Tuning company Viezu has pushed the F-Type’s power reserves to Aventador-bothering levels, creating the Jaguar F-Type Predator
Richard Bremner Autocar
17 August 2016

How much do you pay per unit of Jaguar F-Type power?

The base 3.0 V6 coupé costs £154.55 for each of its 335bhp and the 375bhp V6 S £162.07 per horsepower, while the all-wheeldrive V8 R’s 542bhp requires £169.15 and the 567bhp SVR £194.

Visit tuner Viezu Technologies, however, and you can decisively improve the bhp-per-pound ratio. Viezu’s tuning costs £8108 on top of the £91,680 of a V8 R, taking the total to £99,788, with a cost-per-bhp of £155.68 – usefully less than you pay per unit of SVR horsepower. Better still, you get plenty more grunt, the 641bhp, 687lb ft Viezu F-Type comfortably outsmoking the SVR’s 567bhp and 516lb ft.

There’s no smoke at all when we witness Viezu’s F-Type V8 R delivering 641bhp on a dyno, a blazingly noisy experience that will have you wedging index fingers into ears as the engine is wrung out. The only visible movement is that of the wheels on their rollers and the test engineer’s head as he pins the accelerator, but at its peak this 207mph car is furiously channelling all 687lb ft towards all four wheels.

Moments later we hear the calmer sound of a printer producing a graph, whose scales must start at 223hp and 401lb ft to enable the peak outputs to fit on a sheet of A4. This is impressive proof of Viezu’s work, although “making Ford Transits go slower” in order to reduce their running costs is the usual fare of this Warwickshire-based engine management specialist, says CEO Paul Busby. “It’s not the most glamorous work,” he adds, “but it’s more profitable.” But Busby and Viezu have a distant history of tuning Jaguars and have recently rekindled the activity to spectacular effect. The company also offers more rampant XKs and Land Rovers, too, all sharing the same JLR V8.

In the days of the E-Type, it would have taken an extensive dissection of an engine to achieve power gains on this scale, with special components required to extricate the extra power. This F-Type, subtly named Predator, shares only a freer exhaust with these 20th century techniques, and mostly only for aural reasons.

To unleash the V8’s inner beast, you must undam the hidden torrent of extra power not by plunging in with a socket set but by manipulating the algorithms that make up the engine’s electronic marching orders. Viezu technical director Simon White explains that “the engine is actually more powerful” than in the form in which it is sold.

“We look at the parameters within the ECU for power and torque and see where it is being held back,” he says. “We try to limit the changes to the ECU and change more of the maps for the supercharger. We’re trying to get several parameters to work together and not stress the engine.”

To maintain reliability, Viezu doesn’t touch the temperature control maps (“They’re there for a reason”), although the intercooler is upgraded. “There are thousands of maps,” says White, “but we change only 50-60. There’s no change below 60% of total power on part-throttle. We try to retain a manufacturer feel to the driveability. It’s on a wide-open throttle that we make the changes.”

If you can sense this Jaguar straining when it’s lashed to a dyno, that’s nothing to the strain you feel with a wide-open throttle on the road as the F-Type tenses to deal with 687lb ft deluging through its driveline. And there’s a thrilling strain for the driver, too, as you try to find places where you might momentarily apply full throttle. It may be four-wheel drive, but the torque seems to compress the Jag’s spasming body as its rear wheels seemingly attempt to sledgehammer past the fronts. The last time I felt this sensation was aboard a Lamborghini Aventador. The word ‘quick’ barely begins to describe the experience.

And certainly not the noise. The Predator’s semi-free-flow exhaust sounds like King Kong with a headache even in Normal mode, while in Dynamic it’s like a small war on wheels.

This F-Type has been modified in other ways, too, not least with a set of gold 20in alloys with a slightly different offset, an assortment of carbonfibre add-ons, a 20mm lower ride height and stiffer suspension bushes of the polybush variety. The ride is much firmer at low to medium speeds, but the difference starts to tell at higher speeds on B-roads, the ride turning choppy enough to give the bump-stops some work and the Jag frequently needing more of a steer to keep it line – which is not necessarily what you need in a car this blastingly fast.

On smoother roads, these issues melt away as briskly as the oncoming scenery. Like so many cars this uproariously rapid, the Predator is a device whose capabilities you will only gradually uncover.

As is its potential value for money. The wheels, the carbonfibre and the suspension modifications are not essential (we’d avoid the lowering and polybushing), which means that a 641bhp all-wheel-drive F-Type can be yours for £99,788, or a lot less if you add the £8108 to the price of a used V8 R. Which is probably the best option if you want a less expensive, more spectacular route to F-Type SVR-plus performance. 

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Comments
10

17 August 2016
As such conversions go this seems very reasonably priced but, I can't see me buying an F-Type V8 R and thinking, it is a bit too slow and quiet.

Citroëniste.

17 August 2016
Take an F-Type and add more power and (if you go for mods) less 'taste': two elements of which it has precisely zero need.

BertoniBertone

17 August 2016
The F-Type is all about sound. Phenomenal. Primordial. Looks good. Drives better. But this Cat is primarily about how it sounds. Visceral. Pure. Aural pleasure.

17 August 2016
Lovely bit of kit, but are you sure it's the 4WD model?

Pics 18 and 20 (on the dyno) would suggest this is a RWD...

17 August 2016
Problem is a lot of the driveline components 'might' be under stress with that additional torque. Wheel bearings, driveshafts, all sorts of stuff i don't know enough about - but the point is that you only find out further on down the line with this sort of mod. Would be fun for the first owner mind.

17 August 2016
Bit of a hotrod,like the Saturn five exhaust tips though!

Peter Cavellini.

17 August 2016
They are cars of seperate clientelle.

18 August 2016
if this was any tuned car other than a JLR product, would Autocar bother covering it?

18 August 2016
Interesting article. Thank you Autocar. The F-Type R is a great car to own. Think the conversion would really only be suited to the 4wd model with these type of power outputs though as the standard rwd model is thumpingly fast as is and a rear wheel drive extrovert. These cars are a huge amount of fun and reward a good driving style aplenty. I think some people don't appreciate the fact that many manufacturers don't give you that option these days. I have never stepped out of the cars that I have owned grinning so much in my life, Lotus, Porsche and Aston included. It's a different mix for sure but an intoxicating one!

18 August 2016
Viezu are turning my R into a Predator this week and I cant wait, it's an animal already as Expert Tuning remapped it last month giving it quite an advantage over most other R's but Viezu are taking it to another level. Will let you know how it turns out

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