of the most sorted TVR that there ever was, and I mean that entirely as a compliment.

Should I buy one?

If you can afford one, the answer is a very big yes.

The fast, loud, expensive and downright raucous Jaguar F-type V8 S won’t appeal to everyone in the market for a sports car (although initial orders suggest that it’s accounting for some 40 per cent of overall interest) but to those who want the biggest bang possible for their buck, the F-type V8 S has few equals virtually at any price. 

Jaguar F-type V8 S

Price £79,950; 0-62mph 4.2sec; Top speed 186mph; Economy 25.5mpg; CO2 259g/km; Kerb weight 1665kg; Engine V8, 5000cc, supercharged; Power 489bhp at 6500rpm; Torque 461lb ft at 2500-5500rpm; Gearbox 8 speed auto

Join the debate

Comments
21

Stars

1 year 28 weeks ago

Four and a half stars seems fair enough, but with such wondeful comments, perhaps four stars for the F-Type overall seems a little low? I do quite like the F-Type, but as a massive Jagar fan, I can't help but question the future of the XK.

TBC

XK

1 year 28 weeks ago

The XK has suffered as it has tried to straddle two markets, something that the 911 is slowly becoming. The introduction of the F-Type could be the saviour of the XK, in allowing Jaguar to move it up market to a full 4-seater, thus making room for a 2+2 F-Type coupe (in the same way the 911 is neutering the Cayman as they start to share the same market space).

Not sure what SS means in the

1 year 28 weeks ago

Not sure what SS means in the video when he says we are talking 911 Turbo fast.  The quoted figures are well short of the Porsche's, as indeed is the price.

F type

1 year 28 weeks ago

Yes new car but old engine and no boot 

TBC wrote: The XK has

1 year 28 weeks ago

TBC wrote:

The XK has suffered as it has tried to straddle two markets, something that the 911 is slowly becoming. The introduction of the F-Type could be the saviour of the XK, in allowing Jaguar to move it up market to a full 4-seater, thus making room for a 2+2 F-Type coupe (in the same way the 911 is neutering the Cayman as they start to share the same market space).

 

TBC I agrree.  The XK has tried to play two different cars which has been a hard job to pull off.  With the introduction of the F-Type, the XK would probably become a more focused GT car a job it does exceedingly well and in doing so, I believe the styling would cater for a proper four seater coupe.  Love the F-Type though, sounds superb and the performance figures are excellent.  Looking forward to the coupe version even more as I think that looks even better.  Bloody expensive though

 

275not599 wrote: Not sure

1 year 28 weeks ago

275not599 wrote:

Not sure what SS means in the video when he says we are talking 911 Turbo fast.  The quoted figures are well short of the Porsche's, as indeed is the price.

 

Hard to judge a car by the figures alone though. Isn't the 911T 4WD? That might - might - give it an advantage to 60, whereas from a moving start the F-type might (again - might) have more oomph. Or maybe it feels as fast. Who knows.

IAD

Can't wait for the hard top version

1 year 28 weeks ago

If the convertible drives and goes that well I can't wait for the hard top version with it's slightly lighter kerb weight and stiffer chassis as well as the limiter removed or set slightly higher than the convertible.   I reckon it will probably top well over the 190mph mark.  I also think it looks even better.

V8 has a clear role in life

1 year 28 weeks ago

This engine gives the F a clear point of difference from the Porsches, and is probably the one to have if you can afford it.

scrap wrote: This engine

1 year 28 weeks ago

scrap wrote:

This engine gives the F a clear point of difference from the Porsches, and is probably the one to have if you can afford it.

I agree, instead of being an OK sports car struggling to compete with more focussed rivals from Stuttgart, the V8S sounds like it's a very good muscle car. Although I've only got reviews like this one to go on.

Looks good overall,

1 year 28 weeks ago

Looks good overall, especially the rear. But the front looks very generic, almost anonymous. If it's like a TVR then the 911 has nothing to worry about, as it is more of a precision tool than a hot rod. The Jag is very good but it's no game-changer like the Nissan GT-R.

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